Module: Facing the global challenges in food and agriculture

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Phil Hudson
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    15 hours plus 15 hours module orientation (distance learning) 80 hours directed and independent distance learning via a range of student activities 40 hours assessment preparation

Module content

Agri-food businesses face a number of global challenges driven by societal concerns including climate change, food security, water, energy, land degradation, loss of ecologies, population change, urbanisation, emerging diseases, antimicrobial resistance and political uncertainty.

Governments, industry and civil society are all engaged in the development of policy reflecting these challenges and in turn this impacts on agri-food businesses. This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to understand the policy instruments employed by government, industry and civil society, to know how to influence them where relevant and to utilise their comprehension of the global policy landscape in the development and initiation of programmes of activity that respond to and aim to solve the issues on behalf of the agri-food industry.

Following completion of this module students will be able to critically appraise the overarching policy environment in which the agri-food industry operates and utilise that knowledge to initiate, develop and lead activities that respond to and reflect the global policy environment, whether on behalf of companies, trade associations, NGO’s or governments.

Module outcomes

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

  1. Critically review existing government, industry and civil society policy mechanisms related to societal changes and concerns that affect food and agri-business at a global level.
  2. Evaluate the opportunities to influence the relevant policy levers such as global climate agreements, international trade agreements, international development, agricultural support systems, investments in research and developments and global company policies
  3. Analyse the dependencies/interactions of the global policy challenges on each other.
  4. Utilise your knowledge and by working with others, initiate innovative solutions to the global policy issues impacting on the agri-food industry.


Assessment Description Weighting
First Sit Coursework: Description and critical analysis of a policy instrument for the contribution to a database of policies that reflect the global challenges facing food and agriculture. (2750 words) 100%
Referral (capped at 40%) Coursework: Description and critical analysis of the policy instrument for a database. Re-submissions to include a reflection on why the initial submission did not pass (3000 words) 100%

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

Key texts

  • GO-Science, (2011) The Future of Food and Farming – final report, The Government Office for Science, London
  • International Food Policy Research Institute, (2018) 2018 Global Food Policy Report, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Marsden, T. and Morley, A. (eds.) (2014) Sustainable food systems: building a new paradigm. Routledge
  • Martindale, W. (2015) Global food security and supply, John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), (2016), Alternative futures for global food and agriculture, OECD
  • Paarlberg, R. (2013) Food Politics; what everyone needs to know (2nd edition), Oxford University Press Inc.
  • Ziska, L. H. (2017) Agriculture, climate change and food security in the 21st Century: our daily bread, Cambridge Scholars Publishing