Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety & Food Legislation (a route to the Higher Certificate in Food Control)

Student looking into microscope

Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety & Food Legislation (a route to the Higher Certificate in Food Control):

We offer a part-time qualification at undergraduate level in Food Safety and Food Legislation. 

A Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety and Food Legislation is a qualification issued by the University after successful completion of 120 credits of work in approved modules. 60 credits are studied in the first year at a level equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree and the final 60 credits are studied in the second year at a level equivalent to the second year of an undergraduate degree.

Chemical Engineering is dynamic and evolving. It provides many solutions to problems facing industries in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological, oil, energy and food and drink sectors.  It is vital to many issues affecting our quality of life; such as better and more economical processes to reduce the environmental burden, and more delicious and longer lasting food due to the right combination of chemistry, ingredients and processing.  

Birmingham is a friendly, self-confident, School which has one of the largest concentrations of chemical engineering expertise in the UK. The School is consistently in the top five chemical engineering schools for research in the country. It also has a first-class reputation in learning and teaching, and regularly ranks highly in league tables.

Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety and Food Legislation course description

The Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety and Food Legislation provides specialist learning opportunities in food safety to practitioners in the food industry who are in supervisory, training or management positions and to Local Authority Inspectors. The programme will be of interest if you: 

  • Supervise a catering section or food production unit
  • Are a head chef in a large catering kitchen
  • Manage a housekeeping, catering or food production section
  • Are responsible for writing or implementing food safety systems such as HACCP
  • Provide advice or training on food safety, food hygiene or law
  • Are a technical officer in a Local Authority with responsibility for food
  • Have a particular interest in food safety and food law.

There are no formal entrance requirements for the Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety and Food Legislation. However, Candidates will be expected to have either formal or experiential knowledge of the rudiments of food hygiene and food safety.

Typically candidates might have a City & Guilds 706 plus several years experience in catering and /or manufacturing role; a Level 3 (Intermediate) or Level 4 (Advanced) Food Hygiene Award from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (or other equivalent). Candidates who are unsure whether their experience will be appropriate should contact the course co-ordinator to discuss the matter.

The University reserves the right to limit entry to those whom the programme tutors consider will benefit from and successfully complete the programme.

The aims of the programme are: 

  • To increase your knowledge of common food legislation and the general framework in which it functions
  • To provide a fundamental understanding of the principles of Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment (HACCP) in relation to food safety
  • To provide accurate and up to date information on the common food borne pathogens and their significance in terms of food safety
  • To provide sufficient background information for candidates to be able to critically assess with current issues in food safety
  • To cover the academic syllabus for the Higher Certificate in Food Control.

Modules

Programme Structure

Both years are arranged as a combination of distance learning and block release. Each year comprises 60 credits of study. This equates to approximately 600 hours (100 days) of student effort. 

Some of this takes place at University of Birmingham (lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals), but a large proportion must take place in the students own time (distance learning and private study). Attendance at the university in the first year is concentrated mainly between September and May (on average, 3 days (Mon-Wed) per month during term time). In the second year attendance requirements consist typically of one, three-day block per month. Total contact time in each year is approximately 24 days.

Year One

Year One has been designed to cover the fundamentals of Food Safety and Food Law. Basic microbiology is covered, and the emphasis is on the Food safety Act 1990 and associated EU directives and domestic legislation. This year consists of three modules:

  • Module 1: Food Inspection
    This module covers the identification and examination of the common foods; food sources and judgment on their fitness for human consumption. Assessment is via completion of a workbook; a practical identification exam and an online exam.
  •  Module 2: Introduction to Food Law, Food Safety & Risk Assessment 
    Introduction to food microbiology, basic food hygiene legislation, including sources of law, the interpretation and application of food safety legislation, and HACCP. Assessment is via an examination and five case studies.
    OPTION: Level 3 Award in HACCP for Food Manufacturing
    The School of Chemical Engineering is certified to offer the Royal Society for Public Health Level 3 Award in HACCP for Food Manufacturing. Candidates may, if they wish, take an additional examination at a cost of £28.00.

  • Module 3: Inspection 
    The final module will be a study based on a food inspection / audit. It will draw together all the principles from modules 1 & 2 and may involve use of techniques such as sampling, evidence gathering, auditing, developing systems, and comparison inspections etc. Assessment is via a food inspection report and an interview.

Year Two

Year Two develops the principles of food safety further and concentrates on the application and understanding. The product specific legislation is dealt with in more depth. There is an emphasis on current trends and future issues. There are five modules. 

  • Module One: Food Microbiology 
    The common microbes associated with food, including methods for sampling and enumeration and control of food-borne illness. This module will consist of lectures, directed reading and self assessment questions, laboratory practicals, case studies and web based assignments. 
  • Module Two: Food Legislation 
    The main food hygiene legislation, including sources of law, the interpretation and application of food safety legislation, evidence gathering and legal procedure as they relate to contraventions of food law. This module will comprise lectures, directed reading with self assessment questions, case studies and some visits. 
  • Module Three: Hygienic Management 
    Systems used to control food hazards, including cleaning, pest control, recall procedures, risk assessment systems and quality assurance. This module will consist of lectures, directed reading and web based assignments. There will be one laboratory practical.
  • Module Four: Food Standards
    This module looks at food standards legislation and application of the law, food labelling, compositional standards and requirements of food, allergens and imported foods. Students will also explore food adulteration and authenticity.
  • Module Five: Food Technology 
    Application of the principles of food preservation and manufacture, to include their importance in food safety and hygiene. This module will comprise lectures, a laboratory practical, directed reading, a workbook and some visits.

Fees and funding

The University charges annual tuition fees; details of these fees are available from the Course Secretary, whose contact details are in the right hand column towards the top of the page. In addition, students will need to provide for their living expenses, for instance, accommodation, food, travel, books and leisure.

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2017/18 are as follows: 
£3,000 (UK/EU) 
£6,550 (International) 

Entry requirements

There are no formal entrance requirements for the Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety and Food Legislation. However, Candidates will be expected to have either formal or experiential knowledge of the rudiments of food hygiene and food safety.

Typically candidates might have a City & Guilds 706 plus several years experience in catering and /or manufacturing role; a Level 3 (Intermediate) or Level 4 (Advanced) Food Hygiene Award from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (or other equivalent). Candidates who are unsure whether their experience will be appropriate should contact the course co-ordinator to discuss the matter.

The University reserves the right to limit entry to those whom the programme tutors consider will benefit from and successfully complete the programme.

How to apply

The closing datefor applications is the 31st August in the year the programme starts. 

Early application is advised as there are limited places available. 

Late applications will be considered if places are still available on the programme. 

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

A number of professionally qualified teaching staff support this programme. They are all ex Environmental Health Officers who have experience in both local authority and the commercial food sectors, so you will be encouraged to apply your knowledge and justify your actions appropriately.

Both years are arranged as a combination of distance learning and block release. Each year comprises 60 credits of study. This equates to approximately 600 hours (100 days) of student effort. 

Some of this takes place at University of Birmingham (lectures, tutorials and laboratory practicals), but a large proportion must take place in the students own time (distance learning and private study). Attendance at the university in the first year is concentrated mainly between September and May (on average, 3 days (Mon-Wed) per month during term time). In the second year attendance requirements consist typically of one, three-day block per month. Total contact time in each year is approximately 24 days.

The Certificate of Higher Education in Food Safety and Food Legislation provides specialist learning opportunities in foodsafety to practitioners in the food industry who are in supervisory, training or management positions and to Local Authority Inspectors. The programme will be of interest if you:

  • Supervise a catering section or food production unit
  • Are a head chef in a large catering kitchen
  • Manage a housekeeping, catering or food production section
  • Are responsible for writing or implementing food safety systems such as HACCP
  • Provide advice or training on food safety, food hygiene or law
  • Are a technical officer in a Local Authority with responsibility for food
  • Have a particular interest in food safety and food law