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University of Leeds Sustainable Food Systems MSc
University of Leeds

Sustainable Food Systems MSc

Leeds, United Kingdom

12 Months


Full time

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GBP 27,250 *


* UK: £14,000 – international: £27,250


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Food security is providing nutritious, safe and affordable food for all. Being able to do this sustainably is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Food practitioners need to be able to respond to food security and safety concerns, shifting attitudes towards food and farming, changing diets and demographics, as well as balancing global economic and environmental pressures.

This course comes at a time when food and its implications on our health and planet are making the headlines. From the food-waste paradox to food’s devastating environmental impact — the need for sustainable food systems couldn’t be more paramount. That’s why organisations across the world are looking for qualified experts in this area, to help resolve some of the greatest challenges we’re facing in food today.

That’s why our MSc in Sustainable Food Systems uses a holistic system thinking approach to understand, evaluate and deconstruct the complexity of the food system, in order to formulate secure and sustainable solutions that address these grand challenges.

The course benefits from expertise from across a wide range of Schools, giving you extensive knowledge and a varying skill set to be able to tackle real-world issues effectively. You’ll also have access to world-leading research in food and other relevant topics, conducted right here on campus. This means, once you graduate, you’ll be fully equipped to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in this industry.

Learning and teaching

Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll often interact with academics through lectures, seminars, tutorials and small group work.

Problem-based learning is at the heart of this programme. All key disciplinary or theoretical perspectives are embedded in each module to encourage innovation and interdisciplinary practice. For example, you’ll work in teams to tackle complex sustainability challenges, such as food security, which require you to incorporate diverse resources, such as existing knowledge, data collection, interpersonal skills, reflections and reasoning ability, in order to meet these challenges.

Independent study is also important to this course, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills through the extended research project which culminates the programme. You’ll produce an original piece of research investigating a real-world challenge that food sustainability presents.

You will be assigned a personal tutor, who will maintain contact with you throughout the year and offer pastoral guidance. They will help you to settle into the university and clarify any procedures, as well as help you prepare for employment on graduation.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.

You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.

Active research environment

This Master's degree builds on the success of the University’s interdisciplinary research on the theme of Food. Through strong collaborations with the Global Food and Environment Institute, you will not only be exposed to cutting-edge research but also be given the opportunity to collaborate with industry, policymakers, non-governmental organisations, and the third sector.

You’ll be exposed to the latest thinking and research in a wide range of disciplines underpinning food sustainability, in order to successfully apply your knowledge and skills to real-world challenges.

The programme’s strength lies in its interdisciplinary nature and the integration of concepts, approaches, and perspectives from different disciplines in each module, offering a seamless narrative throughout the course.

Discover our research

Food Safety and Nutrition: A Global Approach to Public Health is a free online course, delivered via Futurelearn, exploring the challenges of ensuring food security faced by researchers, policymakers and individuals worldwide.

Learn how large-scale change, like industrialisation, globalisation, population growth and climate change, affects food safety and understand the consequences for the world’s health and nutrition.

Programme team

The Programme Leader, Dr Effie Papargyropoulou, is an Environment Social Scientist, passionate about sustainability and food, who works within the School of Earth and Environment. She is also a part of the Sustainability Research Institute and has a wealth of experience, both in industry and in academia in Malaysia – meaning that she is able to present a variety of different perspectives throughout her teaching.

This course is innovative and interdisciplinary, bringing together expertise from across the University including the schools of Earth and Environment, Food Science and Nutrition, Psychology, Geography, Biology, the Institute for Transport Studies and Leeds University Business School to make up the wider programme team.

In this course, you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

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