Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 12 x 2 hour problem-centred seminars
Other 4 x 3 hour research and assessment-based workshops; 4 x 3 hour student-led workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group presentations (staff assessed)  Outcomes 2, 4  20%
Semester Assessment Seminar summaries  Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4  15%
Semester Assessment 800-word journalistic article  Outcomes 3, 4  15%
Semester Assessment 1800-word research paper on selected 'hot topic'.  Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of all failed elements.  Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Appreciate the demands for, and identify the constraints upon access to food and water resources at both local and global scales.

2. Illustrate their understanding of the environmental impacts of, and threats to food production and water resource availability.

3. Make confident, sound and objective judgments on the complex scientific and societal issues associated with food security.

4. Demonstrate ability in the communication of scientific issues, to the public and their peers, with accuracy and clarity, both orally and in writing.

Brief description

The module introduces the major themes and complexities involved in maintaining food and water security both in a local and global context. A student-centred learning approach will be supported by 12 problem-centred topical lectures, background reading, workshops and the production of reports and presentations.


Consideration is given to increasing demands for food, food derived products and water in light of an ever growing human population. While advances in technology and transport have eased production and distribution constraints they have also increased consumer expectations at a global level. Ultimately, from a production context food and water availability are dictated by processes and activities reliant on energy derived from fossil fuels. Security is also dictated by economics, political stability and cooperation.

Through 12 problem-centred seminars, the module will explore a broad range of relevant and research topics. This will include fish stocks and aquaculture, land degradation and availability of land capable of generating sustainable crop production, food/energy conflicts for land use, biological invasions, declining water supply/quality, declining/expensive food production resources, broader environmental impacts of agriculture and climate change impacts on plants/soil including flooding, soil erosion, and nutrient run-off, food supply chains, food wastage.

The module will employ a student-centred learning approach supported by research seminars, background reading, workshops and the production of reports and presentations.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Assessment of data for problem solving and objective testing of research questions.
Communication Oral presentation and group work
Improving own Learning and Performance Targeted self-learning
Information Technology Use of computational resources for accessing and analysing data
Personal Development and Career planning Advanced networking and research skills
Problem solving Practical workshops involving case studies
Research skills Research for the report and presentation assessments
Subject Specific Skills Understanding the methods and resources use for crop/food production. Including resource constraints, environmental impacts and sustainable alternative.
Team work Group work


This module is at CQFW Level 7