Vocational Training Courses

One year of specialisation in sustainable food

- Topics : Agricultural and Environmental Economy
- Final Level : 6 years higher education
- Language : French
- Student Status : Formation initiale ou Formation continue ou Etudiant étranger
- Course duration:Année entière
- ECTS credits: 75

Course Objectives

This Advanced Master course in 'Innovations and Policies for Sustainable Food' has been validated by UNESCO Chair World Food Systems. It was co-designed and is regularly updated by Montpellier SupAgro and the French research institute CIRAD. It provides you with state of the art skills to meet global challenges for the future of sustainable food systems

Learn to understand current complex situations in order to act swiftly by developing sustainable agricultural and agri-food systems. Ensure people's access to food in sufficient quantity and quality, while minimizing the ecological impact of commodity chains and promoting the fair remuneration of producers. Aim to resolve issues and to strengthen the sustainability of food systems at an international level.

With this qualification you can work concretely towards reaching these targets for the community


Obtain Key Skills

  • Identify, monitor and assess the relevant technological and organizational innovations
  • Act at a local or global level, by mobilising acquired knowledge
  • Apply your strategic expertise and carry out prospective analysis
  • Analyze the complex global food system crisis
  • Assess,design and implement alternative local to global solutions
  • Negotiate and promote the use of innovations

Career Prospects

Examples of potential employers:

Professional agricultural and agri-food organizations

Inter-professional organizations

Local authorities

Government agencies

International organizations

Institutions for cooperation and development aid

Agencies for promotion and advice in organic agriculture, fair or solidarity trade

Consulting and Auditing Agencies

Organizations involved in the certification of products

Within these institutions, job missions are related to:

strengthening the sustainable production or improvement of social responsibility of a firm or an organization of producers

development of territory/state resource use, while respecting sustainable development reinforcement

defining and implementing new methods to measure impacts

designing and developing certification and standards for public or private sectors

prospective analysis of agricultural and food production systems

drafting public policies at a national or international level

Read alumni testimonies

Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold a French or Foreign Diploma of a B.Sc. Degree level and proof of

  • 2 years of postgraduate study such as a Master’s Degree or equivalent or
  • 1 year of postgraduate study, with at least three years professional experience, in the fields of Life, Human or Social Sciences

Recruitment criteria includes: submitting a correctly filled application form to allow pre-selection and a successful interview

The Advanced Master can be followed over a period of up to 2 years
Professionals aiming to strengthen their know-how can arrange to take 'teaching modules' separately

Prior to the beginning of the Master’s programme, an intensive French language immersion course will be proposed to non- French speaking students. The Summer School  takes place in July-August, offering intensive French language courses and a discovery of French culture & agriculture.

Course Content

Academic Staff

The academic staff includes teacher-researchers and researchers from six Associated Joint Research Units. The team of academic staff is strengthened by lectures, project work and tutorials with the participation of professionals.


Training is conducted over 13 months from September to October, with:

8 months of courses

The courses are built around four teaching units in order to:

  • Teach students the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare an inventory of food systems and to assess their impact
  • Train students to analyze the growing involvement of new actors, the emergence of new issues, decision-making and the effects of innovations in the governance of food systems
  •  Deepen student's knowledge of and analyze the predominant types of technical and organizational innovations influencing food systems


This training course engages the students in the comparison between the theoretical contribution of researchers and the points of view of professionals. Academic course content occupies a set number of hours, leaving time for tutored projects which can be carried out individually or in groups, as well as international meetings

5 month professional internship

To apply the skills learned and respond to requests made by worldwide public or private partners. To participate in the development of a project which strengthens a local or national development process. To improve sustainability of production and/or the supply chain


Fees 2017 - 2018

7 000€

Deadline for application 

29th January 2018 - for an answer mid of February
21st May 2018 - for an answer at the end of May
20th August 2018 - for an answer at the end of August

Year starting date and duration

September 2017 to October 2018

Application form

Apply online

Course Supervisor(s)

Professor Stéphane Fournier


UNESCO Chair World Food Systems


The IPAD training course takes place at the Institute for Higher Education in Tropical and Sub-Tropical Agri-Food Sciences (Institut des Régions Chaudes) in Montpellier.

Last update : 20/12/2018