PS6801: Food, the Environment and Sustainability

Credit Weighting: 10
No. of Students: Min 13, Max 40.
Pre-requisite(s): None
Co-requisite(s): None
Teaching Period(s): Semesters 1 or 2 or 3. (Semester details will be confirmed at the start of the programme).
Teaching Methods: 7 x 3hr(s) Lectures (including guest lectures); 1 x 3hr(s) Workshops; 1 x 3hr(s) Seminars; 2 x 7hr(s) Fieldwork (Fieldtrips); 150hr(s) Directed Study (self-directed study)
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Eoin Lettice, School of BEES.
Lecturer(s): Staff, School of BEES.
Module Objective: To introduce students to the science of primary food production and to assess the environmental challenges that agriculture and food production pose to the Irish and global environment.
Module Content: The scientific method. Understanding data and drawing conclusions. The history of science in agriculture. Scientific innovation in agriculture and food production e.g. plant biotechnology, green revolution. The food-environment dilemma. UN Sustainability Goals and Ireland. Climate change and agriculture: Ireland's response and responsibilities. Crop diseases: from feast to famine; chemical versus biological control. What is sustainability and how does it relate to agriculture and food? Interpreting and communicating scientific results and role in public perception of food systems (organic and conventional).
Learning Outcome: On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
  • Outline the scientific method and how it may be used to inform our knowledge of food production in Ireland.
  • Interpret basic statitstical findings in order to inform our knowledge of food production in Ireland.
  • Identify the major environmental challenges posed by food production and consumption.
  • Explain the environmental impact of crop production.
  • Describe the impact of Irish agriculture on climate change and the wider environment.
  • Assess the sustainability of a variety of food produciton systems and technologies.
  • Research and present scientific information effectively.
Assessment: Total Marks 200: Continuous Assessment 200 marks (2 x 1,500 word portfolio entry (60 marks each); Scientific Poster (40 marks); Oral presentation (40 marks)).
Compulsory Elements: Continuous Assessment.
Penalties (for late submission of course/project work etc.): Where work is submitted up to and including 7 days late, 5% of the total marks available shall be deducted from the mark achieved. Where work is submitted up to and including 14 days late, 10% of the total marks available shall be deducted from the mark achieved. Work submitted 15 days late or more shall be assigned a mark of zero.
Pass Standard and any Special Requirements for Passing Module: 40%.
End of Year Written Examination Profile: No Formal Written Examination.
Requirements for Supplemental Examination: Marks in passed element(s) of Continuous Assessment are carried forward, Failed element(s) of Continuous Assessment must be repeated (as prescribed by the module co-ordinator).

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF