School of GeoSciences

What is Food Security?

Food security has become a critically important issue for societies around the globe.

Food Security concerns not only food production systems and supply chains but also development issues such as land tenure, patterns of inequality, and the exchange value of commodities.

How will we feed ourselves in the future? This is one of the most important questions faced by the human race - and this programme, a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), will help to answer it.

You will explore issues such as social demographics, diet and nutrition, trade, technology, conservation and climate change, along with genetically modified crops and the increasing pressures on resources such as water and soil.

This unique MSc offers you the scope to address all these issues and fulfil the growing demand for qualified experts to contribute to policy and legislation development on food production and the supply chain.

There is the need to develop methodologies to appraise trade-offs in terms of risk and uncertainly in strategic decision-making both at farm level and at national planning level. Such appraisal is particularly important in light of global environmental change.

Population demographics, projected changes in diet, trade liberalisation, an increased focus on conservation, technological innovations including GM crops, the impacts of climate change and adaptation strategies applied as a response to climate change resource limitations (particularly in terms of energy, water and nutrients) are macro-level systematic interactions critical to the development of appropriate strategies for food security.

Please note, MSc Food Security is not a suitable qualification for those interested in Food Hygiene, Food Safety or related areas.

Programme objectives

Our programme aims to:

  • provide a broad understanding of agronomic, environmental, economic and socio-political factors that influence food security
  • apply scientific information and methods in the analysis of complex problems
  • formulate a research problem and independently carry out the research needed to produce an appropriate solution in a range of scientific or policy contexts
  • enhance skills in specialist topics related to food security