Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development (MSc)Back
This MSc course will give participants a deeper understanding of co-operatives, sustainable development and the agri-food system. This is a unique course, with a very strong practical emphasis and will equip participants with the organisational and management skills needed to make innovative contributions to the development of local economies, with particular emphasis on co-operatives, social enterprises and food businesses in Ireland and overseas. It is aimed at graduates from a wide range of disciplines who wish to pursue careers in sustainable development and innovative practice leading to positions in the food sector (ranging from local food enterprises to large multi-nationals), local and international rural development, shared and collaborative economy, NGOs, innovative community businesses including co-operatives and social enterprises, local and regional enterprise development, corporate social responsibility, policy formulation and analysis.
The MSc in Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development is delivered over 12 months and includes a placement opportunity.
Students take 60 credits as follows:
- FE6303 Sustainable Rural Development (10 credits)
- FE6304 Co-operative and Collaborative Responses (10 credits)
- FE6305 Contemporary Socio-Economic and Environmental Issues (5 credits)
- FE6306 Marketing and Communications for Sustainable Food Production and Consumption (5 credits)
- FE6506 Food Branding and Digital Media Marketing (5 credits)
- FE6507 Economics of Agri-Food Markets and Value Chain Analysis (5 credits)
- FE6512 Sustainable Food Systems (5 credits)
- FE6515 The Sharing Economy (5 credits)
- FE6902 Global Food Policy Issues (5 credits)
- MG6315 Project Management (5 credits)
Students take 30 credits as follows:
- FE6308 Practice-Based Research Project (30 credits) – Students will complete a practice-based research project. This will be completed in collaboration with a relevant partner organisation.
Why Choose This Course
This course is the only one year Masters of its kind which fully integrates co-operative approaches into the study of sustainable development and agri-food. It is especially practical, both in work placements and in the skills you learn. It will prepare you to work in organisations that deal with current and future socio-economic and environmental challenges including climate change, collaborative economies, and sustainable rural communities.
Skills and Careers Information
Graduates can expect to work in Co-ops and other third sector organisations (e.g. social enterprises, voluntary organisations, charities); international, non-governmental (NGOs) and business development organisations; Rural development policy and support (e.g. animation); consultancy (in agri-food, rural development, third sector); local economic development/enterprise development staff through local authorities and consultancies; local food marketing and branding; corporate social responsibility roles in food and other industries.
Occupations associated with [MSc Co-Operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development]
Research, Policy advisory roles, Local food marketing, local and international development roles, corporate social responsibility roles, co-operative advisory role as well as management.
What are our graduates doing?
Graduates can expect to work in a wide range of areas such as agri-food businesses (including co-operatives and artisan food enterprises), local government, NGOs (Irish and International), consultancy, research and policy analysis, social enterprise and local development agencies (e.g. LEADER).
Participants can complete their Practice-Based Research Project either in Ireland or abroad, depending on their interests.
On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:
- Communicate and work effectively to a high professional standard;
- Demonstrate advanced analytical and problem solving skills associated with effective practice;
- Engage in advanced application of frameworks and techniques in organizational settings;
- Apply economic decision-making to health-related issues;
- Demonstrate personal and professional development.
Practicalities & Assessment
The MSc in Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development is a full-time 12 month programme. In Part I, you will need to be available to attend classes and seminars from Monday to Friday (inclusive).
During Part II of the programme, you will complete a Practice-Based Research Project which will include supervision from an academic mentor.
You will be assessed by continuous assessment and examinations and will complete a practice-based research project.
Who Teaches this course
The programme is taught by academic staff of the Department of Food Business and Development and Department of Management and Marketing. In addition, invited guest lecturers and experts with a broad range of national and international experience also contribute to the MSc in Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development.
Full module information is detailed in the section below.
Global Food Policy Issues
Global Food Policy Issues (FE6902)
To analyse both the development and the impact of food policy in Europe, the USA and other selected countries.More Information
Contemporary Socio-Economic and Environmental Issues
Contemporary Socio-Economic and Environmental Issues (FE6305)More Information
Co-operative and Collaborative Responses
Co-operative and Collaborative Responses (FE6304)More Information
Sustainable Rural Development
Sustainable Rural Development (FE6303 )More Information
Economics of Agri-Food Markets
Economics of Agri-Food Markets (FE6507)More Information
Marketing for Sustainable Food Production and Consumption
Marketing for Sustainable Food Production and Consumption (FE630*)More Information
Food Branding and Digital Media
Food Branding and Digital Media (FE6506)More Information
Project Management (MG6315)
To introduce students to the principles, issues and techniques of project managementMore Information
Sustainable Food Systems
Sustainable Food Systems (FE6512)More Information
Practice-Based Research Project
Practice-Based Research Project (FE6308)
To develop skills in the standard methods of social and business research and to apply and utilise these and other skills on the programme to live issues encountered within a co-operative economy, sustainable development and agri-food context.More Information
The Sharing Economy
The Sharing Economy (FE6515)
To critically assess the rapid growth of the sharing (or collaborative) economy, and to introduce appropriate solutions to key ethical issues arising within the sharing economy. Students will work in groups as part of the module on a specified project.More Information
For full programme requirements, please refer to the University College Cork Academic Calendar hereBack to top
A minimum Second Class Honours in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or equivalent, in a wide range of disciplines. Consideration under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may be given to applicants who do not hold a second class honours degree but who have sufficient relevant experience, subject to approval by the Cork University Business School (CUBS).
Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to Irish university primary degree level. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. To verify if you meet the minimum academic requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.
For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website .
1. Choose Course
Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.
2. Apply Online
Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.
3. Gather Supporting Documents
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
- Any supplementary items requested for your course.
Please log into the online application portal for more details.
4. Application processing timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details.
For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.
Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.
Additional Requirements (All Applicants)
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:
You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
- Please upload your CV.
- Please enter the names and email addresses of 2 referees.
The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June
For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.
For more information please contact the International Office.