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:
The Programme is designed to provide you with an understanding about the connections between the different aspects and functions of food. Special attention is paid to the influence of various factors on the composition, sensory properties and health effects of food at molecular level. Application of food metabolomics and modern biotechnological methods in food research and food development is an important part of the curriculum. The curriculum also covers various aspects of food safety and European food laws and legislation.
Through the Programme, you will gain education and qualification for working as an expert, for example in food authorities.
The Master’s Degree in Food Development is a two-year programme amounting to 120 ECTS. The degree is comprised of:
The Food Chemistry and Food Development Unit is an essential element of core strength of food science and technology in Finland. The Unit has an internationally edge-cutting profile in research on:
With an internationally well-established record in berry research, oils and fats, human milk, and cow milk, the Unit has expanded its research into other food resources such as cereals, legumes and mushrooms. The research also targets on new food resources for future food security, healthy diet and business growth.
The ultimate goal is to support the sustainable bio-future based on internationally top science. State-of-art targeted and non-targeted food metabolomics are important tools for research. In addition to basic sciences, the research of the Unit includes strong applied angle supporting the research and innovation in food industry.
The final project aiming for the Master’s thesis in technology is based on independent, experimental research project in a laboratory. The research work is made under the guidance of a supervisor and takes three months. The results obtained at the research project will be presented in a Master’s seminar using common procedures known from scientific meetings. The Master’s thesis will be written based on the results from the experimental work and a review of relevant background literature.
Examples of thesis topics:
The University of Turku has a double degree programme in Food Development with Jiangnan University (Wuxi, China). Food Development students have a possibility to join the double degree programme pursuing Degrees of Master of Science in Technology at University of Turku and the Master Degree of Engineering at Jiangnan University
The students fulfilling the degree requirements of the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development will obtain a Master of Science in Technology degree at the University of Turku. To obtain a double degree from both universities, a student has to, in addition, complete:
In the Master’s Degree Programme in Food Development you will:
The Programme provides you with competence for meeting the challenges in the research and development in food industry and academia. Through the Programme, you also gain education and qualification for working as an expert in food authorities and other related functions in the society.
Students graduating from the Programme, may work, among others, as:
Master of Science degree provides you with eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees.
Graduates from the Programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS. The Graduate School consists of 16 doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.
Together with the doctoral programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.
The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience are pleased to announce the launch of our new MSc in Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty. The programme will commence in September 2018 and January 2019 - recruitment is now open!
The new MSc is structured according to the thematic pillars of our Centre’s research and will be a multi- and transdisciplinary course introducing students to a range of different approaches to foster equitable and sustainable food and water systems.
In the context of wide-ranging and persistent global challenges to food and water security, resilience, including climate change, malnutrition and ecological degradation, this course will equip students with cutting edge knowledge in the field to enable them to critically understand the complex interactions between social and natural systems, between scientific and non-scientific knowledge, and between politics and food and water system outcomes.
The programme is designed for students from a range of disciplines, converging on agriculture, water and food systems from complementary angles that include physical and natural sciences, geography, social sciences and humanities, economics, and political sciences.
Why Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty?
Agroecology is the discipline that addresses practical aspects of resilient food production and natural resources management, their environmental impact as well as the governance and socio-economic challenges facing current food and farming systems.
Water and Food Sovereignty widen the focus of the course, closely linking agroecological approaches that reflect the need to address pressing global issues (i.e. access to adequate nutrition), our right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods; and people’s right to define their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems.
Food Sovereignty also promotes the formulation of trade policies and practices that serve the rights of people to safe, healthy and ecologically sustainable food production.
This is a unique approach to the design and management of socio-ecologically resilient water and food systems in that it goes beyond the issue of access to natural resources, food and water, and addresses their governance locally, nationally and at global scale.
The course includes modules which address key themes in:
Each module involves ‘face-to-face’ contact at the university (including lectures, seminars and workshops), accompanied by directed and self-directed study. Modules are delivered both on campus as well as our Centre’s base at Ryton Organic Gardens. Transport is provided for the modules delivered at Ryton Gardens.
To apply via the University's application page please click here. The course code is EECT008.
If you require any assistance please contact:
Liz Woodard - Administrative Assistant (Postgraduate Support) [email protected]
The full-time MSc Food Politics and Sustainability is aimed at students wishing to gain expertise on contemporary food geographies.
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:
You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars.
Lectures take a range of forms but generally provide a broad structure for each subject, introduce key concepts, and convey relevant up-to-date information.
In seminars you’ll have the opportunity to discuss particular themes or topics, to consolidate and get feedback on your individual learning and to develop skills in oral presentation
You will practise and develop intellectual and presentational skills by participating in diverse learning activities, such as, small-group discussions, debates, oral presentations, independent research tasks and written assignments. You will also enhance your team-working skills.
91% of the School’s graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2017).
This course offers the knowledge and expertise for developing a research career or taking advantage of the increasing professionalisation of food-focused environmental and sustainability jobs in the private and public sectors, including government departments and environmental agencies; the business sector; consultancy, and non-governmental organisations.
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:
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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Food scientists integrate and apply fundamental knowledge from multiple disciplines to ensure a safe, nutritious, sustainable and high quality food supply, and to establish scientifically sound principles that guide policy and regulations pertaining to food on a global scale.
Since its inception in 1969, the Food Science Program at UBC has been a leader in providing opportunities for advanced study and research in Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Process Science, Microbiology, Safety and Toxicology, Biotechnology, Quality Evaluation and Wine Biotechnology.
The innovative research conducted by UBC Food Science faculty members and students has led to national and international recognition in the form of awards and collaborations with research centres and universities both in Canada and around the world.
The program is uniquely situated in a Faculty that focuses on education and research to address issues around food, nutrition & health, and the responsible use of finite land and water resources to ensure a sustainable and safe food supply. In addition to laboratories equipped for chemical, analytical, molecular biology and microbiological (including Biosafety level 2) based research on food, the program houses pilot plant and sensory evaluation facilities for research requiring food-grade specifications.
Students can also access research facilities at UBC, such as the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, BioImaging Facility and Michael Smith Laboratories, as well as through collaborations with other institutions including Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and the Department of Fisheries & Oceans.
Graduates with an MSc degree in Food Science from our program have rewarding careers as quality assurance technicians or managers in the food industry, as instructors or researchers at universities, colleges and government research centres, and as technicians in analytical laboratories.
Some graduates have gone on to obtain a Ph.D. degree in food science, while others have pursued further education in fields such as business administration, education, human kinetics, human nutrition and law.