Role of Insects in Food Security BIOL5220

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Molecular Biosciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to the positive and negative contributions of insects to food security, considering their role in crop production and animal agriculture.


This course consists of a taught block of one week, which includes lectures, tutorials, and laboratory classes or site visits covering the beneficial and detrimental roles of insects in food security. There will be private study time for production of a poster presentation.

Timetable details not yet known

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Research and present a poster presentation on a selected topic regarding the role of insects in food security and defend against critique


Course Aims

The specific aims of the course are:

■ to give students an appreciation of the importance of insects as beneficial or detrimental agents in production of food, including both crops and food of animal origin

■ to train students to classify insects to the level of Order

■ to enhance students' conceptual, analytical and presentation skills

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Knowledge and Understanding

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

■ Critically discuss the positive roles of insects in food security, e.g. as food source or in pollination, as well as threats to those roles

■ Critically discuss the negative roles of insects in food security, including their role as pests or disease vectors

■ Identify and debate the ethical and social issues raised by the use or control of insects in food production.


Skills and Other Attributes

Intellectual skills

■ identify, summarise and critically evaluate published reports and publications on the role of insects in food security

■ critically appraise and discuss research findings and ideas on specific topics relating to the role of insects in food security

  learn independently


Subject-specific/practical skills

■ classify insects to the level of biological Order


Transferable/key skills

■ Present and defend topics  relating to the role of insects in food security using a poster

■ plan and manage time effectively to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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