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Master Research Unit Agrofood Systems for the Master's in Environment and Natural Resources

Are you interested in sustainable food production and distribution? The Agrofood Systems specialisation allows you to participate in creating solutions to current challenges.

This specialisation is focused on issues of great social relevance: What form must agricultural production and the food production supply chain take in the future in order to safeguard the food supply of the population, without destroying their own production bases? Methods and procedures are needed that enable a shift towards productive, sustainable and simultaneously more resource efficient agriculture. In addition to examining solutions, the Agrofood Systems specialisation involves studying and researching related socio-economic conditions and developments.

The topics for this specialisation at the Instituts of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR) are taken from the research groups for Environmental Education, Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology, Geography of Food, Horticulture, Landscape Development, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Phytomedicine, Regional Development, Soil Ecology, Sustainability Communication, Tourism and Sustainable Development as well as Viticulture and at the Research Institut of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) the Departments of Soil Sciences, Crop Sciences, Livestock Sciences and Socio-Economic Sciences.


As a Master of Science ZFH in Environment and Natural Resources specialising in Agrofood Systems, you will:

  • know the requirements of sustainable food systems in terms of food security, rural development and resource conservation.
  • be able to analyse the importance of agriculture for rural development as well as its interactions with other fields (nature conservation, landscape, tourism) in Switzerland and abroad, and develop optimisation strategies.
  • identify sustainability conflicts within the food value chain and design solutions for sustainable production and supply chains.
  • be familiar with tools for controlling food production and consumption systems (sensitisation and communication); you will be able to estimate and analyse their effects.

Master's thesis

As part of your Master's thesis, you will develop your own ideas and concepts to solve scientific problems. This enables you to tackle complex problems independently in your future professional activities. You will be able to apply and develop scientific methods, even in new and/or multidisciplinary contexts. You will write your Master's thesis as a member of a research group. This will place you in close contact with real-world practice. It will also give you the opportunity to establish contacts and build a professional network.

Your thesis can be written, in consultation with your supervisor, in a local language, English or another language.


As a MSc in ENR specialising in Agrofood Systems you will be a sought-after employee and leader. Following your Master's degree, you might work

  • as a project manager for the development and implementation of environmental standards in a food company.
  • as an expert in an NGO in the field of Rural Development.
  • as a researcher in a research institution in the field of Agricultural Systems and Rural Development.
  • as a PhD student at a university in Switzerland or abroad (see joint degree with the University of Ljubljana)
  • as a team leader in an SME or large enterprise in the agricultural value chain.
  • as a project manager in a company that initiates, implements and controls label programmes.
  • or you might become self-employed and set up a start-up in the field of sustainability communication.

Do you have any questions?

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