One of the most significant challenges currently facing humankind is to make enough food, for an active healthy lifestyle, available to a population which will probably rise beyond 9 billion within the next 30 to 40 years.
Extra food must be produced against a changing climate and with reduced use of a range of resources required for crop production, nearly all of which are already in short supply (land, water, fertilisers, energy, labour). As economies in many countries grow, people want to eat more and they want to eat differently, often aspiring to a more meat-rich and resource-demanding diet. More and more people now live in cities and these social changes constitute significant challenges for those committed to supplying more good quality food to more people.
There are many factors that combine to impact food availability and the access that people have to food. Food production is prominent among these factors but we can also feed more people if we distribute food more effectively and waste less food. In addition, there is much concern over the deleterious effects of the food production system on the environment and we must work to make more food available in an environmentally responsible fashion.
In recognition of the importance of the challenges faced in providing food in a sustainable way, Lancaster University, in partnership with Waitrose, has developed a Professional Training Programme: Food Challenges for the 21st Century.
Our programme will equip you with the specialist skills and knowledge to engage with the challenges of making and supplying enough food to sustain an active healthy lifestyle for a growing population.
Taught at Certificate, Diploma and Masters level, our Postgraduate Programme is designed for people with an interested in the global food system and for professionals in the food supply industry. This exciting course explores important issues related to food security, including production, distribution, and waste.
Our programme is highly flexible so that you can fit study around your day job, as a distance learner. Teaching is done largely online, all materials are supplied and you can work around them at your own pace. You will also have the opportunity to meet us and your fellow students at short workshops during the year.
You can select the level of Postgraduate qualification you wish to study from the following:
- Postgraduate Certificate: Food Challenges for the 21st Century.
This is made up of 60 credits of assessment (4 x 15 credit modules), which equates to 600 learning hours, studied part-time over a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 3 years.
- Postgraduate Diploma: Food Security.
This is made up of 120 credits of assessment (8 x 15 credit modules), which equates to 1200 learning hours, studied part-time over a maximum of 4 years.
- Masters: Food Security.
This is made up of 180 credits of assessment i.e. 1800 learning hours, studied part-time over a maximum of 5 years. It includes a 60 credit dissertation project and 8 x 15 credit modules.
If you initially enrol at PG Certificate level, you may apply to upgrade to the PG Diploma on completion of 4 modules at an average equivalent of a pass grade (>50%), or the MSc on completion of 4 modules at an average equivalent of a Merit grade (> 60%). Alternatively, you may apply for direct entry onto the PG Diploma or MSc in Food Security, subject to satisfactory progress as described above, and may exit early with an interim award.
A choice of modules is offered, starting at three different times during the year (usually commencing January/February, May/June and September). Each 15 credit module will normally be of 12 weeks duration.
Our programme starts with a compulsory introductory module, currently run every February. This module covers a broad range of issues related to food security. After that, you can select from a number of more specialist modules, taking between 1 and 3 per year. Some modules are only available at MSc or PGDip level, and some are compulsory if you are studying to MSc level (see table below).