Objectives and competences

The university master's degree in Food Safety is an interuniversity programme coordinated by the University of Barcelona (UB) with the participation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). The course is organized and taught with the support of the Catalan Food Safety Agency (ACSA), the Public Health Agency of Catalonia (ASPCAT) and the Catalan Ministry of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda. Food safety is regulated by law, given the potential severity of its impact on the population. This master's degree is a response to growing interest in food safety among food companies, public authorities and general consumers.
The course provides specialized training in the agrifood sector, a broad socioeconomic sector encompassing multiple processes from farm to table and social concern for human nutrition and the food industry. Given the cross-disciplinary relevance of food safety, this master's degree is a useful complement to undergraduate studies related to food production, the food industry and a wide range of other areas. 
The master's degree provides students with specialist knowledge of food safety and is a gateway both to further studies at doctoral level and to professional roles in food safety management in the private agrifood sector or in related public bodies.

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Pharmacy and Food Science
Branch of knowledge
  • Agricultural sciences and food technology
Mode of delivery
  • Face-to-face
Number of places available40
Length of course1 academic year
Language(s) of instructionCatalan and Spanish
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentYes
Open enrolmentNo
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Main universityUniversitat Barcelona
  • Universitat Barcelona
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Bridging coursesNo

Objectives and competences


The master's degree in Food Safety is a response to growing demand for graduates with specialist training in various tasks related to food safety, for the corporate sector, public administration and the research sector. Current professionals in these areas generally have academic backgrounds in food science and technology, veterinary science, pharmacy, biology and chemistry, and do not necessarily possess the degree of comprehensive and specific training that is now required.

The aim of this programme is, therefore, to train professionals who are:
  • competent in a range of tasks encompassing prevention, detection, evaluation, management, communication and decision-making related to food safety;

  • equipped to work as part of multidisciplinary teams in the public and private sectors.

To achieve this, the programme:
  • provides comprehensive knowledge of the different areas of specialization in food safety (nutrition, technology, microbiology, toxicology, management, documentation, regulation, etc.);

  • imparts the skills needed for different food safety tasks in the various associated sectors (primary sector, agrifood firms, etc.) and in government departments with regulatory powers over these sectors;

  • trains students to carry out specialized research tasks for the food safety sector.


  • Understanding of and capacity to apply current tools for analysing food-related health risks.

  • Comprehensive understanding of and ability to use the specific terminology of the discipline.

  • Capacity for on-going, independent learning.

  • Capacity to display a concern for ethical and responsible professional practice in the food safety sector.

  • Capacity to adapt to new situations, take on responsibilities and work independently when required.

  • Strong spoken and written communication skills, and the ability to share and communication academic and professional knowledge effectively.

  • Understanding of the importance of risk analysis in the field of food safety.

  • Ability to use a range of tools to manage food-related health risks.

  • Understanding of the organization and operation of national and international agencies with regulatory powers in the food safety sector.

  • Ability to use a range of tools to manage food-related health risks.

  • Ability to use a range of communication tools to share information and raise awareness of food-related health risks.

  • Ability to identify and characterize the biological, chemical, physical and nutritional risks related to different foodstuffs.

  • Ability to comply with national and international standards applicable to the agrifood sector.

  • Understanding of general communication guidelines in the field and ability to apply them to information generated on food safety.

  • Capacity to distinguish between perceived risk and actual risk.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

The master's degree in Food Safety aims to provide the training its students will need to continue to the doctoral programme or to specialise in food safety management in private companies in the agrifood sector or in relevant areas of public administration. As such, the programme is primarily intended for recent graduates and professionals in the agrifood industry who are interested in specializing in food safety.

A range of degree courses in health sciences, experimental sciences and agrifood engineering provide the basic training required to admission to the master's degree: Food Science and Technology, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Agricultural Engineering, Pharmacy, Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Veterinary, and other related degrees from Spanish or foreign universities.

Prospective students must have a solid grounding in chemistry and biology and a good working knowledge of English.

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements
A range of degree courses in health sciences, experimental sciences and agrifood engineering provide the basic training required to admission to the master's degree: Food Science and Technology, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Agricultural Engineering, Pharmacy, Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, and other related degrees from Spanish or foreign universities.

Classes are taught in Catalan and Spanish, but students will also need a reasonable knowledge of English to enable them to work with some of the reading materials, particularly scientific articles. User-level computer and ICT skills are also required.



1 March - 15 July 2024.


  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

Selection criteria

Candidates will be assessed on the strength of their previous studies, level of English and general computer skills, as well as the following specific merits (in order of priority):
  • Academic record (60%). The candidates' bachelor's degree and postgraduate records will be taken into account.

  • Curriculum vitae (40%). Credit will be given for previous experience related to the subject areas covered in the course.When necessary, candidates may also be asked to attend a personal interview.



As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned

Course curriculum


Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record.  There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 750 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

Institutional information

Career opportunities

What can you work on ?

The main career opportunities for specialists in food safety can be found in quality and safety departments in the agrifood industry, in municipal, regional, national or European regulatory departments and offices, and in the consultancy sector.

Access to the labour market

Data from the university system in Catalonia

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