Master in Food Politics and Sustainable Development


Program Description

The politics of eating and producing food

Food and agriculture are fields in which major global challenges arise. While the global food system is providing more food than ever before in human history, hunger and famine continue to plague the Global South. Conversely, obesity and malnutrition are emerging in various regions, especially Western industrial societies, and emerging countries. 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 today’s food system represent additional challenges.

Questions related to the organization 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. What would a sustainable food system look like, and how can it be achieved?

The master’s program 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 organizations, transnational businesses, NGOs, etc.) shape and transform the agri-food system. While the production of food is initiated at the local level, its distribution and consumption often have global implications. Understanding, analyzing and acting upon these implications is key to sustainably govern and transform our food system in the future.

Because these questions require to cross political and technical knowledge, the master’s program in Food Politics and Sustainable Development is organized 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.

This program will enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to master and design complex and innovative food policy solutions and to occupy key professional positions in public and private organizations.


Core courses

  • Agriculture and Rural Politics
  • European Food & Agricultural Policy
  • Political Economy of Natural Resources
  • Global Food Politics
  • Food and Sustainable Development: A project course
  • Food Controversies
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Food, Agriculture and the Environment

Research courses

  • Introduction to Research & Epistemology
  • Political Science Research Methods
  • Statistics and the Political Sociology of Quantification
  • Academic Writing Workshop

Optional courses

  • International Relations
  • Comparative Politics
  • Global Economic Governance
  • International Development
  • Global History
  • European History
  • European Governance
  • Digital Democracy
  • Sovereignty and the State in International Relations
  • Politics of International Law

+ intensive language modules
+ career development workshops
+ master’s dissertation

ESPOL makes every effort to ensure that course information is accurate and up-to-date. However, courses, services, and other matters may be subject to change

Career Opportunities

  • Public administration at the national and sub-national level: ministries, regional and local authorities, but also other public administration agencies recruit experts in public policy;
  • International and European organizations: the European Union, the FAO, the OSCE or the European Environment Agency;
  • NGOs, Think Tanks, trade unions, interest groups, and lobbies open 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 Ph.D. programs in order to pursue an academic career.

Last updated Dec 2019

About the School

Political science is a discipline driven by excellence that offers attractive career prospects with a strong international outlook. Living up to this ambition, ESPOL, the European School of Political ... Read More

Political science is a discipline driven by excellence that offers attractive career prospects with a strong international outlook. Living up to this ambition, ESPOL, the European School of Political and Social Sciences, offers an interdisciplinary education oriented towards political careers and Europe. As the successor to the School of Social and Political Sciences created within the Catholic University of Lille in 1894, ESPOL emphasizes on human values and on ethics of responsibilities - indispensable qualities for making one’s way in today’s world. Read less