APMEFS-European Food Systems Education and Training Programme (EFSET)

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: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Harley Pope

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

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The European Food Systems Education and Training (EFSET) programme is available to all postgraduate (Masters and PhD) students registered at the University of Reading. EFSET is made up of a consortium of  three European universities and associated industry partners* 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. EFSET 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 Hohenheim, University of Turin, Agricolous, John Deere, and PepsiCo.


EFSET 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 o pportunities 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 EFSET Certificate of Part icipation (see the ‘Contact hours’ section below for an indicative guide to these).

Additional outcomes:

EFSET will provide you with the opportunity to benefit from networking between the participating universities and representatives from the workplace.

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. EFSET will provide you with the opportunity to participate in a training weekend in Turin and a week-long summer school in July.. Please note that the Away Weekend and Summer School  are by competitive application.

Your engagement with EFSET is flexible and voluntary; you can participate as and when you are able or according to your interest although you will ben efit 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
Practicals classes and workshops 4 4
External visits 15 35
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 14 14 6
    Wider reading (directed) 4 4
Total hours by term 22 37 41
Total hours for module 100

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 EFSET Certificate of Participation, in which you will be asked to summarise how you participated in EFSET 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 is no formal assessment for this module

Assessment requirements for a pass:

You will need to demonstrate that you have participated in the programme, completed the units, and explain how you have benefitted from it.  You will then be able to apply for an EFSET certificate.

Reassessment arrangements:

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

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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