A number of professionally qualified teaching staff support this programme. They include ex-Environmental Health Officers who have experience in both local authority and the commercial food sectors. The lectures therefore will often introduce real-life examples and situations that may have occurred. Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and justify their actions appropriately.
The University will provide the academic learning and theory element of the Higher Certificate in Food Control. Most of the practical experience should be obtained during the time completing the CDP portfolio for the CIEH.
The course is arranged as a combination of distance learning and block release. For the 2 year part-time course, each year comprises 60 credits of study. This equates to approximately 600 hours (100 days) of student effort or 15 hours per week. Many of our students studying the part-time course over two years are working full time and have to fit in their studies around their work and home life. It is a challenge but it achievable.
For the 1-year fulltime version the full 120 credits is studied in a single year. Therefore, students must be able to commit at least 30 hours per week to their studies to stand the best chance of success if they want to take this route.
The University also has a dedicated wellbeing team that are there to help support students with any matters that may affect their ability to study.
Most of the teaching 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). Most of the lectures are recorded and students are granted access to them so that they can review them again if they wish. Teaching at the university is concentrated mainly between September and May.
For the part-time course there are on average 3 days per month of lecture time. Usually, Monday to Wednesday in the first year and Wednesday to Friday in the second year. Total contact time in each year is approximately 24 days.
For the fulltime version students will complete year 1 and year 2 simultaneously and so will attend the lectures on the days of both year 1 & 2 i.e., 6 days per month.
In between the teaching blocks we provide short 2-hour group support tutorials where we can discuss case studies and any problems students may be experiencing with the course or the assessments.
There is at least 1 assessment for each 10 credits and typically you will have to submit a piece of coursework each month on the part-time course and 2 pieces for full-time. The course uses a variety of assessments including case studies, reports, exams and practicals.