Course overview

This programme will provide participants with a detailed understanding of the principles and processes of sustainable food production, including its social and environmental contexts. It will equip participants who already have work experience in the food supply chain to implement the latest research into sustainable systems thinking, and will facilitate cutting edge careers for those who want to enter the food production and supply chain.

Participants will consider the issues surrounding the necessity of ensuring global food security, while protecting and managing natural resources and biodiversity and acknowledging the pressure on food production from climate change.  Various perspectives on environmental impacts, economic realities and socio-cultural aspects will be included.

This MSc is offered for full or part time study via distance learning.  Participants can access on-line materials in their own time from home or office.  On-line interaction with other participants and with the learning facilitators, who are from different geographic regions, offers a unique opportunity to share practices and opinions.  Without having to travel and pay additional accommodation fees, and being able to continue in one’s employment, makes distance learning an economical, attractive option for both full time and part time participants.

Participants will have the opportunity to study from 3 to 6 modules per year, depending on their status as part time or full time participants. For the Masters’ degree, students will complete a total of 6 modules of study and a dissertation project.

Completing this course results in a postgraduate qualification. See Our Qualifications for more information.

Key facts file

Course Dates:

Three intakes per year

Title: Food Security in the Changing Environment MSc

From 3 to 5 years, part-time.

Entry Requirements:

Graduate level or relevant experience

Credits: 180
Cost: £8400.00
CQFW Level: 7
Course Provider: Bangor University
Provider Reference Number:


Course Arrangements: Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location: Bangor University, Online

Phil Hollington




Learning outcomes

Participants studying the programme will:

  • Examine the environmental, economic and social responsibility of farming in the context of food security and the changing environments.
  • Study how selected management practices can improve the resource-efficiency and overall sustainability of food production.
  • Gain a global perspective to question whether and how growing demand for food from limited land resources can be met through sustainable intensification.


Additional Course Information

Compulsory Modules (20 credits):

  • Agriculture and Society
  • Global Food Security
  • Climate Change
  • Research Methods

Optional Modules (20 credits):

  • Upland Farming Systems
  • Carbon Footprinting and Life Cycle Assessment
  • Soil Management
  • Resource Efficient Farming
  • Agro-ecosystem services

The following optional modules from Aberystwyth may also be taken:

  • Animal Production
  • Feed and Forage
  • Sustainable Grassland Systems
  • Ruminant Nutrition
  • Silage Science
  • Sustainable Homegrown Feed
  • Genetics and Genomics in Agriculture
  • Low Input Ruminant Production
  • Ruminant Health and Welfare


Compulsory Module (MSc Only)

  • Dissertation

Course Structure

Agriculture and Society

Start Date: May to August 2019
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

The economic, social/cultural and environmental aspects of our lives are inextricably tied together. Truly sustainable, efficient food production requires that these three pillars of sustainable development are considered carefully. This distance learning module will study the environmental, economic and social implications of food production and consumption from different perspectives.

Topics will include food systems and supply chains, social concerns, ethics, controversies such as organic v conventional farming, and the development of GMOs, the conflicts between production, market, environment and culture, and future challenges around such things as climate change and resource competition.

It will provide farmers and agri-food businesses, NGOs and government agencies an insight into current perspectives on ethical issues surrounding food production at the local, regional and global scale.

This course is a core module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.

Climate Change

Start Date: Sept to Dec 2018
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

This module will provide participants with a detailed assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change – the science, its impacts, adaptation and mitigation, and crucially how it is perceived by the public. After introducing the science and the effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere it will assess how the climate has changed historically, and look at the most recent predictions for future change both globally and for the UK. As climate change will impact upon UK food security both directly and indirectly (through effects elsewhere in the world) a global perspective on potential impacts will be taken. How agriculture can adapt to the consequences of, and mitigate its effect on, climate change will be discussed.

The module will provide practical examples of how farming systems can adapt to, and also mitigate, climate change, using wherever possible case studies based on the research experience of the module lecturers.  It will not have in-depth coverage of climate models.

This course is a core module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production and the MSc in Industrial Biotechnology. 

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

Global Food Security

Start Date: Jan to April 2019
Location: Bangor University, Online
Credits: 20 credits

This course takes a global perspective on food systems and food security, and aims to equip participants with the ability to fully understand global food systems and their role in providing food security, and to be able to critically assess existing and future pressures and solutions.

A range of diverse factors are coming together to affect the global food system, and after describing the various food systems globally, different definitions of food security, and how these are evolving, the module will look at these drivers.

This course is a core module in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment, and an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production.

It is delivered by Bangor University entirely online through distance learning.

My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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