Sustainability, Climate Change, and Food


About this minor

Achieving greater levels of sustainability is a goal facing many fields of public policy, especially in the context of an increasing climate crisis. This creates particularly acute challenges when it comes to the production and distribution of sufficient food on a global level. We are more aware than ever of how challenges and threats at a global level impact our social reality locally. The war in Ukraine has demonstrated the vulnerability of specific supply lines for staple products such as grain and sunflower oil, while environmental change increases farmer vulnerability worldwide. How can we ensure that the world's population can be properly fed with sustainable techniques? What is the effect of our food production on the environment, and how is climate change impacting the different stages of the food cycle, from cultivation to waste management? What factors lie behind the many different consumption patterns and trends? Is access to food a human right, and how does scarcity lead to conflict?

By placing food at the centre of investigation and using multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches, the Minor “Sustainability, Climate Change, and Food” explores current-day debates on political, environmental, economic and cultural change at both the local and global levels.

Programme 2024-2025

The minor consists of 6 courses of 5 ECTS each and takes place during the first semester. The semester is divided into two blocks of eight weeks. Each block corresponds to a track (Block 1: “Production, distribution and consumption” and Block 2: “Natural Resources, Rights and Conflict”) and each track is made up of three courses. This minor is a consistent package of courses designed to help you build your knowledge in a logical and connected way. It is not possible to follow single courses and the minor needs to be completed in one academic year. It is possible to register for a 15 EC semi-minor consisting of either the full first or second track.

The Minor consists of six courses of 5EC. Students are strongly encouraged to complete all six courses of the minor in order to benefit from the full range of multi-disciplinarity that it provides. However, the Minor is also offered as two blocks of 15EC, each course 5EC, and each block with a thematic coherence: Production, Distribution and Consumption

  • Food Systems within Planetary Boundaries (100)
  • The Economics of Poverty and Global Inequalities (200)
  • Wasted Cities: A Critical Look into our Waste and our Resources (300)

Natural Resources, Rights and Conflict

  • Climate Change and Sustainable Water Resource Management for Food Production (100)
  • SDGs, Human Rights and International Law (200)
  • Food Insecurity, Conflict, and Social Justice in an Era of Climate Change (300)

Good to know

  • Contact: If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to
  • It is possible to register for a 15 EC semi-minor consisting of either the full first or second track.
  • For more information about the tracks, please use the link below

Required prior knowledge

This English-language minor programme is accessible for all students across the natural and social sciences and the humanities (BA & BSc) with an interest in food and sustainability. The minor’s multi-disciplinary approach will introduce them to different perspectives that will enrich and broaden their chosen studies.

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 30
  • Level
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Leiden University.


  • Start date

    1 September 2024

    • Ends
      2 February 2025
    • Term *
      Minor semester 1
    • Location
      Den Haag
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment period closed
These offerings are valid for students of Leiden University