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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY1212 Using Biology to Feed the World

10 creditsClass Size: 270

Module manager: Dr Katie McDermott

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Agriculture’s most basic function is to provide adequate food for the world’s population. Agriculture is the foundation of civilisations and is the world’s largest industry. This module is about how knowledge derived from biological research is applied to and exploited in agriculture. We will consider food production from animals, plants and microorganisms, the different systems of production, the use of biotechnology for crop improvement and the opportunities and challenges facing a changing world.


The aim of this module is to introduce students to the concept of applied biology. Students will learn about the approaches taken to domesticate plants and animals and how the advances in biology have shaped agriculture. Students will receive lectures on advances in biotechnology and industrial microbiology, pushing the frontiers of agricultural production to feed the growing population in a changing, turbulent world.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Recognise and recall the processes of domestication in plants and animals and define key aspects of the livestock revolution and associated challenges
2. Evaluate and compare the main systems of animal production
3. Synthesise information to appraise the use of biotechnology for crop improvement and industrial microbiology

Skills Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
4. Recognise and understand relationships across the food system (Sustainability).


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours82.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have the opportunity to attempt practice MCQs after each unit of teaching. There will be five opportunities to test knowledge against practice questions (5-10 per unit depending on number of lectures in each unit). These will test student’s learning to date and will allow them to familiarise themselves with the type of questions they may see in the exam.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online MCQ1 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:11:53


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