module specification

DT4003 - Sociology and Psychology for Dietitians (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
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
50 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
166 hours Guided independent study
84 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20% 35 On-line Portfolio
In-Course Test 30% 35 In Class Test (30 minutes)
Practical Examination 20% 35 Group Presentation (5 min)
Coursework 30% 35 Case study report (1500 words)
Running in 2019/20

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

Through successful completion of the module, learners will develop a broad understanding of psychology and sociology in relation to health and nutrition behaviour.

Learners will also begin to develop skills in professionalism and have a better understanding of employment opportunities and job application processes.

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 learners 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 learners 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 learners with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

Prior learning requirements

Restricted to BSc (Hons) Dietetics & Nutrition & BSc (Hons) Dietetics
Course entry requirements apply


The learning outcomes will be met via the following components:
1. Professionalism:  LO1, LO4
1.1. The introduction of reflection to develop learning and professionalism
1.2. An introduction to employability skills and becoming a nutrition professional
1.3. Numeracy, data handling, descriptive statistics, presentation skills; using electronic spreadsheets
1.4. Understanding and citing scientific evidence
1.5. Learners will have opportunity to learn with and from learners from human nutrition.  LO2
1.6. Complementary and Applied Medicine (CAM): The use and evidence underpinning CAM
1.7. Introducing fitness to practice concepts including maintenance of high standards of personal and professional conduct and one’s own health. Ensuring currency of knowledge.
2. Sociology
2.1. Socio-cultural and religious beliefs/factors influencing food choice
2.2. Sociology of lay health beliefs  LO3
2.3. Concepts of socialisation and the application to stages in the life cycle and their effects on lifestyle and health professional/client interaction
2.4. Classification systems in relation to UK health statistics  LO1
2.5. Systems of social organisation, diversity and health inequalities
2.6. An introduction to food policy, corporate responsibility and sustainability
3. Psychology
3.1. Theories of human behaviour
3.2. The psychology of health behaviour and health education
3.3. An introduction to health promotion, behaviour change theory and methods for improving health centred on major public health concerns
3.4. Psychological theories related to eating disorders
3.5. Psychological dimensions of long term illness
3.6. Psychology of normal and disordered eating
3.7. Attitudes and cognitive dissonance

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered through lectures (56 hours) and tutorials which will include directed study, problem-based learning and workshops (28 hours)
Learners will be guided in their independent learning through directed reading (20 hours), use of the VLE and appropriate web-based resources.
Learners will also be required to develop skills in reflection and professionalism.
Learners will develop communication skills through active participation in group tasks.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module learners 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. Individual professional development via reflective practice and the application of employment opportunities within each profession.
4. Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding required to meet the expectations of professional behaviours stated within the HCPC standards of proficiency for dietitians and the HCPC standards of conduct performance and ethics.

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed by:
1. An on-line portfolio; learners will complete two online tests to demonstrate understanding of professionalism and employment opportunities (2 x 30 min). Learner will also develop a CV and cover letter and receive formative feedback to develop further for the final submission. Learners will reflect on the feedback received and how they will apply this to develop them further. The results from the on-line tests, the final CV, cover letter and reflection will be submitted as the on-line portfolio.
2. In class test where learners will provide an account of the factors that influence their food choice.
3. An oral presentation of a case study which requires learners to apply the psychological theories taught in the module. Learners will normally work in small groups to deliver a presentation. The oral presentation will provide learners with formative feedback to inform the case study report.
a. The reassessment task will be an individual presentation. Learners 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.

Learners must obtain at least 40% to pass this module. In addition learners 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%.

The assessment criteria will include the following :
• Demonstrate in the submission of the portfolio and through the case study, understanding of the requirements by the Health and Care Professions Council. This will include demonstration of the understanding of the expectations of professional behaviour and the ability to practice within the ethical and legal boundaries of the dietetic profession.


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, C. (2008) Understanding the Sociology of Health (4th edition) London: Sage Publications. (core)
Blackman M.C, Kvaska C.A. (2011) Nutrition Psychology. Improving Dietary Adherence. London: Jones and Barlett Publishers
Germov J, Williams, L. (Editors) (2017). The Sociology of Food & Nutrition: The Social Appetite. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Morrison, V. & Bennett, P. (2008). An introduction to health psychology. (4th edition) London: Pearson Publishing
Morrall P. (2009) Sociology and health: an introduction. (2nd edition). London: Routledge
Ogden J. (2012) Health psychology. A textbook. (5th edition) Buckingham: Open University Press (core)
Rollnick S, Manson P Butler C (2010) Health behaviour change: a guide for practitioners. (2nd edition) London: Churchill Livingstone.
Taylor, S. & David, F. (Eds.) (2007) Sociology of Health and Health Care (4th edition). London: Wiley Blackwell.

Online resources:
• British Dietetic Association:
• Association for Nutrition:
• Health and Care Professions Council:
• Change4Life:
• Start4Life:
• NHS Choices: