Specialisation Food Law and Regulatory Affairs

The specialisation Food Law and Regulatory Affairs offers a regular, remote and a hybrid programme for the Academic year 2020/21. This means you can study online, on campus or a combination.

This programme provides you with a solid legal foundation to key issues in food safety and food regulation, as well as trade, consumer and intellectual property rights law.

A unique study in the food domain for an exciting career

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we offer three options for our MSc students this year:


1. Regular programme: regular on campus teaching (subject to governmental restrictions).

2. Remote programme fully remote teaching for students that are:

  • EU or non-EU nationals who are not allowed to travel due to COVID restrictions after November 1, 2020;
  • EU or non-EU national that cannot travel daily due to professional obligations. In this case, you must travel to Wageningen at least twice for/during your thesis work. This can be done on a tourist visa if needed. You can follow the programme part-time: an individual study planning will be made in this situation.
  • Non-EU national that cannot move to Netherlands due to financial reasons. You are required to visit Wageningen at least twice for/during your thesis work. This can be done on a tourist visa if needed. Part-time study in this case is not accepted.

3. Hybrid programme: combination of remote and regular teaching, for students that:

  • Cannot come to Wagenigen before September 1, 2020 due to COVID, but can come before November 1, 2020. In this case, teaching in Period 1 would be fully remote. Approved for EU/EER students, for non-EU depending on immigration rules.

Background of the specialisation Food Law

The Food Law and Regulatory Affairs specialisation makes you an expert in the legal aspects of food and food safety.

How? The food domain is strictly regulated, at international, EU and national levels. Food regulation covers all aspects of production, safety, hygiene, labelling, packaging, etc. and also relates to special foodstuffs, including organic products, genetically modified organisms, novel foods, food supplements and many more.

Over the last decades, the complexity of these laws has developed in line with ever-more technical food production processes and increasingly sophisticated consumer demands. It is increasingly difficult for the food industry, regulators and consultancies to keep up to date with all regulatory developments, mitigate legal exposure, and ensure compliance. And that's where graduates in Food Law and Regulatory Affairs are needed.

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Application & admission

Are you interested in this specialisation and do you want more information about the admission requirements? Read about the application and admission procedure for this master's.

Experiences from students

"The university is exciting and motivating."

Student testimonial

Student Alessandro - MSc Food Safety

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"The way of teaching is unique and modern."

Student testimonial

Student Ioanna - MSc Food Safety

Master's Food Safety: Specialisation Food Law and Regulatory Affairs

Wageningen University is the only university worldwide offering an MSc specialisation in food law that incorporates technical food safety components. For detailed information of the courses in this 2-year programme, you can view the study handbook.

First year

The core programme in the first year consists of courses in food law, food quality management, and food safety management. Depending on your background and preferences, you will follow additional mandatory and optional courses.

Course Natural science students Law/non-technical students
Food Quality Management
Food Law
Food Safety Management
Introduction to Law for the Life Sciences
Food Safety Economics
Basics in Food Technology
Food Hazards
Law and Regulation in Food Value Chains
Intellectual Property Rights
Comparative Food Law: PR China and the USA
Global Trade Law

Overview of the specialisation. Click image to enlarge.
Overview of the specialisation. Click image to enlarge.

Second year

The second year of the programme consists of independent research. During the first part of the year, you will write a research thesis, supported by faculty at the Law Group. During the second part of the year, you will undertake an internship in the field of food safety law at a company or organisation.

Our internships typically take place with international food companies, international organizations or consultancies. International internships are supported by the programme.

Examples of recent thesis topics

Are you eligible to participate in the Food Law specialisation?

The specialisation is open to students with an undergraduate degree in Law or Food Science, but also students with a background in European Studies, Governance & Policy, as well as Nutrition and Health, Agricultural or Environmental Sciences, or other related programmes. Due to the range of previous degrees that qualify for the course, students with a legal background can learn from students with a technical background and vice versa. For graduates, it is of utmost importance that they can understand both the legal and the technical aspects of the food domain.

Moreover, we are proud to have an incredibly diverse student body from all over the world, bringing a range of experiences and cultural perspectives.

In my experience, good ideas and own initiatives are always welcomed and there is much room to develop yourself during the studies, both professionally and personally.
Read Jasmin's (Attorney-at-law) story
Thanks to the professors’ competence and particular courses that allowed me to engage with the food theme from a political and institutional perspective.
Read Federico's (Safe Food Advocacy Europe) story

Employment outlook

At the moment there is an urgent need for food law experts. Our graduates work all over the world in the food industry, as consultants (legal and in food), in governmental organisations (including EU, WHO, EFSA), food inspection services and (specialised) law firms. Some also continue into academic careers.

I had the honour of following courses given by researches and experts in their field who would incessantly do their best to inspire their students.
Read Silvia's (EU Commission) story
I was interested in bringing safe and high-quality products on the market, rather than new concepts. This made the choice for the specialisation easy.
Read Nicky's (Consultant in food safety and quality) story

Back to Food Safety specialisations