Specialisation User-oriented Food Quality

The specialisation User Oriented Food Quality studies food quality from the consumer’s perspective. Different systems exist to check and control food quality in the production chain. After the point of sale, however, the consumer is in charge. Consumer practices in combination with use of available appliances determine food quality at the moment of consumption. What consumers do and why they do so is important to know. Taking this information into account in the food production chain, can contribute to an improved quality after the point of sale. In this specialisation research topics are e.g. how consumers perform food related practices and how companies can anticipate on this, the consumer perception of quality attributes of food and how to improve perceived quality.

Academic year, study load and course names and codes

The Academic Year of Wageningen University consists of 6 periods from 4-8 weeks (6 or 12 credits per period). In one study year you are assumed to take 60 credits (European Credits or ECTS). In period 1, 2 and 5 two subjects are taught, generally one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These periods consist of 6 weeks of teaching, followed by one week of self study and one week of exams. Period 3 and 4 are shorter, 4 weeks long, and in these weeks one course is taught blockwise (courses are scheduled whole day, in the morning and in the afternoon) and fulltime. In week 4 the course exam is scheduled. Period 6 consists of 9 weeks, due to many national holidays in the spring. In this period MFQ students can attend either one 12-credits-course or two 6-credits-courses (this depends on the MFQ specialization)..

Every course has besides its name a code. The code: AAA-xyyzz, with AAA the teaching group ('department') responsible for the course (for example FQD=Food Quality and Design, FHM=Food Microbiology), x indicates the level of the course (1=basic, 2=intermediate, 3=advanced), yy is an arbitrary number, zz indicates the number of credits in ECTS.

The table below shows the specialization programme and courses. The course content can be found in the on-line study handbook.

First year

Course Type Period and Time*
Compulsory courses (CS):
FQD-20306 Food Quality Management CS 1M
LAW-22806 Food Law CS 2M
FQD-38306 Advanced Tools in Quality Management CS 3WD
FQD-64306 Food Quality Management Research Principles 1 CS 4WD
FQD-64806 Food Quality Management Research Principles 2** CS 5M
Choose 1 restricted optional 1A course (RO1A) based on your background:
FQD-22306 Food Quality Analysis and Judgement RO1A 2A
FQD-31806 Product Properties and Consumer Wishes RO1A 2A
When your background is in food science or technology, choose the course FQD-31806 Product Properties and Consumer Wishes. When your background is not in food science, choose FQD-22306 Food Quality Analysis and Judgement.
Choose at least 2 restricted optional 1B courses (RO1B):
FQD-33806 Usability Research in Product Design RO1B 1A
YSS-31806 Consumer, Technology and Innovation** RO1B 5M
MCB-30806 Sensory Perception and Consumer Preference RO1B 5A
** Food Quality Management Research Principles 2 can be followed in combination with YSS-31806 Consumer, Technology and Innovation.
*M=Morning course, A=Afternoon course, WD=Whole day course, scheduled in the morning and in the afternoon.

Second year

The second year consists of an individual thesis project (minimum 36 ECTS) and an internship/traineeship (minimum 24 ECTS). The topics of the thesis and internship has to be within the scope of the specialisation. The thesis is carried out at Wageningen University. Thesis topics are offered by the Food Quality and Design group. The internship is always outside Wageningen University and can be in any country, at a university, an industry or an institute, under supervision of the Food Quality and Design group.