Global Opportunities

TCP3060 : Food: Space and Polity

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module has three main aims.
First, it aims to explore the geographies of food, particularly the ways in which food and its governance has become an expression of different social, economic and environmental values. Together these inform assorted social and political actions both at global, city and community scales and in turn act to shape everyday spaces and lives.
Second, it aims to introduce students to a range of historic and contemporary food issues and debates and their institutional responses drawing from a diversity of sources – media, policy and activist insights alongside academic research.
Third, it aims to highlight the need for interdisciplinary working captured by the term ‘food studies’ to explore contemporary issues and their impacts within the food system. This module draws critical insights from different disciplinary perspectives, namely human geography, urban planning and social policy to guide students in understanding the inter-connections and tensions associated with specific food issues and approaches to their governance.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture topics and concepts covered include: understanding food systems, food security, food aid, food poverty, the right to food, food sovereignty, food justice, food democracy, food policy councils, sustainable urban food planning, food waste and surplus food, food sharing, food system labour, food standards and safety, and digitalisation of the food system.

Guided workshops to support the development of the group assessment will be provided. Additional workshops will provide opportunity for critical discussion of topics through considering current media, film and academic research and wherever possible have invited practitioners to aid discussion. Additional surgery hours will be provided to support the individual assessment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:3016:30N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1001:00100:00Including both group report and individual exercise.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:3015:00Including dedicated guided sessions to develop the group project.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:301:30Drop-in surgery to support individual assessment submission.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study671:0067:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce and raise awareness of key concepts and issues and are essential for meeting all learning outcomes. These are staged to work towards cross-cutting understanding and discussions as they apply to different scales and spaces of action. Lectures will be underpinned by case study examples that are globally relevant.
Workshops provide guidance on the group assessment in tandem with topics and issues discussed in the main lectures. The workshops with their link to the group assessment will help stimulate team working.
Other workshops will discuss contemporary issues through consideration of (news) media debates and reports and will be used to compliment the lecture content by enabling time for further critical exploration of issues and concepts and thus help support the attainment of both knowledge and skills outcomes. Wherever possible workshops will be led by real-world activist and practitioner contributions on respective key topics.
Surgery hours will be offered for students to discuss and support their individual assignment submission.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M403,000 word group project report (1,000 words per student). Guided workshops will support the development of the city food strategy.
Written exercise1M602,000 word briefing to public official calling for action on a key food issue, with collation of supporting evidence-base.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The group report develops key skills associated with team working, evidence synthesis and communication. The group report will take the form of a city food strategy, with the city and substantive focus of the food strategy will be of each group of student’s own choosing. This assessment will provide an opportunity for students to discuss and apply their knowledge to a real world case and enhance their awareness of the policy processes associated with food strategy development and urban food governance and thus help meet learning outcomes 1 and 2. Guided workshops to help support the strategies development will be provided.

The individual written exercise takes the form of a policy briefing and requires reference to a supporting evidence base identified, collated and evaluated by the student. This assessment advances critical evidence review and applied communication skills through the development of a briefing/advocacy statement rather than traditional essay format. This assessment also tests in-depth understanding of a particular topic. This individual assessment links to learning outcomes 1, 3 and 4.

Reading Lists