module specification

DI4003 - Sociology and Psychology for Dietitians (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sociology and Psychology for Dietitians
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
224 hours Guided independent study
76 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20% 35 Online Tests (2 x 30 minutes)
In-Course Test 30% 35 In class test (30 Mins)
Oral Examination 20% 35 Oral Presentation (5 min)
Coursework 30% 35 Case study report (1500 words)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance - 80% tutorial attendance required to pass module
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

Through successful completion of the module, students will develop a broad understanding of psychology and sociology in relation to health and nutrition behaviour. Students will also begin to develop skills in professionalism.

Restricted to BSc (Hons) Dietetics & Nutrition

Prior learning requirements

Restricted to BSc (Hons) Dietetics & Nutrition

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Specifically it aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the sociology and psychological theories relevant to the practice of nutrition and dietetics. Also the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Dietitians and Association for Nutrition Code of Ethics and Statement of Professional Conduct for nutritionists.  This module will support students to reflect on the range of employment opportunities available. Relevant aspects of nutrition & dietetic practice, theory and research will also be studied. This module also aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:
Theories of human behaviour
The psychology of health behaviour and health education.
An introduction to health promotion
Psychological theories of eating disorders psychoanalytic, cognitive and social
Psychological dimensions of long term illness
Psychology of normal and disordered eating
Attitudes and cognitive dissonance
Socio-cultural and religious factors influencing food choice
Sociology of lay health beliefs
Origins, changes and current eating patterns of different population groups in the UK
Concepts of socialisation and the application to stages in the life cycle and their effects on lifestyle and health professional/client interaction.
An introduction to employability skills and becoming a nutrition professional.
Classification systems and the use of social class in relation to UK health statistics.
Systems of social organisation, inclusion, exclusion, diversity and health inequalities.
Numeracy, data handling, descriptive statistics, presentation skills
Developing learning and skills through reflection.
An introduction basic food policy and health policy

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through lectures (56 hours) and tutorials which will include directed study, problem-based learning and workshops (28 hours)
Students will be guided in their independent learning through directed reading, use of the VLE and appropriate web-based resources.
Students will also be required to develop skills in reflective practice and will be required to develop a professional development portfolio.
Students will develop communication skills through active participation in group tasks.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Explain the different theories of human behaviour and the psychological background of aspects of health behaviour relating to nutrition and dietetics.
  2. Recognise the sociological aspects of health, social organisation, socialisation and social status that determine lifestyle choices and access to healthcare.
  3. Recognise the range of employment opportunities available to support independent professional development.

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed by

  1. Two online tests to demonstrate understanding of professionalism and employment opportunities (2 x 30 min). Students will be tested on their understanding of what it means to be a professional and how this applies to them. Students will also establish awareness for employment opportunities once they graduate in their respective fields via a reflective account.
  2. In class test (30 minutes) of a given peer reviewed journal article which addresses the impact of social organisation.
  3. One five minute oral presentation of a case study which requires students to solve a problem using the psychological theories taught in the module. In addition students will be expected to consider sociological aspects of health. It will be a group presentation but carry an individual mark. Students will work in groups of three to deliver a presentation of 15 minutes in total (5 minutes per individual). A mark will be allocated for group cohesion. Each group must submit a short signed account on the day of the presentation detailing how each individual group member contributed to the final presentation. The oral presentation will provide students with peer and tutor formative feedback to inform the case study report.
    a. The reassessment task will be an individual presentation of 5 minutes. Students will be expected to re-work their contribution to the original presentation.
  4. Case study report of how psychological theories can be applied to the management of a given case study (1500 words)
Component Marks Learning outcomes
Online Tests 20% 3,4
In class test 30% 2
Presentation 20% 1,2
Case Study report 30% 1,2

Students must obtain at least 40% to pass this module. In addition students must normally obtain at least 35% in each component of assessment within this module. A mark of between 35% and 39% may be compensated by other components. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.


Aspden W, Caple F, Reed R, Jones A, Weyers J (2011) Practical skills in food science, nutrition and dietetics. London: Prentice Hall.
Barry A, Yuill, Y. (2008) Understanding the Sociology of Health: An Introduction (2nd edition) London: Sage Publications. (core)
Blackman M.C, Kvaska C.A. (2011) Nutrition Psychology. Improving Dietary Adherence. Jones and Barlett Publishers
British Dietetic Association (2008) ‘Code of Professional Conduct’ [Online] Available from: (Accessed 10 June 2013) (core)
British Dietetic Association (2012) Model and Process for Nutrition and Dietetic Practice [Online].  Available at (Accessed: 10 June 2013) (core)

Germov L, Williams, L.  (Eds.) (2004). the Sociology of Food and Nutrition: The Social Appetite. Sydney: Open University Press.
Gibney M, Margetts B, Kearney J, Arab L (2004) Public Health Nutrition. Wiley-Blackwell (core)
Health & Care Professions Council (2013) Standards of Proficiency – Dietitians [Online].  Available at: (Accessed: 10 June 2013) (core)
Health Professions Council (2008) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics [Online].  Available at:,performanceandethics.pdf (Accessed: 10 June 2013) (core)

Morrison, V. & Bennett, P. (2008). An introduction to health psychology. (2nd edition) London: Pearson Publishing
Morrall P. (2009) Sociology and health: an introduction. (2nd edition). London: Routledge
Ogden J. (2007) Health psychology. A textbook. (4th edition) Buckingham: Open University Press (core)
Rollnick S, Manson P Butler C (1999) Health behaviour change: a guide for practitioners. London: Churchill Livingstone.
Taylor, S. & David, F. (Eds.) (2007) Sociology of Health and Health Care (4th edition). London: Wiley Blackwell.