Graduate Certificate in
Sustainable Food Systems and Security

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Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security

It is paramount that we all engage to advance human sustainability, and a sustainable food system is foundational. KPU offers this unique and intensive graduate-level program of study for you to gain the crucial knowledge and understanding needed to advocate for and work for critical food system change in your community and around the world.

The food system impacts every aspect of society and must change to respond to the challenges of sustainability, including food insecurity, climate change, environmental degradation and resource depletion. That change needs leaders and activists with a deep understanding of the very real and critical social, environmental and economic challenges associated with our dominant food systems. There are many professions and organizations that have important roles and are engaging in advancement of sustainable food systems including;

  • Public education
  • Planning (community and regional)
  • Government (local and provincial)
  • NGO/ NPO sector
  • Health Authorities
  • Economic development/ Chambers of Commerce
  • Food and agriculture business/ industry associations
  • Policy makers
  • Agrologists
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Alternate health care

If you are a recent university graduate, or an aspiring or practicing professional interested in advancing food system sustainability and community resilience through your work this program of study will unequivocally prepare you to do so.  For recent graduates who want to begin advanced study, this program offers a great entry point.

We're delivering this program online to give you easy access to an exceptional program and the opportunity to become food system change-makers and influence what is possible in your own community.

Why KPU? Through the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, the Sustainable Agriculture Bachelor of Applied Science program, and now the graduate certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security, Kwantlen Polytechnic University has firmly established itself a Canadian leader in the nascent academic field of sustainable food systems.


Why Study Sustainable Food Systems and Security?

Our food system impacts almost every aspect of society. From production, processing, and distribution to consumption and waste, our choices are affected by, and have an impact on, the whole system. Unfortunately, our current dominant food system contributes to environmental destruction, climate change, epidemic food-related diseases and a lack of food equity.

These issues of sustainability are top of mind for many around the globe. Building a sustainable food system needs leaders, planners, educators, government staff and many others with diverse backgrounds because food systems and security are about more than agriculture and farming.

That means practicing and aspiring professionals involved in economic development, community activism, education, healthcare, social work and the food sector are the key to building sustainable food systems and food security.

You can influence what is possible in food system research, education, and action by gaining relevant, meaningful expertise through this graduate program.

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  • "The graduate certificate was the only program I came across in British Columbia offering a range of courses focused on sustainable food systems using an interdisciplinary approach. I was able to find the education on sustainable food systems and agriculture I was looking for and transfer the individual SFSS courses to my Environmental Management master's program at Royal Roads University, as electives. The program also introduced me to an incredibly knowledgeable team at the ISFS, including the professors, researchers, and students!"

    Emily Townsend, 2022

  • The SFSS program provided me with the rare opportunity to experience multiple fields of study and learn from both students and faculty with a diversity of experience and interests. It challenged me to think critically, act creatively, and to use passion as an instrument for change. The connections I've made through the program are with some of the most inspiring people I've ever met who give me real hope for the future.

    Jordyn Carrs, 2022

  • The graduate certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and security was the best way to start my career in food systems work. This program has opened up endless doors of opportunity, and still are. This program prepared me for a master degree in so many ways. I learned practical research skills, both qualitative and quantitative. Our courses expensively covered topics including ecology, planning, policy, innovation and decolonizing our food system. It was amazing how much I learnt in one year. I feel so much more equipped to work within the food system. Through hands on assignments, I was able to connect to local organizations and widen my network. This certificate and my connection to the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems is something I’m proud to put on my resume!

    Emily Burkholder, 2022

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Program Details

This 18-credit graduate certificate is composed of six online courses taken over one academic year. Drawing from multiple academic disciplines, the two-part curriculum features:

  • An extensive look at the dominant global-industrial food system and food security from environmental, social and economic viewpoints, illustrating the complex challenges they pose to humanity and the planet.
  • Consideration of how to devise and promote community and bioregional food systems for the future.

Program Overview Admission Requirements

Garlic and leeks

Career Outcomes

Program graduates are prepared for rewarding work in domestic and international agencies, non-governmental organizations, community development organizations, public health agencies, and university-based research institutes and centres.

Graduates can expect to work in the following professions:

  • Municipal/ Regional District Planner
  • Policy Analyst
  • Agriculture/ Food System Consultant
  • Educator (K-12)
  • Academic/ Researcher (post-secondary)
  • Entrepreneur
  • NGO staff
  • Government staff (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade, Jobs and Economic Development)
  • Extension agent
  • Social/ Community Development professional
  • Food System professional

For general inquiries, please email