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The Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty MSc is a transdisciplinary course addressing current issues related to food production, access and management of natural resources, climate change and land degradation, and the environmental, socio-economic and institutional implications in the building of resilient societies.

It has a strong focus on resilient food and water systems, critically-analysed under environmental, socio-economic and political lenses to reflect the broad range of issues that relate to food and water sovereignty and how agroecology can alleviate them.

Course information

This course is based on CAWR’s structural pillars of agroecology, resilience, and water and food sovereignty.

It is different in integrating both the natural and social sciences, providing you with a flexible yet comprehensive learning experience. You will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the fields of food sovereignty, agroecology, as well as individual and collective human security and well-being that goes beyond the usual research fields of food systems and food security.

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. The concept of 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 new 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.

Why choose this course?

This course has been designed for students from a wide range of disciplines (e.g. biology, political science, international development, geography, economics, ecology), 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. It aims to equip you with the knowledge, skills and critical understanding necessary to make a strong positive impact on communities and shaping future resilient societies.

This course aims to:

  • equip students with cutting edge knowledge in the field of sustainable and equitable food and water systems, with a central focus upon agroecology and food sovereignty
  • enable students to critically assess the complex interactions between social and natural systems, between scientific and non-scientific knowledge, and between politics and food- and water-system outcomes
  • enable students to choose and apply appropriate methods of enquiry and analysis that facilitate different ways of knowing (e.g. transdisciplinary, participatory, peer-to-peer, intercultural dialogue) and effective engagement with the major debates on the dynamics of food and water systems, including their wider impacts on the environment and society
  • enable students to gain both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in the fields of agroecology, resilience and food and water systems that will allow them to further their careers in an academic or professional environment

The course is delivered by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), one of Coventry University’s Flagship Research Centres, driving innovative, transdisciplinary research on the understanding and development of resilient food and water systems internationally. It is based at the prestigious site of Garden Organic, Ryton Gardens, famous for its Heritage Seed Library and patronised by HRH the Prince of Wales.

Career prospects

Career prospects can include scholarly research to strengthen the impact of academia on shaping resilient societies; employment by development organisations, local and national governing bodies, and international institutions (e.g. United Nations [UN], Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs [DEFRA], Natural England, Environment Agency, Department for International Development [DFID], Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers [CGIAR], International Livestock Research Institute [ILRI], International Centre for Research in Agroforestry [ICRAF], Oxfam); and entrepreneurship in several sectors, e.g. agriculture, environmental management, civil society, and policy.

Where our graduates work

The course is designed to appeal to a wide range of graduates from a variety of disciplines. Students successfully completing the course may go on to do a PhD at the Centre or elsewhere, and pursue a career in academia. Other potential employers include:

  • National and international government agencies
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Research and development organisations
  • Vocational teaching and training
  • Community based organisations
  • Private sector, including small food companies and the farming sector.

Visit the Agroecology, Water and Food Sovereignty - MSc page on the Coventry University website for more details!

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