This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to become an effective leader in the transition to a more sustainable, efficient, healthier and fairer food system.
Throughout this Masters, you’ll have the chance to become familiar with the research methods and analytical techniques used in sustainability research, the capabilities individuals require to lead change in the food system, and tools and skills required in the food industry.
During the field trip, you’ll gain first-hand experience of the challenges in balancing the three domains of sustainability (environment, people, and economy) and the implications of a local, regional or global food system. The cost of the field trip is covered in the course fee.
On completion of this course, you’ll be able to:
demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of concepts, information and techniques at the forefront of one or several related disciplines investigating food systems sustainability.
apply systems thinking approaches to critically and creatively evaluate current and future challenges, research and advanced scholarship in food systems.
On this course, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a number of field trips to food production and consumption sites, including a week-long field trip to a food-producing region. Through these field trips, you’ll be exposed to the interconnected nature of our local, regional or global food systems and the challenge of reconciling competing local and global, environmental, economic and social priorities.
Other off-campus learning opportunities may be offered through collaboration with commercial partners, such as the University of Leeds Farm. The farm is operated as a commercial business, which also hosts research and innovation projects and can provide a platform for collaborative research and innovation with industry, government and public research organisations.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Sustainable Food Systems module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Sustainable Food Systems MSc in the course catalogue
Introduction to Sustainable Food Systems
Skills for Sustainable Food Systems
Sustainable Food Production
Sustainable Food Consumption
Sustainable Food Supply Chains and Trade
Food Systems Fieldtrip
Food Systems Research Project
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 practise. 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 helping 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 Masters 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 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.
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.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through 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.
You will be assessed by a combination of traditional assessment techniques such as essays, presentations, report writing, and assessment techniques for the problem-based, experiential and blended learning elements of the programme such as group work, case studies, reflective reports, e-portfolios, assessed contributions to moderated online discussions.