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2024/25 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 2024/25

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 and food security 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 food secure, 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 and food security present -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 and food security 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

Skills Learning Outcomes

1. Systems thinking: Recognises and understands relationships; analyses complex systems (environmental, economic and social systems and interdependencies across these); considers how systems are embedded within different domains and scales; deals with uncertainty; uses analytical thinking
2. Critical thinking: Demonstrates the ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives, using supporting evidence to form opinions, arguments, theories and ideas, including reflecting on and questioning norms, practices and opinions as they relate to sustainability.
3. Academic writing: Demonstrates the ability to write in a clear, concise, focused and structured manner that is supported by relevant data or scholarship.
4. Ethics: Demonstrates the ability to understand the moral principles that affect the conduct of your dissertation research.
5. Time management, planning and organising: Demonstrates the ability to prioritise, work efficiently and productively and to manage your time well in order to meet deadlines.


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

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours583.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be opportunities for formative feedback during the supervision via discussions, meetings, oral and written feedback, including from the summative assessed proposal that can feed into the final dissertation and during the tutorials throughout the academic year.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentResearch proposal10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)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: 22/04/2024


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