Global Food Systems and Food Security

Unit code: HMG7230 | Study level: Postgraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
City Campus
St Albans


Food security is defined as “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. This unit introduces students to the complexity of global food systems and the challenges of ensuring food security for all in a world of climate change, globalization, shifting demographics and new technologies. The different nature of food insecurity in high, middle and low income countries will be explored focusing on the relationships between food security, health, nutrition and social stability. This unit will investigate global priorities to transform to sustainable food systems that delivers food security for all today without compromising the food security of future generations. Using systems thinking approaches students will apply these global priorities and the sustainable development goals along with local and Indigenous knowledge and insight to develop placed-based innovative solutions for sustainable local food systems and sustainable diets. The role of women in household food security is integral to this unit. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critique and apply conceptual frameworks and systems thinking approaches to discuss the political, economic, social and environmental influences on food systems and food security in both global and local contexts;
  2. Assess the vulnerability and resilience of food systems to change in contemporary and emerging scenarios;
  3. Investigate and discriminate issues of food insecurity in diverse populations; and
  4. Interrogate the evidence-base on sustainability in food systems and translate evidence to develop placed-based solutions for sustainable local food systems.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Other
Grade: 20%
Blog on challenges to global food systems (1000 words)
Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 30%
Poster on the role of gender in food security. (1500 words)
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 50%
Written report on local sustainable food systems in a specified community (2500)

Required reading

Required readings will be made available on VU Collaborate.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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