Students with academic backgrounds in the social and/or natural sciences are welcome to take courses included in this multidisciplinary programme.
The courses are taught using a variety of methods. Students work together on case studies, seminars, report writing and oral presentations. Teamwork and student-centred teaching are core components of the programme.
The overall skills and previous experience of the students contribute to a deeper understanding of modern food systems and what is needed for the transition to more sustainable food systems in the future.
The first-year 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 courses address:
- developing an understanding of the perspectives of 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’s elective courses enable students to specialise in various areas. It concludes with an independent (degree) project of either 30 or 60 credits.
Elective courses may be taken at SLU or at other universities. During the autumn semester of the second year, students have the opportunity to participate in an exchange programme.
The programme prepares the students for continued studies or work with food companies, organisations, and authorities.
Programme courses year 1
Prospects and Challenges for Sustainable Food Systems (LV0103) 15 credits, autumn semester
The Prospects and Challenges for Sustainable Food Systems course covers aspects of the entire food chain, including primary production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management. The course focuses on the efficient use of resources throughout the chain.
Students will gain an in-depth understanding of current food systems and their challenges, analyse production chains from a life-cycle perspective, and evaluate improvement options that can increase sustainability. Students will also identify and assess the potential of lesser used and novel raw materials and foods.
Management Perspectives for Sustainable Food Systems (FÖ0440), 15 credits, autumn semester
The course focuses on sustainable development in management in the biobased industry, the food industry in particular. It is based on an understanding of value production in terms of the triple bottom line – financial, environmental and social dimensions.
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).
The course includes lectures, guest lectures, seminars, exercises and a project, providing students with opportunities to expand epistemological development and vocabulary. In addition, the course helps students develop their analytical skills and evaluative competence.
Project Management for Innovation in Sustainable Food Systems (LV0102) 15 credits, spring semester
This course provides students with an understanding of the concept of innovation. The course explores how to manage innovation within the context of sustainable food systems. Project management and facilitation of innovation projects form a significant part of the course that also includes a deeper understanding of the dynamics of groups and organisations.
The course involves innovation projects where students work in groups and study a sustainable food system. It is possible to collaborate with industry, advisory services, farmers or other organisations within the field. Upon completion of the course, students will have obtained the practical skills and strategic ability for evaluating alternative development paths or scenarios for long-term visions for sustainability.
Consumer Behaviour, Food Choice and Sustainable Food Consumption (FÖ0468) 15 credits, spring term
The course covers in-depth theory in different thematic directions (consumer behaviour, quality experiences, learning, motivation, values and driving factors behind consumer choices and behaviours). Consumer studies of both a qualitative and quantitative nature form a specific theme, and methods for sensory analyses are included.
The course maintains a sustainability perspective throughout and includes an assessment of how new consumer behaviours and sustainable consumption influence those involved in the food value chain. It addresses 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.
Elective courses include:
- Food Waste – Current Situation and Future Opportunities 7.5 credits
- Sustainable Agri-food Value Chains and Bioeconomy 15 credits
- Environmental Economics and Management 15 credits
- Global Food Systems and Food Security, 15 credits
- Interdisciplinary Practice, 15 credits
- Food Ethics, 7.5 credits
- Scientific Methods, Tools and Thesis Writing 15 credits
- The Process of Research: Qualitative Methods, Data Analysis and Academic Writing, 15 credits
- Research Methods for People and Environment Studies, 15 credits
- Qualified Work Placement 2, 7.5 credits
- Qualified Work Placement 2, 15 credits
Visit the student pages to find out more and read the syllabus.