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Food Security Policy and Management (MSc)

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Programme Description

This course is designed to equip recent graduates and professionals  with the  knowledge, skills and competencies needed to work in the  field of  food security, particularly policy and programme management . The programme aims to provide students with skills that can be applied particularly in the areas of project and programme management, policy development and implementation, and impact assessment of programmes aimed at improving food security and dietary quality. The course is open to students from a wide range of backgrounds, including economics, nutrition, food security, international development, humanitarian assistance and programme management. Course inputs will be provided by experienced faculty from a range of disciplines, as well as senior development professionals from a range of international institutions.  Graduates of the programme are ideally qualified for positions in Irish and international development agencies, policy and research institutes, and consultancies across the public, private and non-profit/NGO sectors.

Programme Requirements

The programme comprises modules in four broad areas: 

  1. Food Security Policy and Livelihoods
  2. Food Security, Nutrition and Dietary Quality
  3. Programme Planning and Management for Food Security, Nutrition and Health
  4. Research Methods and Research Project

Modules are listed below by semester (note that some modules are 10 credits and are taught in both Semester 1 and 2).

Semester One - 40 credits (September – December)

  • FE6512 Sustainable Food Systems (5 credits)
  • FE6013 Advanced Food Security Theory, Practice and Analysis (10 credits – S1 & S2)
  • FE6014 Rural Development, Gender and Livelihoods (5 credits)
  • FE6507 Economics of Agri-Food Markets and Value Chain Analysis (5 credits)
  • IS6054 Health Information Systems and e-Health Analysis (5 credits)
  • EH6122 Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice (10 credits – S1 & S2)
  • FE6016 Programme Planning and Impact Assessment  (10 credits – S1 & S2)
  • FE6509 Research Methods 1 (5 credits)

Semester Two – 30 credits (January – April) 

  • FE6013 Advanced Food Security Theory, Practice and Analysis (10 credits  - S1 & S2)
  • FE6015 Food Security in Humanitarian Crises (5 credits)
  • FE6016 Programme Planning and Impact Assessment (10 credits – S1 & S2)
  • EH6122 Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice (10 credits – S1 & S2)
  • FE6902 Global Food Policy Issues (5 credits)
  • FE6513 Research Methods 2 (5 credits)

Semester Three – 20 credits (April – September) 

  • FE6514 Applied Food Security Research Project (20 credits)

Why Choose This Course

This is one of the few courses in the world, and the only one in Ireland, specifically focussed on international food security policy and management in the context of international development. It provides an opportunity for recent graduates, as well as early- and mid-career development professionals, to obtain a qualification in a specialised field that is of growing importance to state and non-state development and relief agencies worldwide. Input from leading academics and development practitioners ensures that graduates emerge with the right combination of theoretical and applied skills to make a significant contribution to this critical field. Graduates will develop enhanced knowledge, skills and competencies in relation to food security, particularly in areas of policy development and implementation, programme design, implementation and management, and impact assessment. These skills will be situated in an understanding of the multi-sectoral nature of the challenges of food insecurity and malnutrition.

Skills and Careers Information

The programme will develop students’ higher-level thinking skills to gain a deep understanding of the multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral nature of the food security and nutrition challenge and to be able to identify innovative solutions to this challenge to be able to identify innovative solutions to this challenge. At the same time the programme will emphasise development of skills in socio-economic and policy analysis: these skills can be applied particularly in the areas of project and programme management, policy development and implementation, and impact assessment of programmes aimed at improving food security and dietary quality.  There are many career opportunities to work in national and international development organisations in the design and implementation of programmes and policies that address food security and nutrition particularly in low-income countries, both in the context of long-term development approaches and in humanitarian situations.  Organisations involved in this work include international Non-Government Organisations, national government institutions (e.g. Ministries of Agriculture and Health) and international institutions such as the European Commission, the United Nations agencies (e.g. FAO, WFP, WHO, UNDP, UNICEF), and the World Bank group. Private sector actors are also significantly and increasingly involved in the food system and are more aware of health and sustainability concerns; therefore there will be increasing opportunities for graduates who are able to work in the private sector, for example to develop sustainable supply chains involving smallholder farmers.

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Practicalities & Assessment

Programme delivery will use a wide variety of approaches with a strong emphasis on interactive seminars and discussion, complemented where appropriate by lectures. Over two semesters, students will have 14-15 hours of direct contact hours (seminars, labs, lectures etc) per week. In addition, students will be expected to spend 25-30 hours per week preparing for classes, independent study and working on assignments.  

Considerable emphasis will be placed on a variety of inputs by external practitioners, including lectures, seminars/workshops, and Master classes. 

During the programme students will undertake an Applied Research Project on food security. Where practicable this will be in collaboration with an external agency, e.g. an NGO or international research institute.

 

 

 

Full module information is detailed in the section below.

Assessment

Assessment across the programme will be through a mix of continuous assessment, in the form of individual assignments, group assignments, class presentations and a practice-based research project, as well as written examinations. Students will be given scope to shape their assignments and research project in line with their professional work or specific areas of interest.

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Modules

Semester 1

  • Sustainable Food Systems

    Semester 1

    Sustainable Food Systems (FE6512)

    More Information
  • Economics of Agri-Food Markets

    Semester 1

    Economics of Agri-Food Markets (FE6507)

    More Information
  • Research Methods

    Semester 1

    Research Methods (FE6509)

    More Information
  • Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice

    Semester 1

    Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice (EH6122)

    To develop the students as an activist able to engage with public health nutrition issues with an understanding of relevant theoretical and practical issues in developed and developing countries. To provide an introduction to the study of food and health with particular emphasis on the role of nutrition in the prevention of diet related diseases. Micro and macro food systems will also be discussed. Food insecurity and potential solutions will be explored. Food solutions (e.g. DASH diet) and sustainable food practices (e.g. menu modification) to improve dietary patterns will also be described. To introduce students to the main food safety issues (e.g. zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance and sanitation issues).

    More Information
  • Advanced Food Security Theory, Practice and Analysis

    Semester 1

    Advanced Food Security Theory, Practice and Analysis (FE6013)

    To develop students' understanding of key theoretical and practical issues in addressing food and nutrition security challenges

    More Information
  • Rural Development, Gender and Livelihoods

    Semester 1

    Rural Development, Gender and Livelihoods (FE6014)

    To introduce and critically examine the key concepts used for understanding gender in development-related livelihoods situations and practice; and to furnish participants with practical tools for integrating gender equity into their work. To provide an understanding of theories, and the practical application, of strategies for rural development.

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  • Sustainable Food Systems

    Semester 1

    Sustainable Food Systems (FE6512)

    To provide students with an in-depth understanding of the concept of sustainability and its application to food systems of various kinds.

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  • Health Information Systems and e-Health Analysis

    Semester 1

    Health Information Systems and e-Health Analysis (IS6054)

    To provide students with a critical understanding of healthcare information systems (HIS) and leading edge electronic Health (eHealth) and mobile Health (mHealth) applications. This will include an understanding of the issues in the planning and analysis of information systems (IS) in the health/healthcare domain.

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Semester 2

  • Global Food Policy Issues

    Semester 2

    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
  • Food Security in Humanitarian Crises

    Semester 2

    Food Security in Humanitarian Crises (FE6015)

    To explore the nature and causes of and responses to food insecurity in humanitarian crises, and to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to address this, using class-room-based seminars and practical interactive learning workshops.

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  • Programme Planning and Impact Assessment

    Semester 2

    Programme Planning and Impact Assessment (FE6016)

    Introduction to project and programme planning and impact assessment;results-based management, design and implementation of multi-sectoral programmes; participatory approaches to project planning, management and implementation; project cycle management framework; logical framework approach; needs assessments; appraisal techniques; cost-effectiveness and value-for-money; issues in implementation; monitoring and evaluation approaches; design, conduct and analysis of impact assessments.

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  • Research Methods 2

    Semester 2

    Research Methods 2 (FE6513)

    To develop advanced skills in research for food security and related subjects.

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  • Advanced Food Security Theory, Practice and Analysis

    Semester 2

    Advanced Food Security Theory, Practice and Analysis (FE6013)

    To develop students' understanding of key theoretical and practical issues in addressing food and nutrition security challenges

    More Information
  • Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice

    Semester 2

    Public Health Nutrition: From Principles to Practice (EH6122)

    To develop the students as an activist able to engage with public health nutrition issues with an understanding of relevant theoretical and practical issues in developed and developing countries. To provide an introduction to the study of food and health with particular emphasis on the role of nutrition in the prevention of diet related diseases. Micro and macro food systems will also be discussed. Food insecurity and potential solutions will be explored. Food solutions (e.g. DASH diet) and sustainable food practices (e.g. menu modification) to improve dietary patterns will also be described. To introduce students to the main food safety issues (e.g. zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance and sanitation issues).

    More Information

Semester 3

  • Applied Food Security Research Project

    Semester 3

    Applied Food Security Research Project (FE6514)

    Students are required to draw up an applied research project proposal for approval. They must complete and submit an applied research project utlizing primary or secondary data related to a specific approved subject area in relation to food security and nutrition, demonstrating an advanced understanding of relevant theory, principles and practice. (Where appropriate and feasible students will conduct the analysis in collaboration with an external organization (e.g. NGO research institute).

    More Information

For full programme requirements, please refer to the University College Cork Academic Calendar here

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Entry Requirements

For Irish/EU applicants: at least a Second Class Honours Grade 2 [2H2] (or EU equivalent) in a primary degree (NFQ, Level 8 Honours) or equivalent, in a relevant subject. 
Consideration may be given to applicants who do not hold a second class honours degree but who have at least five years general professional experience in a relevant field or three years managerial/specialist experience, subject to approval of the Programme Director and the Head of the College of Business & Law.

For non-EU applicants: at least a UCC 2H2 in their primary degree, or equivalent in a relevant subject. Consideration may be given to applicants who do not hold a second class honours degree but who have at least five years general professional experience in a relevant field or three years managerial/specialist experience, subject to approval of the Programme Director and the Head of the College of Business & Law.

 

View the grades comparison table

Non-EU Candidates

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 .

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Application Process

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 Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC 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 forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications in early November of each year.

Questions on how to apply?

EU students contact graduatestudies@ucc.ie

International students contact internationaloffice@ucc.ie

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to answer a specific additional supplementary question as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of this additional/supplementary question is available to view here:CKL04 Additional/Supplementary Questions

The closing date for non-EU applications is 15th June

Non-EU Applications

Applicants who are interested in applying for the programme can also apply online at PAC.

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students.

**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

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. 

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