module specification

DI6055 - Public Health and Nutrition for Dieticians (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Public Health and Nutrition for Dieticians
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
102 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20% 35 On-line test (30 minutes)
Coursework 80% 35 Case study (2000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module aims to develop knowledge and skills of public health nutrition and how the theory of public health relates to epidemiology. Students will learn the theory and application of public health and will understand the process of planning and evaluating a public health project.

Prior learning requirements

DI5004 Techniques in Nutritional Science and Research 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. More specifically the module aims to provide students with an understanding of the main concepts, principles and contemporary issues used in public health. The module also aims to develop student’s ability to develop and evaluate public health strategies, including needs assessment as well as appreciate the ethical and moral implications in the development of public health policies and strategies. These first three aims seek to develop students’ knowledge and skills in public health nutrition. This module prepares students  for placement 3 and future employment as it provides the necessary knowledge for students to plan, implement and evaluate public health strategies and campaigns.
This module 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 dietetic 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.
  • Public health policies and practices and strategies in UK and overseas.
  • Study of the UK diet in relation to socio-demographic factors such as age, religion, ethnicity, socio economic class.
  • Needs assessment of communities and populations.
  • Use of demographic, epidemiological anthropometric and nutrition survey data in developing and evaluating PH strategies.
  • Planning and implementation of appropriate health promotion initiatives.
  • The role of the dietitian and the multidisciplinary team in education and health promotion
  • Infection control and public health
  • Nutrition & Dietetic Care Process
  • Current professional standards and code of conduct documents

Learning and teaching

Knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be acquired via interactive lectures  (20 hours), group tutorials (20 hours) and in class oral presentations (8 hours) which are mandatory.  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.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how to undertake a needs assessment, plan, implement, monitor and evaluate a public health strategy.
  2. Appraise current public health policies and strategies in the provision of health and social care at local, regional and national level and how this relates to the public health model.
  3. Illustrate in the design and evaluation of a public health strategy an understanding of the requirements by the Health and Care Professions Council

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
Case study 80% 1,2,3

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%.


  • Belsky et al., 2006. Effects of Sure Start local programmes on children and families: early findings from a quasi-experimental, cross sectional study. BMJ, 16th June.
  • 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)
  • Hodnett E and Roberts I . Home based social support for the socially disadvantaged mother (Cochrane Review) The Cochrane Library. Oxford. 1996
  • (Accessed: 10 June 2013)
  • Health Professions Council (2008) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics [Online].  Available at:,performanceandethics.pdf (Accessed: 10 June 2013)
  • British Dietetic Association (2012) Model and Process for Nutrition and Dietetic Practice [Online].  Available at (Accessed: 10 June 2013)
  • 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.
  • • National Heart Forum & Faculty of Public Health (2004) Food Poverty Toolkit. Accessed from