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 UCSC in Italy or study at Ghent University (Exchange program).

It is obligatory for all students enrolled in this programme to spend the third semester at Isara (Lyon-France).

Curriculum – Semester details

FIRST Semester – Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy)

  • Introduction to sustainability of food systems (e-learning) – 05 ECTS
  • Economic impact of agricultural and food regulations – 05 ECTS
  • Food footprint: the environmental impact of the agro-food chain – 05 ECTS
  • Food Supply Chain Management – 05 ECTS
  • Biochemistry of food – 04 ECTS
  • Food microbiology for food production – 06 ECTS
  • Compulsory 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:

  • Food Technology and plants – 10 ECTS
  • Food quality assurance and international certification – 05ECTS
  • Digital data processing – 05 ECTS
  • Law and regulation in food value chains – 05 ECTS
  • Food risk analysis and management – 05 ECTS


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

  • Advanced Marketing and Agribusiness Management (05 ECTS)
  • Food Safety and Risk Analysis (5 ECTS)
  • Functional foods (5 ECTS)
  • Planning and Project Design (07 ECTS)
  • Scientific Reading, Writing and Presentation Skills (03 ECTS)
  • Packaging Technology (05 ECTS)
  • Food Legislation (05 ECTS)

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 three parts:

  • Intrepreneurship and sustainable development in food industries – 12 ECTS
  • Food processing and managerial innovation – 12 ECTS
  • Literature review  – 6 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, Taïwan. 

Program Learning Outcomes

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 degree (Laurea Magistrale) from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and a professional certificate from Isara.

  Download programme flyer : here !