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Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development (MSc)

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Programme Description

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. 

PART I

Students take 70 credits as follows: 

  • FE6305 Contemporary Socio-Economic and Environmental Issues (5 credits)
  • FE6304 Co-operative and Collaborative Responses (10 credits)
  • FE6303 Sustainable Rural Development (10 credits)
  • FE6507 Economics of Agri-Food Markets (5 credits)
  • FE6902 Global Food Policy Issues (5 credits)
  • FE6305 Marketing for Sustainable Food Production and Consumption (5 credits)
  • FE6506 Food Branding and Digital Media (5 credits)
  • MG6315 Project Management (5 credits)
  • FE6512 Sustainable Food Systems (5 credits)
  • FE6508 Food Supply Chain and Value Analysis (5 credits)
  • FE6509 Research Methods (5 credits)
  • FE6510 Professional Development (5 credits) 

PART II

Students take 20 credits as follows:

  • FE6306 Practice-Based Research Project (20 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).

Study Abroad

Participants can complete their Practice-Based Research Project either in Ireland or abroad, depending on their interests.

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Learning Outcomes

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.
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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.

Assessment

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.

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Modules

Year 1

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

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Entry Requirements

A minimum 2H degree (NFQ Level 8 Honours) or equivalent, in a wide range of disciplines. Consideration 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

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 specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme.  A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: CKL03 MSc Co-Op/Agri-Food/Sustainable Devel

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. 

Apply Now

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International Student Scholarship Award Available

Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme

This masters is an eligble programme for the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme.  The scholarship award covers course fees, required flights, accommodation (for out of country study), monthly allowances, insurance and other incidental expenses. 

For full details including eligibility and application information about the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme click here.

Applications are now open.  Closing deadline is 30th of November 2018