FB1FD1-Food Dilemmas: Production, Security and Health

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: FB1AG2 Farm to Fork
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Emma Bennett

Email: e.j.bennett@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will cover the historical, present and future aspects of food production and consumption. Topics include the impact of food on the environment, the relationship between diet and health, and the implications of future populations and climates on food production. The complex and fascinating problem of global food security, providing sufficient, safe and nutritious food for everyone will be explored within the module and the implications for societal and cultural behaviour will also be discussed

This module is NOT intended for Food and Nutritional Sciences students, but students from this department can register for attendance on a 0-credit basis to further develop their interest in the subject.


To provide students from all disciplines with an understanding of the major issues facing food supply for future populations and how food is intrinsically linked to health and wellbeing.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module students should be able to:

  • Explain the global food challenges of the future  

  • Critically evaluate sustainability and food security within the food supply chain.

Analyse some of the key public health issues related to human nutrition within developed and developing regions.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop a number of key skills such as critical evaluation, presentation and writing skills for a number of different audiences.

Outline content:

  1. Food challenges for the future

  2. Food security

  3. Food sustainability

  4. Public health nutrition

  5. Consumer food choice

Global context:

Food is a requirement for survival and as such is something that everyone can relate to. Food also drives many aspects of culture and social history, defines aspects of health and wellbeing, and is changing the way our planet will look in the future. This module addresses a range of topical issues covering these areas and encourages class debate from the basis of informed opinion. The demand is for food supply to double to meet the demands of a growing population by 2030 and the global population is expected to exceed 9 billion people by 2050. These challenges need to be met, and solutions delivered, in the face of climate change, consumer demands for choice, and the requirement to address global health issues. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is a cross disciplinary module aimed at students from all faculties. However, it is recognised that some students (primarily in Science and Life Science) will wish to take it during part 2 of their degree when their programme is more flexible. The lectures will be interactive with the aim of promoting class discussion and increasing awareness of the different disciplines in the group and how each has something to bring to the way that food is produced and consumed. Each assignment will be associated with a preparation session to enable students from all disciplines to be fully aware of what is expected from them. Assessment methods are varied and are designed to give students from different backgrounds experience of a range of communication methods.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Guided independent study: 80 80
Total hours by term 100 100
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Project output other than dissertation 40
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  1. In-class tests x 2  (20% each)

  2. Group presentation (30%)

  3. Newspaper article (30%)

Formative assessment methods:

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:

Overall mark of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment arrangements are in accordance with University policy. Reassessment of the written examination is held during the University administered re-examination period in August. Failed coursework may be re-assessed by an alternative assignment before or during the August re-examination period.

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: 8 April 2019


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