RDEV20220 Agri-Food and the Sustainable Development Goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the principles and goals of the Sustainable Development Goals from the perspective of agriculture and food. Sustainable Development attempts to understand the interactions of three systems – the global economy, society, and environment or “the triple bottom line” (Elkington, 1994). It is a lens through which we can view the world. Sustainable Development also recommends a set of goals – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be referred to throughout the module, that call for “socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth” (Sachs, 2015: 3). Central to addressing the triple bottom line is good governance.
In the module we will address sustainable development as a lens through which the world can be analysed, and how the global goals for Sustainable Development impact at the national and regional levels in Ireland and elsewhere. A particular focus will be the role Ireland’s agri-food sector has in contributing to the SDGs. The module will examine bottom-up and top-down approaches to achieving Sustainable Development, and investigate the challenges for SDGs in politics, power, and decision-making.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
• Understand the origins of sustainable development and how it relates to agriculture and food
• Critically assess how policies for sustainable development are formulated and adopted
• Understand the role for the agri-food sector in the Sustainable Development Goals
In addition to these, you will also develop the following generic and professional skills:
• Verbal and written communication
• Critical thinking
• Team work
A set of learning outcomes will also be provided for each class, students should reflect on these and use them as guidance for assessing whether they have got the most out of each teaching session.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will be delivered through interactive lectures centred around peer- and task-based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Project: The project will have individual and group elements. Students will address a 'real world scenario' where they can apply the principles of sustainable development. Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Professor James Kinsella Lecturer / Co-Lecturer