Module Catalogue

ACE3163 : Contemporary Issues in Food & Nutrition

  • Offered for Year: 2017/18
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Saloni Kaur Dang
  • Lecturer: Dr Lourdes Santos-Merx
  • Owning School: Biomedical Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Singapore
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module explores contemporary issues and debates that define the global food and nutrition sector. As food consumers, we are bombarded daily with advice about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and where to eat. The key issues surrounding food all have behavioural implications for the general public. The campaigns around obesity are tasked with getting us to eat healthy foods in the right quantities. Food Safety campaigns are tasked with getting us to be safer and more careful with how we prepare, store, cook and dispose of food. The promotion of local, organic, fair trade and other so called “quality” foods are tasked with getting us to spend more on our food. The debates around sustainable agriculture and carbon foot printing of foods challenges us to reconsider what foods we buy, from which types of production systems and at what times of the year. This module will challenge students to examine an array of contemporary food and nutrition issues and consider the technical, business, societal, ethical and regulatory factors that are driving these debates.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus for this module will be built around a detailed analysis of a selection of contemporary issues affecting the global food and nutrition sector. The module will start by providing students with a detailed analysis of how food is managed and regulated at a national, regional and global level and an interdisciplinary framework will be provided (technical; business; societal; ethical; regulatory) from which students will be asked to base their critique on a range of contemporary food and nutrition issues.

Three contemporary food and nutrition issues will be covered per year. They will be drawn from the following list:
1. Food Borne Illness
2. Obesity/Malnutrition
3. Eating disorders
4. Food Waste
5. Sustainable Food Systems
6. Novel Food Technologies
7. Food Fortification
8. Food Labelling
9. Global Food Retailing
10. Global Food Chain Systems

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0021:00Preparation for individual essay
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Preparation for group learning log
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical91:009:00Student Conference
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity115:0015:00Preparation for oral presentation at student conference
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to present the key theories, a critical interdisciplinary framework and the key issues for each selected topic. Each topic presented will involve 4 hours of lectures (LO 1;2;3; SO 1;4). Due to the class size, group interaction and activities will be built into the lectures.

Group Learning
All students will be required to attend and participate in group learning as part of their preparation for the group project. Each group will be expected to spend approximately 15 hours together researching and analysing their topic and designing and developing their oral and poster student conference presentations (L0 1;2;3 SO 1;2;3;4;5).

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M50Critical analysis of a chosen contempory food and nutrition topic; 1500 words
Reflective log2M10Group learning log that records group activity in preparation for the student conference
Prof skill assessmnt2M40Group oral presentation at student conference
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Group Project
This group assignment will challenge students to collectively debate and consider the key factors driving the debate of their selected issue. In groups, they will be required to prepare and present at a student conference (attended by the teaching team and all students on the course) on their selected issue. A system of peer review will be built into the assessment of this project. This assessment method will support students' learning across the stated learning outcomes (LO 1;2;3;4) and will develop the range of both oral and written critical skills necessary for graduates entering into the complex environment of the global food sector (SO 1;2;3;4;5).

Each group will be required to keep a log of all the group learning and activities that they have engaged in preparation for the student conference. This log will allow each group to manage their group learning collectively and to report how their group has approached the tasks set (SO 4;5).

Individual Critical Assignment
The individual assignment will assess the students' knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the topics explored and how food and nutrition issues are managed and regulated and the impact of such regulation on society (LO 1;2;3;4). This assessment will specifically focus on assessing students' individual writing, critical and research skills (SO 1;2;3;4).

Reading Lists