MSc Sustainable Food Systems

All students will be studying at minimum two different universities.

The universities where students are accepted in the first semester is referred to as the home university.

For the second semester students can choose to stay at the home university or study at one of the other partner universities (host universities).

It is obligatory for all students enrolled in this programme to spend the third semester at Isara (Lyon-France). Students can choose between all partners except Aarhus University for their fourth semester.

Programme semester details

FIRST Semester – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy)

  • E-learning module: Introduction to Sustainability of the Food System – 5 ECTS
  • Physical chemistry and biochemistry of food – 11 ECTS
  • Food microbiology – 12 ECTS
  • Food supply chain management – 5 ECTS
  • Mandatory seminar on Theological Issues (no ECTS)

SECOND Semester – Students can choose among two specialisations for the second semester

  • Food processing innovation and tradition at UCSC
  • Food technology at Ghent University

The semester offered at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore focuses on Food processing, innovation and tradition and includes the following courses:

  • Raw materials (grain and vegetables, fruit sciences, animal sources)  – 12 ECTS
  • Food technology and plants – 10 ECTS
  • Food quality assurance and international certifications – 5 ECTS

The University of Ghent (Belgium) offers a semester focusing on Food technology and includes the following courses:

THIRD Semester –  Isara (France)

This is a comprehensive applied semester enabling students to incorporate transversal and soft skills. They will include group works in strong cooperation with partner industries. The semester is made of two courses:

  • Entrepreneurship and sustainable development in food industrial – 15 ECTS
  • Food processing and managerial innovation – 15 ECTS

The students of the master in “Sustainable Food Systems” traveled to Italy for a study trip to agro-food industries in the region of Parma and Turin. These four days in September, also provided the opportunity to create links within the group of students of different nationalities. 

FOURTH Semester

The students carry out their Master’s thesis at Isara or UCSC. It can also be carried out along an internship in a food organisation or food companies. Thus, the master thesis will be supervised by one of the universities. 

The Master thesis includes:

  • an independent project, research and data analysis on a topic related to sustainability in food supply chain.
  • a written thesis 70 %, and thesis oral defense (60 mn) 30%

“For my master thesis, I will work for a company selling soil improvement products using organic or environmental friendly fertilizer, based in Belgium and Hong-Kong. My profile is interesting for them because I have my knowledge in agriculture, in food industry and both culture, European and Chinese”, Ching-Yu, China. 


Upon completion of the programme, graduate students will be able to:

  • Manage international teams in a cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary environment
  • Understand the food chain industryfrom farm to fork”
  • Identify and control the factors that impact sustainability in the food chain production
  • Understand and use the technologies in order to plan, perform and control sustainable food production and processing
  • Evaluate and solve problems related to sustainable food production within a food company


Upon completion of the programme, students will be awarded the Master diploma (Laurea Magistrale) from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and a professional certificate from Isara.