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Totnes, England - Schumacher College – Ecological Food Systems

MSc and PG Diploma (full and part-time) and PG Certificate programme approved and awarded through Plymouth University

The next start date of this this postgraduate programme will be January 2016.

Ecological Food Systems at Schumacher College

Schumacher College is the first in the world to offer a postgraduate programme in Ecological Food Systems, developed in collaboration with Plymouth University, The Organic Research Centre (ORC), The Campaign for Real Farming and the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT).

Join the leaders and change agents at the forefront of new thinking in resilient and healthy food systems.

This course explores the frontiers of research and practice that will meet the social, ecological and economic challenges our food systems face in the 21st Century.

We offer you a unique and transformative blend of academic and practical learning opportunities from Schumacher College, Plymouth University, the Organic Research Centre, The Campaign for Real Farming and the Centre for Alternative Technology.

sustainable horticulture and food production students

Beyond industrial food systems

Now that global population has passed 7 billion, we urgently need to consider how our food systems will cope in the coming years. The food industry tells us we need to increase yields but the reality is far more complex.

Food needs to be of sufficient quality as well as quantity, while diets will need to adapt in order to improve agricultural land-use. We need to move away from methods of production that contribute to environmental degradation and consume finite resources. Food sovereignty (the right of people to define their own systems) must be included in the debate, as well as grassroots movements in food localisation. Food waste and distribution are complex issues that also need to be addressed alongside production. In addition, food systems need to be resilient in an unpredictable and changing climate.

These are the issues that you will explore on the course, which brings together the thinking, research and practice at the cutting-edge of a global food revolution. Drawing from many different models and initiatives around the world, including ‘human scale’ horticulture, holistic mixed farming, farm-scale agroforestry and local food networks, Schumacher College’s starting point is complexity and resilience in natural systems. We believe that agriculture and associated food systems have to be inspired by biological and ecological processes.