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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Challenges in Food Security (BIO681)

Organisational Unit Agricultural Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description The global food security challenge is to feed the world in the face of climate change, population growth, uneven food distribution, nutritional security, volatile markets and degraded ecosystems. The challenge includes 'globesity': a public health and social issue that is directly related to food security. Through several case studies, we will discuss some key historical, scientific and social factors that have helped shape current ideas on food security and the food system as a whole.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. Define food security and related terms (sustainable intensification, food sovereignty, etc);
2. Appreciate the magnitude and complexity of the food security issue;
3. Communicate some of the political, economic, social and environmental challenges of food security;
4. Identify innovative means to solve food security issues.
Timetabled Learning Activities Seminars and workshops are delivered in intensive teaching mode (24 hours contact time), which may include evenings and weekends. Students will then complete research assignments independently, in consultation with teaching staff.
Unit Learning Experiences The primary function of this unit is to compare, contrast and critically evaluate diverse disciplinary perspectives on food (in)security. The lectures and workshops will explore these dynamics through a range of workshop discussions and exercises, and challenge students to consider different approaches and apply these to a range of contexts. An important element of this unit is its emphasis on self-directed and negotiated learning where students are actively involved in setting goals and assessing themselves.
Students are expected to research the literature and read widely to develop their understanding of the topic and to be able to summarise, critically analyse and communicate this information in their tutorials and written assessments. This will result in highly developed written communication skills to allow informed dialogue with individuals and groups from industry, government and the community.

Assessment Assessments for this unit are based on addressing the challenge of food security. Students will develop a solution to ensure 9 billion mouths receive food in 2050. Solutions may focus on any area in the food system including (but not limited to) production, processing, logistics (storage and transport) and waste minimisation. Feedback will be an ongoing in workshops, and comments on written assessments.
1. Literature Review;
2. Oral Presentation with submission of slides (10 minutes);
3. Essay (2500 words).
Prerequisites Enrolment in a graduate-level course.
Previously 2014: 'Biosecurity for Food Security'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Master of Development Studies (MDS)
Master of Food Security (MFoodSec) [New in 2015]
Master of Sustainable Development (MSustDev)
Master of Wildlife Health and Conservation (MWildlifeHth) [New in 2015]
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Kirsty Bayliss
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2814
e: K.Bayliss@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.3.013 - Biological Sciences, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S2-External
MURDOCH: S2-Internal
Dr Kirsty Bayliss
Senior Lecturer

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2814
e: K.Bayliss@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.3.013 - Biological Sciences, Murdoch Campus
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