Sustainable Development, Agri-Food and Co-operatives (MSc)Back
Explore This Programme
This MSc programme in Sustainable Development, Agri-Food and Co-operatives is offered by the Cork University Business School (CUBS) at University College Cork. In this programme we aim to provide you with 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 Sustainable Development, Agri-Food and Co-operatives is delivered over 12 months and includes a placement opportunity.
Students take 55 credits of core modules and 5 credits of elective modules 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)
- 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)
Electives (choose 5 credits)
- FE6506 Food Branding and Digital Media Marketing (5 credits)
- AG3002 Soil Science and Soil/Land Management (5 Credits)
- NE3003 Sustainable Energy (5 Credits)
Students take 30 credits as follows:
- FE6308 Practice-Based Research Project (30 credits): Students complete a practice-based research project in collaboration with a relevant partner organisation.
Please see the Postgraduate Academic Calendar (MSc Sustainable Development, Agri-Food and Co-operatives) for more information on this programme.
Why Choose This Course
This MSc Sustainable Development, Agri-Food and Co-operatives course is the only one-year Masters of its kind which fully integrates cooperative 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 of this programme can expect to work in a variety of areas: our graduates are employed in co-operatives 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; 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 such as local development agencies (e.g. LEADER).
Participants can complete their Practice-Based Research Project either in Ireland or abroad, depending on their interests.
Programme Learning Outcomes for MSc in Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development (NFQ Level 9, Major Award)
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 organisational settings;
- Demonstrate advanced analytical skills associated with the key challenges and decisions facing organisations and communities in responding to sustainable development issues;
- Demonstrate research and professional proficiency through the completion of an independent industry centred research project.
Practicalities & Assessment
The MSc (Sustainable Development, Agri-Food and Co-operatives) 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 from the Department of Food Business and Development and the Department of Management and Marketing. In addition, invited guest lecturers and experts with a broad range of national and international experience also contribute to this unique programme.
Full module information is detailed in the section below.
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).
View the grades comparison table
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:
- 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 two referees.
The closing date for non-EU applications is Closed for applications for 2022/2023. Applications for 2023/2024 open 17 October 2022
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.
Work Placement Information
Work Placement Details
Benefits of work placement include:
- Practical experience in industry
- Improved job opportunities
- Experience in teamwork and development of interpersonal skills
- Awareness of current developments in the sector
For furthur Information , visit UCC Work Placement Website