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Graduate Certificate in
Sustainable Food Systems and Security

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At a Glance


Academic Level:


Credential Granted:

Graduate Certificate

Start Date:

Fall Intake (September) Fall (September)

Spring Intake (January) Spring (January)

Summer Intake (May) Summer (May)

Intake Type:

  • Limited Intake Limited

Minimum Credits Required:


Curriculum Effective Date:


Graduate Certificate in
Sustainable Food Systems and Security


This is an 18-credit Graduate Certificate composed of six courses in an online delivery format spanning one academic year. The interdisciplinary curriculum comprises two parts: the first part is a comprehensive interdisciplinary examination of contemporary food systems and food security from environmental, social and economic perspectives, elucidating the multi-faceted and deep challenges to humanity and the biosphere; the second part seeks to envision and facilitate a better food system future.

The key program objectives are:

  • To impart a comprehensive understanding of the sustainability challenges in our contemporary food system.
  • To imbue students with an understanding of emerging research and knowledge around sustainable food systems
  • To train change-makers; prepare builders and leaders to implement effective and innovative strategies to advance sustainable food systems.  

This program of study is also formally articulated with the Royal Roads University Master of Arts – Interdisciplinary Studies program and required of those Royal Roads University students who want to pursue the MA graduate degree with a Sustainable Food System and Food Security emphasis. Students must still apply formally for admission to Royal Roads University.

Faculty's website:

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Faculty's Admission Requirements, which consist of KPU's undergraduate English Proficiency Requirement, the following program admission requirements apply:

  • Successful completion of a recognized undergraduate or graduate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.33
  • A statement of intent in the program, including relevant studies and work experience. Normally, a minimum of three years of professional experience is required. This statement should be 800 – 1000 words and cover the following:
    • Intellectual and creative interests
    • Personal goals related to the program
    • How one's background contributes to the program
    • Self-assessment of emotional intelligence with applied examples
    • Highlight interests in community involvement
  • Three references (one academic, two professional) stating suitability for the program

All applicants are assessed by an admissions committee for maturity, fit to the academic program, educational background, and work experience, using the statement of intent and references. Applicants may also be interviewed by a member of the Admissions Committee as part of the application screening process. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the program. For further details about the statement of intent, including submission specifics, visit the department's website at:

If you are interested in this program but do not meet the stated admission requirements, contact Dr. Kent Mullinix at to discuss options that may be available to you.

Curricular Requirements

Course List
Code Title Credits
SFSS 6100 Our Food System and Sustainability 1
SFSS 6110 Environment & Food Systems 4
SFSS 6120 Food System Economics 3
SFSS 6130 Food System & Society 4
SFSS 6140 Creating Our Food Future 4
SFSS 6180 Community Food System- Capstone Project 2
Total Credits 18

SFSS course fees are assessed according to Tuition Category 2.a.6 for Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents, or Tuition Category 7.a for International Students.

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security.

Sustainable Food Systems and Security

Food systems and issues of food security have risen to the forefront of sustainability discourse, research and community based action. This has occurred in response to the grievous outcomes from the globalization and wholesale industrialization of the food system over the last century. Outcomes of the current system include the production of enough food for every person on earth while 1/6th of the population is undernourished and another 1/6th is overfed, unsustainable dependence on fossil fuels, profligate greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of environmental destruction, and the economic and social marginalization of agriculture, agriculturists and agriculture communities. Moreover, the system has not eliminated food insecurity in Canada or elsewhere. Additionally, it is recognized that climate change along with limited arable land, water, and energy will increasingly exert profound effects on agriculture, food systems, and food security. Food systems must change in the twenty-first century to respond to these challenges. Change will require an understanding of the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable food systems appropriate to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and preparation of sustainable food system and food security advocates, leaders and builders, who work in a myriad of professional capacities within our economies and societies.

KPU, via the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (an applied research and extension unit) and the Sustainable Agriculture BASc program, is now the recognized Canadian higher education research, extension and education leader in this important and nascent domain.

Who Studies Sustainable Food Systems?

Many practicing and aspiring professionals that concern themselves in food system research, education and action need and want substantive, pertinent expertise. We serve a broad range of professionals including those involved in planning, economic development, community activism, NGOs, education, health, social work, food sector business etc. Interest in and the advancement of sustainable food systems and security transcends agriculture (agronomy, horticulture and animal science). Much of the work is led by individuals educated and working outside of agriculture per se. The food system is a foundational and cross cutting element of sustainable society, and as such food systems leaders and builders have training in diverse disciplines. There is (and it is needed) a breadth of expertise being brought to bear on the challenge of sustainable food systems and security.

Students from around the world are able to enroll in this program, as it is delivered online.

Graduates are generally expected 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

Graduates are generally expected to work in the following situations:

  • domestic and international agencies as well as non-governmental organizations
  • community development organizations
  • public health agencies
  • university-based research institutes and centres

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