APMIFS-Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning Programme (IFSTAL)

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Harley Pope

Email: h.a.n.pope@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme is available to all postgraduate (Masters and PhD) students registered at the University of Reading. IFSTAL is made up of a consortium of five higher education institutions* and is free to join and participate in. The module is non-credit bearing and designed to sit alongside, and complement, your existing programme of study. IFSTAL is an exciting and innovative way of enhancing your learning that brings together a wide range of students, academics and other professionals in the food systems and food security fields, including employers.

  • The University of Reading, University of Oxford, Warwick University, City University and LCIRAH [Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health]).

IFSTAL offers a broad overview of the full food system, and state-of-the-art training on approaches and methods used in a wide range of disciplines to promote more efficient and effective food system outcomes. It will train you in the theory, practice and methodologies of food systems ‘thinking’ and research to complement your specialist skills, allowing you to place your detailed knowledge within the food security ‘bigger picture’. This will enhance your professional capability by allowing you to use your skills more effectively in the workplace, thereby helping you make a more distinctive contribution to improving national and global food policies, practices and security.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this non-assessed module, you should be able to:
•Critically analyse what the food system is, how it functions, and how it is linked to associated concepts such as food security and malnutrition.
•Explain the interrelationships between local, national and global food system processes, and the different stakeholder groups that exist across these levels;
•Have enhanced their understanding of the different professional opportunities open to them related to the production, distribution and consumption of food in developed and developing countries.
•Have developed a set of skills and methodologies that are applicable for the workplace, and can be utilised to help solve food system-related problems.
Please note that there is no assessed coursework for this module. However, a certain level of engagement will be required in order to receive an IFSTAL Certificate of Participation (see the ‘Contact hours’ section below for an indicative guide to these).

Additional outcomes:
IFSTAL will provide you with the opportunity to benefit from networking between the participating Higher Education institutions, and with the workplace. The programme will help to facilitate access to relevant dissertation placements, as well as internships following the completion of your studies.

Outline content:
- Food challenges: an introduction
- Systems thinking: key theories and concepts
- Food systems actors and activities
- Drivers and influencers: what shapes the food system?
- Strategies for change in the food system
- Opportunities and cooperation among food system actors
- Future food systems and scenarios

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching and learning will be delivered via an online portal, and a series of lectures and workshops. IFSTAL will provide you with the opportunity to participate in a week-long summer school, and a dissertation placement and internship programme. Please note that the Summer School and internships/placements are by competitive application.

Your engagement with IFSTAL is flexible and voluntary; you can participate as and when you are able or according to your interest although you will benefit from full engagement with the course.

The contact hours below represent full engagement with the programme and attendance at all events.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4 4 35
Practicals classes and workshops 4 4
External visits 8 16
Guided independent study 10 10 5
Total hours by term 26.00 34.00 40.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
There is no formal assessment process. Following completion of the programme, you will be able to apply for an IFSTAL Certificate of Participation, in which you will be asked to summarise how you participated in IFSTAL, and explain how you benefitted from it. Some workshops, and the summer school, will require you to submit separate applications.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Not applicable - there if no formal assessment for this module.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
You will need to demonstrate that they have participated in the programme, and explain how you have benefitted from it.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-assessment is not possible; no additional sessions will be offered.

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: 20 April 2018


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