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Different course options

Full time | Institute of Development Studies | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Food Science Food Process Engineering

Course type


Course Summary

Food is a cross-cutting development issue that concerns hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, environment sustainability, power, politics, social justice, and cultural identity. It is about the global and the local and the hard trade-offs that the globalisation era has brought about.

The MA Food and Development draws on wide-ranging expertise of faculty at both IDS and School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex (where you will be based). You will gain an advanced understanding of the complex relationship between food and development. We build your analytical and practical skills, improving your ability to engage critically with issues such as:

  • food and nutrition security
  • sustainable food systems
  • value chains and corporate power
  • agri-food technology and its contestations

Our faculty have extensive knowledge and direct field experience. And our guest speakers – from government bodies, international organisations, NGOs, and local food networks and movements – introduce you to contemporary policy debates and practices.

Who is the degree for?

We welcome applicants with a broad range of career trajectories. Successful applicants will typically have at least one year’s practical experience in development alongside an interest in critical academic enquiry. Previous experience and engagement with issues relating to food in development (e.g., food security, nutrition, food systems, food policy and regulation, food rights or food sovereignty) is an advantage.

Assessment criteria

You’ll be assessed through term papers, coursework assignments, presentations, exams, practical exercises, and a 10,000-word dissertation.

Career opportunities

Throughout the course we focus on developing both your academic and practical skills – including analytical, writing and presentation skills. You’ll also gain a thorough understanding of social science research methods and gain independent research skills.

We expect our graduates to become specialists and advisers in food and development issues worldwide, working for:

  • governments
  • international development agencies
  • civil-society organisations
  • social movements engaged with food-related themes


This module belongs to autumn term. This module introduces you to food as an outstanding development issue that concerns hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition, sustainability, power politics, social justice and cultural identity. Food is about the hard trade-offs that the globalisation era has brought about. The module highlights its political nature that stems from the unequal organisation of food systems and distribution of resources and from contestations over ways to address food challenges that give rise to competing paradigms. It draws on distinct theoretical and empirical contributions to analyse food challenges, from a development perspective. Following a critical approach that considers alternative narratives and framings, the module engages with a range of contemporary issues on food and development, at global and local levels and across North and South.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

You should normally have an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above. Your qualification should be in the natural or social sciences. Your qualification should be in a social or natural science but if you do not meet the academic requirements or have other degrees you will also be considered if you can show evidence of relevant work or voluntary experience. You must write a detailed two-page personal statement, explaining why you are applying for the degree and the relevance of your previous experience.