MSc Sustainable Food and Agriculture Policy

MSc Sustainable Food and Agriculture Policy
Thursday, November 01, 2018 -
Thursday, June 10, 9999
9am - 5pm
Royal Agricultural University

A dynamic course for a rapidly-changing sector, this programme has been created in conjunction with our industry partners, including the National Trust and National Farmers’ Union. This course is primarily distance learning.

Location: Royal Agricultural University Campus

Duration: Course duration  1 Year (Full time / Part time)

Academic Year: 30 September 2019 - 5 June 2020. For February entry the academic year starts in February 2020.

Course Overview

Working across agriculture and the food supply chain, you will gain a deeper understanding of the sector, the challenges of the future and how they interconnect.

Policy and strategy around the area of food is vital for the sustainable growth of any country. This is a time of unprecedented demand for innovative solutions to sustain the flow of high quality food to more people than ever before, alongside increasing demands for traceability and provenance.

Brexit also presents an opportunity for the UK to become an important world player in the production of high quality, sustainably produced food. To secure this aim, numerous opportunities will arise for highly educated business-minded people who are capable of leading British food production policy.

If you have an inquisitive mind, or wish to learn these skills, this course will help you develop the knowledge you need to boost or begin a career in the industry. We will provide you with important industry contacts and placements within major national companies. You will have the opportunity to connect with organisations that are shaping policy; covering areas including climate change, consumer trends, post-Brexit trading terms, public health, animal welfare and future food security.

Professor Damian Maye's inaugural lecture

Professor Damian Maye has provided input into both the new MSc and MBA courses by sharing his research on food supply chains and their arrangements, exploring how food systems are gaining greater complexity in terms of the wide range of foods that we eat and the global nature of where food comes from. Damian’s inaugural lecture is a taster of some of the themes that will be studied on the courses and you can view the full video here:

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have:

  • A minimum 2.1 honours degree from a UK university, or an equivalent academic qualification from a comparable international institution
  • Students whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no element below 5.5 or equivalent
  • Mature applicants without a first degree but with acceptable professional qualifications and/or acceptable related experience may also be considered


The course is largely delivered online, in conjunction with short intensive learning periods on campus, which give you the opportunity to network and meet your classmates. An experienced online team has built a course packed with engaging multimedia content and opportunities to collaborate with other students.

With part-time and full-time options, the programme is highly flexible so that you can live at home and study in the evenings and weekends, or alongside your job. Here is an example of the format that the distance learning may take.

Course structure

With two entry points per year the course can be studied full-time over one year or part-time over two years. Eight modules will be studied, as well as a final project for which you can choose an internship within business, an applied project related to a policy challenge or dissertation based on a topic of specific interest to you.

There will be plenty of academic support during residentials and during distance learning, where you’ll discuss, challenge and create through group discussion and forums.

All students on this course will be invited to participate in at least one additional enhancement week. This optional programme, not linked to a specific module, will include farm and site visits as well as invited speakers to help students consolidate and apply their learning. This will be particularly valuable for full time residential and international students.


  • 4401 Developing your leadership and people skills
  • 4402 Making sense of a changing world
  • 4403 Improving your decision-making with data and technology
  • 4404 Developing sustainable business strategies
  • 4409 Facing the global challenges in food and agriculture
  • 4410 Making a positive impact on the natural environment and rural economy
  • 4411 Delivering trust and integrity within the food supply chain
  • 4412 Analysing the interaction of agriculture and food policy with consumers and citizens
  • 4413 Research skills
  • 4414 Either dissertation or
  • 4415 Applied project


This course has been carefully developed to meet skills gaps and respond to changes in recruitment trends. Graduates are highly likely to go on to pursue a career within the food or an allied industry and a number of businesses visit the University every year to recruit new staff.

Careers could include:

  • Procurement
  • Market research
  • Commercial or general management in the food industry
  • Farm or Environmental Consultants
  • Working for the Government, international agencies or NGOs
  • The development of new companies through entrepreneurial initiatives


Find Out More