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MSc Food Security

Delivering global food security is one of the critical challenges of the 21st century. Each nation needs to balance local and delocalised production with imports and environmental and economic impact. This MSc considers the critical factors in influencing global food security including the contributions of climate change, biodiversity, water, soil, land use, labour, diet and urbanisation.

The course gave me great insight into the natural science of food security e.g. crop science, environmental science and biodiversity. I can now apply that technical knowledge directly to my line of work.
Javeria Hashmi

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Entry requirements: A second class honours degree, or an equivalent qualification in a scientific or other appropriate discipline. English language standard IELTS 6.5

Flexible study: Full time 12 months. Part time 24 months.

Module options: 7 core modules, up to 3 optional modules and a course project, dissertation or placement.

Module assessments by coursework and exam.

You will take 7 core modules, up to 3 optional modules and an individual research project, placement or dissertation. Depending on your academic background you will find elements of some modules harder, or easier, than others.

The research project, placement or dissertation is a substantial piece of original work. The project normally requires 3 months of enquiry and data collection, and one month writing up.

Our course and module content and schedule is continually reviewed and updated to reflect the latest research expertise at Warwick. So it is therefore very important that you check back here for the latest information before you apply and when you accept an offer (as set out in our terms and conditions).

Core modules

Optional Modules

(Availability dependent on demand)

Note: The core module Crop Physiology and Production has been removed as part of course design changes made to improve student experience. By making these changes we aim to allow students more breadth of study and the opportunity to examine food security more widely.


Assessment is continuous and varies between modules. It includes essays, seminar presentations, practical reports, oral evaluation and assessed group work. The project will be assessed by a seminar presentation and a thesis.

Please note that modules and courses on offer may change. We reserve the right not to run certain modules/courses based on programme review, staff availability and student demand.

Demand for well qualified people to contribute to food production and the supply chain will increase. Governments require experts who are able to contribute to policy creation and legislation and non-governmental organisations need people who work at the interface of natural and social science.

This MSc prepares you for career paths in academic research and a wide range of public and commercial enterprises, government agencies, policy development and consultancy.

Our dedicated placement officer can help you explore opportunities to secure a work or project placement.

Career destinations include:

  • Analyst Consultant for Air Quality at Ricardo-AEA
  • Assistant Manager at Gouria Agricultural Ventures Ltd
  • Abu Dhabi Farmers Service Centre
  • NGO work on sustainable agro-nutrition

View all our student profiles and international student profiles

Featured Profile


Charlotte Day (nee Jordan)
Graduated in 2012

First Degree: BA French & International relations

I came from a distinctly non-scientific background having previously studied for BA French and International Relations. I took an interest in food from a political standpoint when I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the 2008 food crisis. Through this research I was hooked on the role of food in the global economic system, its role in our daily lives, and the risks to long term food security.

My Masters degree was the first step in a growing path of stepping stones in my career and Warwick gave me excellent teaching and support, opportunities to branch out beyond my comfort zone and ultimately a solid educational foundation that allowed me make each step forward.

I undertook my research placement at the Eden Project, largely spending time in the nursery site looking after my papaya seedlings for a study on deficit irrigation. After my Masters I lived and worked in Kenya for a small NGO where I managed R&D projects on a training smallholder agro-nutrition farm. This was an incredible experience and allowed me to practically implement many of the learning I took from my time at Warwick, but also understand the complexities of real-life implementation, and how the applied sciences have to be approached along with social sciences for long term change and impact. Since moving back to the UK I have worked for Imperial College London and now CABI, an intergovernmental organisation where I’m a Project Manager for large-scale, multi-country agriculture projects, predominantly in the interplay of agriculture and human nutrition, and pest and disease management. My current project is the Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE): I am based in the UK but get to travel fairly often to project countries in Africa and Asia.

I would suggest to prospective students to really think about what you want out of your studies: excellent, hands-on teaching? Opportunities for workplace research and training? A range of module options that give you flexibility to specialise or keep a broad approach? Opportunities to have a rich student life including sports, arts and community? A well-respected University listed on your CV? Then go for Warwick.

What is the potential of enhancing biodiversity by using local provenance seed in urban churchyards?

Lydia Bosire - supervisor Rosemary Collier

The Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is a key player in nature conservation in the region, and as part of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Churchyards & Cemeteries, has initiated strategies to enhance the range of habitats for wildlife and wildflowers and to use species- rich churchyards as a source of local provenance seed to restore less diverse churchyards.

The aim of Lydia’s project was to investigate the use of local provenance green hay to enhance grassland biodiversity in urban churchyards in Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. The specific objectives were to identify species-poor urban churchyards that could benefit from such a scheme and select from this group those which might be potential partners in promoting this conservation initiative. A further objective was to examine how it would be feasible to create awareness about the importance of biodiversity in the local context by using churchyards as platforms.

Lydia was advised and supported by Gina Rowe (Warwickshire Wildlife Trust) , Ruth Moffatt (Warwickshire Local Biodiversity Action Plan), Camille Newton (Local Wildlife Sites Project), Jane and David O’Dell (St. Mary’s, Oldberrow Church), Godfrey Armitage (Coventry Diocesan Environmental Group) and Richard Brown (Coventry University).

Agroecology, Small farmers and Livelihoods: A Critical Analysis for Sustainable Development

Javeria Hashmi - Supervisor Rosemary Collier

Productive and sustainable agrarian systems are key to the livelihoods of small farmers and the economies of developing countries. However, conventional, intensive and monoculture agricultural systems have over-exploited the natural reserves resulting in severe environmental degradation parallel to high prevalence of global hunger and malnutrition. In response, agroecology has arisen as the alternative low-input agriculture system to address the issue of sustainability whilst conserving biodiversity.

Javeria’s study, which was carried out as a work placement project at Practical Action UK, considered agroecological processes as an enterprise of human activities. Her study was based on published literature and conversations with experts. Various case studies from around the world were discussed as evidentiary support throughout the study.

Javeria was assisted in particular by Practical Action, UK, especially Mr. Chris Henderson, who gave her the opportunity to gain invaluable experience at their organization and also Julia Wright and Carla Sarrouy at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR), University of Coventry, for providing unlimited support and expert advice. Javeria co-authored a blog on the Practical Action website

MSc Food Security

Course enquiries:

msc dot lifesciences at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 23540


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How to Apply

Scholarships are available for both Home/EU and International students.

British MSc Food Security offer holders are eligible to apply for a Clyde Higgs Scholarship.