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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Plant Health in a Global Context (PGGE11205)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will provide an introduction to plant health within a global context through a series of lectures and associated visits to provide a context for exploring plant health issues on a national and international level.
Students will explore the relevance of plant health concerns and management in relation to food and non-food plant production, storage, transport and trade with an emphasis on sustainability and socio-economic effects. The importance of plant health in the establishment and maintenance managed ecosystems will be examined together with the regulatory framework within which plant health specialists need to work.
Students will be provided with an understanding of the inter-relationships between resource use and plant health and the impacts that can result when plant health management fails.
Course description Exact timetabling is subject to change based on the availability of teaching staff but we will make every effort to keep linked sessions together.
Week 1: Introduction to global plant health issues in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, landscape and urban ecosystems: scale and reach.
Week 2: World trade, food security, energy and price.
Week 3: Plant health and the food chain.
Week 4: The plant and plant commodity trade: health implications and impacts
Week 5: Trends in plant production, consumption and plant health.
Week 6: Horticulture and forestry international sector case studies.
Week 7: Alien introductions and the evolution of new threats.
Week 8: National, regional and global regulation for plant health management
Week 9: Plant health in a changing world.
Week 10: Poster presentations coursework evaluation and feedback
Week 11: The future of plant health discussion forum.

The course provides an perspective of the role, importance and impact of plant health issues in relation to global trade, food and other plant commodities and the pressures on sustainable resource use. The course will allow for alternative viewpoints in the understanding and exploration of these complex world issues. The coursework will allow students to place emphasis of the aspects of the subject that interest them most.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 16/01/2017
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are two pieces of course assessment:
1) an essay on an aspect of global plant health of around 5000 to 6000 words (70% of the course mark) and,
2) a poster presentation illustrating one aspect of this investigation (30% of the course mark).
The essay and poster presentation are on a topic selected by the student and approved by the teaching staff.

The poster presentations will take place in week 7 (23 Feb 2016) and the submission deadline for the essay is 29 March 2016.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an understanding of plant health in the context of world food and non-food commodity production
  2. Have an understanding of the interactions between plant health and the food chain, including production, storage, distribution and use of plant derived products,
  3. Have the ability to evaluate the relevance of plant health world economics and trade,
  4. Have the ability to assess the impact of plant health in relation to global threats, such as climate change, alien introductions, and the failure of control measures,
  5. Have the ability to evaluate the contribution that plant health management makes to sustainable development and the support of human communities.
Reading List
Additional reading material will be provided during the course. Useful background reading includes:

Abrol, D.P. (2014). Integrated Pest management current concepts and ecological perpective. (s.l.): Elsevier Inc.

DEFRA (2013). Government Forestry Policy Statement; Ref PB13871 [online]. London: GOV.UK. Available at: [Accessed 30 June 2015]

Ebbels, D.L. (2002). Principles of Plant Health and Quarantine. In: The European Plant health Regime. Wallingford, Oxford: CABI Publishing,

FAO, IFAD and WFP. 2015. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015. Meeting the 2015 international hunger targets: taking stock of uneven progress. Rome, FAO.

Magdoff, F. & Tokar, B. (2010). Agriculture in Crisis: conflict, resistance and renewal. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Transferable Skills
The course will help you acquire and develop your skills in the following areas:
Evaluation to develop an understanding of the contribution that effective plant health management makes to trade, food security and landscape and habitat management.
Anticipation / prediction to assess the impact that potential threats can have on a local, regional or global scale.
Integration / synthesis understanding interrelationships between plant health and social and economic pressures and sustainable ecosystem management.
KeywordsSustainable development,food security,international trade,climate change,forestry,horticulture
Course organiserDr Mark Hocart
Tel: 0131 535 4084
Course secretaryMrs Elspeth Martin
Tel: 0131 535 4198
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