module specification

DI5052 - Food Science and Microbiology for Dietitians (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Food Science and Microbiology for Dietitians
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
50 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
100 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50% 35 Essay (2000 words)
Unseen Examination 50% 35 Unseen exam (1h)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module looks at the microbial world and how microorganisms could cause food spoilage, foodborne diseases as well as contribute towards preservation of our food.  The major microorganisms will be discussed, focusing on intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting their growth in food. Also how microorganisms are controlled through food preservation and food processing methods will be discussed in detail. The module also focusses the effects on nutrients of processing and preservation. In addition, the basics of proximate food analysis techniques and measuring food energy will be discussed in food labelling context.

Prior learning requirements

DI4005 Human Nutrition for Dietitians

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to give students insight into how and why foods are processed and the effects of processing on nutrients. The principles of food spoilage and preservation, hygiene and safety will be covered.  The module also seeks to develop competence in discussion and written work, encouraging clarity and scientific rigour; tools often used in many employment settings which will facilitate progression to higher level modules.


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:
Microbial world
Factors affecting the growth of microorganisms
Food preservation and processing
Nutrition and food processing
Principles of food safety & hygiene
Diet & gut flora
Basics of food labelling

Learning and teaching

The syllabus will be developed through lectures (30 h), tutorials/case studies (10 h) and laboratory work (10 h). A significant amount of learning materials will be made available through the University Weblearn. The topics will be delivered to ensure direct relevance to the future careers of the students – as dietitians. In class, students will be given opportunities to assess the development of their knowledge and understanding of the topic through the use of short reflective exercises. Students will also have practical insight of some of the basic microbiological techniques in foods which will be demonstrated in the Science Centre Laboratory and using on-line resources, such as video clips.
Students will be required to undertake further study in-depth on their own to develop their knowledge (150h).
Employability: Students will develop their ability to analyse strategies to control food-borne diseases at home, care homes and hospitals and to establish a healthy diet

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the causes and prevention of food spoilage, food-borne disease and strategies for prevention.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of human microbiota and how diet plays a role in their balance
  3. Interpret food labels with respect to nutrition, ingredients and legal requirements
  4. Apply food safety legislation knowledge to dietetic practice  and evaluate the safety of food services

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed by an unseen exam (1 h), covering syllabus topics including food spoilage, food infection and intoxication, food preservation methods as well as diet and gut flora.  The students are also expected to submit a coursework (essay) on topics related to food safety and health. The coursework will be formatively assessed (feedbacks will be provided) before submission.

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%.

Component Marks Learning outcomes
Unseen exam (1 h) 50% 1, 2, 4
Coursework (essay)  2000 50% 1, 2, 3
Practical attendance 0%  

Students are required to attend the laboratory practical sessions.                             


Adams, M.R. & Moss, M.O. (2007) Food Microbiology, 3rd ed. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. (CORE)
Campbell-Platt, G. (2009) Food Science and Technology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Fellows, P.J. (2009) Food Processing Technology, 3rd ed. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Limited.
Forsythe, S.J. (2002) The Microbiological Risk Assessment of Food. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Lean, M. (2009) Fox and Cameron's Food Science, Nutrition and Health, 7th ed. London: Hodder Arnold. (CORE)
Roe M,A., Finglass P.M. and Church S. (2004) McCance & Widdowson's The Composition of Foods. 6th Edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Nielsen, S.S. (2010) Food Analysis, 4th ed. New York: Springer Science.
Shafiur Rahman, M. (2007) Handbook of food preservation, 2nd ed. Cambridge: CRC Press.
Webb, G. (2012) Nutrition 4E: Maintaining and Improving Health, 4th ed. Cambridge: CRC press
Wheelis, M.L. (2008) Principles of Modern Microbiology. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett.