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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Undergraduate Course: Digesting Food Policy (SCPL10036)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a course looking at policy-making around issues of food - where "food" is loosely defined to include a wide range of topics including food consumption and production, food and public health, school meals and the feeding of children, agriculture, and sustainability.
Course description A range of different lectures over the semester will focus on a few cross-cutting themes in relation to food and food policy. These include: life course perspectives, international comparative perspectives, food in a globalised context, collaboration and friction between different actors and providers in the policy process.

Among the topics to be covered, we will look at how nutritional guidelines reveal different theoretical assumptions about the role of the individual and the state in terms of food consumption and health. Through case studies on infant diet and school meals, we will explore what the assumptions are behind food policy which is targeted at children in terms of the rights and responsibilities of families and the state when caring for children's diets. We will look at the role of the food industry in shaping food policy and explore political economies and geographies of food in a global context. We will also explore rising levels of food poverty and what the role of the third sector is and should be in alleviating such poverty. The role that the state plays in ensuring food safety, risk managements and hazard control will also be explored, as will the role of the state in ensuring food sustainability in production and consumption.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. engage critically with a wide range of Food Policy related topics.
  2. demonstrate their understanding of how Food Policy is formed in different contexts and applied settings.
  3. engage critically with Food Policy using relevant insights from social theory.
  4. demonstrate their understanding of how Food Policy is a product of historical, political and cultural factors.
Reading List
Lang, T., Barling, D. and Caraher, M. (2009). Food Policy: Integrating health, environment and society. ISBN 978-0-19-172412-1.

Mason, P.M. and Lang, T.M. (2017). Sustainable Diets: How ecological nutrition can transform consumption and the food system. Abingdon: Routledge Earthscan. ISBN 978-0-415-74472-0.

Nestle, M (2013) Food Politics - How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. ISBN: 9780520275966

Nestle, M (2010) Safe Food - The Politics of Food Safety, Updated and Expanded. ISBN: 9780520266063

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSocial Policy
Course organiserDr Valeria Skafida
Tel: (0131 6)51 3215
Course secretaryMr Lee Corcoran
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122
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