AP1A02-Introduction to Agricultural and Food Systems

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Robbie Girling

Email: r.girling@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module provides an introduction to the social, economic and environmental factors which influence food production, and food security. Over the 10 weeks learning outcomes span:
•Key political and economic factors which affect food supply in Europe;
•The influences on world food production, and the predicted changes in food supply in the future;
•Understanding the trends in agricultural systems from low to high intensity production;
•Global climate, why and how it varies, how cropping systems are matched to climate, climate changes and impacts;
•The systems approach to agro-food systems; and
•Examples of wider policy issues and debates

At the end of the module you will be able to understand the impact of social, economic and environmental factors of food supply, how it influences you, UK agriculture, and what changes might be expected in the future. The broad themes will be illustrated from case studies from both temperate and tropical climates with the incorporation of scientific, contemporary and personal sources into teaching material. This module provides grounding for a range of disciplines spanning agricultural, environmental and food science disciplines.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module you will have developed the following skills:
•An understanding of the factors that determine the geographical distribution of agriculture, and the influence of climate on productivity and the farming system
•Identification of the linkages between social, economic and environmental aspects of food production
•An awareness of wider policy issues and debates relating to the social factors affecting food and its supply

Core skills developed:
•Discussion and debate
•Group work
•Report writing

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
- Food in the modern world
- Feeding the world
- Agricultural business - the factors of production
- UK agriculture and food production
- Environmental, economic and social determinants of agriculture
- Global climate change and agriculture
- Case study country
- Agriculture and people
- Agricultural sustainability, the environment and the future
- Debate on topical issue

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
oSeminars oDirected learning oIndependent learning

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 20
Set exercise 20

Other information on summative assessment:
Set exercise to include multiple choice tests as part of TBL (20%)
Essay to comprise a given table format to be completed by researching content on a topic with less than 1000 words.(20%)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    A one hour examination paper in the Summer Term requiring the answers to 2 from 4 questions provided.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By Examination in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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