Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 5 x 2 hour drop-in troubleshooting sessions/tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Individual study report (5000 words + /- 10% of word limit)  50%
Semester Assessment Group compilation of dossier (5000 words + /- 10% of word limit)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of Individual study report. Alternative to group compilation of dossier (as determined by the examination board).  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Critically evaluate risk assessment dossiers from the perspective of the various stakeholders.
2. Identify the main sources of data relevant to risk assessment.
3. Critically evaluate data secured from the literature.
4. Identify and address the processes involved in compiling a risk assessment dossier.
5. Identify strategic gaps in the current subject-specific knowledge.
6. Manage time and work effectively as a team

Brief description

The module involves the evaluation of example risk dossiers for release in defined contexts from the perspective of the regulator, submitting party, and governmental bodies interested in sponsoring policy-led GM risk research. The module also uses worked case studies as a basis to identify work necessary to compile a dossier (from the perspective of the breeder). This will involve problem formulation, designation of endpoint assessments acquisition, evaluation of publicly available data and identification of critical gaps in knowledge.


The module will be organized around specific case studies that provide contrasting risk profiles. There will be two individual desk studies, each centred on the cases presented. In the first example, students will be asked to evaluate historical dossiers from the EU and north American systems. Students will be required to compile written evaluations of the dossiers from the perspective of the regulator, the company originating the dossier and government bodies considering sponsorship of public sector research. Particular attention will be paid to aspects such as the quality and quantity of information presented, its influence in the decision making process and the final outcome (regulator perspective), the revision of the dossier in light of regulator feedback (company perspective) and the identification of commissionable generic data to aid the decision making process (government perspective).
The second study will be team-based and will focus on compiling a preliminary dossier, for named examples currently under consideration in Europe or North America, using information available from the literature. Students will formulate risk hypotheses, set endpoint assessments, identify gaps in knowledge and commission the most cost-effective research that actively addresses residual issues.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The evaluation and/or acquisition of data is essential for this module. This will be one of the assessment elements for reports.
Communication Writing skills will be developed and assessed through the project report.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will take responsibility for their learning from published materials, and will set realistic goals and targets for successful submission of reports.
Information Technology Students will use a variety of software packages for report production and this will be assessed in relation to the quality of these reports.
Personal Development and Career planning Techniques and skills developed during this module will have important vocational value.
Problem solving Students will be presented with problem-based case studies and will be responsible for finding appropriate solutions. This will be one element of report assessment.
Research skills All case studies will involve the setting of objectives, elements of information retrieval and data evaluation. These skills will form part of the report assessment
Subject Specific Skills Application of the principles underlying risk assessment of GM crops. Deconstruction, evaluation and compilation of dossiers from various stakeholder perspectives.
Team work Students will develop their team working skills during this module (e.g. compilation of dossier). This is assessed.


This module is at CQFW Level 7