module specification

HN5053 - Techniques in Dietary Assessment (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Techniques in Dietary Assessment
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
99 hours Guided independent study
51 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Scientific report (2000 words)
In-Course Test 40%   Online progress tests ( 3x30 minutes)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module focuses on the concepts and techniques used in nutritional science and research. It covers dietary assessment methodology and broad principles of epidemiology in the context of nutrition and dietetics. The module supports on-going development of professional skills.

Prior learning requirements

Human Nutrition (HN4003)

Module aims

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 develop a critical understanding of the use of dietary assessment methods for assessing nutrient intake in individuals and in populations and to apply the use of appropriate dietary assessment tools in nutrition and dietetic professional practice and in research.  It will also introduce epidemiology and develop an understanding of the concepts of nutrition epidemiology.


Dietary patterns of individuals and population groups, sub groups and the general population taking into account factors such as age, ethnicity, SES for example.
Dietary assessment methodology: weighed intake methods; food frequency questionnaires; recall methods; diet history.  Practical application of these dietary assessment tools.
Formulating specific diets and menu plans
Food composition data:  Databases, dietary analysis soft and food tables.  Analysis of dietary intake data.
Food intake at a National and Household Level; National food supplies:
Evaluation of dietary data; Dietary Reference Values;
Biological markers
Epidemiology concepts and principles of epidemiology

Learning and teaching

Acquisition of knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be promoted through lecturer-led lectures (24 hours) and tutorial workshops (14 hours); web based learning (14 hours) and through the guided use of student-centred learning resources (85 hours). Practical classes and small group work (3 hours) will be used to consolidate the students learning with guidance for directed activities (10 hours).

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the use and application of different dietary assessment methodologies and an ability to appraise their strengths and limitations.
  2. Use dietary analysis software and food composition data to analyse dietary intake and evaluate the data gained.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of epidemiology within the context of nutritional research.

Assessment strategy

This module will be formatively and summatively assessed by:

  1. Online assessment (3 x 30 minutes progress tests) (40%) to engage students with the taught material and provide both formative and summative assessment, with opportunity for formative feedback.
  2. Scientific report (2000 words) (60%) which will provide opportunity for students to analyse dietary intake data, evaluate nutrient intake data and appraise the strengths and limitations of different   dietary assessment methodologies.
Component Marks Learning outcomes
Online assessment 40% 1,2,3
Scientific report 60% 1,2



Department of Health (1991) COMA Report on Health and Social Subjects no. 41: Dietary Reference Values for Food, Energy and Nutrients for the UK. London. HMSO.
Food Standards Agency (2002) McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of Foods, 6th Ed. Cambridge. Royal Society of Chemistry.
Food Standards Agency (2002) Food Portion Sizes, 3rd edition. Norwich: HMSO.
Geissler & Powers (2005) Human Nutrition 11th ed. Elsevier, Churchill Livingstone. Philadelphia (CORE).
Gibson R (2005) Principles of Nutritional Assessment, 2nd ed. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Greenhalgh T. (2010) How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine.  4th Edition.Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell