Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM073: Political Economy of Food and Agriculture

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

Module Aims

Food and agriculture have become major issues in contemporary politics and economics and central concerns in discussions over sustainability. This module looks at the political economy of the global agri-food systems, including how food is produced, processed, transported, distributed, regulated and consumed. The main theoretical approaches to studying the political economy of food and sustainable agriculture are explored so as to provide students with the conceptual tools to develop critical awareness of the cultural, political and economic context of food. Specifically, the module aims to:
Examine the structure, economics and politics of the contemporary agro-food system.
Provide a critical examination of the emergence of ideas of food security and sustainable agriculture in policy discourses.
Consider the principles and processes that underlie policy-making and policy delivery for agro-food security and sustainability.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Understanding of the development of the agro-food system.
2. Awareness of core concepts in the study of the political economy of food, food consumption and the regulation of food.
3. Empirical knowledge of particular examples of sustainable food systems, including those associated with food security, the environment, health, safety and livelihoods.
4. Knowledge of the development of policy and planning agendas for encouraging sustainable agro-food systems
5. A comprehensive understanding of reciprocal relationships between theoretical and practical understandings of policy and sustainability
Discipline-Specific Skills6. Critically evaluate core concepts
7. Present coherent and well structured arguments informally in class and through assignments.
8. Find, use and analyse a range of material in their assignments
9. Apply theoretical arguments and concepts to the analysis of empirical case studies
Personal and Key Skills10. Deliver presentations to peers
11. Communicate effectively in informal class discussions
12. Read with a critical eye and evaluate the ideas being expressed
13. Research & critically evaluate ideas and debates
14. Write clearly and coherently
15. Use ELE appropriately