MSc in Agricultural Development

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

Program Description

MSc in Agricultural Development

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

MSc in Agricultural Development

In the MSc programme in Agricultural Development you will learn about the development of forestry and farming and foods in developing countries. As an MSc in Agricultural Development, you will be making sustainable positive changes to the lives of some of the poorest people in the world.

The programme is offered in English.

Agricultural Development  (AD) focuses on sustainable development in developing countries and provides you with scientific and practical knowledge about farming, forestry systems, food processing and quality, economic development, rural livelihoods and envronmental and natural ressource management.

The two-year programme combines a scientific approach to problems in developing countries with a broader social understanding of the conditions for development.

The MSc programme in Agricultural Development gives you the opportunity to work with sustainable development in developing countries by means of economic growth, food supplies and nature preservation.

What competences will I acquire?

As a graduate in Agricultural Development and an expert on development, you are, among other things, able to:

  • Provide a detailed account and critical evaluation of current research theories in connection with sustainable use and management of natural resources in developing countries.
  • Distinguish critically between sustainable and livelihood-related issues in connection with the use of natural resources.
  • Carry out research, advisory and policy-related activities within agricultural development.
  • Identify and analyse research issues and communicate these to the general public.

Career opportunities

The programme gives you career opportunities within development in developing countries. As an MSc in Agricultural Development, you can, among other things:

  • Become a consultant in a Danish or international organisation specialising in development and/or food, e.g. Danida, the UN’s environment and agriculture organisations UNEP and FAO or the EU.
  • Work within research in Denmark or at an international research institution, e.g. at universities and government research institutions.
  • Find employment with one of the many organisations focusing on developing countries. Recent graduates from the programme are, for example, working with the Red Cross, CARE, DanChurchAid, the Child Fund Alliance, Denmark (Børnefonden) and Save the Children, Denmark.
  • Find employment with companies engaging in fair trade, ecology and global trade, e.g. certification, labelling, purchasing and sales.

Admission requirements

The following bachelor's degree from University of Copenhagen qualify directly:

  • Natural Resources (Naturressourcer)
  • Food Science (Fødevarer og ernæring)
  • Horticultural Sciences (Hortonomi)
  • Landscape Architecture (Landskabsarkitektur)
  • Forest and Landscape Engineering (Skov- og Landskabsingeniør)
  • Agricultural Economics (Jordbrugsøkonomi)

Students with a bachelor's degree in one of the below-mentioned areas may be considered qualified for admission:

  • From University of Copenhagen:
  1. Biology (Biologi)
  2. Biochemistry (Biokemi)
  3. Geography (Geografi)
  • from Aarhus University:
  1. Biology (Biologi)
  2. Ethnography and Social Anthropology

Students with a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in a field related to Agricultural Development or in the Social Sciences are also qualified as applicants.


The programme consists of three elements: Basic subjects, interdisciplinary courses and thesis.

At the start of the programme, you will meet students from other universities. In small interdisciplinary groups, you work to solve a specific problem from a developing country.

At a later point, you and your fellow students will participate in three weeks’ field work abroad. This might be, for example, the mountain areas of Thailand, where you collaborate with foreign students and educational institutions on how the local population reduces soil erosion through plantings in the area.

The programme will provide you with scientific and practical knowledge about agricultural development, including the production of plants, livestock and fibres, about food processing and about food quality, economics and the environment.

The programme consists of three compulsory courses:

  •     Thematic courses
  •     Course in research methods
  •     Development economics

Elective subjects

The elective subjects can be chosen from a pool of courses relating to conditions in developing countries. The theme project and the thesis are both based on field studies in a developing country.

Teaching on the MSc programme in Agricultural Development

The teaching method varies between lectures, exercises, field work and project work. The language of instruction is English. You will be working both independently and in project groups.

There is a well-established collaboration between the students and the business community that ensures excellent prospects for internships or project collaborations, providing you with a unique experience and a good network.

The MSc programme in Agricultural Development also offers you the chance to study abroad.

The thesis requires a three-month stay in a developing country where you will usually be attached to a local or international organisation.

You decide the subject for your thesis, which is usually based on a specific problem.

When and how to apply

 The application procedure for EU/EEA and Swiss Citizens

  • Make sure to check the admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Service if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist) - Language tests and certified diplomas can be forwarded through the online application portal up until study start.
  • From 1 February to 1 April you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 1 April (Fall Semester).
  • After 1 April application deadline, your application will be evaluated by an academic admissions committee.
  • You will receive a response no later than 15 June.
  • Study start 1 September 2014.

Application Procedure Non-EU/EEA Citizens

  • Make sure to check the programme admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Services if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist). Incomplete applications will not be processed.
  • From 15 November to 15 January you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 15 January (Fall Semester).
  • Your application is evaluated by an academic admission committee between 15 January and 15 March: All applicants offered admission will receive an invoice for tuition fees which must be paid by 15 April
  • If admitted, you will receive your letter of admission after we have received your tuition fee payment.
  • 1 May is the deadline for applying for your residence permit.

Checklist for Documentation

In order to make sure we have all the information needed to evaluate your past achievements and future potential, you are required to submit the following items:

  • An original or certified copy* of your academic transcript from your Bachelor degree. If the transcript is in a language other than English or a Scandinavian language, please include an official English translation.
  • A certified copy* of your Bachelor diploma. If you are yet to receive your diploma, please provide a letter from your university stating the date when the diploma will be issued.
  • Course descriptions of courses undertaken in your Bachelor degree relevant to the programme you are applying for. These can be in the form of photocopies from your university's academic handbook/course lists or print-outs from the university's website. They should describe what was required of you to complete the courses, what was studied and hours of study. These course descriptions allow us to understand exactly what you have studied in your prior degree, and help us to determine whether you meet the requirements and are eligible for the MSc degree at the Faculty of Science.
  • An updated version of your C.V. (curriculum vitae)/résumé A photo is not necessary.
  • A photocopy of your passport. Should you have more than one passport (citizenship) please copy the passport with which you will use to travel to Denmark. NB: You must use your EU/EEA passport should you wish to be given a tuition fee waiver.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (not applicable to native English speakers) 1) Acceptable TOEFL/IELTS exam results (these test results should be sent to us separately from the test centre upon your request) OR 2) Proof that English was the language of instruction in your prior education. See more information on the language requirements.

* An official certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been certified as a true and correct copy by a person who is authorised to witness a statutory declaration. Official certified copies are usually a photocopy of the original document stamped, signed and verified by an official in your country. Each country varies in whom is qualified to certify documents, however generally speaking your university, lawyers and embassies can certify documents for you, so that we can verify that what we have is a true replica of the original (and therefore determine if you are eligible for the MSc with us).

Please note that when you apply for admission through the digital application system, you are responsible for including and uploading all relevant documents listed in the application package as described above. If you do not have the necessary documentation at time of application you must instead upload an explanation. You can not continue the application process, if you fail to upload information when the application system requires it.

Please note that if you are admitted to an MSc programme at SCIENCE, you may be requested to present your original diploma and transcript at your arrival in Denmark. This will allow us to verify the documents.

If you have already applied digitally, you can always log on to the system and check up on the status of where in the application process your application currently is. Once your application is processed, you will also receive messages regarding your application through the online application system.

Application deadlines

  • EU/ EEA/Swiss applicants:   

1 April 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

  • Non EU/ EEA applicants:   

15 January 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
7,300 EUR
Start date Sept. 2017
Denmark Copenhagen
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price 7,300 EUR
per semester for non-EU/EEA citizens