Module:Food Ethics and Governance

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Professor Louise Manning and Damian Maye
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    36 hours

Module content

Food policy: terminology and definitions; governance and hybridisation of policy (public-private partnerships); one size fits all versus risk-based policy food labelling; food safety, food crime, food integrity and sustainable food production; linear versus systems based or holistic policy; understanding the roles of stakeholders in policy development.

Food security: terminology and definitions; affordability, accessibility, food and health (nutrition and food safety); food poverty, food sovereignty.

Responsibility: levels of responsibility (personal, collective, business societal, responsibility), culpability, vulnerability, autonomy. The influence of habitus, cultural and social capital.

Compliance or deviance: factors that influence compliant versus deviant behaviour, power dynamics in the supply chain, opacity, transparency and ambiguity in supply chains; information asymmetry, nudging and choice architecture.

Applied ethics: morals and moral agency; deontological and teleological ethics; virtue ethics; ethics in the context of food production; developing ethical arguments; heuristics based decision making; rationalisation and motivation.

Skills development:

  • Ability to consider complex problems.
  • Ability to develop an evidence-based argument
  • Ability to formulate ideas, options and communicate them

Module outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate food policy development and the influence of stakeholders in shaping historic and contemporary policy
  2. Assess the role of governments in developing food policy and the nature of the social contract between the government and its citizens
  3. Evaluate the drivers of industry led policy initiatives and the ethical dilemmas that can occur in the citizen/consumer paradigm
  4. Apply ethical theory to a given policy challenge and construct an evidence-based argument


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Critical academic reflection Maximum 3000 words excluding references and appendices 100%

Assessments may differ in 2021/22 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts