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  1. Food Policy
    1. 2017
Courses

Food Policy

MSc |
Discover how to change the food system for the better on this unique MSc in Food Policy at City.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017

Duration

Full-time: one year
Part-time: two years

Full time: one year over two evenings per week.

Part time: two years over one evening per week.

Distance learning: two years by remote study through text-based packages.

See more about duration

UK/EU

Full-time: £9,500

Part-time: £4,750 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £16,000

Part-time: £7,350 per year

Who is it for?

From artisanal bakeries to Ministries of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Our students come to study the MSc in Food Policy from around the world, across the food landscape and go on to develop their careers in a variety of ways once they graduate.

The course is for students who are passionate about food policy and are open to challenging their own assumptions. We want you to graduate from this Masters with a more disciplined and rigorous approach so you can be more effective in pursuing your passions within the food domain.

If you would like to discuss why this course is suited to you (face-to-face, via Skype or on the phone) please email the Programme Director Dr Claire Marris.

Hear Prof. Corinna Hawkes, Director for the Centre for Food Policy, speak about why she is passionate about food policy.

“We teach you how to think about food policy in a way that enables you to step back, and to think more broadly, and become more critical and analytical.”

Dr Claire Marris, Programme Director

Objectives

How does a coconut growing in Malaysia become a coconut drink in the UK? On this programme we explore how policy influences the trajectory of food not just from field to fork but across time and territory.

The MSc in Food Policy is about analysing, researching and informing the future of food policy from the local to global scale. It is run by the Centre for Food Policy, which has pioneered an integrated approach to food policy since 1994.

The ways in which we produce, process, distribute, market, prepare and consume food have important consequences for our health and that of the planet. We look at the positive and negative impacts of food, from the health, environmental, political, socio-economic and cultural perspective.

This Masters promotes genuine interdisciplinary because we think you need to look at the subject from all angles to make the most holistic evaluation. It draws on social sciences (sociology, politics, economics, anthropology, psychology) as well as health sciences and epidemiology. We look at the latest food policy debates and place them in a historical context.

You will be taught by a team of specialist food policy specialists who are leaders in the field. Our academic staff are actively involved in research and in policy-making on the local, national and global stage. Our teaching reflects this engagement.

Students are exposed to conflicting narratives about the problems facing the food system and the best ways to resolve them. We address important questions of our time, such as:

  • Are we producing too much or too little food to feed the world population?
  • How have we ended up living in a world where there are more overweight and obese people than under-nourished people?
  • Why is a third of the food produced globally lost or wasted?
  • How can we deal with the massive impact of agriculture on climate change?
  • How do lobbyists and the media influence what we eat?

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Students will normally have a first or upper second-class honours degree (in any relevant discipline) although applications from students with significant professional experience in a related field of employment, volunteering or research will be considered.

Postgraduate preparatory courses for international students

Don't meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You'll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences and the Arts.

English requirements

  • IELTS: an overall score of 7.0

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

English language programmes

Don't meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses. Learn more about INTO's English for University Study programme.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for 2017 are now open.

To apply for this course you will need to submit:

  • A completed application form (either electronically or by post)
  • A certified copy of your undergraduate academic results and degree certificate
  • Proof of English proficiency (if you are not a native English speaker, or someone who has not been taught in English for their first degree subject)
  • Personal statement of up to 1000 words on your academic and relevant professional experience to date and how it informs your intentions to undertake this course. In addition, you may wish to outline your vision for how the degree will feed into your research or professional career.

If you have any enquiries please contact:

SASS-enquiries@city.ac.uk

Department of Sociology
School of Social Sciences
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB

Unique
City’s MSc Food Policy is the only course of its kind in the world
1996
This pioneering MSc in Food Policy has been running for 20 years
1 of only 7
UK programmes which make up the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL)

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

More about funding

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

From the founder of the course

Professor Timothy Lang, Course Founder for MSc Food Policy, talks about studying this course at City, University of London

Academic facilities

As a food policy student at City, University of London you can learn from experts at leading institutions across the UK through the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) initiative.

Created for postgraduate students, the initiative aims to address an urgent skills shortage in the food industry and tackle systematic failings in the food system by combining resources and knowledge. The network, which is made up of five leading higher education institutions including City and the University of Oxford, gives you the opportunity to take part in research and internship placements during your degree.

When it comes to studying food policy, London is an amazing location. Giving you one of the most sociologically diverse laboratories, it offers a wide range of accessible resources. From the myriad centres of policy and media to the endless range of public events, at City you can become a researcher in a global city and hone your focus towards your own area of interest and/or expertise. As part of the University of London, you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Teaching and learning

We are a passionate and engaged team who will help you understand how to change the food system for the better. You will learn through a mixture of lectures, small group activities, whole class discussions, workshops and independent study. There are a lot of group discussions in class. We encourage you to ask questions, contribute your own experiences and apply your own perspectives to the issues we explore. The programme also encourages a strong peer-to-peer community through social media.

For the distance-learning mode you will be able to watch the lectures online, which are supplemented with written exercises and one-to-one Skype tutorials with the teaching staff.

Assessment

Each taught module is assessed by two pieces of written work. The first is handed in during the middle of term so that you receive useful feedback before moving on to the second assignment. In each case you will choose the topic. You will also be asked to write different kinds of documents (briefing papers, memos, reports as well as essays) that correspond to those you would have to write in policy-making organisations. Then you work on your dissertation, which is a longer (15,000 word) piece of work, enabling you to delve into a food policy topic of your choice in depth. You will gain support from a personal supervisor who is a senior academic from the Centre for Food Policy.

Modules

The course consists of four core taught modules (worth 30 credits each) and a dissertation (worth 60 credits). The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake research on a topic of your choice that is relevant to food policy. The course has been designed to enable you to pursue your own interests and passions. In every assignment you have the opportunity to engage with the issues you care about.

The course is flexible to fit in with your work commitments so you can study this Masters on a full-time (one year), part-time (two years) or on a distance-learning basis (two years). The taught modules take place in the first and second terms, and the dissertation starts in the third term and continues until September (December for part-time students). For each taught module there are approximately 10 three-hour teaching sessions. In addition you are expected to undertake around 270 hours of independent study. For the whole programme, you should expect to study for around 1800 hours (35 hours per week for full-time students, 17.5 hours for part-time students).

Taught modules

  • FPM001 - Food and public policy (30 credits) (Term 1) (Year 1 for part-time students)
    This module provides the foundations for the course. It sets out the scope of food policy as an academic subject and asks: Who controls food policy? Who does it serve? What drives it? What forces affect it?
    There are two assignments: one is an essay where you will need to demonstrate your grasp of key features of food policy; and the second is a briefing paper written for a policy maker on a topic of your choice.
  • FPM003 - Food, culture and society (30 credits) (Term 1) (Year 2 for part-time students)
    This module is designed to help you identify the key sociological theories and models used to explain food choice and consumption, in the context of the wider dynamics of food policy. The content draws from the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology) as well as health sciences, health economics and epidemiology.
  • FPM002 The political economy of food (30 credits) (Term 2) (Year 1 for part-time students)
    The history of agricultural commodities such as sugar, coffee and grains is both long and international in character. But how are contemporary processes of global integration transforming the organisation of agro-food systems? How are these world-scale forces mediated and resisted at the national and local levels? How are hi-tech (e.g. genetic modification) and alternative technologies (e.g. organic agriculture) affecting the food system?
    For the assignment, you will research the political economy of a food chain of your choice in its entirety, ‘from field to fork’.
  • FPM004 Food, public health and the environment (30 credits) (Term 2) (Year 2 for part-time students)
    This module examines if and how policy institutions are addressing the complexity of the links between food, public health and the environment. It explores key concepts which try to do this such as sustainable development and ecological public health.
    For the assignment you will produce a report that identifies and analyses the positive and negative health, environmental and social implications of a food topic of your choice, and the ways in which these could be addressed by food policy.
  • Academic expert
    Professor of Food Policy, Director, Centre for Food Policy working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Professor of food and health policy working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer, Centre for Food Policy working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Professor of Food Policy, Centre for Food Policy working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.

Career prospects

We are very proud of our alumni. Our employability stats – the highest within the School – reflect the range of opportunities available to our graduates. For example, our alumni run NGOs and progressive food businesses, work in government and UN agencies, and have established great careers in health advocacy, journalism and academia.

  • Leah Riley Brown (Msc Food Policy, 2015) went on to become Technical Information Advisor at the Institute of Food Safety, Integrity & Protection. See what Leah Riley has to say about her experience on the course in this video.
  • Kath Dalmeny (MSc Food Policy, 2000) is Coordinator at Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming.
  • Kawther Hashem (MSc Food Policy, 2015) came to the MSc with a BSc in Nutrition from King’s College London and now works with Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) and Action on Sugar. Kath talks about her time at City and how it shaped her career in this alumni video.
  • Andrew Whitley (MSc Food Policy, 2003) who researched the changes in wheat and bread from his former customers whilst studying at City, went on to launch the Real Bread Campaign in 2008 and runs his own training and consultancy company Bread Matters.
  • Dalia Mattioni (MSc Food Policy 2015) was working on issues related to food security at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations before joining the MSc. After graduating she was offered a new position in the newly created Nutrition and Food Systems Division on the basis of the expertise gained on the MSc. Her dissertation on ‘The contribution of local food systems to healthy diets and sustainable consumption: A case study from the city of Rome’ won the Worshipful Company of Farmers’ 2015 Prize for the best Farm-related Dissertation.
  • Georgia Machell (MSc Food Policy 2010) was awarded the Worshipful Company of Cooks Dissertation Prize for her MSc dissertation on the role of traditional markets and farmers’ markets on food access in Leeds. She went on to study for a PhD on the Healthy Start scheme that provides vouchers to eligible beneficiaries that can be exchanged for fruits, vegetables, milk, infant milk formula and pre and postnatal supplements. She is now Research and Evaluation Manager at the National WIC Association in Washington DC.
  • Åsa Giertz (MSc Food Policy 2012) came on the course with experience of having worked as an economist at both the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank. She is now Senior Agriculture Economist at the World Bank with special expertise in food and agriculture development policy. The MSc strengthened Åsa's expertise in comprehensive food systems approaches, which has enabled her to contribute to the World Bank's evolving work on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and its new thinking on urban agriculture. The expertise gained in the MSc has also helped Åsa contribute to holistic agricultural policy advice to Governments and other actors, that more directly links environmentally sustainable and economically viable agricultural production with healthy and affordable diets.

Visit our alumni Linkedin group to see lots more examples of career paths followed by our alumni.

95% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15


Applications for 2017 are now open.

To apply for this course you will need to submit:

  • A completed application form (either electronically or by post)
  • A certified copy of your undergraduate academic results and degree certificate
  • Proof of English proficiency (if you are not a native English speaker, or someone who has not been taught in English for their first degree subject)
  • Personal statement of up to 1000 words on your academic and relevant professional experience to date and how it informs your intentions to undertake this course. In addition, you may wish to outline your vision for how the degree will feed into your research or professional career.

If you have any enquiries please contact:

SASS-enquiries@city.ac.uk

Department of Sociology
School of Social Sciences
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB

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