MSc (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security)

College of Science

Course overview

The world’s climate is rapidly changing due to global warming, and will continue to do so for the decades and centuries ahead. This poses major challenges for future agricultural systems to provide food and other bioresources for the 9 billion people that will occupy the planet by 2050.


The new MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) provides students with the skills and tools for developing agricultural practices, policies and measures addressing the challenge that global warming poses for agriculture and food security worldwide. 


Graduates of this programme will be equipped to pursue roles associated with local, national and international efforts to promote sustainable agricultural production, global food security and climate change adaptation.There is now a growing recognition of how different agriculture systems can contribute to climate change, past and present. Hence, the dual challenge of adapting future agricultural systems to climate change, must also include mitigation of the effects of agriculture on climate change.


The new MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is aimed at students who want to combine scientific, engineering, technical, social or policy skills so that they are better equipped to understand and make significant contributions regarding adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts on global agriculture and food security.



Key facts

Entry requirements

NQAI Level 8 honours degree or equivalent to a minimum standard of Second Class Honours, Grade 1 or equivalent in an appropriate discipline is required.

Duration: 1 year

Next start date: September 2014

ECTS weighting: 90

Average intake: 15

Closing date: Please refer to the offer rounds/closing date webpage.

NFQ level: 9

Mode of study: Taught

Course outline

The programme combines cutting-edge taught and practical components so that graduates will have the necessary skills and capabilities to pursue a career in both climate change mitigation and adaptation for agriculture and food security. Graduates will also be equipped with the balance of scientific, technical, analytical and crosscutting skills to significantly contribute to efforts to promote sustainable agricultural production and global food security.


Semester 1

Climate Change, Agriculture & Global Food Security                                  

Climate Change, Agriculture, Nutrition & Global Health                             

Policy & Scenarios for Climate Change Adaptation & Mitigation               

Gender, Agriculture & Climate Justice                                                          

Low-Emissions Climate-Smart Agriculture & AgriFood Systems                

Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation & Risk Management                     

Monitoring Climate Change: Past, Present, Future


Semester 2 and 3

Climate Change, Natural Resources & Livelihoods                                      

AgriBiological Responses to Climate Change                                               

CCAFS Science Communication: Techniques & Models                             

CCAFS Case Studies, Journal Club & Datasets                                           

CCAFS Research Skills/Techniques  

CCAFS Research Project                  


This is a 90 ECTS taught Masters programme including the following:

  • Nine modules each of which are 5 ECTS
  • A CCAFS Science Communication Project
  • A CCAFS Journal Club
  • CCAFS Skills and Techniques Tutorials
  • CCAFS Research Project

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, projects, reports, presentations and written examinations.


The MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) will be located within the Discipline of Botany and Plant Science and will have close interactions with the Plant and AgriBiosciences Centre (PABC) at NUI Galway. The CCAFS programme is being developed as a partnership with the international CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, which is led by the CGIAR and Future Earth, and currently involves over 700 partners worldwide


The CCAFS modules will be taught by world-leading scientists and researchers in their areas of expertise. Students will encounter a wide variety of teaching methods. Modules will include webbased learning, lectures, exercises, seminars, excursions and Programme outline group/project work.

Who teaches this course?

Prof. Charles Spillane,

Head of Discipline of Botany & Plant Science 

T +353 91 494 148 



Dr Edna Curley,

Programme Co-ordinator

T +353 91 494 158


Find out more

Prof. Charles Spillane,

Head of Discipline of Botany & Plant Science

T +353 91 494 148



Dr Edna Curley,

Programme Co-ordinator

T +353 91 494 158


PAC code


Fees for this course

Fees information and funding opportunities please visit
Tuition fees for international
(non-EU*) students are listed