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University of Leeds

A Nutritional Approach to Agriculture and Food Security

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


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.

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.


  • What is a nutrition-sensitive food system?
    • Welcome to the course
    • Understanding nutrition-sensitive agriculture in the context of Sustainable Development Goals
    • The role of crops in nutrition-sensitive agriculture: towards a healthy sustainable diet
    • Animal production for a healthy and sustainable diet
    • Summary
  • Exploring nutrition-sensitive food systems
    • About Week 2
    • How to design a nutrition-sensitive food system
    • Food-based dietary guidelines and food choice
    • How to assess the broader impacts of nutrition-sensitive agriculture
    • Summary

Taught by

Caroline Orfila


4.9 rating, based on 10 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 23 ratings

Start your review of A Nutritional Approach to Agriculture and Food Security

  • Very informative and thought provoking course. It broaden my perspective about food, and it made me consider food as part of Food System, with many different elements, interconnections and goals/ purposes.

    One thing I really enjoyed about this course is the Discussion forums. There are many course participants from different parts of the world who actively contributed to the discussions, and shared the practices in their countries. This sharing of information are very enriching and often eye opening
  • Anonymous
    This course provides practical skills and tools systematically for a person like me with a background in food science/technology and an existing interest in nutrition, sustainability and nutritious diet in a global context. These will certainly help…
  • Profile image for Godwin Fenny
    Godwin Fenny
    Enables one to choose what food to eat wisely with an understanding of nutrient contents required for the human body. Explains the different food groups and classifies that a meal should contain food from all the food groups;
  • Anonymous
    The course is interesting and gives a good view as to how complex NSA interventions are and how important food security is. It is good to have to look at problems from a regional perspective (African in this case) and find out how much is being done.
    I already knew quite a lot about nutrition, so that made it easy to understand things. The part about statistics and graphs was not explained in such a way that it could be grasped well.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course.

    I have begun to try and share the information with 2 charities I volunteer with in Uganda and Malawi. my hope is that some of the women could study the course and others you may have. Internet skills and access may be an issue. funding also but perhaps there are ways Future Learn can help?

    I have never found a better teaching model that uses stats and finding from Africa.
  • Anonymous
    Thnaks to God Almighty who gives me such an amazing oppertunity to join this course.It's a course full of valueable information .I really like the activities and exercises.Well expained videos and thier trascript helped me alot to understand this course.
  • Anonymous
    I think it’s great and helpful to understanding the concept of food security and agriculture in subsahrian Africa also the choice case studies it was good . eventually thanks a lot to future learn family and keep going.
  • Anonymous
    It was very informative and very interesting. This topic is super relevant today and really important to learn about. There were lots of real life examples which put it into context.
  • Anonymous
    This was a very insightful course and i have learnt a lot and i am looking forward to learn more and contribute towards UN SDGs.
  • Anonymous
    thank you, this is really interesting and eye opening for me, a university student. thank you, Leeds.

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