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Sustainable Food Systems MSc with a major in Food Science

The ideal Master's programme if you aim to become an expert in sustainable food systems and strive to take on challenges in the entire food chain.
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Would you like to learn more about sustainable food systems and their opportunities and challenges, and marketing and managing perspectives along the entire food chain? Then this is the programme for you. This comprehensive programme will provide you with a broad knowledge of sustainable food systems; the raw produce through the primary production system, processing, distribution and consumption. 

The 2-year interdisciplinary programme attracts students with a wide range of academic backgrounds from all over the world and is the perfect choice if you would like to broaden your knowledge within this field. The student-centred teaching approach focuses on collaborative learning and effective teamwork. You have the opportunity to choose from a broad selection of courses based on your academic background and future plans. 

After graduation, your Master’s degree in food science will give you the knowledge and skills needed to work in public authorities, companies and organisations in the food industry, food retail, service providing organisations and governmental agencies, both in a national and international setting. The programme also provides you with an optimal base to continue your studies towards a PhD.


Tuition fees: Citizen of a countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland, are required to pay application and tuition fees.
First semester: SEK 60 800 
Total: SEK 243 000

Name: The master’s programme Sustainable Food Systems
Level: Master
Language: English
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Next start: Autumn semester 2022

Study location: Uppsala
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: Normal teaching

Application deadline for international students: 2022/01/17
Application deadline for Swedish students: 2022/04/19

Application code for international students: 81002
Application code for Swedish students: 81001

Degree: Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in food science.

Requirements: Admission to the Master’s programme Sustainable Food Systems requires a first-cycle qualification comprising 180 credits and including:
- specialised studies comprising 90 credits within a single subject (e.g. Economics) within social science, and
- an independent project or equivalent worth a minimum of 7.5 credits.
- specialised studies comprising 90 credits within a single subject (e.g. Biology) within natural science, and
- an independent project or equivalent worth a minimum of 7.5 credits.

Applicants with the equivalent qualifications obtained by means of a degree from another country, or with the equivalent knowledge obtained in some other way, may also be regarded as fulfilling the specific entry requirements.

This programme is taught in English. The applicant must further have a level of English equivalent to upper secondary school English, called English 6. An applicant with a first-cycle qualification from SLU comprising 180 credits automatically fulfils this requirement. Special rules apply for applicants with qualifications from one of the Nordic countries and some English-speaking countries.

Specific requirements apply for admission to the individual courses included in the programme.

There are two admission rounds for this Master's programme. The first admission round is open to all international applicants at www.universityadmissions.se. The last date to apply is 17 January 2022. SLU strongly encourage all international students to apply in this first admission round.


The courses in this multidisciplinary program are open for students with educational backgrounds in social sciences and in natural sciences. The pedagogic approach builds on  interaction and collaboration between the students through case studies, seminars, report writing and oral presentations. Teamwork and student-centred teaching is central to the programme. The overall competence and the previous experience of the students, contributes to a deeper understanding of today’s food systems and what is needed for transitions to more sustainable food systems in the future.

During the first year, the courses provide an overview of sustainable food systems, knowledge about the prerequisites for ongoing and future development, and skills to handle challenges linked to these areas.

The content of the courses focuses on:

  • Developing an understanding of system perspectives as circular systems of production, processing and consumption of food,
  • Identifying options and challenges related to the development of sustainable and innovative food products, processes and systems,
  • Evaluating current and future food products and food systems from a sustainability perspective.

The programme includes elective courses which offer the opportunity to specialize in different areas and ends with an independent project (degree project) corresponding to 30 credits or 60 credits.

Elective courses may be taken at SLU or at other universities, (a semester exchange program is possible for the fall semester, the second year of the program). 

The programme prepares the students for continued academic studies or work in food companies, organisations or authorities.


Programme courses year 1

Prospects and challenges for sustainable food systems (LV0103) 15 ECTS, autumn term

The course Prospects and challenges for sustainable food systems covers aspects of the entire food chain, including primary production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management. The focus is on efficient use of resources throughout the chain.

In the course, you will gain a deeper understanding about current food systems and their challenges, analyse production chains from a life-cycle perspective and evaluate improvement options that can lead to increased sustainability. We will also identify underutilized and novel raw materials and foods and assess their potential.


Management perspectives for sustainable food systems (FÖ0440), 15 ECTS, autumn term

The course focuses on sustainable development in management in biobased industry, especially food industry. It is based on an understanding of value production in terms of financial, environmental and social dimension (the Triple Bottom Line).

The course serves as an introduction to key marketing concepts and theory: perceived customer value with regards to sustainable development, innovation management, stakeholder theory, social practice theory, relationship marketing, networks and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the equivalent system related concept of "creating shared value" (CSV).

It is based on lectures, guest lectures, seminars, exercises and a project all of which offer opportunities to develop an epistemological development and vocabulary. Several of these modules offers training of analytical and evaluative competence.


Project management for innovation in sustainable food systems (LV0102) 15 ECTS, spring term

In the course Project management for innovation in sustainable food systems we get an understanding of the concept of innovation and how to manage innovation within the context of sustainable food systems. In the course, Project management and facilitation of innovation projects is a major part of the course, which also includes a deeper understanding of the dynamics of groups and organisations.

The course is based on case projects, where you work in groups an innovation project related to a sustainable food system. The projects include participation with, for example, industry, advisory services, farmers or other organizations within the food system. After the course you will have obtained practice skills and strategic competence be able to evaluate alternative paths of development or scenarios from long-term sustainability visions.


Consumer behaviour, food choice and sustainable food consumption (FÖ0468) 15 ECTS, spring term

The course covers in-depth theory in different thematic directions (consumer behaviour, quality experiences, learning, motivation, values and drivers in consumer choices and behaviours. A specific theme is consumer studies of both a qualitative and quantitative nature, including methods for sensory analyses.

The course maintains a sustainability perspective throughout, including assessment of how new consumer behaviours and sustainable consumption influence the actors in the value chain for food and how interactions in this chain can be altered, for example through new distribution channels, communication methods, processes for shared value creation and new pathways for encounters between producers and consumers.


Examples of elective courses

Food waste - current situation and future opportunities 7,5 ECTS

Sustainable agri-food value chains and bioeconomy 15 ECTS

Environmental economics and management 15 ECTS

Global food systems and food security, 15 ECTS,

Interdisciplinary Practice, 15 ECTS

Food Ethics, 7,5 ECTS

Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing 15 ECTS

The Process of Research: Qualtative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing, 15 ECTS

Research Methods for People and Environment Studies 15 ECTS

Qualified Work Placement 2, 7,5 ECTS

Qualified Work Placement 2, 15 ECTS


After finishing your exam, you may take several roles; in primary production, food industry, food retail, service providing organizations, governmental agencies and working with policies in a national as well as an international setting. 

Qualification Awarded

Degree of Master (120 credits) with a major in Food Science.

Central Uppsala in summer

Campus Uppsala

Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city, and the hub of SLU’s educational activities. Located just outside of the city centre, SLU’s Uppsala campus is spacious, leafy and picturesque. It is a fitting setting for Sweden’s only agricultural university, and possibly the most research-intensive of all universities. With two universities located in Uppsala, students can enjoy a lively, dynamic and stimulating atmosphere. 


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