Course Overview

This course won the Best New Postgraduate Award (HEA Awards, Ireland) for 2017. More information here.

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 nine billion people that will occupy the planet by 2050.

This programme 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 the adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts on global agriculture and food security.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 to address the challenge that global warming poses for agriculture and food security worldwide.

Students complete a research project worth one-third of the final grade. This research may be completed at the student’s place of work, within the international CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security or in collaboration with industry partners.‌


Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre(PAC). PAC application code is GYS00. 

Selection is based on the candidate's academic record at an undergraduate level and their aptitude for the course.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Semester One Exams: December. Semester Two Exams: April/May. A range of assessment methods are integrated and applied throughout the programme. These include essays, projects, reports, presentations and case studies. A dissertation must also be submitted.

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.

Additional Requirements


1 year

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level


Mode of study


ECTS weighting




PAC code


Course Outline

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

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.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

As the climate change challenge for sustainable development and business on the planet intensifies, there will be a need in all organisations for personnel skilled in both climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies/approaches for the development of greener economies, agrifood systems and low-environmental footprint supply chains. Graduates of this MSc will be well positioned for positions in research, policy, enterprise, business, administration and other activities across a wide range of public and private sector institutions internationally. Career mentoring, advice, strategy and facilitation will be provided to all students on the MSc CCAFS to ensure that they rapidly enter employment in relevant institutions and activities, where they can build from their interests, experience and training.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,815 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Tuition

€6,591 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2017/18

Fees: Non EU

€13,750 p.a. 2017/18
For further information on postgraduate funding and scholarship opportunities see here

Find out More

Professor Charles Spillane
Head of Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC)
T: +353 91 494 148 | E:

Dr Peter McKeown
MScCCAFS Programme Co-ordinator
T: +353 91 492340 | E: