Food is at the forefront of society’s grand challenges.
Food is a unique lens through which one can address key social science questions on resource shortfalls, environmental pressures and social development. A focus on food provides important opportunities to raise questions about the prospects for a more secure, just and sustainable future and to understand the shifting boundaries between the state, the market and civil society.
The MSc Food, Space and Society specifically targets those people wishing to gain expertise in the contemporary geography and politics of food. It offers in-depth insights into the opportunities for (and barriers to) food security, sustainability and justice; the implications of food policies on the spatial and socio-economic relationships between different actors in the food system and between rural and urban areas; and the development effects of strategies that address the welfare and health needs of the human and animal population.
A core feature of the course is its emphasis on research-led teaching. Modules are designed and taught by staff from the Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF), who have a long-standing and world-renowned expertise on conventional and alternative food networks, food consumption practices, the interplay between global and local food systems, community food growing, public food procurement, food justice, animal geographies, and the community food sector. Staff’s engagement in agenda-setting research on these topics ensures that students are exposed to the most recent debates in food studies and are involved with our extensive network of stakeholders.
The MSc Food, Space and Society is offered as a one year full-time or a two year part-time course.
It is divided into two parts:
Part 1 comprises a teaching programme of six core modules over two semesters (or four semesters for the part-time course).
Part 2 comprises an individual dissertation on a food-related topic selected by each student in consultation with members of staff.
The following is a proposed list of modules for the programme in 2014/15. Please note that these may be subject to minor changes.
- Food Geographies
- Spaces of Food Consumption
- Sustainable Food Systems
- Researching Sustainability
- Food in Society: Security and Justice
- Meat Debates
The course is assessed through continuous assessment (a variety of seminars, essays, project work and practical exercises) and examinations. Where required there is room for flexibility in setting alternative, comparable assessments.
The course offers the knowledge and expertise for developing a research career or taking advantage of the increasing professionalisation of food jobs in the private and public sectors, including government departments and food agencies, the business sector, consultancy and food/environmental NGOs.
Our Alumni collectively represent the variety of potential careers and jobs that our current (and future) students may embark on.
This MSc is suitable for graduates in subjects such as geography, sociology, politics, anthropology, planning and economics, and/or those with appropriate professional experience and qualifications in food. Applicants with a background in other subjects and relevant work-based experience will also be considered.
Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.
Please note that this course is currently subject to University approval. We will begin accepting applications in 2014 for a September 2014 start.
In the meantime, please contact the Course Director, Dr Roberta Sonnino for further details and to discuss the course: