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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 best thing about the MSc was the modules - a wide range of topics covered and lots of interaction. The support from the lecturers was superb - especially when it came to dissertation supervision - could not be faulted at all. I was also able to answer a lot of the 'technical' questions in interview due to my knowledge gained at Warwick during modules as well as the research project.
Harriet Bell

Video courtesy of www.postgraduatesearch.com

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.

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

  • Crop Physiology and Production
  • Advances in Crop Protection
  • Soil, Water and Plant Mineral Nutrition
  • Environmental Accounting
  • Climate Change
  • Challenges of Global Food Security
  • Organic and Low Input Systems
  • Project/Work Placement

Optional Modules

(Availability dependent on demand)

  • International Environmental Law
  • Biological Invasions in Changing Climates
  • Biodiversity, Conservation & Ecosystem Services
  • Microbiomics & Metagenomics
  • Marketing Management
  • Accounting & Financial Management
  • Business Strategy

Further details of modules and project dissertation

Assessment

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.

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

If you would like to put a question to any of the students profiled here then please send the question to Denny Croft & Therese Lepicard (msc.lifesciences@warwick.ac.uk). If possible, depending on Data Protection considerations, they will put you in touch.

View further international student profiles.

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Shihuang Fu 2017/18

SLS Excellence Scholarship Student

First Degree: Food Quality and Safety

 

My first thoughts about Warwick was that the campus was quiet and has a good learning ambience. This 1 year course has a series of different modules which are assessed in different ways. I was able to learn from different areas and got to know what my interests really were. The course sharpened my transferable skills such as presentations, group work, poster design and academic writing. These have prepared me for employment after graduation.

My huge passion about the course pushed me to work in Bar Fusion on central campus. This work experience deepened my understanding about food waste and the reasons for food insecurity around the world.

This year studying abroad has given me the chance to know myself better. If there is one piece of advice I can give to future students, it would be to learn new things and find what gives you a sense of achievement.

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Javeria Hashmi 2014/15

First Degree: BBA Business Administration & Masters in Economics

Current job: Programme Manager & Food Security Advisor, Human Appeal UK

The nest thing about the MSc was the good mix between the natural and social sciences. With a Masters in Economics and experience in the INGO sector, I wanted to learn more about the science behind food security, which the staff and the facilities i.e. labs allowed me to learn. Secondly the staff were very cooperative and always encouraged and rewarded a learning attitude. The university has been all in all amazing with a wonderful library and other activities going on alongside the main academic schedule. If I was asked would I do it again...my answer would be yes!

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. I did a work placement at Practical Action Consulting. The organisation made me do research and develop my thesis on agroecology and how the private sector can incentivise small farmers to adopt environmentally friendly methodologies.

I was working at an international non-governmental organisation (INGO), Human Appeal UK in Manchester, before I was offered a place at Warwick. I left my job to pursue my degree, but was called back to rejoin whilst I was completing my thesis. I rejoined as a Food Security advisor for the organization and the Programmes Coordinator for Asia. Since August 2018, I have been promoted to Programmes Manager alongside being the Food Security advisor. As Manager I am now responsible for all our regions (9 country offices and over 20 local partners in Africa, Asia and Middle East).

hbellHarriet Bell
Graduated with Distinction in 2013
Winner of class Prize

First Degree:
Environmental Science

First job after graduating: Analyst consultant at Ricardo-AEA

Current job: Consultant at Anthesis Group

The best thing about the MSc was the modules, a wide range of topics were covered and there was lots of interaction with the other two courses which was very helpful for gaining additional knowledge in other related areas. The support from the lecturers was superb, especially when it came to dissertation supervision.

The MSc greatly improved my written and oral communication skills. The regular presentations seemed scary to start but gave me the opportunity to refine my skills and become more confident and improve with a friendly audience. The course also gave me a level of professionalism from my experience undertaking a placement, as I was given an insight into the running of a small business working on food waste. In terms of knowledge, I now have a much wider understanding of all things related to food security and as a result my skills gained from Warwick helped with getting my current job.

My first job after graduating was as an Analyst Consultant at Ricardo-AEA, working on projects related to agriculture and food waste, which was the focus of my thesis. I worked with the Agriculture team within the Air Quality and Environment division but also contributed to work carried out by the Resource Efficiency and Waste Management division.

cjordan

Charlotte Jordan
Graduated in 2012

As a recent graduate from the Food Security MSc course I was uncertain what to do with my immediate future; the course and particularly my research placement with The Eden Project in Cornwall taught me that I would only have job satisfaction if I was working with food, and people.

I was lucky enough to have contacts in Kenya and following up on this I arranged a three-month volunteer placement with Real Impact, an NGO based in Thika working on sustainable agro-nutrition. My project focussed on vertical bag gardens; growing upwards to save on land and water resources to produce leafy vegetable crops such as kale and spinach.

This voluntary placement has led into a full time job which I will return to begin in February 2013. I will be assisting to lead the NGO in developing new training on sustainable agronomy, nutrition, alternative energy and livelihoods. We will also be enhancing our research and development trials to determine optimal agronomy protocols, including bag gardens, whilst at the same time making our farm profitable through sales of vegetable produce, worms and worm bins from our vermiculture units.

What drives me the most in this job is that I am working in one of the areas where the need is greatest; our trials and training are disseminated to the local farming community directly. Whilst there are problems managing an NGO in Kenya that wouldn’t occur in the UK, there is real benefit to the way people produce food here, ultimately enhancing household food and nutrition security, boosting yields for sale and increasing household income.

Please see www.realimpact.or.ke for more details and feel free to get in touch!

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 http://practicalaction.org/blog/programmes/food-and-agriculture/gender-equality-in-agroecology-the-hidden-benefits/.

MSc Food Security

How to Apply

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

FAQs

Course enquiries:

Denny Croft &
Therese Lepicard
msc dot lifesciences at warwick dot ac dot uk
Tel: +44(0)24 7657 4995