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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies : BSc Hons (Royal (Dick) Sch of Veterinary Studies)

Undergraduate Course: Sustainable Agri-food Systems: Development and Evaluation (VETS10033)

Course Outline
SchoolRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course uses case studies to explore sustainable agri-food systems, covering diverse topics: controlling elephants damage on crops in Kenya; growing organic vegetables in Scotland; to discussing dietary choices in UK hospitals.
Course description There's a risk that we understand ideas in theory but not practice. In this course we try to move beyond conceptual understandings of agri-food systems, to understanding what actually happens on the ground. Sure, you might be able to calculate the carbon impact of ploughing vs zero till, but have you dealt with the problem of resistant black grass? Sure, you might be able to tell me the nutritional implications of a high salt/fat diet, but have you tried to sell alternative products to people who can't afford to waste food?
This is where case studies come in. Case studies allow us to look in detail at specific people, places, situations. Don't use case studies to generalise, but use them to understand interactions, complications and to raise hypotheses for the wider environs.
This course will cover a range of case studies from around the world, looking at both the food production and consumption aspects of the agri-food system. Most teaching will be directly from the mouth of experts on the ground - digitally for international experts and in person field visits for local case-studies.
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 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 2
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) Formative:
- A counterfactual blog. 500 words.
Considering a viable alternative to (part or all) of a case study, you need to identify:
- the element you are comparing,
- why this is relevant,
- what metric you might use to compare the situation and the counterfactual.

Write a 3 page POSTNOTE that outlines the roles and risks of promoting intermediate technological solutions to address specific global challenges.
- Essay. 60%
3000 words.
Use a single case study to critically explore low capital innovative in agri-food systems to address poverty, sustainable development, food security, diet and human health and planetary health
Feedback Feedback from formative assignment, and the classes will be small and discussion based.

Summative feedback will be received within 15 days of the submission deadline.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse a series of case studies against a range of sustainability frameworks including the SDGs
  2. Identify opportunities for future innovation or improvement within case-studies, with a focus on the challenges of poverty, equity, food security, and human health and planetary health.
  3. Describe trade-offs and synergies for sustainability.
  4. Analyse the contested discourses surrounding food systems.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry - will be developed through involvement in tutorials, laboratories and field visits
Enquiry and lifelong learning - will be developed through independent learning, supported by tutorials
Aspiration and personal development - will be developed through involvement in tutorials, laboratories and field visits
Outlook and engagement - will be developed through involvement in tutorials, laboratories and field visits
Personal and intellectual autonomy - will be developed through involvement in tutorials, laboratories and field visits
Personal effectiveness - will be developed through managing independent learning and involvement in tutorials, laboratories and field visits
Communication - will be developed through involvement in tutorials, laboratories and field visits
KeywordsGlobal agrifood systems,case-studies,SDGs,challenges,innovations
Course organiserDr Alfy Gathorne-Hardy
Tel: (0131 6)50 5412
Course secretaryMr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)51 7454
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