Module: Introduction to Food Production

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    John Dooley
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    30 hours

Module content

This module will provide you with an introduction to food production and agricultural systems through a range of topics selected from the following areas:  definitions; an overview of the policy framework; the dynamics of food supply chains in relation to external policy and regulation;  the influence of science and technology;  supply chain relationships;  primary food production and agricultural industries;  international perspectives on resource use;  population dynamics;  food supply, food security and quality;  drivers for agri-food change;  future prospects.  Examples of local, regional, national and international supply chains will be considered and the fundamental link between food and farming methodologies will be emphasised.

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the external and international regulatory factors and frameworks affecting food supply and distribution and global drivers for change.
  2. Discuss the importance of primary production standards in the context of food supply in respect of meat and crop product supply.
  3. Describe consumer behaviour in relation to food purchasing, consumption and other socio-economic, environmental and ethical factors.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Presentation 50%
Examination Exam (2 hours) 50%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Baldwin, C.J. (2015) The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability. Wiley Blackwell.
  • Baourakis, G., Kalaitis, P. and Mattas, K. (2012) Food Chains – quality, safety and efficiency in a challenging world. Routledge.
  • Casabona, C. M., Epifanio, L.E. and Cirion, A.E. (2010) Global Food Security: ethical and legal challenges. Wageningen Academic Pub.
  • FAO (2011) Global Livestock Production Systems. FAO.
  • Fuhrer, J. and Gregory, P.J. (2014) Climate Change Impact and Adaption in Agricultural Systems. CABI
  • IFPRI (2015) 2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report. IFPRI. 
  • Oskam, A., Meester, G. and Silvis, H. (2011) EU Policy for Agriculture, Food and Rural Areas. Wageningin Academic Pub.
  • Pullman, M. and Wu, Z. (2012) Food Supply Chain Management: economic, social, and environmental perspectives. Routledge.  
  • Soffe, R. (2003) Agricultural Notebook. 20th ed. Primrose McConnell.
  • Webster, A. J. F. (2013) Animal Husbandry Regained ; the place of farm animals in sustainable agriculture


  • Outlook on Agriculture

Supporting texts

  • General farming press articles