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Food Policy - MSc

Course Description

Discover how to change the food system for the better on this unique MSc in Food Policy at City.

Who is it for?

From artisanal bakeries to Ministries of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Our students come to study the MSc in Food Policy from around the world, across the food landscape and go on to develop their careers in a variety of ways once they graduate.

The course is for students who are passionate about food policy and are open to challenging their own assumptions. We want you to graduate from this Masters with a more disciplined and rigorous approach so you can be more effective in pursuing your passions within the food domain.


How does a coconut growing in Malaysia become a coconut drink in the UK? On this programme we explore how policy influences the trajectory of food not just from field to fork but across time and territory.

The MSc in Food Policy is about analysing, researching and informing the future of food policy from the local to global scale. It is run by the Centre for Food Policy, which has pioneered an integrated approach to food policy since 1994.

The ways in which we produce, process, distribute, market, prepare and consume food have important consequences for our health and that of the planet. We look at the positive and negative impacts of food, from the health, environmental, political, socio-economic and cultural perspective.

This Masters promotes genuine interdisciplinary because we think you need to look at the subject from all angles to make the most holistic evaluation. It draws on social sciences (sociology, politics, economics, anthropology, psychology) as well as health sciences and epidemiology. We look at the latest food policy debates and place them in a historical context.

You will be taught by a team of specialist food policy specialists who are leaders in the field. Our academic staff are actively involved in research and in policy-making on the local, national and global stage. Our teaching reflects this engagement.

Students are exposed to conflicting narratives about the problems facing the food system and the best ways to resolve them. We address important questions of our time, such as:
-Are we producing too much or too little food to feed the world population?
-How have we ended up living in a world where there are more overweight and obese people than under-nourished people?
-Why is a third of the food produced globally lost or wasted?
-How can we deal with the massive impact of agriculture on climate change?
-How do lobbyists and the media influence what we eat?

Academic facilities

As a food policy student at City, University of London you can learn from experts at leading institutions across the UK through the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) initiative.

Created for postgraduate students, the initiative aims to address an urgent skills shortage in the food industry and tackle systematic failings in the food system by combining resources and knowledge. The network, which is made up of five leading higher education institutions including City and the University of Oxford, gives you the opportunity to take part in research and internship placements during your degree.

When it comes to studying food policy, London is an amazing location. Giving you one of the most sociologically diverse laboratories, it offers a wide range of accessible resources. From the myriad centres of policy and media to the endless range of public events, at City you can become a researcher in a global city and hone your focus towards your own area of interest and/or expertise. As part of the University of London, you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

We are a passionate and engaged team who will help you understand how to change the food system for the better. You will learn through a mixture of lectures, small group activities, whole class discussions, workshops and independent study. There are a lot of group discussions in class. We encourage you to ask questions, contribute your own experiences and apply your own perspectives to the issues we explore. The programme also encourages a strong peer-to-peer community through social media.

For the distance-learning mode you will be able to watch the lectures online, which are supplemented with written exercises and one-to-one Skype tutorials with the teaching staff.


Each taught module is assessed by two pieces of written work. The first is handed in during the middle of term so that you receive useful feedback before moving on to the second assignment. In each case you will choose the topic. You will also be asked to write different kinds of documents (briefing papers, memos, reports as well as essays) that correspond to those you would have to write in policy-making organisations. Then you work on your dissertation, which is a longer (15,000 word) piece of work, enabling you to delve into a food policy topic of your choice in depth. You will gain support from a personal supervisor who is a senior academic from the Centre for Food Policy.


The course consists of four core taught modules (worth 30 credits each) and a dissertation (worth 60 credits). The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake research on a topic of your choice that is relevant to food policy. The course has been designed to enable you to pursue your own interests and passions. In every assignment you have the opportunity to engage with the issues you care about.

The course is flexible to fit in with your work commitments so you can study this Masters on a full-time (one year), part-time (two years) or on a distance-learning basis (two years). The taught modules take place in the first and second terms, and the dissertation starts in the third term and continues until September (December for part-time students). For each taught module there are approximately 10 three-hour teaching sessions. In addition you are expected to undertake around 270 hours of independent study. For the whole programme, you should expect to study for around 1800 hours (35 hours per week for full-time students, 17.5 hours for part-time students).

Taught modules
-FPM001 - Food and public policy (30 credits)
-FPM003 - Food, culture and society (30 credits)
-FPM002 The political economy of food (30 credits)
-FPM004 Food, public health and the environment (30 credits)

Career prospects

We are very proud of our alumni. Our employability stats – the highest within the School – reflect the range of opportunities available to our graduates. For example, our alumni run NGOs and progressive food businesses, work in government and UN agencies, and have established great careers in health advocacy, journalism and academia.

Visit the Food Policy - MSc page on the City, University of London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Students will normally have a first or upper second-class honours degree (in any relevant discipline) although applications from students with significant professional experience in a related field of employment, volunteering or research will be considered.

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