Master's Course Advanced Food Microbiology - Tools for Safety Management

Are you a professional in the food industry and do you want to strengthen your expertise and knowledge about the ecology and physiology of food and gastro-intestinal-tract microbes?

This online master's course focusses on the impact of viruses, bacteria and fungi on food quality and safety. Since this four-week course is part-time, you can combine study and work and enhance your career.

Organised by Wageningen University & Research
Duration 4 weeks (20 hours per week).
Price EUR 1,230.00
Certificate 3 ECTS
Format Online
Credits Microcredentials
Group size 8-20

Content of the course

This course is meant to provide good awareness of the concepts and terminology of food microbiology underlying management of food quality and safety issues in food production. The course will outline and discuss the use and limitations of tools such as risk assessment, quantitative microbiology, risk analysis and food safety objectives (FSOs). Moreover tools and decision making for hygienic production of foods will be outlined using a variety of digital learning materials and microbiological sampling plans are explained in detail, including the underlying statistical principles.  

Online education

The master's course consists of online knowledge clips, textual explanations and animations, including exercises with feedback. Furthermore it includes exercises to learn to apply the microbial principles and approaches in practice and a lab simulation case on food preservation including report writing. All information will be provided on Brightspace.

You will learn to

  • Assess the importance of hygiene and hygienic design in relation to public health, to product quality and to cost effectiveness.
  • Classify food processes based on hygienic requirements.
  • Discuss surface contamination and the impact of dispersed biofilm cells and spores on recontamination of foods in production environments.
  • Understand the statistical principles underlying microbiological analysis of foods.
  • Differentiate microbiological criteria and select suitable sampling plans to optimize food quality and safety.
  • Get an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of novel approaches including FSOs, quantitative microbiology, and risk analysis for the production of safe foods.

Combining courses

When you want to learn more about food safety and quality, other courses are interesting for you too! You can deepen your knowledge in a specific career field, without following a complete master's programme. You can register for any combination, but these are our suggestions:

Capstone project

After completion of two or more courses there is a unique opportunity to apply what you have learned. You can start a capstone project in consultation with a Wageningen expert in the field. It is a tailor-made project, where you will write a short paper about your results and conclusions. During this work you will be coached by the expert. Price: €1,230,-.

Level of knowledge

Admission to the course requires a level of education in Food Science and Technology or related, such as Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology. Relevant work experience can be considered.

English proficiency

The language of instruction of this course is in English. Admission to the course requires a level of English as defined at the website for Dutch nationals, EU nationals or nationals outside EU/EFTA respectively.   


You can complete the online master's course(s) with an exam (not obligatory). If you don’t complete the course with an exam or if you do not pass the exam successfully, you can ask for a certificate of attendance. When you successfully complete the course and the exam, you are entitled to a certificate of successful completion. The certificate is included in the course price.

Examination dates

  • Exam: 24 November 2022

Meet the instructors