The Food and Rural Development Research MSc is designed to provide high quality training for those interested in a research career focusing on food social science, rural development and rural sociology. The research focus makes the course ideal if you are interested in gaining a Master's qualification and then continuing on to a PhD.
We provide research training and skills development specifically related to conducting research into rural areas, the environment and food markets. We are recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as providing a 1+3 programme, which is a four year award with a research training Master's in the first year followed by a PhD.
You will study alongside students and staff in our Centre for Rural Economy, which specialises in interdisciplinary social science, researching rural development and policy, food and society and the wellbeing of rural communities. You will also undertake a postgraduate research training programme in our purpose-built Doctoral Training Suite, with facilities for lectures, workshops, seminars and computer access to specialist software required for research in the social sciences and the humanities.
Through studying on our course you will:
- identify your own research topic
- specialise and develop skills specific to your research
- learn research practice fundamentals
- understand research principles, data handling and analysis
You take compulsory modules and optional modules, and complete a dissertation, which could be a desk-based analysis, or a study involving fieldwork or case studies.
You will be encouraged to participate fully in our research culture by organising and attending seminars and reading groups and contributing to research meetings.
You will benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry experienced and research active. You can find out about our staff in the following research groups:
- Food Quality and Health
- Food and Society
- Rural Development
The Degree Programme Director is Dr Menelaos Gkartzios. Menelaos’ research interests include:
- rural mobilities, migration and counterurbanisation
- spatial planning and governance
- rural housing, planning and architectural studies
- international comparative research
Our multi-purpose farms provide demonstration facilities for teaching purposes and land-based research facilities (especially in the area of organic production). They are both viable farming businesses.
- Cockle Park Farm is a 262ha mixed farm facility that includes the Palace Leas Plots hay meadow experiment and a new anaerobic digestion plant that will generate heat, electricity and digestate - an organic fertiliser - from pig and cattle manure.
- Nafferton Farm is a 300ha farm with two main farm units covering conventional and organic farming systems. The two systems are primarily focused upon dairying and arable cropping. Both also operate beef production enterprises as a by-product of their dairy enterprises, although the organic system is unique in maintaining a small-scale potato and vegetable production enterprise.
Our modern laboratories provide important teaching and research environments and are equipped with analytical equipment such as HPLCs, GCs, CNS analyser, centrifuges, spectrophotometers and molecular biology equipment. Our specialist research facilities include:
- a tissue culture laboratory
- plant growth rooms
- a Class II laboratory for safe handling of human biological samples
- taste panel facilities and test kitchen
- a thin section facility for soils analysis
We operate closely with other Schools, Institutes and the University's Central Scientific Facilities for access to more specialist analytical services. For work with human subjects we use a purpose built Clinical Research Facility which is situated in the Royal Victoria Infirmary teaching hospital and is managed jointly by us and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
nu-food Food and Consumer Research Facility
The NU-Food Food and Consumer Research Facility has undergone a £700,000 refurbishment and now boasts a culinary training suite, a sensory laboratory and food handling facility, all supported by multi-functional rooms and a reception.
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We are pleased to be part of the UK government's pilot to streamline Tier 4 visa applications.
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Student blogger Lydia's story of why she chose to take on postgraduate study.
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Modules for 2017 entry
- ACE8095 Dissertation
- HSS8001 Thinking about Research
- HSS8002 Information Skills
- HSS8003 Dissertation Preparation
- HSS8004 Qualitative Methodology in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- HSS8005 Introduction to Quantitative Methods
You will take a further 50 credits from the following:
- ACE8047 Food and Rural Development Work Placement
- ACE8050 The Contemporary Countryside
- ACE8041 Ecosystem Management
- ACE8042 Biodiversity Conservation
- ACE8082 The Contested Environment
- ACE8083 Global Supply Chain Systems
- ACE8100 Food Security: Societal, Policy and Regulatory Systems
- ACE8109 Agri-food Economics and Marketing
- TCP8044 Planning and Sustainability
- TCP8927 Regulatory Frameworks in Developing Countries
Modules change annually to take account of:
- changing staff expertise
- developments in the discipline
- the requirements of external bodies and partners
- student feedback.
Most module information for 2018 entry will be available from mid-May 2018.
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
Full time: £10,200
Part time: £5,100
Full time: £10,200
Part time: £5,100
Full time: £21,600
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, preferably in a natural or social science, such as:
- human geography
We will also consider applications on an individual basis with lower or non-standard qualifications if you have relevant experience.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
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English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 5.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.0 in all sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course, but due to demand we suggest you apply early.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.