Sustainable Agroecosystems and Resilience (SARe)


The Master of Science Programme in “Sustainable Agro-ecosystems and Resilience (SARe)” provides a two-year curriculum and is an innovative educational path that aims at preparing professionals to tackle the complex challenges to sustain food production in rural areas.

The Master course focuses on farming and food systems evolution, identifying 1) the agro-ecosystem as the unit for action, a complex system with economic, social, and ecological components; 2) the local community as the main stakeholder relying on the agroecosystem functions and aiming to conserve and improve its ability to resist and respond to changes. Agro-ecosystems will be studied as farm and landscape systems delivering important services to societies, and that evolve in relations with agri-food policies and people’s behaviours. Solutions are proposed for their sustainable management with focuses on biodiversity, water, and soil resources, and in the frame of climate change. Attention is given to how to promote, at local level, stakeholders’ participation and empowerment in agro-ecosystem planning and management, and on ways to establish agri-food networks driven by green and ethical principles, and for an agro-ecological transition. The course presents methodologies and tools for assessment and diagnosis of agroecosystem sustainability and community resilience, and how to design and implement projects for sustainable development of agri-food sector and communities.

Learning oucomes

At the end of the program students will master the system thinking required to understand, assess, and promote agroecosystem resilience, and they will be able to:
- comprehend and analyze the complexity of agroecosystems, their relations with food systems and people’s behaviors, the nature of their development challenges;
- design and drive community development processes according to agroecological principles to build up resilience against bio-physical and socio-economic stresses;
- identify and fill stakeholders’ gaps to facilitate transition to resilient agroecosystems;
- analyze and promote multi-actors’ networks, and agricultural knowledge and innovation systems that support sustainable land management processes, green economy development and social inclusion;
- support community farms towards greater competitiveness and socio-economic sustainability in the agri-food system.
- implement action-research and learning approaches through participation, dialogue and vision building processes; use a range of tools for quantitative and qualitative research in rural areas.

Candidates' profiles

The course is addressed to candidates who have motivations in working in research or services domains, as well as in development programs, oriented to the empowerment of rural communities in sustainable agroecosystem management and who wish to be actively engaged in interdisciplinary and multisectoral challenges.
Candidates may hold different university degrees related to agricultural, environmental, social, and economic sciences, with diplomas awarding at least to 180 ECTS (three-year Degrees). Working experience and other study titles will be evaluated as an added value for selection. Applicants must have a good knowledge of spoken and written English and access to computer facilities.




Olimpia Antonelli

Head of the Office

Roberta Cosentino


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