20 February 2014

A new undergraduate degree aimed at tackling concerns of food security and sustainability is now recruiting for 2014.

Four partner institutions

The BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security has been designed around internationally recognised expertise and facilities at four partner institutions all located in central Hertfordshire: the University of Hertfordshire, the Royal Veterinary College, University of London (RVC), Rothamsted Research and Oaklands College.

Impact on sustainability and food security 

The course places livestock production at the heart of thinking about how we ensure that the human population has a healthy and sustainable food supply in the future in the face of climate change, population growth and water shortages.  It will integrate agricultural science with related subjects that impact on sustainability and food security such as geo-politics, legislation and regulation, consumer pressures, economics, agro-ecology and environmental stewardship.

Dr Tim Sands, Programme Tutor in the University of Hertfordshire's School of Life and Medical Sciences, said: "Our specialist teaching and environmental management expertise from the University, combined with over forty years of research into crop protection, will ensure that we equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to lead and inform sustainable agriculture and food security."

Dr Steven Van Winden, Senior Lecturer in Production Animal Medicine at the RVC said: "There is a clear national, cross-government priority in the area of food security and sustainability which has in turn led to a requirement for active research and training in agriculture. This course has been designed in consultation with employers to both meet this need and ensure that graduates have the skills in demand by industry.

"We also hope a course like this will attract new recruits to the agricultural industry. Agriculture provides 9% of employment in the UK and it is vital that we continue to have skilled and knowledgeable graduates entering the profession who are prepared for the future challenges facing the industry."

Compulsory integrated work placements

The content of the new degree will allow graduates work in a wide range of roles and sectors including farming, the agrochemical industry, government departments, research institutions, NGOs, conservation organisations and environmental consultancies. Students will undertake compulsory integrated work placements based in research institutions and industry as well as having the option to complete either a year in industry or a year abroad.

The BSc (Hons) in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security forms part of a new Centre providing world-class education and research in food production, food supply, environmental management and sustainability. The Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management combines internationally-recognised expertise from the four partner institutions to lead research into some of the most pressing issues affecting every aspect of food production - from farm to table - as well as educating the next generation of agriculture and food chain specialists.