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Food, Space and Society (MSc)

1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

msc food space and society banner

Course Aims

The course aims to help individuals from a range of backgrounds to pursue an academic career in food studies, enhance the skills of those working in the sector and help prospective practitioners and policy-makers to understand more deeply the interplay between food security, justice and sustainability.

Special Features

Course Description

The MSc Food, Space and Society is specifically aimed at those people wishing to gain expertise on contemporary food geographies. Students gain insights into the ways in which food-related problems are defined, and the scope for applying cutting-edge policy and practical solutions to the challenges that an increasingly complex food system is raising for governments, researchers and regulatory bodies.

The course links together theoretical debates about food at different spatial scales with the practical dimensions of policy formulation and implementation. Based on their detailed knowledge of key tensions and debates related to food security, justice and sustainability, students will be able to develop suitable approaches to analysing and explaining trends and developments as well as to discuss appropriate policy responses. A further core feature of the course is the focus on the latest social science research around food, in which the teaching team has a world-renowned expertise.

The course modules address three key dimensions:

Course Structure

The course is divided into two parts:

Available Modules

The following list relates to the modules for the academic year 2015/16. Please note that these may be subject to change.

Full Time

All of the following modules are compulsory:

Autumn Semester
  • Geographies of Food Governance
  • Food Security and Justice
  • Spaces of Food Consumption
Spring Semester
  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Food debates
  • Researching sustainability
  • Dissertation

Part Time

All of the following modules are compulsory:

Year one


  • Geographies of Food Governance
  • Spaces of Food Consumption


  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Food debates
Year Two


  • Food Security and Justice


  • Researching sustainability
  • Dissertation

Skills Acquired

Students will acquire a range of skills in the analysis and critical appraisal of theory and policy, in the construction and presentation of written arguments, and in the oral presentation of their work. Students will also be introduced to relevant professional skills in the assessment of projects and policies. Throughout the course, students will acquire skills in a variety of social science research methodologies.

Career Prospects

The course offers the knowledge and expertise for developing a research career or taking advantage of the increasing professionalisation of food-related jobs in the private and public sectors, including: government departments and environmental agencies; the business sector; consultancies, NGOs and advocacy groups.

Our Alumni collectively represent the variety of potential careers and jobs that our current (and future) students may embark on.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. This MSc is suitable for graduates in subjects such as geography, sociology, politics or economics, and/or those with appropriate professional qualifications in planning. Applicants with a background in other subjects, and relevant work-based experience, will also be considered.

A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.

Students will be expected to demonstrate an interest in the field, and some familiarity with contemporary food issues.

Full details of Cardiff University's English Language requirements can be found here.

How to Apply

Applications can be submitted through the University's Online Application System.

Study Visits

A number of field study visits may be arranged during the course. The School does partly subsidise these trips but students should allow for travelling and subsistence expenses.

Available Funding

Cardiff's School of Geography and Planning is able to offer a reduction in tuition fees of £500 (or £250 reduction in each year of a part-time course) to all Cardiff University alumni.

For other funding opportunities available through the School, please visit their Tuition Fees and Funding webpage.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £6,750 £16,000
Part-time £3,375 £8,000
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Roberta Sonnino  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5781  

Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4845  


School Website:

More information


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