In this century, food security and the need to develop sustainable agriculture will become dominant issues affecting the whole world. The global population is projected to increase dramatically from 7 to 9 billion in the next 30 years, causing an unprecedented demand for food and increased pressure on land. The aim of this Food Security Degree is to provide you with knowledge and skills relating to the broad topic of food security, incorporating socio-economic, animal and crop aspects.
- This exciting Food Security MSc is taught through collaboration between academics with world class expertise in diverse aspects of food security.
- It discusses the demographic, social and economic issues, the challenges of achieving sustainable agriculture and presents the factors affecting food production from crops and animal sources.
- The programme will include guest lectures on a range of topics and site visits.
- Students will acquire knowledge of technology transfer and commercialisation.
- Students will gain practical laboratory skills in molecular biology and in genetic modification.
- Students will undertake a project that will develop their investigative skills and their ability to critically appraise and integrate information from different sources.
- A key feature of this Food Security Degree is that it provides a very broad perspective on Food Security.
We welcome students from diverse educational backgrounds and we anticipate that many will be unfamiliar with all the topics in this programme. Therefore the courses will provide a general introduction to each topic and, in addition, we offer optional lectures to bring students with different backgrounds ‘up to speed’ in subjects they may not have encountered previously.
The programme starts with a discussion of fundamental issues in food security and subsequently expands on key topics, including animal food, crop improvement and the importance of insects in agriculture. You will acquire practical laboratory skills as well as the ability to critically evaluate publications and will learn about commercial issues relating to food production. Finally, you will undertake an investigative project.
The Programme comprises 11 courses:
- Introduction to Food Security
- Food Security Fundamentals: food of animal origin
- Food Security Fundamentals: crops
- Role of Insects in Food Security
- Molecular Lab Skills
- Global Animal Production
- Quantitative Methods
- Plant Genetic Engineering
- Crop Biotechnology Applications
- Technology Transfer and Commercialisation
- Food Security Project
Most courses are taught through lectures and tutorials, in which there will be discussion of key concepts and training in the critical appraisal of published information. In addition, some courses include guest lectures and site visits. The course on Technology Transfer and Commercialisation of Bioscience Research will include workshop sessions. Two courses provide training in laboratory skills: Molecular Lab Skills and Plant Genetic Engineering. The project will involve an independent investigation of a selected topic in food security under supervision from an expert in the field.
Introduction to Food Security (20 Credits)
This course will introduce you to the major issues in food security. It will include topics such as changes in demographic and consumption patterns, waste, socio-economic and political aspects of food security, biodiversity and climate change. The course is taught through lectures, seminars and tutorials and is assessed through an oral presentation and an essay.
Food Security Fundamentals: food of animal origin (10 Credits)
This course highlights important issues in animal food production, including nutrition, breeding, health and welfare, food processing and preservation. For assessment, you will produce a ‘food portfolio’, discussing a range of aspects associated with production of a selected food of animal origin.
Food Security Fundamentals: crops (10 Credits)
Crop production is a key topic in food security and this course will introduce you to fundamental issues limiting crop production, such as disease, nutrition and water availability, and the prospects for crop improvement. Assessment is through the production of a ‘crop portfolio’.
Role of Insects in Food Security (10 Credits)
This course introduces you to the positive and negative contributions of insects to food security, considering their role in crop production and animal agriculture. For assessment, you will produce and discuss a poster on an aspect of the topic.
Molecular Lab Skills (10 Credits)
You will undertake laboratory work and associated computer-based analysis to acquire practical skills in molecular biology. Assessment is via a short written test.
Global Animal Production (10 Credits)
The aim of this course is to provide you with knowledge and comprehension of systems of food animal management, production, marketing and tracing, including recognition and control of diseases of major relevance to food security. The course includes site visits and assessment is through a written assignment.
Quantitative Methods (10 Credits)
This course provides you with an understanding of quantitative and epidemiologic methods that can be used for investigation of food security questions, including issues of food production, animal health and pest control. Assessment is through a written assignment.
Plant Genetic Engineering (10 Credits)
You will undertake laboratory work to learn skills involved in genetic modification of plants. Assessment is through a written report of laboratory work.
Crop Biotechnology Applications (20 Credits)
This course provides information on the major applications of crop biotechnology, including disease resistance and stress tolerance and discusses aspects of crop genomics, breeding and genetic manipulation. You will be assessed through an essay and production and discussion of a poster.
Technology Transfer and Commercialisation (10 credits)
This course discusses the nature of bioscience businesses, including opportunities for innovation, regulatory requirements, intellectual property and ethical issues. Working with other students, you will design and evaluate a market research strategy and business plan for a small company planning to commercialise a recent bioscience discovery. You will be assessed through a report and your group work.
Food Security Project (60 Credits)
During the summer, you will undertake an investigative project on a topic in food security chosen through discussion with an academic supervisor. Depending on the topic and supervisor, the project may be partly or entirely laboratory-based, or involve no laboratory element. For assessment, you will write a report, give a presentation on the topic and discuss the project in a viva.
Below are examples of possible projects available to you on the MSc Food Security:
Searching for novel insecticide targets
Using metabolomics to elucidate insect function
Functional genomics of insect epithelia
Novel approaches to improve nutrient usage efficiency in crops
Epigenetic manipulation of crop yield
What are the best strategies to improve resistance of oilseed rape to pest attack?
Enhancing the efficiency of water use by plant models and crops
Signalling and ion transport regulation in stomatal guard cells
Biomarkers of disease in livestock: assessment of the diagnostic value of acute phase protein
Proteomics and metabolomics in biomarker discovery for diseases of farm animals
Functional investigation of the comparative biology of plasma proteins in the host defence of farm animals to pathogens
Acute phase proteins in bovine mastitis: production, function and biomarker capacity
Nasal secretion as a barrier to infection in livestock
Students who join this Programme will be immersed in an environment of research excellence. Glasgow is one of the top Universities in the world and the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences is a leading international centre for research. Most of the staff who teach on this Programme have research interests related to food security and students will be able to undertake research projects under their supervision. The range of research matches the breadth of the Programme, and spans from molecular studies of plant responses to the environment and crop resistance to pest attack to the molecular genetic investigation of diseases that affect cattle and other livestock. The research is undertaken in the well equipped laboratories of the College’s Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and the Veterinary School. Students will benefit from exposure to our broad research base and state-of-the-art facilities and from being taught by staff who are advancing knowledge relevant to food security.
I enjoyed the course and learnt more than I expected. We had access to such a broad range of expertise in terms of the teaching staff, allowing us to gain many perspectives on the subjects and I think this is exceptional for most university courses. It is really exciting to learn about the techniques and science which will be so important in addressing the issues of Food Security in the coming years, and to have the chance to participate, through the research project, in current ongoing research at the university which may help to address some of these. The hands on experience definitely helped me develop new skills which I can add to my CV, but more than this the course has really opened my eyes to the way the world works, and this is invaluable.
for entry in 2016
Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the
MSc. This includes graduates and those who have
completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at
the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who
are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No
additional application is required.
The University requires a deposit of £1000 to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme.
Food security is a major challenge of this century and hence there will be opportunities to develop careers in several areas. Career prospects includeworking in Agri-industry, research institutes, government advisory, international advisory, media and research positions.
The breadth of knowledge, understanding and skills you will acquire in this Masters Programme will help you obtain employment or undertake research in the food security sector.
We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.
You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.
Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?
Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.
Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?
No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
What documents do I need to provide to make an application?
As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
- A two-page personal statement highlighting:
- How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
- Why you want to study this programme
- How you think this programme will help you in your future career development
If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?
Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.
How do I provide my references?
You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?
If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.
You may send them to:
Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Fax: +44 141 330 4045
Can I email my supporting documents?
No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.
What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.
What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
- References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016
- UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016
Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.