*New for Fall 2020*

Ryerson University's Urban Farm

Attend Our Webinar

Date: July 29, 2020

Time: 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m. EST


Urban agriculture is a growing field, contributing to the sustainability and planning for resilient city regions. This four-course certificate, which can be fully completed online, equips you with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience to address food system challenges in local and global contexts. You will learn about the technical aspects and different types of urban agriculture, as well as explore policy and governance issues for the effective development of urban agriculture systems.

The Urban Agriculture Certificate builds on a long history of teaching, research, and outreach related to urban food systems generally, and urban agriculture specifically, at Ryerson University. The Ryerson Centre for Studies in Food Security and the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education's Certificate in Food Security inspired the development of the urban agriculture curriculum and course series in partnership with the RUAF Foundation (formerly Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security) in the Netherlands.

The certificate will help you strengthen the sustainability and resilience of urban communities and healthy, livable food-growing cities of the future.

What Will You Learn

At the end of the certificate, you will have the skills and knowledge to: 

  • understand the concept and characteristics of urban agriculture 
  • identify the potential and associated risks of various types of urban agriculture, and assess the need for research or policy interventions in urban agriculture
  • analyze the relationships between urban agriculture and multiple dimensions of urban management related to health and nutrition, social and cultural development, local economic development, and environmental management
  • differentiate between, analyze, and understand different types of urban agriculture systems in a city using multiple criteria and approaches for participatory research and extension to support the development of urban agriculture systems
  • identify how urban agriculture can advance food security, food sovereignty, and environmental sustainability through planning and policy
  • apply participatory and gender-sensitive concepts, tools, and processes, such as situation analysis, action planning, and policy design with diverse urban agriculture stakeholders

Who Should Take This Certificate?

This certificate is designed for:

  • students and recent graduates with relevant degrees (e.g. nutrition and food, planning, sociology, architecture, etc.) wishing to focus their interest and educational goals within urban agriculture
  • individuals with experience in the urban agriculture sector, seeking additional training or expanded understanding of the overall scope of the field, including business entrepreneurs, ecological, urban and health planners, municipal planners, environmental advocates, development officers, urban food growers, staff of parks, and other city departments
  • newer Canadians entering the workforce seeking potential work opportunities, especially those with a prior agricultural background

The program may also appeal to:

  • current students enrolled in or alumni of food security, landscape design and sustainability management
  • individuals with a high school diploma interested in urban agriculture 
  • mature students looking to change their careers or build their skills 

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our urban agriculture teaching team is recognized internationally in the field. Having lived and worked around the globe, they understand the challenges and context of urban agriculture, food security and food system policy in Canada and internationally. 

Visit our Instructor Profile Directory to read instructor bios.

Industry and Careers

Many of our graduates find work within:

  • social services
  • education
  • public health
  • housing
  • poverty alleviation
  • community policing
  • environmental studies
  • international development
  • food security
  • land-use
  • labour
  • healthcare
  • urban planning

Possible job titles include but are not limited to:

  • Educators 
  • Project Coordinators 
  • Data Analysts 
  • Research
  • Managers 
  • Dietary Managers
  • Public Servant
  • Team Leader
  • Project Manager
  • Community Coordinator
  • Farm Coordinator
  • Food Ambassadors and Educator
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Retail Store Associate
  • Research Assistant/Intern and Office Manager
  • Urban Residential Food Grower
  • Consultant In Sustainable Development
  • Environmental Advocate
  • Entrepreneurs/Small Business Owner
  • Farmer Manager 
  • Production Assistant On Vegetable Or Fruit Farms
  • Public Gardens Or Field Production Staff
  • Owner/Operator of a Food Production Farm
  • Municipal Planner or Policymaker
  • Coordinator or Project Manager in Urban Agriculture, Plant Innovation, or Rooftop/Community Gardens
  • Coordinator or Project Manager or Consultant in Ecological Planning
  • Research Engineer or Project Manager in Eco-innovation and Regeneration of Urban Areas
  • Development Officer in Sustainable Urban Planning
  • Project Manager in a Local Authority, Urban Planning or Environmental Department, or Development Agency

Certificate Requirements

  • One required course
  • Two required electives
  • One general elective
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Recommended sequence

It is recommended that students take the required course CVFN 410 - Understanding Urban Agriculture at the beginning of the Urban Agriculture Certificate.

A new elective course, CVFN 400 - Practicum/Project in Urban Agriculture, which will not be offered in Fall 2020, will allow students to have hands-on experience in urban farm settings, take special topic courses, and pursue other options that are more tailored to their interests.

Admission Criteria


  • OSSD with six Grade 12 U or M credits (including English), with a minimum average of 60 percent, or equivalent 


  • mature student status with relevant work experience

Related Programs

Certificate in Food Security

This unique, fully online, leading-edge program explores food-related health and education issues, food policy, environmental sustainability, human rights, and alleviation of food insecurity.

Help address food issues by working in civil society organizations and public sector agencies in Canada and worldwide. Learn how to engage the private sector to initiate the transformation to a more equitable and sustainable system of production, processing, and marketing.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Reg Noble, Academic Coordinator
Email: food@ryerson.ca

Additional Details