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Course content

In this century, food security and the need to develop sustainable agriculture will become dominant issues affecting the whole world. The global population is projected to increase dramatically from 7 to 9 billion in the next 30 years, causing an unprecedented demand for food and increased pressure on land. The aim of this Food Security Degree is to provide you with knowledge and skills relating to the broad topic of food security, incorporating socio-economic, animal and crop aspects.

Why this programme

  • The University of Glasgow is ranked 3rd in UK for Food Sciences (REF UK 2014).
  • This exciting Food Security MSc is taught through collaboration between academics with world class expertise in diverse aspects of food security.
  • It discusses the demographic, social and economic issues, the challenges of achieving sustainable agriculture and presents the factors affecting food production from crops and animal sources.
  • The programme will include guest lectures on a range of topics and site visits.
  • Students will acquire knowledge of technology transfer and commercialisation.
  • Students will gain practical laboratory skills in molecular biology and in genetic modification.
  • Students will undertake a project that will develop their investigative skills and their ability to critically appraise and integrate information from different sources. 

Programme structure

We welcome students from diverse educational backgrounds and we anticipate that many will be unfamiliar with all the topics in this programme. We have therefore designed the programme so that it provides you with both a broad understanding of the major issues in food security and the opportunity to selectively focus on aspects of particular interest.

The programme is made up of courses totalling 180 credits. The programme starts with three compulsory courses (totalling 60 credits) that introduce fundamental issues in food security. You then choose from a range of optional courses (usually 10-credit) that expand on key topics, including production of food from animal sources and crop improvement. Some courses provide practical skills and there is an opportunity to learn about commercial issues relating to food production. Finally, you will undertake a 60-credit investigative project, which will allow you to focus on a selected topic.

The programme comprises the following courses:

Compulsory courses (totalling 60 credits)

  • Introduction to Food Security
  • Food Security Fundamentals: Food of Animal Origin
  • Food Security Fundamentals: Crops

Optional courses (totalling 60 credits*) selected from

  • Role of Insects in Food Security
  • Global Animal Production
  • Hygienic Production of Food
  • Animal Ethics
  • Policies for Sustainability and Development
  • Technology Transfer and Commercialisation
  • Plant Genetic Engineering
  • Crop Biotechnology Applications
  • Molecular Lab Skills
  • Omic Technologies
  • Production of Food from Animals
  • Quantitative Methods

  • *Most of the optional courses are 10 credit courses

Food security project (60 credits)

Teaching methods

Most courses are taught through lectures and tutorials, in which there will be discussion of key concepts, and training in the critical appraisal of published information. In addition, some courses include guest lectures and site visits. The course on Technology Transfer and Commercialisation of Bioscience Research will include workshop sessions. Two courses provide training in laboratory skills: Molecular Lab Skills and Plant Genetic Engineering. The project will involve an independent investigation of a selected topic in food security under supervision from an expert in the field.

Find out more about core and optional courses 

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Food security is a major challenge of this century and hence there will be opportunities to develop careers in several areas. Career prospects include working in Agri-industry, research institutes, government advisory, international advisory, media and research positions.

The breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills you will acquire in this Masters programme will help you obtain employment or undertake research in the food security sector.


Visit the Food Security (MSc) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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