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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2020
Study at City

MSc Food Policy

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

Key information

Start date

September 2020

Academic year dates


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

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

Full-time: Approximately 35 hours study time per week over 12 months; two 3-hour classes per week in Term 1 and Term 2, 4pm-7pm.
Part-time: Approximately 17.5 hours study time per week over 26 months; one 3-hour class per week in Term 1 and Term 2, 4pm-7pm.

See more about duration


Full-time: £10,400 *

Part-time: £5,200 per year *


Full-time: £17,170 *

Part-time: £8,585 per year *

Application period

From October 2019


Northampton Square

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.


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, founded by Prof. Tim Lang in 1994. Read this report for a summary of the Centre's past work and vision for the future.

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 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?

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

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Students will normally have a first or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant discipline, which is equivalent to a minimum United States Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.33; but applications from students with significant professional experience in a related field of employment, volunteering or research will be considered.

INTO City, University of London

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.

Kaplan International College London

City works in partnership with Kaplan International College (KIC) London to provide preparatory courses for international students. Pre Masters courses at KIC London offer comprehensive support to students wishing to complete their postgraduate study at City. Progression to this degree is guaranteed if you complete the KIC London Pre-Masters course at the required level.

International Equivalences

If you are applying with an overseas degree, the following is an indication of international equivalents of an upper second class degree from a UK institution. Please note these figures are intended as a guide only and individual applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.

  • China: Bachelor degree (Xueshi) in a suitable subject with an overall grade of 75 – 85% (depending on the standing of the awarding institution)
  • USA: Bachelor degree in a suitable subject with CGPA 3.3
  • India: Bachelor degree in a suitable subject with CGPA 6.5 / overall 65% / 1st Division classification
  • Turkey: Lisans Diplomasi or a Műhendis Diplomasi with a minimum CGPA 3.0 or 65%
  • Italy: Diploma di Laurea in a suitable subject with a minimum score of 104.

English requirements

  • IELTS: an overall score of 7.0

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.

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.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for 2020 are now open

MSc Food Policy (full time)

MSc Food Policy (part time)

You will be expected to submit the following:

  • One application form
  • A short personal statement (c800-1200 words) outlining why you are applying for this programme
  • A copy of your degree transcript: We require an original transcript or a copy certified by your institution. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript.

Please note: Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

If you have any enquiries please contact:

+44 (0)20 7040 5790

Postgraduate Courses Offices 
School of Health 
City, University of London 
Northampton Square 

City’s MSc Food Policy is the only course of its kind in the world
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)
During your course

More about fees

* Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).


Please note a non-refundable deposit of £500 is required when accepting your offer in order to secure your place.


The School of Health Sciences believes that exceptional academic and clinical performance should be recognised and rewarded. We have several scholarships available for students on our MSc courses, including the MSc in Food Policy.

To find out more, visit the School of Health Sciences Postgraduate funding page.

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.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

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

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Course content and assessment

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.

Read this report for a summary of the CFP's past work.


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.


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) or part-time (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 full-time and 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’. Minimum qualifying mark of 50% for the second assignment (full essay) only.
  • 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.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

  • Academic profile
    School of Health Sciences, Division of Health Services Research & Management
  • Academic profile
    Martin Caraher
    Emeritus Professor of Food and Health Policy
  • Academic profile
    Reader, Centre for Food Policy
  • Academic profile
    Timothy Lang
    Professor of Food Policy
  • Kath Dalmeny
    Student profile
    The Masters in Food Policy at City is special because it bridges the academic disciplines and practical application in the decision-making that affects what we eat and how it is grown..
  • Sky Cracknell
    Student profile
    The course for me was a really transformative experience and that really is down to the incredible depth of knowledge that the academics imparted..
After you graduate

Career prospects

According to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, previous graduates in employment six months after completing the course earn an average salary of £34,750.

We are very proud of our alumni. 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. Kath talks about her time at City and how it shaped her career in this video.
  • 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. Read about Kawther's work and how it was influenced by the MSc Food Policy.
  • 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.

Read about some of our Food Policy alumni and what they are up to now, or ‘a day in the life’ of alumni Kawther Hasham, Researcher, Nutritionist and Campaigner at Action on Sugar and Sky Cracknell, an artisan jam entrepreneur.

70% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

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