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Human Security: Food Security




Admissions requirements

200-level course from the same track


Food security is vital to realising human security for all people, most especially those most vulnerable, so that everyone can enjoy the freedom, good health and dignity to pursue their own goals of prosperity. The pursuit of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, Goal 2: Zero Hunger, of which food security is a core dimension, represents a significant commitment by many countries. This Agenda illuminates the diverse connections hunger has with almost all other sustainable development goals including no poverty, good health and well-being, reduced inequalities, climate action, life on land (biodiversity) and peace, justice and strong institutions. Although, hunger was thought to be in radical decline, recent global assessments have found that it is on the increase, with millions more people going hungry and suffering from malnutrition. This trend is found in developed and developing countries. Realising a food secure and resilient world is increasingly more difficult due to climate change, water availability, migration, conflict and the demands of a global population which is predicted to grow to about 9.8 billion by 2050. Almost 70% of the population is predicted to be urban by 2050 presenting urban resilience challenges including that of food security; and whilst rural populations reflect slower growth they are of vital interest in respect of agricultural value and their predominate location in Africa and Asia where large portions of the world's most poor live. Food security is inherent in the relations between people and their well-being as well as that of the planet. Through the lens of food security (and insecurity) and its value to human security for all, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental considerations will be critically explored and challenged in this course.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be knowledgeable about and able to:

  • Identify, contrast and reflect on the key dimensions of food security.

  • Describe and critically evaluate predominant social scientific theories, concepts and global-local responses at the nexus of food security, sustainable development and human security.

  • Describe, critically assess and select relevant local and global case studies.

  • Employ a range of acknowledged methods to select and motivate for a variety of case studies.

  • Constructively collaborate in teams and engage as individuals, in class discussions, activities and course assignments.

  • Construct concise, persuasive, reflexive and meaningful arguments in discussions, presentations and written submissions.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

This course will be taught through two-hour interactive seminar sessions twice a week. Following an introductory week, case studies will be presented and critically engaged on a
weekly basis. During this period, the first seminar of each week will focus on the presentation of key themes and concepts with supporting case study/ies. Assigned readings-multimedia for this
session are aimed at empowering students to fully engage the content presented. The second seminar of each week will involve group participatory activities which will require students to
critically and demonstratively apply their knowledge of the assigned readings-multimedia, the content of the first seminar and resonance with the wider course content to date.


  • Class Participation: 15%

  • Two Individual assignments (each worth 20%): 40%

  • Group project (Case Study report): 15%

  • Group project (Case Study poster and presentation): 15%

  • "Take Home" Exam*: 15%
    *The "Take Home" exam is designed around the critical and informed application of students' knowledge and skills gained during this course to select case study/ies (not previously presented in this course).

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework.

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

The reading and additional multimedia viewing list will be available digitally.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact