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Sustainable Food Systems MSc

University of Leeds

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MSc - Master of Science

  • Location

    University of Leeds

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    12 months

Course summary


Providing nutritious, safe and affordable food for all in a sustainable manner is one of the greatest challenges of our times. Food practitioners need to able to respond to food safety and security concerns, shifting attitudes towards food and farming, changing diets and demographics, as well as balance global economic and environmental pressures.

This course comes at a time when food and its implications on our health and planet is making headlines. Current challenges include malnutrition and obesity, the food waste-hunger paradox, and food’s devastating environmental impact. Global food consumption and production accounts for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, making our food choice the most effective way to address climate change.

Food is the single strongest lever to optimise human health and environmental sustainability; however, transforming our food system is not an easy task. Our food system is highly complex; it works across different scales, from the local to the global, it involves a wide range of interconnected actors, it has environmental, social, economic and political drivers and implications.

Our MSc in Sustainable Food Systems, therefore, uses a holistic systems thinking approach to understand, evaluate, and deconstruct the complexity of the food system, in order to formulate sustainable solutions addressing the grand challenges we are facing, such as food security and global environmental change.

Active research environment

This Masters degree builds on the success of the University’s interdisciplinary research on the theme of Food. Through strong collaborations with University of Leeds Food Theme and the Global Food and Environment Institute you will not only be exposed to cutting edge research but also given the opportunity to collaborate with industry, policymakers, non-governmental organisations, and the third sector.

You’ll be exposed to the latest thinking and research in a wide range of disciplines underpinning food sustainability in order to successfully apply your knowledge and skills to real-world challenges. This course is innovative and interdisciplinary, bringing together expertise from across the University including the schools of Earth and Environment, Food Science and Nutrition, Psychology, Geography, Biology, the Institute for Transport Studies and Leeds University Business School.

Course Content

This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to become an effective leader in the transition to more a sustainable, efficient, healthier, and fairer food system.

Through this Masters you will have the chance to become familiar with the research methods and analytical techniques used in sustainability research, the capabilities individuals require to lead change in the food system, and tools and skills required in the food industry.

During the fieldtrip you will witness the realities of food production in a developing country context. You’ll gain first-hand experience of the challenges in balancing the three domains of sustainability (environment, people, and economy) and the implications of a globalised food system. The cost of the fieldtrip is covered in the course fee.

On completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of concepts, information and techniques at the forefront of one (or several related) disciplines investigating food systems sustainability;
  • apply systems thinking approaches to critically and creatively evaluate the complexity, current and future challenges, research and advanced scholarship in food systems;
  • diagnose and propose solutions to the the real-world challenges that food sustainability presents.

Application deadline

10 September 2021

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 24,000per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Leeds

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, England

A global community, the university’s staff and students come from over 170 countries. There will be chances to meet and work with people from across the world.
The university is continually investing in its campus, from new laboratories and lecture theatres to one of the most impressive libraries in the UK.
With a history of welcoming international students for over 100 years, students can be sure of experienced help throughout their time at Leeds.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    7th out of 43 6

    13th out of 71 1

  • Entry standards

    / Max 171
    149 78%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    85.0 85%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.19 84%


  • Entry standards

    / Max 210
    152 76%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    84.0 84%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.00 80%



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