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NES8102 : Principles and current topics in Agro-food economics & Policy

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sharron Kuznesof
  • Lecturer: Dr Luca Panzone, Professor Sally Shortall, Professor Guy Garrod, Professor Lynn Frewer, Dr Albert Boaitey, Dr Carmen Hubbard, Dr Orla Collins
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


1) Introduce students to the basic principles of agro-food economics marketing and policy;
2) Discuss current food security and sustainable agriculture topics through the lenses of economics and social

More specifically the goals of this module are to enable students to:
I. Underline and explain the economic drivers of consumption and the determinants of food demand;
II. Describe and state how farmers and food business decide what and how much food to produce and supply
III.Learn how to use marketing framework in defining commercial strategies of agro-food businesses
IV. Understand the principles of agro-food policy design, implementation and evaluation
V. Discuss and debate on current issues and local, national and international policies in food security
and sustainability

Outline Of Syllabus

This module runs over 2 weeks and has two distinct parts reflected on the syllabus and assessment below. The first part defines and describes the economic principles governing food markets. An illustrative outline syllabus is:

1.       Introductory agricultural economics (production economics, consumer theory and markets)
2.       Food marketing (product, price, promotion/communication, distribution)
3.       Agro-food policy
4.       Topics in agro-food economics, marketing and agro-food policy.

Examples of topics to be covered on seminars
      SGD 2 - Zero Hunger
•       International trade of food
•       Ethics in production and consumption
•       Food waste and social impact of food security
      SGD 12 -Responsible production and consumption
•       True costs of food and natural accounting
•       The role of private standards
•       Agri-tech innovation and technology adoption

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation for group course work assessments
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion155:0055:00Exam revision and completion.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture53:0015:00Lectures on core module material by teaching staff and visiting speakers
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading54:0020:00Lecture preparation
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity125:0025:00Formative assessment: write a critique of a current topic
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study54:0020:00Seminar preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time53:0015:00These session will be based on case study, academic readings or games
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will deliver the core knowledge based material to achieve the learning outcomes. Students will be provided with directed reading prior to each lecture to facilitate in-class group discussion where appropriate, and context to guest speakers. Seminars on current topics will enable students to use economic principles and frameworks to participate and discuss with staff and guest speakers the current topics in seminars.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A40In class or online essay based exam based on material presented in Lectures, 2 answers out of 4 questions.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M60Students will form a group up to 4 students & write report on current issue of their choice (up to 2000 words)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MStudents will write a blog post based on one of the seminars (1000 word max). The best blog will be posted at CRE
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam is designed to assess the lecture materials in agro-food economics, marketing and policy. The individual report assesses students to ability analyze and evaluate an existing or proposed policy intervention addressing one of SDG goals from a social sciences perspective.
The formative assessment challenges students to master a novel form of communication and their ability to synthesize complex information in a compelling way.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists