module specification

DI6053 - Public Health and Nutrition (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Public Health and Nutrition
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
102 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   On-line test (30 minutes)
Coursework 80%   Report (2000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

Students will learn the theory and application of public health nutrition and will understand the process of developing and evaluating a public health nutrition intervention

Prior learning requirements

HN5054 Techniques in nutritional research

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. More specifically the module aims to;

  1. Provide students with an understanding of the main concepts, principles and contemporary issues in public health.
  2. Enhance student’s ability to develop and evaluate public health nutrition interventions, including joint strategic needs assessment
  3.  Appreciate the ethical and moral implications in the development of public health nutrition interventions and policies.

These three aims seek to develop students’ knowledge and skills in public health nutrition. This module prepares students for future employment as it provides the necessary knowledge for students to develop, implement and evaluate public health nutrition interventions and policies.

This module also aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:
- Principles of epidemiology and the application to public health practice.
- Identifying the requirements for public health at a population level.
- Methods of optimising nutritional status at a population level.
- The interaction of diet, socio-economic, genetic and political influences on health and disease.
- UK and international public health nutrition interventions and policies
- Study of the UK diet in relation to socio-demographic factors such as age, religion, ethnicity, socio economic class.
- Joint strategic needs assessment of communities and populations.
- Use of demographic, epidemiological anthropometric and nutrition survey data in developing and evaluating public health nutrition interventions and policies
- Developing, implementing and evaluating public health nutrition interventions and policies.
- The role of the nutrition workforce and the multidisciplinary team in public health nutrition
- Infection control and public health
- Current professional standards and code of conduct documents
- Understanding of how behaviours (e.g. eating and physical activity) on a population level can protect, promote, risk or damage health;
- Determinants of (un)healthy behaviour
- Techniques to change health behaviours

Learning and teaching

Knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be acquired via interactive lectures (24 hours), group tutorials (24 hours).  In addition students will be required to spend up to 102 hours in private study, preparation and self-directed reading.  Students will be instructed in the appropriate use of learning resources and assisted with suitable directed reading material (20 hours)

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Understand how to develop, implement and evaluate public health nutrition interventions and policies.
  2. Critically appraise the evidence base for UK and international public health nutrition interventions and policies.
  3. Understand the professional requirements of registered nutrition professionals.

Assessment strategy

On-line test (30 minutes) This will assess the students’ knowledge of the theory of public health nutrition, including the social determinants of health, the public health framework and the use of data in formulating public health strategy, policy and interventions. This will assess learning outcomes 1.

Report (2000 words) will be a critical discussion and evaluation of a joint strategic needs assessment (JNSA). Students will be required to discuss the information required to formulate a JNSA and the process required. In addition they will have opportunity to evaluate an example JNSA and critically discuss the needs of the population it refers to.  This will assess learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3.

Component Marks Learning outcomes
On-line test 20% 1,
Report 80% 1,2,3

 The criteria for assessment will include the following:

  • An ability to plan, justify and evaluate appropriate public health nutrition interventions in relation to disease pathology and ethical, social and cultural issues.
  • To translate these into a public health strategy and intervention.
  • Demonstrate in the design and evaluation of the public health nutrition intervention, an ability to practise within the ethical and legal boundaries of the dietetic profession. 
  • Illustrate understanding of the requirements by the Health and Care Professions Council


• Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA), Report on health and social subjects No.41,4648,49,50
• D’Souza et al. Food support programmes for low income and socially disadvantaged child-bearing women in developed countries. NICE. 2006
• Germov J and Williams L (2004) A sociology of food and nutrition: the social appetite.  South Melbourne, Vic. ; New York : Oxford University Press
Gibney et al (2004) Public health nutrition Imprint Oxford, UK ; Ames, Iowa : Blackwell Science.(CORE)
• Margetts, B. and Nelson, M. (1997). Design Concepts in Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
• Willett, W. (1998). Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed.  Oxford University Press, Oxford.
• WILSON, F. and MABHALA, M., (2009). Key concepts in public health. London: Sage Publications Ltd.