Master of Food Safety and Quality – MFoodSafQual

Enhance your career in the food industry with a Master of Food Safety and Quality. You will play a key role in managing food safety and quality in any food manufacturing company, food auditing company, or regulatory authority.

Type of qualification

Master's degree

Level of study

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.

More about study levels

NZQF level 9

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year 6 months full-time (180 credits)
Up to 5 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: Not all listed subject course options are on offer every year.

Study a Master of Food Safety and Quality – MFoodSafQual

Food safety and quality are essential to the success of all food manufacturing companies and critical for New Zealand’s economic success. Food manufacturers need absolute confidence in the safety and quality of their products. You can choose to study full time or part time with a programme supported with an online learning environment.

In big demand by employers around the world

Food companies have a growing need for expertise in food safety and quality. If they do not have this expertise themselves, consultants with the relevant qualifications provide them with services.

You could start your own consultancy business. Or to work for the government department overseeing food safety in your country.

Work on real food industry issues

The Master in Food Safety and Quality provides practical skills as well as a depth of knowledge. These enable you to manage problems in food manufacturing. You’ll also develop preventative tools designed to provide confidence in the quality and safety of food.

World-leading facilities

At Massey University, you will have access to the latest modern food processing and analytical equipment to undertake research that is applied and practical to the food industry.

  • A fully equipped pilot plant. This operates under a risk management programme to enable the export of foods of assured safety and quality.
  • Specialist equipment for both thermal and non-thermal processing.
  • Laboratories equipped to analyse microbial, chemical and foreign matter contaminants, including a PC2 laboratory enabling you to work with foodborne pathogens.
  • Instruments to measure food composition.

Massey guarantees you research expertise in meat, fish and dairy technology, fruit and vegetable postharvest storage and processing, food formulation, additives and ingredients.

A MFoodSafQual is a good fit if you:

  • already work in an area relevant to food safety and want to further your career
  • are looking for professional development
  • have a passion for improving food safety and quality.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of Food Safety and Quality you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a bachelor with honours degree in food engineering, food science or food technology, or equivalent, or
  • a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science, technology, or equivalent and completed at least 36 months relevant professional experience in the food or biological products industry.

You will need to provide:

  • a curriculum vitae with your application indicating relevant professional experience in the food or biological products industry
  • copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with Distinction or Merit. 

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Master of Food Safety and Quality

The Master of Food Safety and Quality is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

You also need to maintain a B grade average over the Part One courses to move to Part Two.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

180 credits

  • Part One research methods course – 15 credits
  • Part One compulsory courses – 60 credits
  • Part One electives courses selected from the Schedule – 45 credits
  • Part Two research report – 60 credits

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Part One (Choose 120 credits from)

Compulsory courses (Choose 60 credits from)

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 141708 Food Packaging, Preservation and Storage 15 credits

Application of a multi-disciplinary approach drawing from microbiology, chemistry, reaction kinetics, process engineering and packaging technology to the development, evaluation and optimisation of preservation processes, packaging technologies, and storage and supply chain systems for fresh and manufactured food products.

Prerequisites: 280201, 141311

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Course code: 141709 Emerging Technologies for the Food Industry 15 credits

In depth case-studies of the principles and modelling of novel food processes, including an appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages compared with established processes. New developments in the preservation of foods, the structuring of foods, the separation of food materials and packaging, storage and handling of foods can be studied.

Prerequisites: 123201, 123271, 280201

View full course details
Course code: 141720 Advanced Food Quality 30 credits

Critical reviews, case studies, advanced study and/or research into selected aspects of food quality.

Restrictions: 214772

View full course details
Choose 45 credits from
Course code: 141710 Food Packaging Engineering and Legislation 15 credits

The properties of packaging materials and requirements of labelling/legislation and the implications of choice on product shelf life, integration with processing, transport, traceability and information systems, and impact on consumer interaction with the product, sustainability and product cost are explored as part of this course.

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Course code: 141712 Strategic Food Product Development 15 credits

This course provides a strategic overview of the food product development process from the initial new product strategy and its influence on identification of product opportunities through to the actual launch of the finished food product and its influence on the launch strategies and tactics adopted by a company.

Prerequisites: 141211, 141312, 141395, 280201 Corequisites: 228797 Restrictions: 141772

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Course code: 141724 Food Quality Safety and Innovation 15 credits

This course will cover risk assessment and management techniques that can be applied to any sector of the food industry, important in the development of a new food product to ensure the development of safe foods of high quality and appropriate cost. The legal and commercial justification for ingredients, preservation, processing, packaging and distribution technologies will be taught.

Prerequisites: 280201

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Course code: 141794 Special Topic 15 credits
Course code: 231727 Epidemiology and Biostatistics 30 credits

An exploration of the core principles and practice of epidemiology and biostatistics in assessing and responding to population health need. Students will learn the skills necessary to analyse and interpret data, disseminate information, and critically appraise quantitative literature. The focus of the course is on the application of epidemiology and biostatistics for policy development and decision-making across the health system.

Restrictions: 231730 and 231731

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Course code: 231733 Big Public Health Issues 15 credits

This course critically examines the big public health issues globally using an analytical framework and case study approach that considers burden of disease, epidemiology, determinant analysis, health and other system responses and evidence of intervention effectiveness. Issues and case studies covered include major infectious diseases, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, injury prevention and mental health.

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Course code: 285742 Topics in Advanced Plant Protection 30 credits

Selected topics in Advanced Plant Protection, including host defence and disease resistance mechanisms, weed control and herbicide activity, as well as principles and methods of integrated arthropod pest (insect and mite) management.

Prerequisites: 199310 or 283311 or 285301

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Course code: 287741 Quality System Development and Management 15 credits

All organisations are required to effectively manage the quality of their goods and services, and that of the processes and systems that produce or deliver them. This course introduces the key principles of quality systems and their control and management. This includes core definitions, key theories, relevant standards, documentation requirements, and associated tools, methods and principles for managing and controlling quality.

Restrictions: 287730

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Choose 15 credits from
Course code: 119729 Research Methods 15 credits

Research methods for students whose research focuses on the human-science interface and human applications of science. The course includes foundations of science, ethics, the scientific method, and systems approaches to problem-solving and research; selection of appropriate research methods, including survey methods, case studies, enterprise/project analysis, and modelling; analysis and presentation of research results and communication skills.

Restrictions: 119728, 162760, 162761, 162762

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Course code: 228797 Research Methods in Engineering and Technology 15 credits

Research methods for students in engineering and technology. Topics include: statistical design of research experiments; hypothesis testing; use of statistical models to test engineering questions; data analysis; literature searches; development of research proposals; critical assessment of scientific literature.

Restrictions: 228340

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Part Two (Choose 60 credits from)

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 141803 Research Report: Food 60 credits

Research in a defined area of Food Science, Technology or Engineering.

View full course details

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Graduates of Massey’s Master of Food Safety and Quality have many opportunities to capitalise on the demands of the global food industry. There is steady growth internationally for experts in the management of food safety and quality in government departments, the food industry, and in consultancy and regulatory organisations. These careers span auditing, crisis management, training and establishing risk management systems.

Rapid progression to management

With a Master of Food Safety and Quality, you will play a key role in managing food safety and quality in any food manufacturing company, food auditing company or regulatory authority. The programme gives you the potential to lead to senior management roles or establishing your own business as a consultant.

A path to more in-depth research

The food industry is dynamic and with that comes the need for research in innovative and effective methods in food assurance.

The Massey Master of Food Safety and Quality positions you to deal with new challenges and develop smart solutions for tomorrow’s problems.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree
  • earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed.

Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Accreditations and rankings

ShanghaiRanking - Food science and technology

Massey University is ranked as one of the top 75 universities worldwide for Food Science and Technology (out of 300) by ShanghaiRanking.

Learn more

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