Food Security (Distance Learning) PgDip - 2020 Entry

Entry Year

Part time 36 Month(s)

Course Overview

Equipping you with specialist skills and knowledge to engage with the challenges relating to food security, this programme provides you with the ability and experience that could also be used to make informed decisions in any workplace.

Our PG Diploma is a distance learning programme designed for people with an interest in the global food system and for professionals in the food supply industry. This exciting course explores important issues related to food security, focusing on production, distribution, and waste.

The course is highly flexible so that you can fit study around your day job. Teaching is done largely online; all materials are supplied and you can work through them at your own pace. You will also have the opportunity to meet tutors and fellow students at short workshops during the year.

To gain a PGDip you need to complete eight modules. The programme starts with an introductory module every October, which covers a broad range of issues related to food security. After that, you will develop a breadth of knowledge and depth of expertise by choosing additional specialist taught modules. Module choices are varied and studying a selection of topics will allow you to develop specialist knowledge of the factors impacting upon food security and environmental effects on food production.

Alongside topics such as crop production science and ethical food systems, you will have the option to take study skills modules such as a literature review. These will introduce you to a higher level of research skills which are beneficial when exploring new opportunities within your career.

Upon graduation, you will have a raft of skills, knowledge, and experience, which will allow you to engage with and begin to tackle the food challenges of the 21st century. This will be invaluable in the workplace, allowing you to make informed decisions, progress in your career, and affect change in culture and best practice. 

If you initially enrol at PGDip level you may apply to upgrade to our MSc in Food Security (Distance Learning) on reaching the required academic standard. Alternatively, you may apply for direct entry onto the MSc in Food Security (Distance Learning).  You may exit early with an interim award at PG Certificate level.


Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.



Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.



PG Dip Food Security 

Fees are subject to annual increase and are invoiced on a module by module basis. Costs in respect of travel, accommodation and food for the residential school element are additional.


Per 15 credit module

Whole programme







Applicants connected to the Waitrose UK supply chain should contact us for further details.

There are three programmes available. If you initially apply at MSc level you may exit early with an interim award at PGCert or PGDip level.

PGCert: Food Challenges for the 21st Century (4 x 15 credit modules, completed within 3 years)
PGDip: Food Security (8 x 15 credit modules, completed within 4 years)
MSc: Food Security (8 x 15 credit modules PLUS a 60 credit project. All completed within 5 years)

You can determine your own speed of progression within the time period for completion detailed above. A maximum of three modules (45 credits) may be taken in any one year for the PGCert and the PGDip programmes.

The University will not increase the Tuition Fee you are charged during the course of an academic year.

If you are studying on a programme of more than one year's duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. The way in which continuing students' fee rates are determined varies according to an individual's 'fee status' as set out on our fees webpages.

What are tuition fees for?

Studying at a UK University means that you need to pay an annual fee for your tuition, which covers the costs associated with teaching, examinations, assessment and graduation.

The fee that you will be charged depends on whether you are considered to be a UK, EU or overseas student. Visiting students will be charged a pro-rata fee for periods of study less than a year.

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12 month session, which usually runs from October to September the following year.

How does Lancaster set overseas tuition fees?

Overseas fees, alongside all other sources of income, allow the University to maintain its abilities across the range of activities and services. Each year the University's Finance Committee consider recommendations for increases to fees proposed for all categories of student and this takes into account a range of factors including projected cost inflation for the University, comparisons against other high-quality institutions and external financial factors such as projected exchange rate movements.

What support is available towards tuition fees?

Lancaster University's priority is to support every student in making the most of their education. Many of our students each year will be entitled to bursaries or scholarships to help with the cost of fees and/or living expenses. You can find out more about financial support, studentships, and awards for postgraduate study on our website.

Related courses

To find out more about what a Masters Degree at Lancaster Environment Centre involves, sign up for our free webinar.

Lancaster alumni Tina Todorova

Tina Todorova's story

"The idea of the programme won me immediately. But as soon as I met the team, I’ve realised how fortunate I am to take this incredible journey with Lancaster University. The staff at Lancaster was brilliant from the beginning to the end. Extremely supportive, professional and inspirational. Words cannot explain how grateful I am to all of the staff involved."

Studying a Masters degree at Lancaster

Micha Stuart and Prerana Dhakhwa talk about why they came to Lancaster to study a Masters degree. Micha is on the MSc Volcanology and Geological Hazards and Prerana is studying MSc Sustainable Water Management.

Scholarships and Funding

If you are considering applying for a place on a Masters programme at the Graduate School, you may be able to benefit from our range of scholarships and funding streams. 30% of our 2019 Masters students have been awarded scholarships worth between £1,500 and £5,000.

Scholarships and Funding



You will find yourself taking advantage of several laboratory facilities at Lancaster Environment Centre. There are our £4.4 million Teaching Labs, for example, as well as specialist facilities for Environmental Chemistry, Noble Gas, and Plant and Soil Ecology.

Research Facilities

There are no fewer than 15 purpose-built glasshouse modules, 16 controlled environment plant growth rooms, 4 solar domes based at the Hazelrigg Weather Station and a suite of ultraviolet radiation research facilities that can truly claim to be world-class.

Field Sites

You could find yourself working at a range of catchment science sites across England and Wales, including the local River Eden Valley, or they can travel much further afield to the tropical forests of the Amazon and Borneo.

Cutting-Edge Technologies

You can be trained to use a range of equipment, such as our Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer Facility, X-ray CT Scanner, Magnetometer or the LI-COR Portable Photosynthesis System, which has the capacity to measure plant gas exchange with exceptional speed and precision.

Rich Data Resources

Dedicated support staff with expertise in GIS, statistics, modelling, information technology and programming are available to provide specialist training in all aspects of data acquisition, processing and analysis.

Postgraduate study is carried out in the Graduate School for the Environment. This is a collaboration between Lancaster University's Environment Centre, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, and Rothamsted Research.