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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOEV5106M Food Systems Research Project

60 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Anne Tallontire

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24


FOEV5101MSkills for Sustainable Food Systems

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module students will undertake a substantial and original research project under the supervision of one of the interdisciplinary programme delivery team from the participating Schools across the university. The project will build on the learning outcomes of the previous modules to produce an original piece of research investigating a real-world challenge food sustainability presents. The project will provide opportunities for independent learning and autonomy not only in the selection of the research topic, but also in terms of the research context. Students are encouraged to pursue their own research interests.The students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they acquired during the programme and become effective change agents that can lead the transition to a more sustainable, efficient, healthier, and fairer food system. There is substantial opportunity for partnership and co-supervision in this element of the programme.


The module objectives are to:
-Identify and develop a research question within the topic of food systems, based on a real problem/ challenge food sustainability presents
-Demonstrate the ability to conduct a sustained programme of original research
Show in-depth understanding of a major theme or argument in the chosen subject, including independent critical engagement with the topic chosen
-Identify and apply the conceptual understandings and practical research skills necessary for the thorough and coherent exploration of a chosen topic, making use of appropriate primary and secondary sources and tools of analysis
-Complete a well-structured and fully-argued piece of written work, meeting standard requirements of academic writing, such as the review and referencing of relevant primary and secondary sources

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module students will be able to (Module Learning Outcomes):
MLO1: Collect and integrate several lines of evidence to formulate and answer research questions;
MLO2: Plan, conduct and report on investigations, including the use of secondary data;
MLO3: Collect, record and analyse data using appropriate techniques in the field and/or laboratory;
MLO4: Undertake field and/ or laboratory investigations in an ethical and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, rights of access, relevant health and safety regulations, and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders;
MLO5: Reference work in an appropriate manner;
MLO6: Communicate appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical form
MLO7:Formulate proposals, recommendations, plans, and/ or strategies to address contemporary and future complex sustainability challenges in the food system
MLO8: Critically reflect on own role and role of others as change agents in the transformation of the food system


Students will develop and conduct a substantial programme of original research under the guidance of a staff member from the participating schools appointed as their supervisor.
This will include:
- project definition
- project plan
- development of hypotheses/ research questions
- development of research design
- desk/ secondary research
- data collection
- analysis and interpretation of results
- conclusions and implications of research
- recommendations
- suggestions for future research
Skills workshops will be held throughout the course of the academic year, including the following:

- finding library and internet sources
- academic practice and avoiding plagiarism
- writing a research proposal
- ethics and risk assessment

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours578.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

- Reading and critically reviewing relevant material such as academic journals, books, grey literature (policy, technical and business reports, working papers, government documents, white papers etc.)
- Data collection and analysis
- Self-directed learning

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation10,000 word dissertation90.00
Research Proposal2,000 word proposal10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

If the resit is being taken as a New First Attempt, the resit will consist of an attempt at a new piece of work for each component that was failed, in a format to be announced by the Module Leader. Its original mark will be discarded irrevocably and replaced by the new mark even if it is lower., and a new aggregated mark for the module will be returned. If the resit is being taken as a Capped Second Attempt, the resit for this module will be a single item of assessment, in a format to be announced by the Module Leader, and covering all Module Learning Objectives. Whichever is higher of the original aggregated module mark, and the new mark capped at the Pass mark of 50%, will be returned.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/08/2023


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