Taught course

Food Security

University of Glasgow · Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject.

Months of entry


Course content

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 Programme is to provide you with knowledge and skills relating to the broad topic of food security, incorporating socio-economic, animal and crop aspects.

Why Glasgow

  • This exciting Masters programme 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 programme is that it provides a very broad perspective on Food Security.

Programme Structure

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

Teaching Methods

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.

Information for international students

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. IBTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Gareth Jenkins