The programme is based on a combination of essential entrepreneurial skills, which will help you to become an effective innovator and key technical skills that are tailored to your career ambition in the sector.
The Master in Food Systems programme is developing top talent for the food sector, by training the leaders of the future. Organised by leading academic institutions and industrial partners from across our Partner network, this programme aims to prepare you to drive a future transformation of the food system and increase the competitiveness of the companies you chose to work for.
By working with colleagues who have a wide variety of different academic backgrounds, you will become creative leaders and team builders capable of bringing distinctive points of view along with novel solutions for tomorrow's consumers and citizens.
You will accomplish this by taking a 'learning and experimental' journey through our network of industrial, academic and entrepreneurial partners.
By the end of the programme, you will be able to:
Identify short and long-term future consequences of decisions involving different components of the food system from an integrated scientific, ethical and inter-generational perspective, and merge this into a solution-focused approach.
Translate innovations into feasible business solutions for the food sector.
Think beyond boundaries, and systematically explore and generate new ideas, responding to current and future challenges within the food system.
Use knowledge, ideas and technology to create new or significantly improved products, services, processes, new business models or jobs in the food sector.
Use cutting-edge research methods, processes and techniques towards new venture creation and growth, and apply these in cross-disciplinary teams and contexts.
Transform practical experiences in different areas of the food sector into research problems and challenges.
Develop decision-making and leadership competencies.
Graduates will become part of an international alumni network, and we will connect you with our entire professional network so that you have access to the right support when you want to innovate or create a new venture at any point in your career.
How is the course structured?
The duration of this programme is 2 years.
All students will follow the online module “Introduction to the Food System” as the first module of the first semester. You then will go through a semester-long study block at your home university (the institution in which you enrol).
The second semester is spent at a second university of the consortium (your first host institution). You will also take part in a Summer School on entrepreneurship with all other students enrolled on the programme.
For the third semester, you move to a third university (your second host institution), where you take part in a semester-long Market Feasibility Study along with further food systems modules.
For the final semester, you return to your home institution to complete your Master’s thesis. The thesis will be mentored by a mixed team of EIT Food Partners (industrial, academic and research organisations).
Each university offers a specific block of study based on their expertise, and by combining three of these blocks or tracks you will gain an integrated knowledge on the food system (e.g. primary production + food processing + consumer sciences, or food production + logistics + digitisation).
In addition, pan-European activities at industrial partner sites will ensure you bond with the rest of the students enrolled on the programme.
Study Paths and Profiles
The Master in Food Systems (MFS) is designed to create skills and knowledge crucial for tackling the most urgent challenges facing the food sector today. In the MFS partnership, we have identified a number of profiles that specifically address each of these challenges. All study paths in the MFS combine expertise from three different partner universities - the "home institution" and two other universities where students spend their 2nd and 3rd semester. Select the profile that best matches your area of interest, to find the study paths which offer the deepest focus on this area.
Circular food systems
A shift from our current linear model (make, use, dispose) to a circular food system is required. This implies reuse of resources, reduction and (re)-utilisation of side- and waste-streams to prevent food loss and waste and to allow nutrient recycling and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as water and land use. This includes circular business models for sustainable Food Systems, and system thinking as a guide for the assessment of strengths and challenges of circularity processes.
Targeted nutrition and health management
Healthy nutrition is a key factor in reducing non-communicable diseases (NCD), child and adult obesity. Providing the necessary nutrients depending on the citizen group and/or community is an important area of the Food Systems. Targeted and healthy nutrition should embrace sustainable production and circularity of food systems, to deliver an impact in the sector. It synergizes with a consumer-centric view of the food systems.
We need to ensure sustainable food production across the entire food chain via the use of new "green-methods", in order to make the best use of nature-based, technological, digital, and space-based solutions, to deliver better climate and environmental results, increase climate resilience and reduce and optimise the use of inputs (e.g. pesticides, fertilisers). In this respect agriculture, 4.0 and rationalisation of resources contribute to sustainable food production.
Food safety, transparency, traceability
Food safety is a cornerstone of quality, healthiness and excellence of the food. However, consumers have reduced trust in the food sector. This is complicated by a highly fragmented food sector, suffering from a lack of transparency. State-of-the-art analytical and biological methods, as well as systems for early detection of harmful substances in food, are essential for food safety. Digitalisation, analytics and biological data coupled with a data management processes will be instrumental for guaranteeing the safety of citizens and rekindling trust in the Food System.
Management of food system innovations
Innovation management is key for those who want to invent and develop sustainable, innovative solutions for the food sector, and simultaneously have an impact on the commercialization process. The goal is to develop and enhance an entrepreneurial and responsible mindset, as well as the skill to identify market needs and opportunities and provide new and significant value for customers. The profile addresses the theory and practice of management for all levels of previous expertise and specifically aims at translating managerial skills into food system innovations.
Innovative food processing
A critical part of the sustainable transformation of our food system is the processing of agricultural raw materials into foods. Innovative novel technology and holistic process designs are the basis of producing foods that are more environmental-friendly with fewer sidestreams. Innovative food processing elevates food processing beyond the state-of-the-art operations to create an overall higher food quality for an enhanced and more sustainable consumer experience.
EIT Food offers participation fee waivers for excellent students. A participation fee waiver means you don't have to pay the participation fee or tuition fee to follow the programme. You will still have to pay for your own accommodation and travel to the universities in your path, and have to cover all other costs linked to your personal life, like insurances, health care, etc.