Course code EDS285

EDS285 Global Food Systems and Food Security

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Ruth Haug
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course is offered in the autumn parallel. 
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2014-2015
Preferential right:
Course contents:

This course aims to provide an integrated analysis of drivers and constraints that influence the global food systems, as well as a holistic understanding of how policies, institutions and bottom-up approaches can contribute to more sustainable food systems. We define food systems as (FAO et al. 2021: 190):

Food systems encompass the entire range of actors and their interlinked value-adding activities involved in the production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food products. They comprise all food products that originate from crops and livestock production, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the broader economic, societal and natural environments in which these diverse production systems are embedded.

Food security is an important part of the global food systems thinking. Food insecurity is basically a poverty problem and protracted conflicts often add to the problem. Climate change and environmental degradation further threaten food security as well as economic downturns. The course will contribute to our understanding of some of the complex issues and controversies that relate to the (lack of) sustainability of global food systems and discuss factors that influence food-and nutrition security at global, national, and local levels. 

Learning outcome:

By the end of this course, participants should be familiar with theory and the core concepts within the global food systems and food security to a level at which participants can engage with practitioners, researchers, advisors and policymakers interested in food systems, food security and global development by having:

  • An understanding of what food systems and food security are including definition of concepts, theoretical evolution and knowledge of different strategies to address the problems of lack of sustainability in the global food systems and of food insecurity at global, national and local levels
  • The ability to analyze food systems and food insecurity in a cross-disciplinary way including technological, environmental, nutritional, economic, societal, political and demographic factors.
  • The capacity to assess critically theoretical and conceptual issues in relation to review of relevant case studies and diverse strategies.
  • The ability to present relevant food systems and food security topics in oral and written forms both independently and in groups.
Learning activities:
Lectures, groupwork and term paper.
Teaching support:
See Canvas
See Canvas
Recommended prerequisites:
Interest in social sciences and global development studies
Mandatory activity:

All groupwork is mandatory

Groupwork presentation (passed/failed)

Term paper (100% of grade)
Nominal workload:
250 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
Lectures and groupwork
Course Language is English and term paper should be written in English
Approve term paper topics
Examination details: Assignment: Letter grades