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Aberystwyth University

MSc Food and Water Security

MSc Food and Water Security

Are you interested in understanding the most urgent global challenge in the 21st Century? Would you like to have the knowledge and skills to make a contribution to solving these problems? Do you want to know how the sciences and social sciences can work together? If yes, then perhaps the MSc in Food and Water Security at Aberystwyth University is the right choice for you.

Fuelled by population growth, climate change and political and economic decisions, the problems of sustaining food production and access to clean water are experienced across the world, and solving them requires curiosity, passion, as well as new and collaborative approaches that bridge traditional disciplinary boundaries. Taught by world-class experts from across the University the MSc in Food and Water Security is a unique course which introduces students to the scientific, economic, social and political factors that contribute to both the problems and their remedies.

Effective food and water security is contingent on all people in a given area having access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food and an adequate supply of clean water. Though in the developed western world such factors remain relatively stable, the same cannot be said in relation to the developing world. This issue, coupled with the ever increasing size of the global population, makes meeting the world’s demand for food and water one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. The MSc in Food and Water is a response to this issue. It is the result of a collaborative interdisciplinary effort on behalf of three of Aberystwyth university’s world class academic departments: the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES) and the Department of International Politics. This multidisciplinary approach means that you will be able to view the issue of food and water security through three unique conceptual lenses and draw on these ideas to form a comprehensive understanding of this emerging field of research.

The MSc in Food and Water Security is based on modules which introduce the subject through different disciplinary approaches. You will be asked to identify the area you wish to develop for your dissertation which might be based in the sciences or social-sciences, or may link the two approaches. You also have the option to undertake work experience or field research (arranged by the students) in a local, national or international organisation and write a research report based on their experience. Hence this MSc is designed to equip you to progress to a wide range of careers in both the public and commercial sectors, but also provides you a foundation for further research in this vital area. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, IBERS was placed in the top 10 universities in the UK for its research intensity, and 78% of research is world-leading or internationally excellent. 


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One year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters:

September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

Roughly 12-16 a week in the first two semesters.

During semester three you will work on your Dissertation, arranging your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The taught part of the course (Part1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practicals, case studies, course work and formal examinations. The subsequent successful submission of a 20,000 word research dissertation (Part 2) leads to the award of MSc.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in any subject, though some familiarity with science is an advantage. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on ourcomparability page. We particularly welcome applicants with relevant experience in the area of Food and Water Security. However, those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:    

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Possible funding opportunities can be found in our funding calculator.


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