Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

Royal Agricultural University
In Cirencester

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Important information

Typology Master
Location Cirencester
Duration 1 Year
  • Master
  • Cirencester
  • Duration:
    1 Year

This MSc combines the principles of sustainable development with an examination of the various systems of food production in the context of providing a secure supply to meet the ever-changing requirements of a growing world population.

This course is ideal for those looking for a career in production, policy, and sustainable development focusing on food or resource consumption in agriculture.

The principal aim is to enable you to gain the specialised knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to contribute effectively and ethically to strategic decision making, opinion forming and operational management for the sustainable development of agricultural and food supply systems.

The following themes underpin the course:

- Human exploitation of the Earth's resources and the global implications of human development
- The ecological basis for sustainable natural resource utilisation, including agriculture
- The role and function of local, national and global institutions, policies and conventions in relation to development, resource exploitation, social, cultural, ethical and inter-generation considerations
- The application of development paradigms, models and tools to build capacity within communities, institutions and individuals

Important information Venues
Where and when
Starts Location
On request
GL7 6JS, Gloucestershire, England
See map
Starts On request
GL7 6JS, Gloucestershire, England
See map

Frequent Asked Questions

· What are the objectives of this course?

This course is for anyone concerned that our food production systems will not be fit for purpose by the middle of this century.

· Requirements

- An Honours degree at upper second level. - Mature candidates with significant relevant work experience and lower academic qualifications may also be considered for entry, following interview with the course manager. - IELTS: For students whose first language is not English, the University will accept International English Language Test (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.5 average with no element below 5.5.

What you'll learn on the course

Environmental Sustainability
Sustainable farming
Environmental Science
Pollution Control
Waste Water Treatment
Agricultural Science
Agriculture Development
Agriculture Research
Agriculture Technology
Organic Production

Course programme


The course may be studied full-time over 12 months or part-time over two years.

You will study five core modules and three elective modules, followed by the Research Project on a topic related to one of the key themes of the course. The Research Project is introduced in January to be carried out over the summer and submitted at the end of September. It will be presented as a review of the topic and as a research paper.

In addition to lectures, you will participate in case studies, seminars and management projects. This approach fosters teamwork and complements individual study and student learning.

You will gain a broader understanding of relevant issues through knowledge acquisition, intellectual enquiry, debate, and team/individual research. The course will provide a learning environment that encourages you to explore factors influencing sustainability while at the same time reflecting on your own actions and attitudes, and those of others. Furthermore, several team projects are developed throughout the course, which include: production of a magazine or podcast and organisation of a national conference.

There are two entry points to the programme, either in September or in January.

September entry

Students will study four modules in the autumn term followed by four modules in the spring term, and complete their Research Project by the end of September.

January entry

Students will study four modules in the spring term, complete their Research Project by the end of September, and study four modules in the autumn term.

Modules will be taught in 10 week blocks.

  • Integrated Agricultural Systems
  • Sustainable Management of Soil and Water
  • Research Project
  • Development Project Management
  • Agricultural and Rural Policy
  • Poverty and Food Security

Plus choice of THREE elective modules, selecting at least TWO from:
  • Organic Production and Marketing
  • Sustainable Agricultural Intensification
  • Small Scale Farming and Local Food Supply

Plus One elective module from:
  • Food Chain
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Climate Change and Development
  • Tourism and Development
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Management
  • Systems for Food Safety Management

Additional information

UK and EU students

September 2017 Entry - Full-time fees - £6,820 per year

January 2018 Entry - Full-time fees - £6,820 per year

International students

September 2017 Entry - Full-time fees - £11,550 per year

January 2018 Entry - Full-time fees - £11,550 per year

The tuition fees quoted for 2017 applicants may rise in line with inflation, subject to government policy.


The University offers a range of generous fee waivers and bursaries.

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