Postgraduate

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MSc

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MSc

Full time: 12 months, part time: 24 months

Profile

Our course provides specialist skills and knowledge about the most important issues related to the sustainability of agricultural production and food security. Our MSc is suitable if you have an interest in sustainable agriculture and food security and want to develop a broad knowledge of the subject.

Sustainable agriculture and food security focuses on the availability of food now and in the future: a major concern of scientific and commercial communities world-wide.

The prominence of this subject is driven by an increasing global population, pressure on non-renewable or scarce resources and a need to increase food production whilst minimising the impact on the environment.

The course covers all aspects of food security as outlined by Global Food Security, a multi-agency programme involving the main UK public sector funders of research and training related to food.

Staff research

You will benefit from being taught by lecturers who are industry-experienced and research active.

Dr Julia Cooper, Degree Programme Director, is an experienced researcher in the area of soil security and nutrient dynamics who has worked in the UK, Asia and Africa in sustainable agriculture research and education. She has managed research projects focused on improving resource use efficiency in both organic and conventional crop production systems. Currently she supervises several PhD students studying methods of optimising soil management for microbial community function.

Staff profiles related to research in Integrated Agricultural Production.

Delivery

On the MSc approximately half of your credits will be gained through taught modules, which offer an opportunity to learn about a wide range of problems in food security. This is ideal if you have an interest in the subject and do not want to specialise in one topic, or if you want to gain a wide range of knowledge in this area for your career. If you know which area you want to specialise in and are confident that you want to pursue a career in research, then you may find our Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MRes more suitable.

The course is comprised of compulsory and optional modules. The compulsory modules provide a detailed overview of the most important issues related to the sustainability of agricultural production and food security. Optional modules allow specialisation in one or more of the following five topic areas:

  • Socio-economics, marketing and policy development
  • Environmental and water management
  • Soil and crop management
  • Animal production, health and welfare management
  • Food quality, safety and nutrition

This course is taught in a block format:

  • a five-week teaching block
  • then two-week teaching blocks

You will be taught through lectures, seminars, practical and field classes, tutorials, case studies and small group discussions. We expect you to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through written examinations, coursework, presentations and your final major project.

You will be supported through training in designing and delivering a project based on a laboratory or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you will collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis reporting your investigation and results in a critical manner.

We offer flexible learning for those already working in industry, or you can study through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme which is a framework that enables us to award postgraduate level qualifications using credit-bearing stand-alone modules as 'building blocks' towards a qualification. This means that the credits from modules undertaken within a five-year period can be 'banked' towards the award of a qualification.

Student profile

I really like the fact that we have a great mixture of modules, fieldtrips, and the fact that the department is at the forefront of organic farming research.

Natasha's student profile
Natasha A

A sample of job titles our graduates now hold

Environmental Monitoring And Compliance Technician, Wildlife Biologist, Rural Development Officer

A sample of employers our graduates now work for

Inland Fisheries Ireland, Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, Foundations For Farming

Data based on responses from 48 UK, EU and International postgraduate leavers (2011/12, 2012/13) studying Agriculture. See more about what our graduates do.

Related Degrees

  • Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MRes

    Our course provides specialist skills and knowledge about the most important issues related to the sustainability of agricultural production and food security. Our MRes is suitable if you have a strong interest in a specific related topic and are confident that you want to pursue a career in research.

  • Organic Farming and Food Production Systems MSc

    This course will provide you with an in-depth specialisation in organic farming and food production systems and it is currently the only specialised MSc in organic and ecological farming in England. You will learn and test the latest approaches in the integrated delivery of soil, crop and livestock, and food supply chain management.

All related programmes

Module changes

Module changes

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

2017-2018 fees

The fees displayed here are per year.

MSc

UK/EU

Full time: £7,500
Part time: £3,750 

International

Full time: £18,685

You can read more about our tuition fees and discounts available.

Tuition fees for 2018-19 have not yet been confirmed.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2017 and 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Non EU students Number of awards Value of awards
Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

Not specified.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses.

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships
Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

All Students Number of awards Value of awards
MastersCompare Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£5,000

Our students/graduates Number of awards Value of awards
20% Alumni Tuition Fee Discount

Discount varies by level of tuition fee.

UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
Phd in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences - Brimstone and Treacle: understanding oil-driven microbial souring in petroleum reservoirs

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,533 (full award) plus an industrial CASE studentship top up fee.  

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Next generation of composite molten salt-ceramic membranes for selective separation of NOx, SO2 and CO2

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,553 (2017/18).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: The Use of Perovskite-type Oxygen-carriers for Hydrogen Production via Chemical Looping

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,553 (2017/18).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Postgraduate Master’s Loan Scheme (students from England and non-UK countries)

Maximum of £10,280 (2017 entry)

Disabled Students' Allowances

Varies

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

Industrial CASE PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Data-driven modelling of glass durability and glass pouring rate in nuclear waste vitrification process

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Virulence factors of human and bird Trichomonad parasites targeting host proteoglycans: integrating evolutionary genomics and molecular cell biology

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award). A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only. 

BBSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Cellular Medicine - Investigating the impact of insulin resistance on ageing, appearance and wellbeing using sleep as a model system

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

PhD in Computer Science - Visualization of Heterogeneous Multi-Source Data

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14.553 (full award)

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Verification of Portable Synthetic Biocircuits (EPSRC Portabolomics)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).

International (Non EU) students Number of awards Value of awards
School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape - Postgraduate International Scholarship Scheme (2017)

Not specified

£2,000 tuition fee scholarships

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships
International Family Discounts (IFD)

10% of the tuition fee per year.

Fulbright Scholarships

Varies

British Marshall Scholarships

40

Varies

Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS)

Tuition fee scholarships of typically £7,800 - £11,700 per year. The award covers the difference between fees for UK/EU students and international students.

Chinese Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £5,000 for a range of Business School postgraduate courses.

Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP)

Not specified.

The scholarship covers tuition fees and living expenses.

USA Athlete Scholarship

10

£5000- £8000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees and a comprehensive support package (see Overview for further details).

All students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD Studentship in Computing Science - A Computational Systems Biology Approach to Psoriasis Treatment (Rosetrees Trust)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

MSc Funding - 1st Class Scholarship (Civil Engineering and Geosciences)

Not specified

£2,000

Clinical Research Funding - various

Varies

Health Education England Bursaries (Physician Associate Studies, PGDip)

20 awards for 2017 entry

£18,000 bursary (£9,000 per year) and a contribution towards travel costs. The Bursary is paid as a tuition fee discount direct to the University.

School and Research Institute Studentships, Bursaries and Scholarships

Varies

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Instalments
2% Tuition Fee Discount

2% off annual tuition fee

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

Varies

Varies.

Sir Mark Waller Postgraduate Law Scholarships

6 for international students, 2 for home/EU students.

Full and partial (£2,500-£3,000) tuition fee scholarships.

Charities and Trusts

Varies

Allergy Module Funding

Varies

Employer Sponsorship

Varies

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com Postgraduate Scholarships

Not specified.

FindAMasters.com and FindAPhD.com are offering £12,000 in scholarships for postgraduate study.

Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries

15

£500 payable towards tuition fees.

Teacher Training (PGCE programmes)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy PGDip Bursaries

£2,000

Sport Scholarships

Varies

£500 - £10,000

PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Mathematical modelling studies of rhythmic hydrogels for medical applications

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, 100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fees scholarships from £2,000 - £5,000 for a range of Business School Master’s courses.

MBA Business Excellence Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £6,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

MBA Leadership Scholarships

Tuition fee scholarships of £10,000 will be awarded to high achieving MBA candidates.

Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation MLitt/PhD Studentships for Studies Relating to Japan

Up to 3 (MLitt or PhD)

£10,000,contributing towards your MLitt/PhD tuition fees and living costs. 

MastersCompare Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£5,000

PhD studentship in Biochemistry and Structural Biology – The Molecular Structure of Meiotic Chromosomes

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expense of £14,553.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD studentship - Long-term training load management and recovery strategies in elite rugby union players (Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club and Newcastle University)

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,533. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Data Driven Computer Modelling of Brain Injury Recovery

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Understanding the molecular regulation of autophagy during ageing.

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553. Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees. Additional funding to cover research costs.

PhD in Chemistry: Computational Studies of Electron Transfer at Interfaces

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend at RCUK rate (£14,553 2017/18).  Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

PhD in the School of Engineering - Role of social conformity in the acceptance and uptake of autonomous vehicles

1

100% of tuition fees paid - UK/EU or international - plus annual living expenses of £14,553 per annum.

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a related subject such as:

  • agriculture
  • soil
  • crop
  • animal
  • food or environmental science
  • biology
  • geography
  • rural
  • consumer
  • economic
  • business and/or marketing studies

We will also consider applicants on an individual basis with lower or non-standard qualifications who have relevant experience in the farming, food and associated industries. 

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 2 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry : IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

How to Apply

Use our Applicant Portal to apply for your course. We have a step-by-step guide to help you.

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

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.

Deposit

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.

Contact

Julia Cooper
Degree Programme Director        
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6932
Email: afrd-pg@ncl.ac.uk