Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other 3 x 3 hour visits during semester
Lecture 2 x 2 hour lectures per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Report in the style of a popular scientific magazine  Outcomes assessed: 2, 3, 4  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination  Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Candidates will be required to re-take the element(s) of assessment that resulted in failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Outcome 1
Explain the ecological process that occur within food production.

Outcome 2
Discuss the pressures on the food supply industry.

Outcome 3
Identify the environmental impacts due to agricultural intensification

Outcome 4
Appraise the impacts of food policy and globalisation of food markets.

Outcome 5
Discuss the concept of sustainability in food production

Brief description

The module describes the scientific knowledge required to understand the applied ecological aspects that constitutes agricultural production systems. This module will provide the student with an awareness of the impact of agriculture and food supply systems on the environment. The module is designed to highlight issues in the human food chain including the globalisation of food markets, the homogenisation of production systems, sustainability, environmental impacts of agricultural and aquacultural intensification, agricultural policy development, public concerns with food production and health, animal welfare, and future consumer and population demands on the food production industry.


Population dynamics
Managing populations
How communities work
Multi-cropping and arable systems
Boundary habitats and habitat fragmentation
Impacts due to agricultural intensification – direct/indirect
Agri-environment schemes
Food supply in the UK
Globalisation of food markets
Impact of policy on systems and the environment
Issues in the food chain food and human health, animal welfare, biotechnology,
Sustainability criteria and sustainability assessment
Sustainable resource use in agriculture – sustainable intensification.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Read in different contexts and for different purposes. Write for different purposes and audiences
Information Technology Present information and data on a subject related to the module. Access information from the web.
Problem solving dentify factors which might influence potential solutions. Evaluate advantages and disadvantages of potential solutions.
Research skills Produce an academically appropriate media report.

Reading List

General Text
Carson, R (1962) Silent Spring Penguin Primo search Collins, W W and Qualset, C O (1999) Biodiversity in agroecosystems CRC Press Primo search Conway GR & Pretty JN (1991) Unwelcome Harvest: agriculture and pollution Primo search Dodds, F (editor) (1991) Earth Summit 2002: a New Deal Earthscan Primo search FAO (2001) The state of food and agriculture Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations Primo search Gliessman, S R (2000) Field and laboratory investigations in agroecology Primo search Jackson, L E (1997) Ecology in agriculture Primo search McNeeley, J A and Scherr, S J (2003) Ecoagriculture: Strategies for feeding the world and saving wild biodiversity Island Press Primo search Meffe, G K et al (2002) Ecosystem management: adaptive, community-based conservation Island Press Primo search Open University (2000) A globalising world? Culture, economics, politics Routledge Primo search Pimbert, M (1999) Sustaining the multiple functions of agricultural diversity. Gatekeeper Series No 88 International Institute for Environment and Development Primo search Rolling N G and Wagemakers M A E (1998) Facilitating sustainable agriculture Cambridge University Press Primo search Tansey, G and D'Silva (1999) The meat business: devouring a hungry planet Earthscan Primo search World Bank (2003) Sustainable development in a dynamic world: Transforming Institutions, Growth and Quality of Life The World Bank Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5