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A Nutritional Approach to Agriculture and Food Security

Develop skills to apply and evaluate innovative solutions that place nutrition at the heart of a sustainable food system.

2,823 enrolled on this course

A Nutritional Approach to Agriculture and Food Security

2,823 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Modern agriculture and global food systems have become very complex and do not always provide people with affordable and nutritious food. This course presents current research, which aims to place nutrition at the heart of the food system. With a focus on the Global South, you’ll learn about the components of the food system and their link to nutrition and acquire the skills to implement and evaluate nutrition-sensitive interventions.

Discover nutrition-sensitive food systems and develop nutrition skills

To uncover the benefits of nutrition-sensitive agriculture, you need to understand key concepts in agriculture, food and nutrition research and learn about the role of crops and livestock in a healthy and sustainable diet.

You’ll also acquire nutrition-specific skills used to evaluate food and diets and apply them in course activities. This will help you to design and assess nutrition-sensitive interventions. You’ll then examine research-led material on bio-fortification and other innovative food processing methods to understand how to diversify food production and improve the nutritional value of foods.

Discover how to place nutrition at the heart of the food system

As you conceptualise nutrition in relation to food systems, you’ll evaluate the consequences of nutrition-sensitive interventions and policies on socioeconomic and environmental aspects. You’ll also explore the role of different stakeholders and understand the crucial role of women in driving improvements in nutrition outcomes in households and communities.

Learn from the experts at the University of Leeds

This course is based on research led by experts in agriculture, nutrition and environmental sciences from the University of Leeds, the University of Pretoria and FARNPAN.

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What topics will you cover?

Week 1: What is a nutrition sensitive food system?

  • Activity 1: Understanding nutrition sensitive agriculture in the context of sustainable development goals
  • Activity 2: The role of crops in a healthy sustainable diet
  • Activity 3: Animal production for a healthy and sustainable diet

Week 2: Exploring nutrition sensitive food systems

  • Activity 1: How to design a nutrition sensitive food system
  • Activity 2: Food based dietary guidelines and food choice
  • Activity 3: How to assess the broader impacts of nutrition sensitive agriculture

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Conceptualise nutrition in relation to the rest of the food system
  • Evaluate nutrition-sensitive approaches and how these can increase food and nutrition security with a focus on the Global South
  • Develop skills in dietary assessment, food composition and measures of diet quality and diversity
  • Apply the evaluation skills needed to select and introduce nutrition-sensitive interventions relevant to your own field of work or study
  • Evaluate the consequences of nutrition-sensitive interventions and policies in respect of their social, economic, and environmental impacts.
  • Assess the role of women in promoting nutrition-sensitive interventions

Who is the course for?

This is a skills-focused course designed for individuals with an existing interest in nutrition, sustainability and diet, in a global context. Learners will also learn practical skills that would help them to apply and evaluate nutrition-sensitive interventions in their own field of interest.

Who will you learn with?

I am Professor of Plant Biochemistry and Nutrition at the University of Leeds in the UK. For more information visit: https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/food-nutrition/staff/7148/professor-caroline-orfila

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

University of Pretoria

The University was born from a vision to create a space for quality education and for new ideas to flourish. Over the course of its existence, and through different phases of political power and social change, UP has been resilient in its commitment to academic quality.

Endorsers and supporters

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Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council logo

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$54/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 1 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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