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Unit information: Power, Politics and Food in 2021/22

Unit name Power, Politics and Food
Unit code POLI30027
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Parrott
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will provide students with an introduction to the broad issues relating to food as a site of power and inequality at the global, national and local level. Through an examination of a range of topics relating to the production, regulation, distribution, consumption and waste of food students will develop core knowledge of food systems and cultures with particular attention paid to the ecological, political, social, cultural and economic elements of the theory and practice of food.

Unit aims:

  • To encourage student understanding of, and interest in, the politics of food.
  • To develop student appreciation of the connections between theory and practice in relation to food production, regulation, distribution, consumption and waste.
  • To enhance student understanding of the complexity of the relationship between power, poverty, inequality, ‘flourishing’ and food.
  • To extend student key skills in independent research, group work, essay writing and ICT

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the core debates related to the politics of food.
  2. Situate these debates in relation to the weekly topics of the unit.
  3. Assess these debates in relation to empirical examples.
  4. Analyse and critique dominant discourses of food production, regulation, distribution, consumption and waste.
  5. Demonstrate key skills in evaluation, speaking and listening, independent research, group work, essay writing and ICT

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

1,500 word essay (25%) 3,000 word essay (75%)

Both essays test all learning outcomes


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLI30027).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.