Farm to Fork: Primary Production of Food Commodities

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Farm to Fork: Primary Production of Food Commodities

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Agriculture, International Studies, Nutrition and Food Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded: FB1AG2 Farm to Fork
    Module version for: 2014/5
    Module Convenor: Dr Carol Wagstaff
    Summary module description:
    This module examines the factors affecting food quality between sowing and harvest that are related to global food security, covering crop genetics, production methods for animals and plants, interactions with the environment, land use, sustainable fish production, and non-food crops. A variety of teaching methods are used, including work outside of the classroom and debates.
    To provide the student with a basic understanding of the food chain and the principles of food production covering plant and animal derived foods. The student will be provided with an understanding of how issues such as food security, sustainable crop production, food miles and different food production methods can affect the quality of food produced and availability to the consumer.
    Assessable learning outcomes:
    On completion of the module the student should be able to describe:
    1. The generic principles of the food chain
    2. The driving factors behind preharvest cultivation
    3. Factors affecting sustainability and productivity in food production.
    4. Methods of livestock and fish production
    5. Interaction between genetics and environmental factors in determining food quality
    6. Non-food uses of crops
    Additional outcomes:
    Outline content:
    Lectures (total 20 hours) Introduction to food chain ?farm to fork? (1h)
    1. Factors contributing to consumer perception of food quality (1h)
    2. Key issues of public concern in the food chain (2h)
    3. Goals of preharvest cultivation and sustainability (1h)
    4. Preharvest treatment of fruit and vegetables ? genotype x environment interactions (2h)
    5. Fruit and vegetable breeding (2h)
    6. Cereal and legume production (1h)
    7. Oilseed production and uses (1h)
    8. Pork production (1h)
    9. Poultry production and processing (2h)
    10. Beef and lamb production (2h)
    11. Milk production and role of milk in diet (2h)
    12. Fish Farming (2h)
    Additional Sessions
    1. Visit to vegetable or animal production facilities (whole day visit)
    2. Flip learning - review of podcast and additional papers provided via blackboard
    Global context:
    Food security is of global importance and the challenge of feeding a projected 9 billion people in 2050 is immense, particularly in the face of climate change and competition for land use for biofuel production. This module discusses the key issues and possible solutions and provides the students with the basis to make an informed opinion on how food should be sourced and supplied in the future.
    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    The module will be primarily taught as (interactive) lectures given by academics who have active research groups in the area. The group debate will involve small group work in advance of the session which will be expanded to the whole class during the debate. Visit to primary production facilities will lead to an essay assignment.
    Contact hours:
    Lectures 20
    Seminars 2
    External visits 8
    Guided independent study 70
    Total hours by term 100.00
    Total hours for module 100.00
    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Method Percentage
    Written exam 70
    Written assignment including essay 20
    Set exercise 10
    Other information on summative assessment:
    Essay assignment on food security (20%) and blackboard knowledge test in relation to a podcast and additional reading (10%)
    Relative percentage of coursework: 30%
    Submission Deadline(s): Essay deadline week 5 of module
    Knowledge test week10 of module
    Formative assessment methods:
    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
    The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours
    Requirements for a pass:
    Reassessment arrangements:
    Written examination during the University re-examination period in August
    Last updated: 8 October 2014

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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