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Security, Sovereignty and Sustainability in the Global Food System

Zero Hunger

Module Leaders

Dr Xiaodong Lin
Dr Edwin Leung
Optional core - Second year only
Terms 1 and 2
20 weekly, 2 hour workshops
20 weekly 1 hour lecturers
2 field trips
(T1 likely weekend)

Not available to students outside the School for Cross-Faculty Studies.

GD207-15 Term 1

GD210-15 Term 2

Option - Second year only
Term 1 or Term 2 only
10 weekly, 2 hour workshops
10 weekly, 1 hour lectures
1 optional field trip
(T1 likely weekend)

Not available to students outside the School for Cross-Faculty Studies.

Principal Aims

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed in 2015, commit the international community to a set of 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity. Of these, SDG#2 specifically aims to end hunger, end all forms of malnutrition, and ensure sustainable food production systems by 2030. The pressing need for such initiatives is stark: we inhabit a world where at least 800 million people are chronically undernourished. The world population is projected to increase to a staggering 10 billion people by 2050, yet who will be responsible for ensuring all these mouths are fed? And can we ever produce and consume food for so many people without causing an unsustainable negative impact on our environment? Food security, sustainability and sovereignty are thus crucial issues confronting the world today, and it is these issues which this module seeks to introduce and evaluate.

To do so, this module is taught in collaboration with active researchers from across various disciplines at the University of Warwick, especially those involved in the university's Global Research Priority on Food. The module aims to examine the relationship between Food and Sustainability using theories and methods from the sciences, social sciences and humanities. The module engages with, and reflects on, the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger and Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption, Production.

Principal Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this module students will:

  • Apply a ‘Food Systems’ approach to the identification, research and analysis of broadly conceived sustainability issues, emerging in food production, processing and consumption.
  • Articulate and analyse scholarly concerns surrounding food security, sovereignty, and sustainability
  • Recognise and appropriately apply contrasting disciplinary approaches to the investigation and analysis of contemporary food systems, on a variety of scales.
  • Evaluate contrasting responses proposed to problems created by a need to feed the planet.
  • Independently locate, interpret synthesize and evaluate academic and other credible research and analysis to critically respond to essential topics and questions.
  • Appreciate the potential of mixed media campaigns for advocacy and engagement, and have some experience of designing these.
  • Think consciously about their contributions to the creation of collective knowledge, and the learning of others, through the medium of oral discussion.

Schedule of Lectures

**Below is an indicative timetable, there is a chance that sessions may change owing to staff availability. But thankfully there are an endless amount of topics we can cover under the umbrella of Food Security, Sustainability and Sovereignty in the Global Food System.

Week 1: Recap, Food Systems and Foundational Issues

Week 2: A Genealogy of Food Security

Week 3: Food Production as Modified Ecosystems

Week 4: Food Safety Inside Food Security

Week 5: Food Sustainability - Production and Livelihoods

Week 6: Innovation to Food Sustainability

Week 7: In-person Group Presentation

Week 8: Towards Regenerative Food Systems

Week 9: Food Economics

Week 10: Food Sovereignty and Conclusion

Employability Skills

Through these modules, you will develop a number of different skills that are sought by employers which will support your professional development. We have highlighted this to enable you to identify and reflect on the skills you have acquired and apply them throughout your professional journey including during the recruitment processes whether this on an CV/application form or at an interview.

  • Planning and organising skills through prioritising multiple deadliness including assessments and group tasks
  • Undertake effective independent research and critical analysis
  • Design engaging and effective visual campaigns for advocacy and to bring about positive change
  • Work effectively in a group/team, including the autonomous allocation of individual responsibilities and delivery of expectations to agreed timelines.

Assessment for 30 CAT Module

Coursework 1 x visual campaign group project (25%)

1 x 15 minute In-person Group Presentation (25%)

1 x 4000 word assessed essay (50%)

Assessment for 15 CAT Module Term 1

Coursework 1 x visual campaign group project (50%)
1 x 2500 word Food Systems Analysis (50%)

Assessment for 15 CAT Module Term 2

Coursework 1 x 15 minute Group Presentation (50%)
1 x 2500 word problem-based Task (50%)

  Please note: Module availability and staffing may change year on year depending on availability and other operational factors. The School for Cross-faculty Studies makes no guarantee that any modules will be offered in a particular year, or that they will necessarily be taught by the staff listed on this page.