Food security is a measure of the availability of food required to support people of a household, region, country or any specified area. It is a measure of how much food there is, if it is of suitable quality and whether people can access it.
Having fully stocked supermarket shelves is something that perhaps some of us might take for granted. However, this high level of food security is not experienced by all people. In some parts of the world there is a shortage of food, which can result in starvation and death. The United Nations estimates that over 20 000 people die each day from hunger or hunger-related causes.
Food security is reduced by:
- the increase in human population, as birth rates are increasing and many people have better access to medical care
- changing diets mean scarce food resources are transported to be sold to other areas from areas which need them
- new pests and pathogens that attack crops and farm animals
- environmental changes such as global warming
- increased costs of farming
- armed conflicts
Finding sustainable ways to feed people is an important problem for scientists.
Sustainable Development is taught using a wide variety of methods including:
- laboratory classes
- field excursions
- research projects.
At sub-honours level, class sizes range from 80 to 200 students for lectures, 15 to 25 students for seminars, and 8 to 12 students for small-group tutorials.
At Honours level, much of the teaching is in small groups and there is a considerable amount of one-on-one contact with staff. Honours class sizes range from 10 to 30 students for seminars and laboratories down to 1 to 5 students for tutorials.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:
- working on individual and group projects
- undertaking research in a laboratory
- undertaking research in the library
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Sustainable Development. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of laboratory classes and seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
You can find contact information for all Sustainable Development staff on the School of Geography and Sustainable Development website.
In addition to your studies in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.
The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.
All Sustainable Development sub-honours modules are assessed by 50% coursework. Depending on the individual module, the remaining 50% is made up either of further coursework or written examinations.
At Honours level, Sustainable Development modules are assessed by a variety of methods that include coursework and examinations.
Modules run by contributing Schools have varying methods of assessment.
Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.
The School of Geography and Sustainable Development provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future, and aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.
Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.