The RVC has launched a free online course covering UK food systems.

Following last year’s horse meat scandal and the fall in consumer confidence that followed, the demand has grown for better understanding from the public on who is involved in producing our food and how our food can be produced safely and economically.

In response, the RVC is pioneering a free online course, available to everyone, to explain how intensive livestock systems work.

This online short course is run over three weeks and is focused on how our food is made safe, the costs of food production and the people involved within the system.  

There is a specific focus on the pork and egg sectors, which have some of the most developed production systems in the agri-food arena.

The course has been designed to be part-time and flexible for the participant, requiring only two to three hours a week of study time. The learning environment utilises a multimedia approach to study, including quizzes, video and live discussion in addition to the written course material.

A certificate will be made available to participants on full completion of the course.

Stephen May, deputy principal at the RVC, said: “I am really excited to be involved with this novel and enterprising course, which is a first for the RVC. Food is a subject that is literally ‘a matter of life and death’ for us all, so it is important all members of society can understand and contribute to the important debate on our food supply and its safety.”

Enrolment for “Food for thought – the truth about food systems” will commence on February 10, with the course running from February 24 to March 14, 2014 .

For further information, or to self-enrol on the course, visit

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