Our research master's in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security is suitable if:
- you have a strong interest in a specific related topic
- you're confident that you want to pursue a career in research
Sustainable agriculture and food security focuses on the availability of food now and in the future. This is a major concern of scientific and commercial communities world-wide.
The prominence of this subject is driven by:
- an increasing need for resilient, regenerative agricultural systems
- pressure on non-renewable or scarce resources
- need to minimise the impact agriculture has on the environment
The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security master's covers all aspects of food security as outlined by Global Food Security. The Global Food Security is a multi-agency programme involving the main UK public sector funders of research and training related to food.
Industry experienced and research-active lecturers teach on this course.
On the MRes, the majority of your credits will be gained from the dissertation module, which is self-directed research. Your studies are supported by a smaller number of taught modules compared to the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MSc. This course is most suitable if you have a strong interest in a particular topic and are confident that you want to pursue a career in research. If you want to gain a broad knowledge of sustainable agriculture and food security or are not sure if you want to specialise in a specific topic, then you may find our Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security MSc more suitable.
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
What you'll learn
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
- assessing agricultural production systems
- soil, crop and livestock management
- dynamics of Coupled Human-Natural systems
- global challenges in sustainable agriculture and food security
You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.
Module information is intended to provide an example of what you will study.
Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.
Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.
Optional modules availability
Some course have optional modules. Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
- Global Challenges in Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security
- MRes Dissertation Project
- Dynamics of Coupled Human-Natural Systems
- Data Preparation, analysis, interpretation and presentation
- Academic and Professional Skills for MSc
- Principles and current topics in Agro-food economics & Policy
- Assessing Agricultural Production systems
- Global Challenges: Biotech Solutions
How you'll learn
This course is taught in four-week teaching blocks.
You'll be taught through:
- practical and field classes
- case studies
- small group discussions
We expect you to undertake independent study outside of these structured sessions.
We offer flexible learning for those already working in industry through the Credit Accumulation Transfer Scheme. This framework 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.
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
- Case study
- Computer assessment
- Oral examination
- Oral presentation
- Research proposal
- Written examination
- Written exercise
You'll be supported through training in designing and delivering a project based on a laboratory or field-based investigation. After choosing your topic you'll collect, analyse and interpret data to produce a thesis reporting your investigation and results in a critical manner.
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
Dr Hannah Davis is the Degree Programme Director and an experienced researcher in the area of ruminant nutrition and grazing management. Hannah's research aims to understand how dairy management practices affect milk quality, animal health and environmental impact with a view to optimising sustainable farming systems.
You can also view staff profiles related to research in Agricultural Production.
Our lecturers are industry experienced and research active. Our research in integrated agricultural production focuses on:
- soil science
- plant science
- dairy and beef production
Our research spans a range of scales, from pot – plot – farm – landscape.
Strategic research embraces work on:
- soil quality
- rhizosphere function
- plant-soil feedback
- soil-carbon dynamics
- nutrient cycling
- sustainable livestock
Applied research addresses issues of:
- climate change mitigation (including biofuels)
- ecological (organic) farming systems
- low-input crop systems
- agriculture-environment interactions
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
Our multi-purpose farms are viable farming businesses. We use them as demonstration facilities for teaching purposes. They also provide land-based research facilities.
Our facilities provide an open innovation platform enabling researchers to work with farmers, industry, and environmental and government stakeholders. Together, they develop innovative solutions for balancing sustainable global food production with a thriving rural economy and protection of the wider environment.
These research facilities help us to understand:
- the development and functioning of plant and animal hosts, pathogens and their interactions
- the complex biogeochemical functions of the soil
- crop and livestock health, welfare and productivity
- environmental impact
- interactions between the managed farm environment and the land-air-water interface
We use this fundamental knowledge to:
- integrate genomics, physiology and agronomy in molecular breeding approaches
- develop and optimise farming systems
We collect real data from a network of on-farm crop, soil, livestock and environmental sensors. We use this data to calibrate and validate the digital technologies and models that help us in our research and developments.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Open days and events
Open days and events
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:
- Campus tours
- On-campus open days
- Virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
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