Introduction to Food Security BIOL5218

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide an introduction to major issues in food security as identified in the Foresight report on the Future of Food and Farming. This will include topics such as changes in demographic and consumption patterns, waste, climate change, biodiversity and socio-economic and political drivers of food security.


Lectures and tutorials throughout week.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Students will research and give an oral presentation on a selected topic in food security (worth 50%) and write an essay (worth the remaining 50%).

Course Aims

The specific aims are:

■ to give students knowledge of major drivers in food security, including population demographics, consumption and waste; economic, political and social aspects; climate change; biodiversity and ecosystems services

■ to train students to critically evaluate scientific articles, reports and other publications relating to food security

■ to develop students' conceptual, analytical and presentation skills

■ to develop students' independent approach to learning

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Knowledge and Understanding

On completion of the course, students will be able to:

critically review key topics in food security with reference to the current scientific literature.

explain the relationship between food security and consumption, waste, socio-economic and political drivers, climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services


Skills and Other Attributes


Intellectual skills

identify, summarise and critically evaluate published reports and articles on aspects of food security

discuss research findings and ideas on specific topics in food security

learn independently


Transferable/key skills

give clear, well-constructed presentation on a topic in food security

■   summarise and critically appraise a scientific publication in a well constructed essay

plan and manage time effectively to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines

work cooperatively with colleagues and develop interpersonal and teamwork skills

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the courses summative assessment.