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Master Research Unit Agroecology and Food Systems for the MSc Environment and Natural Resources

Would you like to contribute to sustainable changes in our food system? If so, the Agroecology and Food Systems specialisation might well be for you, allowing you to develop new solutions «from field to plate».

The food system is facing enormous challenges. Inequalities, environmental degradation, scarcity and overabundance characterise the conventional system. Alternative forms of food production and distribution are urgently needed. In the Agroecology and Food Systems specialisation, you will come to know different approaches to sustainable food production and nutrition. The focus is on approaches from agroecology, regional value chains and fair trade relationships. The close interactions between humans and the environment are an integral part of the course. With the research groups of the ZHAW, and thanks to the collaboration with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), you have a wide range of specialisation options to choose from.


As a Master of Science ZFH in Environment and Natural Resources specialising in Agroecology and Food Systems...

«I want to contribute to the sustainable development of Switzerland's rural regions. In my current job, I benefit from the in-depth knowledge gained from my studies and a valuable network.»

Giulia Balmer, Head of the Neue Regionalpolitik Zürcher Weinland office

Course content

In this specialisation, you will get to know different approaches for sustainable food production and nutrition. The focus is on approaches to agroecology, regional value chains and fair trade relationships.

You will consider the following questions throughout the course:

We were also concerned with these questions during the international summer school on the subject of agrobiodiversity:


Master’s Studio

In the Master's Studio, you specialise in sustainable value chains or in consumption, in different areas of agriculture, rural development or tourism. You benefit from our network in industry and research, and have the opportunity to carry out projects abroad with industry partners in the field.

As part of the Master's thesis, you develop your own ideas and concepts for solving scientific challenges. This enables you to tackle complex issues independently in your subsequent professional occupation.

Examples from previous Master's theses in the Agroecology and Food Systems specialisation:

Research groups

The central aspect of your Master's degree is your participation in your chosen research group. This individual specialisation makes up half of the degree programme and gives you in-depth insights into research and development work. In this way, you already build up a professional network during your studies.

Sustainable agricultural systems

Value chains, food systems and consumption

Regions, tourism and rural development