Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems And Resilience (SARe)

The Master Programme: One Academic Year (60 ECTS)

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

  • the agro ecosystem as the unit for action, a complex system with economic, social, and ecological components;
  • the local community as the main stakeholder relying on the agro ecosystem 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.

The Action Learning project

During the Master course, students will be engaged in a project development adopting the Action Learning approach. Once divided into work groups, students will be faced with real challenges in a multidisciplinary and intersectoral way. The groups will familiarise with a real territory where they will conduct an assessment of the agro-ecosystem resilience and of its status towards an agro-ecological transition. Activities will consist in the analysis of natural resources, farming activities, communities’ actions, using a variety of tools for assessment, including SMART technologies, interviews, field visits, and focus groups. The project will develop students’ capacities to observe, reflect and research on complex systems, through processes based on multi-actor dialogue, participation, and visioning.

The Master of Science Programme: Two Academic Years (120 ECTS)

During the Master of Science Programme, students will conduct research related to contents identified within the Master topics, through internships within selected institutions. Priority will be given to research carried out in the participants’ home countries.

They will be back to CIHEAM Bari for finalizing the research report and attending additional trainings. Researches might be oriented to analyse specific landscapes/agroecosystems, food value chains, Knowledge and innovation systems for farmers, using a range of investigation tools that may include remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, interviews and questionnaires administration

At the end of the course students will master the system thinking required to understand, assess, and promote agro-ecosystem resilience, and they will be able to:

  • use different research methodologies and tools embedding multidisciplinary and intersectoral perspectives; promote multi-stakeholder participation, dialogue and vision building processes proficiently applying an action-oriented approach;
  • comprehend and analyse the complexity of agro-ecosystems, their relations with food systems and people’s behaviours, 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’ knowledge gaps to facilitate transition to resilient agro-ecosystems;
  • analyse and promote territorial networks promoting and supporting integrated land management approach, agroecology knowledge, innovation systems to support green economy processes;
  • support community farms towards greater competitiveness and socio-economic sustainability in the agri-food system.

Beneficiaries and Scholarships

CIHEAM Bari grants full or partial scholarships to candidates according to a ranking list. Priority is given to students coming from non-EU CIHEAM Member countries and other Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern Countries. Students from non-priority countries who are interested in CIHEAM Bari courses are anyhow allowed to participate at their own expense or through other sources of financing (governments or other bodies).

In particular, courses are addressed to:

  • graduate students;
  • young researchers;
  • extension agents;
  • civil servants;

A given number of residential full scholarships is granted every year to candidates coming from non-EU CIHEAM Member countries and other Mediterranean, Balkan and Middle Eastern countries whose applications rank first in the selection process. Full scholarship covers: registration fees (200€/year), tuition fees (500€/month), travel expenses from and to the country of origin, board and lodging in the students’ residence, insurance and medical assistance, pocket money (170€/month).  

Other candidates are admitted with a partial scholarship covering tuition fees and accommodation as long as rooms in the campus residence are available.

Candidates can apply for scholarships in the application form. 

Conditions for admission

Access is open to candidates of any nationality who have the academic level qualifying them to carry out postgraduate studies in their country of origin.

Candidates' profile

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 agro ecosystem 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 240 ECTS (four-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.

Conditions to be admitted to the Master Programmes are:

  • holding a University Degree awarding at least 240 ECTS;
  • having completed four out of five years of University studies, upon agreement between the sending University and CIHEAM Bari (the year attended at CIHEAM Bari is recognized as final year in order to graduate at the University of origin).

    Education Office

    Head of the Office
    Olimpia Antonelli
    +39 080 4606281


    Silvia Centonze
    +39 080 4606329

    Roberta Cosentino
     +39 080 4606202

    Ivana Pekez
    +39 080 4606299

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