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Apply for Food safety and food risk management

Joint degree with Università di Bologna, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Piacenza campus), Università di Ferrara, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia (headquarter: Università di Parma)

Second cycle degree course
Open access with verification of requirements
course in English
class LM-70
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Course presentation - video

Why in Parma?

If you are looking for a Second Cycle Degree Course at the forefront of the modern food sciences, and you want to acquire the ability to face the challenges posed by the modern food systems and learn deep skills in managing the safety of what we eat, we propose to you to become a Food Safety expert. It’s possible through a regional course, fully taught in English, offered by a network formed by Universities of Parma, Bologna, Catholic of the Sacred Heart of Piacenza, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Ferrara. Emilia-Romagna region and, in particular, the Parma District represents an integrated ecosystem of food industries, research centers and public institutions fully dedicated to food (for this reason it’s called “food valley”) and is the headquarter of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Foods have a direct impact on human health and well-being. They are the main way in which our body comes into contact with the external environment and with millions of different compounds. It becomes therefore essential for companies, control bodies and research centers to form specific figures dedicated to risk assessment and management of food risks.

The Food Safety expert has a knowledge of European legislation in the sector and is linked to the global market, which poses logistical challenges and makes the guarantees on ingredients of the food chain less robust, leading to new safety risks.

What you will learn

During the 1st year all courses will be taught at the University of Parma. At the beginning of the 2nd year, students will choose one among three different curricula offered by the partner universities:

  • Risk Mitigation (UNIPC in collaboration with UNIPR)
  • Agri-Food Safety (UNIMORE)
  • Risk Management (UNIBO inn collaboration with UNIFE).

The degree qualification will be successfully gained after the elaboration and defense of an original thesis work, under the joint supervision between Universities and/or food companies, governmental and EU institutions, and will be officially awarded as a joint Second Cycle (MSc) degree of University of Parma, Piacenza, Bologna, Modena e Reggio Emilia and Ferrara.

  • Risk characterization and exposure assessment in food - 12 CFU
    • Food toxicology - 6 CFU
    • Exposure assessment and risk/benefit evaluation - 6 CFU
  • Food technology and microbiology - 12 CFU
    • Food technology - 6 CFU
    • Food microbiology - 6 CFU
  • Biological hazards in food - 6 CFU
  • Hazard identification in primary production - 12 CFU
    • Plant healt - 6 CFU
    • Animal welfare - 6 CFU
  • Food law and international policies - 6 CFU
  • Xenobiotics in food - 6 CFU
  • Biostatistics - 6 CFU  
  • Ethics and anthropology of food - 3 CFU

Curriculum “Risk Mitigation” (offered at Università Cattolica in collaboration with UNIPR)

  • Mitigation of risk in food production - 6 CFU
  • Emerging risks - 6 CFU
  • Mitigation of process-related toxicants - 6 CFU
  • Food allergens - 6 CFU
  • Students’ free choice - 9 CFU

Curriculum “Agri-food Safety” (offered at UNIMORE)

  • Post-harvest losses and their management - 6 CFU
  • Animal pests in stored agri-food products and their management - 6 CFU
  • Mycotoxigenic fungi in agri-food and pesticide contamination: analysis and risk management - 6 CFU
  • Biotechnology and agronomy for safety and identity preservation of agrifood products - 6 CFU
    • Biotechnology and safety aspects of vegetable-based foods - 3 CFU
    • Good agricultural practices and identity preservation - 3 CFU
  • Students' free choice - 9 CFU

Curriculum “Risk Management” (offered at UNIBO in collaboration with UNIFE)

  • Advanced food processing and packaging - 6 CFU
  • Advanced and predictive food microbiology - 6 CFU
  • Farm biosecurity and foodborne risk - 6 CFU
    • Foodborne risk traceability - 3 CFU
    • Farm biosecurity and zoonotic diseases prevention - 3 CFU
  • Risk assessment of food products to human health - 6 CFU
    • Evaluation of adverse health effects from human exposure to foodborne hazards - 3 CFU
    • Innovative approach for risk assessment in microbiome food value chain - 3 CFU
  • Students' free choice - 9 CFU


  • Internship (at external structure or at University structure or within the international mobility program) - 20  CFU
  • Final dissertation - 4 CFU

Access type

Open access (entry requirements to be verified).


Not mandatory.

After graduation

Graduates in Food Safety and Food Risk Management will play roles of responsibility in food companies for the safety aspects related to primary production, procurement and handling of raw materials (especially at transnational level), process control, development of new products, and marketing and distribution at European and extra-European level.

In addition, they will be able to integrate current regulations and new scientific knowledge in terms of emerging risks, by performing direct research and development of new products both in companies, universities and other research institutions. Graduates will be able to develop and monitor risk management strategies for the prevention and management of current and emerging risks or outbreaks as well as effectively define and manage food safety plans. In other words, graduates will be able to manage the system of risk governance, which is intimately responsible for the efficiency of the detection, prevention, mitigation, and reduction of threats/risks and their consequences.

The graduate will also cover responsible positions in control bodies and in national and international organizations operating in the sector of Food Safety (including EFSA). The graduate will also be able to have an active role in the field of training and scientific dissemination at all levels. A professional practice exam called “esame di stato”, in Italy, must be passed to enroll in the professional register of Food Technologists. 

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