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Food Health and Environment - a.y. 24/25

Course Type Master’s degree

Academic year 2024/2025

Membership structure

Course overview

The course is held in English.

Master of science (MSc) in FOOD, HEALTH and ENVIRONMENT

The FHE program is completed in two years and requires 120 ECTS.

Admission requirements: a laurea diploma (bachelor degree, first level degree) in L-13 class; students either with a diploma in different laurea classes or with an equivalent diploma obtained abroad, will be admitted just after ascertainment of the curricula requirements.

Campus: Vercelli – Italy

Course Director: Prof. Giampiero Valè

This master course is characterized by a high degree of interdisciplinarity, with the aim to give the students a specific preparation in the field of food, nutrition and health, with some competence in the evaluation of the environmental risks associated with food production. An increase of the soft skills of our students is also expected as well as job organization.

All lectures are held in English. In order to be admitted to this course, students need to have a degree in L-13 Class (Biological Sciences) ex DM 270/2004 and Class 12 ex DM 509/1999 as well as L-2 Class Biotechnology obtained from UPO or any other Italian university; students with degrees in similar subjects obtained in Italy or abroad are admitted only after the faculty has ascertained that the curricula requirements were achieved.

The aim is to evaluate different aspects of nutrition, with reference to both healthy and pathological conditions. Prevention is also be addressed. Insights of the agronomical aspects of food production (including plant physiology and genetics) and the environmental impact of agriculture with respect to human health is also covered.

  • General aims of the MsC is to provide graduates with a deep expertise in nutritional sciences and in the related biochemical and biomedical sectors together with a background on environmental sciences intended as the physical environment in which food production and processing occurs and where several processes can affect the quality of the food produced, which will in turn affect human health. Effects of nutrition is dissected at the physiological, molecular, cellular and eventually pathological levels derived from unbalanced diets and food contaminants. More in details, classes provide outstanding knowledge in several domains that  include:biology and nutritional sciences, fitting with the related biochemical and biomedical sectors, including pathophysiology, immunobiology related to nutrition and interactions of human genetics with food and health;
  • properties of nutrients and non-nutrients contained in food as well as any modifications that may be generated during technological processes, biochemical mechanisms of digestion, absorption and metabolic processes affecting nutrients, including the main food-based pathologies resulting from qualitatively or quantitatively inadequate diets or allergy-based food intolerances;
  • influence of foods on well-being and disease prevention, including the characterisation of novel foods, knowledge of their safety levels during technological and/or biotechnological processing, as well as of toxicological levels, acceptable daily intakes and assessable risk in the intake of substances contained in or carried by the diet;pharmacology of nutrients, food supplements, various substances of natural origin, minerals and vitamins, the effects of drugs on nutritional status and nutrient absorption, and the relationships between diet/lifestyle/microbiota in humans;
  • psychopathology, social factors and anthropological factors affecting eating disorders;
  • genetics, botany and biochemistry of the main plant species used in food and their interaction with the environment, as well as the technologies currently available to selectively modify their nutritional properties or their resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses;
  • food chemistry, food transformation, micro and macronutrients in foods;
  • overview on the European Union legislation about food, and food-related technology transfer as well as marketing;
  • environmental effects on food quality derived from biotic and abiotic contaminants.



Deep expertise provided on several food-related topics, among which:

  • Food chemistry, food transformation, micro and macronutrients in foods and biochemical processes involved in their assimilation, diet planning in healthy humans.
  • Nutrition-related human diseases, autoimmune diseases, relationships between endocrine and metabolic disorders with human diet, interactions human genetics/food/health.
  • Relationships diet/lifestyle/microbiota in humans, microbial communities and food, microrganisms and food poisoning.
  • Plant crops providing the main food sources: biochemistry, genetics and plant-microrganisms interactions-related aspects.
  • Legislation about food; food-related technology transfer (from scientific results to business).


    Job opportunities

    • Analytical (biological, microbiological, clinical-chemistry) and quality control in public and private food sectors;
    • nutritionist in the public and private health sector, collaborating with medical doctors;
    • consultant and freelance in the food and nutrition sectors;
    • expertise gained will also allow you to undertake a career as scientist in food-related topics in small, medium, large enterprises, as well as in public and private research centres;
    • food-related communication and scientific dissemination in dedicated scientific journals;
    • FH&E graduates can access Section A of the Professional Register of Senior Biologists after passing a specific examination.


    Course timetable

    The information in this section is being updated!

    • Course programme


    • Full time


    • Regulation


    Requirements for admission and enrollment

    This master degree is open an access course of study.

    Graduates in the following classes of degree are admitted to the master’s Degree Program:

    • the Class L-13 Biological Sciences ex DM 270/2004;
    • the Class 12 ex DM 509/1999;
    • the Class L-2 Biotechnologies

    Graduates from other Degree Classes or if they have obtained the degree abroad and recognized as suitable, may also be admitted if they hold a qualification, if they have acquired a number of credits at least equal to:

    • 40 CFU in the biological disciplines in scientific sectors regarding mathematic, physics and chemical subjects from BIO/01 to BIO/19, MED/42 and
    • not less than 20 CFU in scientific sectors regarding mathematic, computer sciences, physics and chemical subjects (from MAT/01 to MAT/09, INF/01, from FIS/01 to FIS/08, CHIM/01, CHIM/02, CHIM/03, CHIM/06).

    These requirements cannot exclude a solid knowledge in the disciplines considered fundamental.

    The linguistic level of access is B2 or equivalent to itself of obtaining the previous university degree. The methods of check are described in the Teaching Rule of the Degree Course. Following the formal control of the curricular requirements, the Teaching Commission by an interview will judge the adequacy of the initial preparation.

    -> All information for the enrollment.

    Laboratory safety courses: Food Health and Envinronment (FHE) - (LM)

    All students who are exposed to chemical and or biological risk related with activities effected at the University of Eastern Piedmont, must carry out adequate training path.


    Student representatives

    Student representatives are part of the governing bodies of the Department and the University and are an important component of it, helping to direct all its activities.
    The student representatives' offices in Vercelli are located in room B3 at the Ex-Ospedaletto, viale Garibaldi 98.


    Do you need further information? Find out who to contact and how

    If you are looking for information about lecturers and office hours: UPObook

    • If you want to contact the Student secretariat: UPOrisponde
    • If you want to speak directly with the Secretariat (in case of particularly complex issues) UPOriceve
    • If you need services to support students with disabilities/DSA: UPOrisponde
    • If you are looking for information on job orientation, internships/internships and job placement:

    A complete list of useful contacts can be found here.

    The PIM (Freshmen Information Point) service is active during the matriculation period.

    The "S.O.S.T.A." desk Servizio Orientamento e Servizio Tutorato di Ateneo is a peer-to-peer service for the reception and support of students, set up with the collaboration of university students.




    The University of Eastern Piedmont offers a good range of possibilities to go abroad. Students can enrol on a degree course offering a double degree: one from Italy and one from the country in which they are going to study. Alternatively, it is possible to choose to spend a period abroad with the classic Erasmus+ programme, either to follow courses (Erasmus for study purposes) or to do an internship (Erasmus for traineeship purposes). Some prefer Free Mover mobility or choose even more flexible programmes, making use of international scholarships.

    In particular, the Erasmus and Foreign Students Office handles relations between students (both outgoing and incoming) and Heads of Internationalisation at partner universities. This support is highly relevant not only to the Erasmus+ call for study purposes, but also extends to mobility for traineeship purposes, in particular through support in the search for work placements (to this end, a list of predefined traineeships and useful websites for finding a host institution is constantly updated on the University website).

    In order to further facilitate outgoing students, efforts are made to put them in contact with students who have already had an international mobility experience and/or with incoming international students, so that there can be an exchange of information from a practical-organisational point of view. A useful tool that has been in place for a few years now, in all Departments, is the Erasmus WIKI, a web page where students can find useful information on how best to organise their stay abroad. Individual pages have been created for each destination, which are updated from time to time by students returning to Italy.
    The Erasmus and Foreign Students Office also deals with the distribution of EU and ministerial funds, calculating the scholarships due and the related reports for all the types of mobility mentioned above.
    With regard to international mobility agreements, it should be noted that more than 150 inter-institutional agreements are currently active (and others are still in the process of being renewed), 13 international cooperation agreements within the EU and 9 international cooperation agreements outside the EU.

    In the area of incoming students, the Erasmus and Foreign Students Office offers support and assistance to students during the application phase, forwarding them the contacts of the Student Services, Orientation and Job Placement Offices in order to obtain information on the accommodation available in university residences and the calendar of teaching activities.

    The Erasmus and Foreign Students Office also continues to collaborate with the ESN Piemonte Orientale association in the organisation of events designed to promote international mobility, such as the Language Tandem, Welcome Days and Erasmus Days (held in October each year).

    The university's internationalisation office activates and manages international agreements and international cooperation agreements other than those envisaged within the framework of Erasmus mobility. These agreements fall within the scope of international teaching activities.

    To date, 33 international agreements and 8 development cooperation agreements are active.


    Quality Assurance CDS

    The quality assurance of teaching is linked to the University Quality Policies and is implemented and monitored by evaluating the management of the educational offer, with a view to continuous improvement. At the CoS level, quality assurance is delegated to the Quality Group and the Review Group.

    The documents relating to the quality of the CoS can be found in the appropriate section.


    Last modified 2 May 2024