Food Geographies GEOG4121

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course covers the geographies, politics and ethics of what we eat, and what that means for the organisation of the economy and society, and our impacts on the environment--from biodiversity loss, to climate change and waste. With a broad focus on food production, Food Geographies explores the big debates shaping contemporary diets, and the impacts of these for the environment and social justice, including vegetarianism and veganism; climate change; 'food miles', inequality and trade; and waste.


2 hour lecture, 1 hour seminar per week for 5 weeks at beginning of semester, with a full-day field trip (to Cochno, Glasgow University Farm) in week 3 or 4

Requirements of Entry

Fulfilment of entry requirements to Level 3 Geography (Students should have completed Level 2 Geography at minimum of grade D3)

Excluded Courses





One 1,500 word essay on a topic covered in the course.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

■ To introduce students to the global food system, and how food is produced and distributed.

■ To explore the environmental issues associated with food production.

■ To explore the ethical and theoretical issues around food production, particularly around animal agriculture, land use, and spatial and geographical inequalities in food production and availability.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain the global food system, where and how key foods are produced, and how these are distributed.

■ Evaluate the environmental impacts of different food production methods.

■ Critically assess the ethical and environmental issues around animal agriculture, veganism and vegetarianism.

■ Evaluate the successes and limitations of the 'green revolution' and industrial crop production.

■ Critically assess the environmental impacts of food distribution systems, inequality and waste.

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.