Aarhus University Seal


Master's Degree Programme

About the programme
Language: English (See language requirements) | Place of study: Beijing  | Commencement: September


Do you want to work on meeting the growing demands of consumers and food industries of tomorrow? Do you want to achieve an intense intercultural experience to boost your career? With a Master’s degree in International Food Quality and Health you will have a firm grasp of the journey of food products from farm to fork. Through the programme you will gain an understanding of the food chain across different disciplines by immersing yourself in subjects such as sustainable food production, food safety, food quality, nutrition and marketing for the international market.

A degree with a global perspective

The growing population and improved welfare of the world call for an unprecedented focus on sustainability and resource-efficient food production as well as the ability to meet a growing demand for high-quality food products – nowhere more so than in China. As the income of Chinese consumers rises, so does the demand for greater quality, convenience and safety in food. Hence, the Chinese food industry is investing heavily in technology and has a great demand for innovation and know-how in order to be able to meet the needs of the population.
The global market for food and food technology is growing rapidly, and the Danish food industry has a unique opportunity to maintain and strengthen its position as an innovator and a supplier of high-quality products.

As a graduate of International Food Quality and Health you will be able to meet these needs of the food industries, especially within the companies focussed on expanding their markets beyond Danish and European borders towards Asia and China in particular. 

The programme teaches you to initiate, manage and implement food-relevant development projects, and you will acquire strong competences within food quality, innovation and cultural perceptions of food, which are relevant for a career in e.g. the food industry and public sector. The programme further opens up for a career in academia, as graduates can apply for PhD project positions at the Danish Universities.

On completion of the programme, you receive a double degree and the following titles: Master of Science in International Food Quality and Health from Aarhus University and Master of Science in Food Safety and Health from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

’Experience with working across cultures, knowledge of the entire food chain and the courage to think out of the box. We attach great importance to these competences, which I am convinced Masters of International Food Quality and Health will possess’.

- Anne Louise Mørkbak, Head of Nutrition & Health at Arla Foods

Admission requirements

The application deadline is 1 March for all applicants.

Admission requires a natural science bachelor’s degree from a suitable major.

The following Bachelor degree programmes give direct access to the Master’s degree programme in International Food Quality and Health:

  • Molecular Biology with focus on nutrition
  • Chemical Engineering and Food Technology (BEng)
  • Food Science

The following Bachelor’s degrees can also give admission: Nutrition and Health, Biology, Chemistry, Food Engineering, Food Technology and Agriculture, Food and Environment. The Bachelor degree programmes must at least include a basic course in statistics and biochemistry.

Number of students

The programme admits a maximum of 15 students each year.

According to national legislation in China, Chinese citizens cannot apply for admission to International Food Quality and Health through a Danish university. Instead, Chinese Citizens must apply for admission through University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.    

Selection Criteria

As the Master’s programme only admits 15 students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the following criteria:

1. Academic background (75%)

2. Other relevant experiences (25%)

Academic background:
This criteria includes average mark of BSc degree and the average mark of relevant courses weighted after the study load (ECTS credits)

Other relevant experiences:
Relevant work experience, BSc projects, laboratory projects etc.

The assessment is based on the supplied documented information and can, thus, not include marks/grades obtained after application deadline

Language Requirements

English language skills equivalent to an 'English B level' in Denmark.


Please read the following carefully to see if you have to pay tuition to attend the programme.

If you are a Danish citizen or EU/EEA citizen and you are enrolled at a Danish university at the time of application, you do not have to pay tuition fee. Otherwise you will have to pay tuition fee. You can find more information about the tuition fee here.

Admission procedure

The application deadline for the Master’s degree programme in International Food Quality and Health is 1 March for all applicants. 

Apply for enrolment through the application form.

Programme structure

The programme consists of five modules of a total of 11 courses. Commonly every module: 1) holds an introductory session designed to give students, who may have different academic backgrounds, a basis from which to launch an understanding of the content of the courses, and 2) synergistic involvement of Danish as well as Chinese teachers to support learning about cross-cultural differences.

The primary approach is problem-based learning, which means that focus is on real-world issues and applicable scenarios, which you identify, analyse and solve under supervision.

Semester structure

1st semester
With respect to the food chain view of the programme, the first semester introduces the areas of food production and analysis, food safety, hygiene and risk management, moving up the chain to food quality and eating of food products in cross-cultural contexts. 

You attend five focused course modules:

  • Food Production Environment and Quality (5 ECTS)
  • Modern Food Analysis (5 ECTS)
  • Food Fermentation and Processing (5 ECTS)
  • Microbial Food Safety and Hygiene (7.5 ECTS)
  • Food Quality, Perception and Eating Behaviour (7.5 ECTS)

2nd semester
The second semester focusses on food issues such as toxicology and chemical safety on to economic chain management, business and marketing to food and its societal implications in cross-market contexts. In the second semester you will also deal with the impact of the food chain on nutrition and health. 

The semester comprises six course modules:

  • Food Toxicology (3.75 ECTS)
  • Chemical Food Safety and Health (3.75 ECTS)
  • Food Nutrition and Health (7.5 ECTS)
  • Food Chain Management (5 ECTS)
  • Food and Society (5 ECTS)
  • Food Business Marketing and the Consumer (5 ECTS)

3rd semester
You complete the programme by spending the third and fourth semesters designing, carrying out and completing your research-based thesis. Here you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a specific area or synergy of areas of the food chain such as a food quality-, food safety-, food management-, health- and/or marketing-relevant subject.

4th semester
The thesis will typically be conducted as part of an internship in a food company or at a university, aiming for you to get practice-oriented experience. You are provided with guidance and a unique academic perspective by a Danish as well as a Chinese supervisor. The thesis can be conducted in Denmark, China or elsewhere of relevance.

Courses may be subject to change.

Student life

The programme takes place at Sino-Danish Center (SDC). SDC is a partnership between all eight Danish universities, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS).

SDC’s activities include Danish-Chinese research collaboration within six selected focus areas, eight affiliated Master’s programmes with an annual intake of approximately 150 master’s students and training of a large number of PhD students.

The overall objective is to promote and strengthen collaboration between Danish and Chinese learning environments and increase mobility of students and researchers between Denmark and China.


The teaching of the SDC Master’s programmes takes place at the Yanqihu Campus in Huairou District, 60 km northeast of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The Yanqihu Campus offers indoor and outdoor sport facilities, canteens, coffe shops, supermarkets and a location close to picturesque mountains and only 25km away from the Great Wall of China.

The SDC building has been donated by the Danish Industry Foundation. It houses auditoriums, reading facilities, class rooms, working facilities for academic faculty, administrative facilities and common areas.

Read more about the student life at SDC.

Follow the student life at SDC

You find SDC on


‘China is one of Danish Crown’s main markets. We have seen a significant growth in sales in recent years, and it is important for us to continue to maintain and strengthen our position in this market. Masters in International Food Quality and Health familiar with Chinese business culture are in high demand here’.
- Søren Tinggaard, Vice President, Pork Export Strategy & Marketing Export, Danish Crown A/S

As a graduate of the programme, you will hold a strong international profile and have a profound understanding of:

  • Food quality issues from health, nutrition, sensory, marketing, economic and intercultural perspectives
  • Unprocessed food, food processing, food supply and safety, including microbial safety
  • Risk assessment and management methods and quality control of food
  • Intercultural consumer behaviour and eating practice differences
  • Food supply nationally and internationally linked to Asian and Western markets and their needs

Your key competence is your broad understanding of food quality from health, nutrition, sensory, marketing, economic and intercultural perspectives for production, process and market optimisation purposes in the food industry. This understanding gives you the skills to analyse a problem, compose a relevant solution and initiate, implement and evaluate the solution.

A degree in International Food Quality and Health prepares you to work cross-culturally in a variety of fields such as food quality, safety, nutrition and health in food supply. Career options include positions in small to very large food companies, especially companies that focus, or will focus, on emerging markets, export or production between the Western and Asian markets.

You may find employment in job functions such as project management, research development, operation, sale, consultancy and advisory functions. Also, in the public sector you will find relevant functions related to the development of policies, teaching, implementation and control.