Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies : BSc Hons (Royal (Dick) Sch of Veterinary Studies)

Undergraduate Course: Sustainable Agri-food Systems: Challenges and Solutions (VETS10024)

Course Outline
SchoolRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course brings together an integrated range of key agricultural science insights exploring the contributions and interventions necessary to build towards sustainable food systems. Students will be introduced to social, economic and political components of global agri-systems and key methods of assessment of agri-systems impact.
Course description This course will give students an understanding of:
- Introduction to key institutions and concepts relevant to agrifood systems;
- The main types of agri-food systems globally, including subsistence, landless, smallholder and both intensive and extensive commercial systems;
- Historical perspectives - how these systems have evolved, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they might be improved;
- Introduction to food supply chains;
- Multiple impacts of agri-food systems and intersection with SDGs;
- Agro-Ecology Principles;
- Environmental economics / cost-benefit analysis;
- Introduction to assessment framework: LCAs MCAs, EIA, HRIAs.
- The role of science, technology and innovation in global agri-food systems; new technologies / precision farming.
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
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Fieldwork Hours 15, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 136 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%
1. Oral presentation (15%)
2. Blog (30%)
3. Essay: Interactions between environmental sustainability goals (55%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe the main types of agri-food systems and food supply chains globally.
  2. Analyse their strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.
  3. Critically evaluate the potential intersections between global agri-systems and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  4. Identify and discuss the wider socio-political contexts within which food systems operate.
Reading List
- Sustainable Food Systems: Building a New Paradigm (Earthscan Food and Agriculture) 31 May 2015 by Terry Marsden and Adrian Morley

Recommended reading:
- The Transformation of Agri-Food Systems: Globalization, Supply Chains and Smallholder Farmers, 23 May 2012, by Ellen B. McCullough and Prabhu Pingali
- Contested Sustainability Discourses in the Agrifood System (Earthscan Food and Agriculture) 27 Jun 2018 by Douglas H. Constance and Jason T. Konefal.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Alfy Gathorne-Hardy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5412
Course secretaryMr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)51 7454
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information