Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 x 1 hour lectures
Other 5 x 2 hour drop-in troubleshooting sessions/tutorials
Other 12 hours of student group meetings


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group case study  2500 word group case study  20%
Semester Assessment Individual case study and report  2500 word individual case study  30%
Semester Assessment Individual scoping report  2500 word report  30%
Semester Assessment Individual written review  1500 word review  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of individual elements  Resubmission of individual elements. Alternative to group case study report (as determined by the examination board).  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an awareness of how biological systems are being harnessed and exploited to improve the food supply chain.

2. Demonstrate an awareness of the technologies driving the securing of our food supplies.

3. Critically evaluate how human intervention and changes in behavior can alleviate problems of food security

4. Demonstrate an ability to communicate science effectively through oral and written media.

Brief description

The module comprises a series of lectures given by experts in a broad range of food security issues.


Improvement in crop production
Plant breeding
Current breeding strategies
Improvements in breeding technologies and strategies (Michael Abberton, Athole Marshall)
Conserving and exploiting natural genetic variation (Ian Thomas)
Introgression from wild relatives (Glyn Jenkins)
Client participation in plant breeding (John Witcombe – Bangor University)
Breeding tolerance to abiotic stress (Mike Humphreys, Catherine Howarth)
Exploiting GM technology, gene flow and risk assessment (Mike Wilkinson)
Production systems
Mineral nutrition of crop plants (Malcolm Leitch)
Crop protection from pests and diseases (Luis Mur, Alison Kingston-Smith)
Reclamation of soils and improvement of agricultural land (John Scullion)
Improvement in animal production
Animal breeding (Basil Wolf)
Production Systems
Animal nutrition (Mike Rose, Mike Lee)
Disease and pest management (Justin Pachebat, Peter Brophy, Karl Hoffmann)
Aquaculture and fish stock management (Bob Wootton, John Fish, Joe Ironside, Sonia Consuegra)
Mitigating environmental effects of food animals (Jamie Newbold)

Changing patterns of food production/consumption
Low input and organic farming systems (Pip Nicholas, Christine Marley)
Climate change and agri-economics (Dylan Gwynn-Jones, Mike Christie)
Biological invasions (Chris Thomas)
Resolving conflicts between bioenergy and food (Iain Donnison, Kerry Farrar)
Food wastage, food miles
Food safety and microbiology (Hazel Davey)
Life style changes and diets (Chris Pollock)

Impact of new technologies
GPS, GIS, agrochemicals, next generation sequencing

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral presentation and group work
Improving own Learning and Performance Targeted self learning
Information Technology Use of computational resources, modelling etc.
Personal Development and Career planning Networking during visits and career pathway planning insight into potential areas of future employment
Problem solving Practical workshops involving case studies
Research skills Research for report and presentation assignments
Subject Specific Skills Understanding of the roles that biology and biotechnology play in the alleviation of food security problems
Team work Group work


This module is at CQFW Level 7