FZCR59-Sustaining Crop Quality

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Carol Wagstaff

Email: C.Wagstaff@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Delivered using a two stage blended model this module will provide an understanding of sustainability issues that impact on the quality of fresh and processed arable and horticultural crops through five to six weeks of distance learning delivering lectures, background information and directed reading in preparation for a campus-based workshop of 3 consecutive, intensive days of seminars, tutorials and practical sessions delivered by academic members of teaching and research  staff from the department of Food & Nutritional Sciences and the wider University of Reading and invited experts in the field from across academia and industry. 


The module aims to provide an in-depth understanding of a range of sustainability issues that impact on the quality of fresh and processed arable and horticultural crops.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, learners should be able to:

  • Evaluate how sustainability plans imposed by their own business or those around them will impact on raw material quality.

  • Be able to recommend changes and improvements to the sustainability plan for their business.

  • Understand how and why raw material quality will vary throughout the year and to be able to make informed judgements of how they will adapt to this variation.

Additional outcomes:

The following transferable skills will be developed in this module:

  • Critical evaluation of data from a variety of sources

  • Effective communication of scientific information in oral and written format with scientific rigour

  • Debating skills

Outline content:

This module is designed to provide an understanding of the role of diet in tackling key sustainability issues affecting the quality of fresh and processed arable and horticultural crops. Areas of particular focus include:

  • Defining and reviewing quality and sustainability for different crops

  • Different production systems (organic, GM, conventional, fairtrade, locally traded)

  • Sustaining biodiversity without compromising crop quality or yield

  • Managing inputs of water, fertiliser, crop protection chemicals

  • Breeding for sustained quality

  • Interpretation of crop quality assessment data and the implications for processing and risk management

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Problem based learning supported by lectures (delivered via distance learning and face-to-face) together with presentations by invited speakers from different areas of the food industry and experts in the area of fresh and processed arable and horticultural crops.

Contact hours

The module content will be delivered by distance learning and through direct staff contact time. The module will consist of preliminary learning materials delivered over a 5 – 6 week period as distance learning via a virtual learning environment (VLE). This will include a series of short video/audio lectures and directed reading around the topics and preparation of a statement of their own business’s sustainability plan or that of a company in the same supply chain that impacts upon their business. This will represent 35 hours of student input and prepare them for a 3-day intensive on campus workshop that will include 25 hours of academic-led seminars and group discussions supported by expert outside speakers, a visit and practical session and 5 hours of independent learning and group work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 25
Guided independent study 40
Total hours by term 65.00
Total hours for module 65.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are no summative assessments in this module.

Formative assessment methods:

Self-assessment multiple choice question tests used during distance learning delivery. Questions related to video lectures and directed reading.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    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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