There has never been a more urgent need to train food security researchers who are equipped with skills in agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant genetics, and knowledge of modern agricultural systems and agricultural policy. As outlined in The Royal Society’s 2009 report Reaping the Benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture, it is of vital importance that we increase crop yields significantly over the next 50 years, while also decreasing our dependency on chemical intervention and fertilizers.
This interdisciplinary programme was developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders, including: the agricultural industry, government agencies (including Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra) and The Food and Environment Research Agency (fera)), and farmers and food manufacturers. Research-led teaching in molecular plant pathology, plant sciences, and microbiology is strongly supplemented by Rothamsted Research, North Wyke expertise in grassland management, soil science, and sustainable farming systems. The combination of expertise in both arable and pastureland systems ensures a truly rounded learning experience. Leading social scientists also provide valuable input on land use and economic practices in rural areas.
The curriculum is designed to address critical shortages of experts capable of working in government agencies, agriculture, and the food industry as researchers, advisers, policy developers, and managers. The programme provides opportunities to gain industrial and practical experience and observe food security issues first-hand during field trips.
Teaching is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry. Scientific staff from Fera provide specialist lectures as part of the Crop Security module, members of the Plant Health Inspectorate cover field aspects of plant pathology, and a LEAF1 farmer addresses agricultural systems and the realities of food production using integrated farm management. In addition, teaching staff from the University and BBSRC Rothamsted-North Wyke will draw on material and experiences from their academic research and scientific links with industry.
All students will have opportunities to gain industrial and practical experiences. Teaching visits will be made to the Plant Health Inspectorate in Cornwall to see quarantine management of Phytophthora, and to a local LEAF farm to review the challenges and approaches to food production in integrated farm management systems. You will gain specialised experience in practical science or policy making through a dissertation or project placement with external agencies. Defra and Fera, for example, are offering five dissertation and/or project placements annually.
The programme is made up of modules. The list of modules may include the following;
The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand. Please see the website for an up to date list (http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/biosciences/foodsecurity/#Programme-structure)
The MSc Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture curriculum has been designed in collaboration with the agricultural industry to tackle the skills shortage that exists in this vital interdisciplinary area. This programme will provide the highly skilled individuals required in government agencies, agriculture and food industries for critical roles in scientific research, advice, evaluation, policy development and implementation tackling the challenges of food security.
With food security and sustainable agriculture a global concern, opportunities for specialists in the areas of agronomy, plant pathology, plant disease and plant improvement will be worldwide. By combining expertise across the natural, social and political sciences, this programme provides valuable interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in both arable and pastureland systems. Graduates will be prepared to take on the global challenges of food security and sustainable agriculture, being able to adapt to farming systems across the world and identify cross-disciplinary solutions to local agricultural problems.
The programme is enriched by expert contributions from a broad cross-section of the industry, with specialist lectures, teaching visits to observe the practical application of techniques, and industrial placement opportunities for project work or dissertations in practical science or policy making.
The food industry is experiencing a skills gap in technical and product development roles, while also taking a leading role in driving a public health agenda and producing safe, tasty food which meet our nutritional needs.
This course prepares you for technical and product development roles in the food industry with a strong emphasis on nutrition. It is aimed at students with a background in food science, nutrition, health and wellbeing, exercise science or biological sciences who wish to specialise in food and nutrition and acquire an in-depth understanding of how to apply nutrition principles to food product development and production.
You learn about food production and nutrition in an applied setting, developing core technical skills in our state of the art development kitchens, food and nutrition labs and sensory suite. You apply those practical skills to live briefs with commercial applications provided by our industrial partners such as Morrisons and Cranswick plc.
The course is based on three key strands:
Examples of academic research and commercial projects you work on include developing tasty healthy alternatives, understanding the impact of food labelling on consumer liking, developing a food product for a major food retailer partner (brief varies) or supporting local SMEs with food quality assurance systems.
Full-time without work placement – 12 months
Full-time with work placement – 18 to 24 months
Part time – 12 to 24 months
As a graduate from this course, career opportunities include:
Food security is concerned with the availability, access, and utilisation of safe, nutritious and sustainable food to all, especially vulnerable groups within society. The challenges related to food are not only the existence of approximately 795 million undernourished people in the world (Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)) but also the increasing presence of diet related non-communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes and heart disease); the contribution of agriculture to greenhouse gas emissions and land use change. Understanding the interconnection of food, health and the environment, as well as their trade-offs is vital to formulate policies that enable us to achieve food security in a sustainable manner.
The MSc in Global Food Security and Nutrition recognises that food security concerns not only food policy and food production issues but other aspects such as land tenure, immigration, demographics, diet and nutrition, technology, natural resources (e.g., pressures on water and soil) and climate change. UoE and SRUC offer expertise and research on these topics, and the team have good working relationships with international organisations that are at the cutti g edge of addressing food security issues, such as FAO, World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Federation of Red Cross/Crescent.
Suitable participants include students with a background in agriculture, development, food systems or other food related studies, as well as professionals within a broad range of disciplines such as food production, distribution, policy, or international development. However, experience of a broad range of food and nutrition related topics will also be considered when applying.
This programme is delivered part time through online learning, over a period of between three and six years.
This MSc programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied. You can exit with the award of post-graduate (PG) Certificate (60 credits), PG Diploma (120 credits) or MSc (180 credits). The programme is composed of 180 credits . For the MSc you will complete a (60 credit) dissertation project.
You may undertake the programme by Intermittent Study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a maximum time limit of six years for the MSc which will include a maximum period of 12 months from the start of your dissertation to it being completed. If you wish to study for the PG Diploma by intermittent study, the maximum time period for this is 4 years and for the PG Certificate only, the maximum time period is 2 years.
In summary, times for completion are as follows:
The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) is excited to announce the launch of a new programme entitled MSc Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty (title subject to validation), which will commence in September 2018. The programme will encompass enhanced knowledge from our now larger team of experts and will be informed by recent research. This will replace the MSc in Agroecology and Food Security which will run for the last time in the September 2017-18 academic year. Please check our website for details which will be published very soon.
Food security is of critical concern globally, and the development of food systems that provide food of high quality and quantity in a sustainable way, is now a research and policy priority.
The MSc in Agroecology and Food Security is designed to equip professionals and graduates with the knowledge to critically analyse and assess the relationships between agroecological food production and management, farming systems, climate change economics and the environment.
Run by Coventry University's Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) whose mission is to create resilient food systems worldwide, the course:
-Draws on the outstanding range of academic and practical expertise of CAWR staff plus world-renowned guest lecturers
-Is designed for students from a variety of different academic and professional backgrounds and from the natural and social sciences (e.g. previous experience of agriculture not necessary)
-Provides unique content in terms of its cutting edge focus on transforming the food system through alternative paradigms, concepts, and methodologies to enable real and equitable change
-Is based at the UK’s national centre for organic horticulture in 10 acres of organic gardens.
The course will provide you with the knowledge of the major agricultural production systems found in different parts of the world and the main theoretical approaches to understanding contemporary food systems.
The course covers a range of subject areas including:
For each module, teaching normally takes the form of weekly 'face-to-face' contact at the University (including lectures, workshops, seminars and exercises) throughout each semester, with associated directed and self directed study, which may be undertaken off-campus.
All students undertake an individual research project, which may be associated with an appropriate organisation or company in the UK or overseas. Equipped with a detailed understanding of food systems and a range of appropriate practical skills your potential for employment will be strong.
Opportunities present themselves in national and international government agencies, non governmental policy, research and development organisations, the private sector including food companies and the farming sector.
To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.
The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.
The MSc in Food Politics and Sustainability will prepare you to pursue an academic career in food studies; enhancing the skills of those already working in the sector and developing prospective practitioners and policy-makers to understand more deeply the interplay between food security, justice and sustainability. The course is specifically aimed at those wishing to gain expertise in contemporary food geographies.
You will gain insights into the ways in which food-related problems are defined, and the scope for applying cutting-edge policy and practical solutions to the challenges that an increasingly complex food system is raising for governments, researchers and regulatory bodies.
The course links together theoretical debates about food at different spatial scales with the practical dimensions of policy formulation and implementation. Based on your detailed knowledge of key tensions and debates related to food security, justice and sustainability, you will be able to develop suitable approaches to analysing and explaining trends and developments as well as to discuss appropriate policy responses.
The course addresses three key dimensions:
This Sustainable and Efficient Food Production postgraduate course centres on increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impact within the extensive pasture-based production sector. The programme provides flexible, accessible, postgraduate level training for people employed in the agri-food sector. Training comprises distance learning modules and work-based research projects. These are accessible as CPD or as credit-bearing units, which can be built towards a range of postgraduate qualifications.
Taught by experts at both Aberystwyth University (AU) and Bangor University (BU), the Sustainable and Efficient Food Production course offers you a highly vocational option. In the most recent joint submission to the Research Excellence Framework assessment (2014), the department was placed in the top 10 universities in the UK for research intensity and 78% of our research was world-leading or internationally excellent.
To achieve an MSc students must complete five optional modules (including up to three from BU) plus Research Methods and a Dissertation.
Two to five years to complete a full MSc. 14 weeks for one module by distance learning Three intakes per year (January, May, September). Students will be eligible for a UK Student Loan if the course is completed in 3 years.
Optional modules - Choose any 5 from:
We have designed our training to be as accessible as possible, particularly for those in full time employment. Each topic comprises a 12-14 week distance learning module worth 20 credits which can be taken for your own continuing professional development or interest; or built towards a postgraduate qualification. The research elements of our qualifications are carried out in your work place with regular academic supervision. The training is web-based which means that as long as you have access to a reasonable broadband connection (i.e. are able to stream videos such as on YouTube), you can study where and when best suits you. Learning material includes podcast lectures, e-group projects, guided reading, interactive workbooks and discussion forums, as well as assignments and e-tutorials. By signing a re-registration form each year you will have access to e-journals and library resources for the full five years.
There are no exams within this programme. Taught modules are assessed via course work and forum discussion.
Graduates will be equipped with the analytical and communication skills to contribute to humanity’s efforts to achieve and sustain food security during the 21st century.
This programme is not suitable for applicants pursuing a career in food science or food safety/hygiene or related areas. Please read the programme description and ensure you understand the nature of the programme before you apply. Applicants who do not show a clear understanding of the programme will not be accepted.
Food security has become a critically important issue for societies around the globe. Interactions between demographics, changes in diet, trade liberalisation, an increased focus on conservation, technological innovations including GM crops, the impact of climate change and new responses to climate change resource limitations (particularly in terms of energy, water and nutrients) all affect food security.
With such a rapid growth in this area, there is an increasing demand for qualified experts to contribute to policy creation and legislation in food production and the supply chain.
This unique MSc offers students the scope and multidisciplinary approach to address all of these issues, as well as an understanding of the technical, agronomic, environmental, economic and socio-political factors that influence food security.
This programme is run in collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
This MSc programme consists of six taught courses over two semesters, and an individual dissertation project of about 12,000 words.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses.
The programme typically includes a field trip providing an opportunity to apply some of the principles of food security to real world scenarios. In previous years, the tour has taken place in locations such as Italy, Morocco and Kenya.
Students will be able to:
Graduates of this programme typically go on to work in government and non-governmental agencies as well as international bodies and businesses where they can utilise the invaluable, and highly prized, skills they have acquired on the programme, such as food security assessment.
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