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

Funding for UK/EU students Number of awards Value of awards
The Clyde Higgs Postgraduate Scholarship 2017-18

Up to 5

An award of £5,000 is available for home students.

Postgraduate Opportunity Scholarships 2017/18

40

£5,000

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.

Newcastle University GREAT India Scholarships

3

£5,000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees.

Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships

255

£3,000

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
The Clyde Higgs Postgraduate Scholarship 2017-18

Up to 5

An award of £5,000 is available for home students.

PhD studentship – underwater sensor networks

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees
UK students – annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £20,000.
Non-UK EU students - annual tax-free stipend (living allowances) of £15,000.

PhD studentship - Plastic Dispersion in the Global Ocean

1

This studentship includes: UK/EU tuition fees, an annual tax-free stipend of (up to) £14,553 (17/18 level) and use of a desktop computer.

PhD in Civil Engineering and Geosciences - Mapping, monitoring and characterising landslides with satellite radar and optical observations

1

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend of £14,553 (2017-18). 

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

Maximum of £10,280 (2017 entry)

Postgraduate Opportunity Scholarships 2017/18

40

£5,000

Two PhD Studentships in Environmental/Animal Science/Clean Technology - Assessment of Environmental Impact of European Pig Systems

2

100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend of £14,533  

Architecture, Planning and Landscape - Postgraduate Taught Home and EU Scholarship Scheme 2017

Not specified.

£2,000 scholarships (which will be deducted from your tuition fees) and full fees scholarships.

Disabled Students' Allowances

Varies

Professional and Career Development Loans

Varies

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 £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

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 £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

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.

EPSRC CASE PhD Studentship in Nanoscale Tomography and Chemical Analysis of Soft Materials in 3D

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553 (full award).  Additional contribution from Proctor and Gamble to be confirmed before commencement.  Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

EPSRC Studentship – Electrical and Electronic Engineering

1

100% tuition fees and UK/EU rate for 4 years of study (MSc year + 3 years PhD), plus an annual stipend of £14,533.

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. 

PhD in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences - Investigating Cooperative - ITS to deliver Infrastructure as a Service

1

UK: 100% of tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,057pa. EPSRC full award, plus an Industrial Case top up from Siemens making a total allowance of £20,000 pa.

EU: students will receive a tuition fees only award.

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 Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Development of novel proton – oxygen ion – electron conducting ceramics

1

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for a three year duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,533 (2017/18).

The Elsie Jeffery Memorial Bursary

1

£1,000

PhD Studentship - Textile microplastics: causes and cures - improving our understanding of the drivers of fibre loss during washing

1

It provides a stipend at normal UK Research Council rates of £14,553 per annum (2017-18) and tuition fees. The studentship is open to UK and EU students.

Subsea UK Subsea Engineering MSc Scholarship

1

£8,000

PhD studentship in Interactive Visualization of Complex Data

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,553.

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

255

£3,000

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.

Newcastle Santander Scholarships

10

£5,000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees.

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).

Newcastle University GREAT India Scholarships

3

£5,000 payable towards the first year of tuition fees.

All students Number of awards Value of awards
PhD Studentship in the Institute of Neuroscience – Effect of Ageing and Parkinson’s disease on Neural Control of Gait

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.

PhD studentship in Cancer Research - Functional screening for novel therapies in high-risk childhood cancers

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,171.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU and international fee.

Research Excellence Academy PhD Studentship - Designing dynamic models to understand and predict the responses of complex ecological networks to environmental perturbations

1

100% tuition fees, a tax-free stipend of (up to) is £14,553 pa (17/18), a desktop computer, and £1,500 travel allowance. 

MSc Funding - 1st Class Scholarship (School of 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

The North of England P and I Association Limited (NEPIA) Studentship

1

£2500

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.

PhD Studentship in Cell and Molecular Biosciences - Mechanistic understanding of cell wall biosynthesis to combat antimicrobial resistance

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,525.   Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

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 cutaneous medicine and systems biology: Biomarker discovery and integration with computational modelling to predict psoriatic plaque resolution in response to UVB therapy

1

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

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 in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering - Hibernating turbulence in boundary-layer flows

1

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of ~£14,000 (per annum).  Also additional funding is available to cover research costs including local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Walsh PhD Fellowship: Brexit and Land-Use on the Island of Ireland

1

100% of tuition fees at the UK/EU rate will be paid and an annual maintenance grant equivalent to the RCUK rate (£14,553 for 2017/18). Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.  A research training support grant is available to support fieldwork and associated costs.

The Ewan MacColl Memorial Award

1

£1000 to help with the costs of carrying out research or practical activities relating to your Masters research project. For example, it could help cover travel for a student concentrating on collecting, recording or research (excludes general living expenses or tuition 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.

School of Agriculture Food and Rural Development - Spatial Data Processing for Viticulture Systems

1

100% tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £14,553 (full award) with additional funds to support research activities in the US including travel funding.

Hodcroft Larsen Postgraduate Scholarship

1

£3,000

School of Agriculture Food and Rural Development NERC Industrial CASE PhD - Using spatially explicit soil mapping and modelling to understand and mitigate nitrate leaching in an agricultural catchment

1

 A full award covers tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,553.

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 Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6932
Email: afrd-pg@ncl.ac.uk