Master’s in Food Politics and Sustainable Development

Master’s in Food Politics and Sustainable Development

The politics of eating and producing food

Food is a critical issue in today’s global and European politics. The regulation of agriculture, food distribution, public health, environment and sustainable development are some of the issues covered by ESPOL’s master’s degree in Food Politics and Sustainable Development. This unique training programme in France, combining theory and practice, allows students to gain a better understanding of the issues related to the politics of food and farming, and acquire the skills necessary to access key professional positions in public and private organisations.

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Overview

Food and agriculture are fields in which major global challenges arise. In 2050, the world’s population is projected to rise to 10 billion people; and they all need to eat. The various ecological and social problems of the modern food system represent additional challenges. Questions related to the organisation and regulation of our agri-food system are complex and include the production, distribution, accessibility, and consumption of food, as well as issues related to poverty, public health, animal welfare, science and technology, and trade. How would a sustainable food system look like, and how can it be achieved?

The master’s degree in Food Politics and Sustainable Development examines the ways in which public authorities (regional bodies, nation states, European institutions, UN agencies) and private actors (individuals, farming communities and organisations, transnational businesses, researchers, NGOs, etc.) shape and transform the agri-food system. While the production of food is initiated at local level, its distribution and consumption often have global implications. Understanding, analysing and acting upon these implications is key to sustainably steer, govern and transform our food system in the future.

Because these questions require to cross political and technical knowledge, the master’s degree in Food Politics and Sustainable development is organised in close collaboration with practitioners. It includes a partnership with ISA Lille, the renowned agronomy institute of Lille Catholic University; numerous interventions from agri-food professionals; and field trips to regional farms, food-related policy events, key food fairs such as the Paris International Agricultural Show, and food markets such as the Rungis Market, the biggest wholesale food market in the world.

Career opportunities

  • Public administration at national and subnational level: ministries, regional and local authorities, but also other public administration agencies recruit experts in public policy.
  • International and European organisations: the European Union, the FAO, the OSCE or the European Environment Agency.
  • NGOs, Think Tanks, trade unions, interest groups and lobbies often recruit experts with backgrounds in political science and international affairs.
  • Businesses are increasingly recruiting people qualified in international affairs.
  • Academic career: students graduating from our MA can also access PhD programmes in order to pursue an academic career.

Course schedule

Semestre 1

Semestre 2

Semestre 3 (Septembre 2023)

Semestre 4 (Janvier 2023)

Core courses

Agriculture and Rural Politics 24h 6 ECTS
European Food & Agricultural Policy 24h 6 ECTS
Food History & Cultures 24h 6 ECTS

Research courses

Workshop: Academic Writing 12h 3 ECTS

Optional courses (Choose 1)

Introduction to Political Science* 18h 4 ECTS
Comparative Politics 18h 4 ECTS
International Relations 18h 4 ECTS

Career development (Choose 1)

Diplomacy in practice (EN) 12h 3 ECTS
Diplomatie en pratique (FR) 12h 3 ECTS
The EU from a think-tank’s perspective 12h 3 ECTS

Languages

French (FLE) or English ** 16h 2 ECTS
Optional extra language course (non-compulsory) 16h /

Core courses

Global Food Politics 24h 6 ECTS
Political Economy of Natural Resources 24h 6 ECTS
International Environmental and Climate Politics 24h 6 ECTS

Research courses

Introduction to Research & Epistemology 18h 4 ECTS

Optional courses (Choose 1)

Global Justice 18h 4 ECTS
Approches socio-économiques de l’agriculture 18h 4 ECTS
International Migration 18h 4 ECTS

Career development

Studytrip Rome 30h 2 ECTS
Career talks 4h /

Languages

French (FLE) or English ** 16h 2 ECTS
Optional extra language course (non-compulsory) 16h /

Core courses

Food and Sustainable Development: A Project Course 24h 6 ECTS
Environmental Political Theory 24h 6 ECTS

Research courses

Political Science Research Methods 18h 4 ECTS
Work-in-progress document / 2 ECTS
Statistics and the Political Sociology of Quantification 18h 4 ECTS

Optional courses (Choose 1)

Security, Climate change and environmental politics 24h 6 ECTS
Public International Law. Concepts, Principles, Actors 24h 6 ECTS
Democracy and society 24h 6 ECTS
Research Design 24h 6 ECTS

Career development

Professionalization workshops 4h /
One-day field trip 8h /

Languages

French (FLE) or English ** 16h 2 ECTS
Optional extra language course (non-compulsory) 16h /

Core courses

Food Controversies 24h 6 ECTS

Research courses

Master’s dissertation / 14 ECTS

Career development

Internship / 8 ECTS

Languages

French (FLE) or English ** 16h 2 ECTS
Optional extra language course (non-compulsory) 16h /

* Compulsory option for students without a background in political sciences

** French (FLE) compulsory for non-francophone students. English compulsory for francophone students. In case the student is a native FR/EN (to be checked by Clarife), replace with other language of choice.

The course schedules are not contractual and are subject to change at any time by the teaching staff.

 

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