AP3A105-Global Issues in Nutrition and Health

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Simona Grasso

Email: s.r.grasso@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Explore major contemporary social issues related to human nutrition and health in developed and developing country contexts. Draw on examples from around the world to investigate issues such as: how and why people’s diets are changing, and what the consequences of these changes are; why obesity is rising, and what can be done to deal with this problem; and how under-nutrition manifests itself in different countries, and what the most effective interventions to address this phenomenon are.


The module is intended to appeal to students with a wide range of social and scientific backgrounds. This includes students with a background in nutritional and biochemical sciences who are interested in exploring the wider social, economic and political dimensions of their field.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

1. Describe what constitutes a healthy diet;

2. Explain the main individual, social and structural factors that influence dietary choices in different societies; and

3. Discuss the major dietary- and health-related problems that exist worldwide, and the main public policy approaches that are being taken to address these.

Additional outcomes:

Students will develop communication, writing and critical analysis skills through class participation and reading of academic materials.

Outline content:

On the module we will look at the main ways in which people access and use food around the world, in both developed and developing countries, and at local, national and international levels. Key topics addressed will centre on the ongoing problems resulting from over/undereating, how these trends are changing in different countries, and the various scientific and socioeconomic solutions that have been developed in an attempt to address these challenges. The full list of lecture topics will be presented at the beginning of the first class of spring term. 

Global context:

The module is global in scope and will draw on a number of case studies from around the world.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Classes are classroom and lecture based. The module will draw on speakers from across the University to ensure that students are being taught by experts in their field. Lectures are delivered using a diverse set of developed and developing country case studies to illustrate practice. Additional individual study and class preparation is required, and participation in class discussion is encouraged.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Report 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The module will be assessed by coursework. The formative part of the assessment will consist of an essay submitted in the first week of summer term. More details will be provided in the first lecture of the module.

Formative assessment methods:

The formative part of the assessment will consist of an annotated bibliography submitted during spring term time. More details will be provided in the first lecture of the module. 

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor 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:

A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:

By submission of a new written essay.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 12 August 2020


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