module specification

DI6P01 - Dietetics and Nutrition Research Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Dietetics and Nutrition Research Project
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
6 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
294 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Project 60% 35 Research Paper
Coursework 20% 35 Poster
Oral Examination 20% 35 Presentation
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance at Learning Manager Meetings (normally one per semester)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North - To be arranged

Module summary

This module allows students to integrate the knowledge and skills gained at throughout the course, such as information gathering, written and verbal presentation of information and critical analysis.  Students will undertake a laboratory or field-based investigation in a subject area of the student’s choice.  There will be an emphasis on gaining experience and skills which are relevant to the Dietetics profession, particularly in project report writing and presentation.

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 the students with an opportunity to develop the skills of critical appraisal, interpretation, analysis, defending and reflection through the design and/or execution of a nutrition-focused research project.  In addition the module will develop advanced level knowledge of a specific area of the subject and allow students to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules. Students will be able to develop skills in employability as the module will provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate competence as independent learners, through the design and/or execution and completion of the research project.   In addition the student will experience the process of nutrition research and develop professional, vocational and transferable skills to perform and present independent research.   Students will   produce a substantive professional scientific report on the findings and present these findings, orally, in a scientific manner. 
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:
The Dietetics and Nutrition Research project is the culmination of the taught programme, allowing students to integrate the knowledge and skills gained at advanced level and demonstrate competence as independent learners.  Students will undertake a laboratory or field-based investigation in a subject area of the student’s choice.  There will be an emphasis on gaining experience and skills which are relevant to the Dietetics profession, particularly in project report writing and presentation

Learning and teaching

The pre-requisite module DI5004 Techniques in Nutritional Science and Research for Dietitians will provide the students with a comprehensive lecture and tutorial programme that will enable the students to gain knowledge and skills in research processes and methodology, including developing a research protocol. 

This module will require the student to self-direct and manage his/her own independent learning experience. Research topics will be identified during the earlier part of the course through liaison with external health organisations or through research ideas developed by the student or a member of academic staff.

Topics will be chosen that give the opportunity for students to develop experience and skills in research and provides a realistic opportunity of completion. The module will be delivered through a combination of project supervision (6 hours) and self-directed study 292 hrs.

Upon arrangement by the student, the project supervisor will initially assist in the following processes:
1. clarifying the terms of the research project
2. establishing a timetable for the research and dates for subsequent student/supervisor  meetings
3. directed background reading
4. study design, methodology, ethical approval (where necessary) and statistical analysis

Supervisory support will form a key part of the teaching method, but ultimately, most of the learning will be student-centred. Supervisor meetings will continue periodically through the project. A typical amount of contact time the student can expect is six hours with the supervisor. Each meeting will be logged and a summary of the outcome should be signed by both parties using the appropriate proforma.

Learning outcomes

Module learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of research methodology through the design and/or execution & completion of a research project or audit.
  2. Critically appraise and review a body of relevant scientific literature.
  3. Undertake appropriate analysis of original data, or reanalysis of current data.
  4. Interpret ones own research/audit findings in the context of current knowledge and literature.
  5. Reflect on the design, execution, results and outcomes of the research project/audit in order to make recommendations for improvement.
  6. Evaluate the impact or relevance of the research/audit on current professional practice.
  7. Present the research study or audit in an accepted scientific manner, demonstrating appropriate presentation skills.   

Assessment strategy

1. Research paper – 4000 word written report written in the style of a peer-reviewed scientific journal publication.  Requires the student to conduct a research study or audit and write up their research project in the standard format of a journal publication (i.e. abstract, background, methods, results, discussion, conclusion).
2. Poster presentation – 500 words poster
3. 15 minute individual verbal presentation of poster.  The work should be presented both visually and verbally in the standard format utilised in a scientific conference poster presentation allowing for audience questions of the presented work.  

Learning Manager Meetings: in order to pass this module, students must attend at least two meetings with their Learning Manager (one in Autumn and one in Spring) in order to reflect upon, discuss and plan their approach to learning and organisation of their study.

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
Research Paper 60% 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Poster Presentation 20% 1,3,4,5,6,7
Oral  Presentation 20% 1,3,4,5,6,7


Burgess R. (2010) New Principles of Best Practice in Clinical Audit. 2nd Edition. Oxon: Radcliffe Publishing   
Greenhalgh T. (2010) How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine.  4th Edition.
Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Hickson M. (2008) ‘Research Handbook for Health Professionals’ Oxford. Blackwell Publishing. (CORE)
Pallant J. (2013) SPSS survival manual: a step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS.  5th Edition. Oxford. Open University Press (CORE)