Academic year 2019/2020


Basic Information

Qualification awarded


Qualification Type/Level

EHEA Second cycle, EQF level 7

Number of Years/credits

2 years; 120 ECTS

Mode of Study


*All Degree Programmes are planned and organised for full-time students. It is possible, however (without special arrangements), to proceed through the course of study at one's own pace. This makes it possible, if necessary, to accommodate employment or other non-university activities or obligations.

Name of the Course Director and other contact information

President of the Degree Course Council:


Internationalization Coordinator (CAI):
Prof. Riccardo Gucci

Language of Teaching


Admission Requirements

Formal Requirements

Italian First cycle qualification (Laurea) or foreign equivalent in the same or related subject area, with possible extra work if required competences are lacking.

Possible assessment prior knowledge and competences

Assessment of competences acquired in First Cycle studies in related or un-related subject areas to determine admission by Degree Programme Council with possible assignment of extra work to be done before admission.

Required knowledge and competences support programmes

Students whose curricula show lacuna may need to take extra first cycle course units before admission.

General Information

Programme Profile

The Degree Programme in Biosafety and Food Quality provides students with a broad education in animal, plant and microbe biological systems, which allows to assess whether a food, both of vegetable or animal origin, present the required level of safety and how much of its peculiar characteristics are preserved after processing, from primary production to the table of the consumer. The graduate will own advanced and interdisciplinary knowledge that will allow them to manage the various issues related to food production, particularly with regard to the control and protection of safety and quality requirements of food, monitoring and traceability throughout the food chain, processing and preservation of food products, the design and development of new foods, even with improved nutraceutical characteristics, the optimization of production processes, improvement and preservation of local products.

Key Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Programme will be able to demonstrate:
-an essential knowledge on basic sciences in perspective of their future professional application
- deep knowledge of metabolic processes of animals, vegetables and microorganisms
- basic knowledge concerning the activities and problems of food processing and storage
- ability of the management of technological and methodological tools for applications in biotechnology and food processing
-advanced knowledge of the techniques of genomics and post-genomics related to animal systems, plant and microorganisms.
- understanding of kinetic laws in order to assess the impact of remediation techniques (in particular thermal pasteurization and sterilization) on the microbial contamination and biological quality of food
- basic knowledge of cell lines cultivation techniques
- ability to develop new food product with high nutraceutical value
- ability to set up sensorial analyses

Occupational Profile/s of Graduates

The degree prepares the students for employement in:
-public and private agencies responsible for controls relating to food safety, quality and traceability;
-public agencies and private consulting centers dealing with aspects of health and well-being connected with it;
- industries that produce metabolites of food interest and molecules of animal, vegetable and microbial origin with high nutritional value (proteins, vitamins, antibiotics);
- observers and public and private agencies for the sanitary control of food through the use of biotechnology;
- industry of production, processing, storage, administration and distribution of food as experts in safety and quality of products.
- public and private research centers that deal with the development of innovative microbial cultures for specific characteristics of quality and safety of diagnostic molecular methodologies, design and development of new types of foods (novel foods) and foods with high nutraceutical characteristics;
- companies that produce micro-organisms to use as starter for the food industry and for silage;
- public agencies and private laboratories for the detection of genetically modified organisms in the agri-food and environmental matrices.

Access to further study

The Laurea Magistrale degree in FOOD BIOSAFETY AND QUALITY allows the graduate to compete for entry into a Third Cycle programme/doctoral school.

Assessment methods, examination regulations, and grading

Assessment is normally by means of an oral or written examination; in some cases there are intermediate exams during the course; other elements (participation in discussion, written or oral reports, commentary of texts etc. ) are foreseen in specific course units and are described in the Course Unit Profiles.
The grading system for the course units consists of 30 possible points, plus 'lode' (cum laude) in case of excellence. Marks are given by the lecturer based on the performance as ascertained in a public examination by a board of at least two teachers. The main exam sessions are held in June/July; September; and January; students may resit exams**. Actual grading curves differ in different degree programmes. The University of Pisa provides an ECTS Grading Table, which shows the actual distribution, of the examination and final grades among students for each degree programme, in order to facilitate the comparison with other grading systems. ---> Link to ECTS Grading Table
An overall mark is given on the occasion of the 'Final Exam', when a written research text is presented and discussed. The final overall mark is calculated based on the results of the marks obtained in the single course units and the final exam, and is based on 110 possible points, with the possible further mention of honours ("lode" or cum laude).

**The exam sessions are organised into sessions (the dates vary according to the Department and are published in the Department's academic calendar). In each session there are a certain number of 'appelli' [calls], or dates on which the examination for each course unit may be taken. The 'appelli' are fixed by the teacher. The students choose which of the appelli they wish to respond to. In most cases, it is obligatory to sign up before the specified date.

Requirements (regulations) to obtain the qualification

The final dissertation, to which 22 ECTS are allocated, must demonstrate the knowledge of the above mentioned professional skills.

Course structure diagram

Available courses, 2019/2020