Course Overview

 Science HE Award 2019

This course won the Best New Postgraduate Award (HEA Awards, Ireland) for 2017. More information here. It was also shortlisted for Best Science Award for 2018–19.

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 agriculture and food systems to provide food and other bioresources for the 9.7 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 MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (MScCCAFS) provides students with the skills and tools for developing sustainable 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 other institutional partners.‌‌

Scholarships available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.



Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the University of Galway Postgraduate Applications System

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

Who Teaches this Course

  • Professor Charles Spillane, Programme Director of MSc (AgriFood Sustainability & Technology). E:


  • Dr Galina Brychkova, Programme Coordinator of MSc (AgriFood Sustainability & Technology). E:

  • Prof. David Styles, Lecturer in Life Cycle Assessment

  • Dr Anne Mullen, Lecturer in Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security

  • Dr Peter McKeown, Lecturer in Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security


Requirements and Assessment

A range of assessment methods are integrated and applied throughout the programme. These include essays, projects, reports, presentations and case studies. A research project dissertation must also be submitted.

Semester 1 exams take place in December. 

Semester 2 exams take place in March/April.

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 normally required.

Please see Your Country ( for country specific entry requirements. Work experience may also be considered..

Other requirements: proof of identity, academic transcripts, an academic recommendation, Personal Statement (max. 600 words), two-page CV.

All applicants, whose first language is not English, or who have not been educated through the medium of the English language during their two most recent years of study, must present an English language qualification taken within two years of the start of the course. Suggested English language qualifications include IELTS, Cambridge C1 Advanced  (CAE), Cambridge C2 Advanced (CPE), TOEFL iBT/TOEFL iBT Home Edition, Pearson PTE and Duolingo.

For more detailed information on the test scores required please refer to this page -

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2023

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

NFQ level


Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code


Course Outline

The MSc in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is located within the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, and aligned with the Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) of the Ryan Institute at University of Galway.

The programme is run in partnership with the global CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, with whom University of Galway is one of thirteen Strategic Research Partners. The global CGIAR CCAFS Program involves over 700 institutional partners worldwide.

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

You may also be interested in one of our other Science of Sustainability postgraduate programmes. 

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 the MScCCAFS are extremely 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 is provided to all students on the MScCCAFS to ensure that they rapidly enter employment in relevant institutions and activities, where they can build from their interests, experience and training.

The MScCCAFS program at  University of Galway has a theory of change where the impact of the program on climate change, agriculture and food security globally is realised through our graduates.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€8,040 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Tuition

€7,900 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2023/24

Fees: Non EU

€25,090 p.a. 2023/24

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €4,000 towards your tuition (2023/24).  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay tuition up to a maximum of €6,270. SUSI will not cover the student levy of €140.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = Tuition (EU or NON EU) + Student levy as outlined above.

Note to non-EU students: learn about the 24-month Stayback Visa here

Find out More

Professor Charles Spillane
Director of MScCCAFS Program

Dr Peter McKeown
Co-ordinator of MScCCAFS Program



  • Climate & Food Security Brochure

    Climate & Food Security Brochure PDF (6.2 MB)

  • Postgraduate Prospectus 2023

    Postgraduate Prospectus 2023 PDF (20.6MB)