module specification

HN6003 - Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 20%   Poster presentation (10 min)
In-Course Test 30%   In class test (1.5 hrs)
Oral Examination 20%   Presentation (10 min)
Coursework 30%   Report (2000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module focuses on the critical evaluation of studies examining the role of nutrition in health and how this can be applied to public health policy and the application of nutritional knowledge to public health strategy.

Prior learning requirements

HN5002 Nutrition Science 1,  HN5001 Techniques in Nutrition Science and 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. Specifically it aims to introduce the concepts and principles used in nutrition epidemiology and develop the students’ understanding of the interaction of diet, food and nutrition in the causation and prevention of health and disease.To develop the students‘ ability to utilise and critically evaluate the research tools used in nutrition epidemiology and appreciate these implications when evaluating the evidence for public health policies.  To introduce the concepts and principles used in health promotion and an understanding of contemporary and controversial issues in nutrition health promotion. Appreciate the ethical implications involved in the application of nutritional information for health promotion and aspects of social marketing and media related to nutrition and food. This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some 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:

  • Critical analysis of epidemiological research design and interpretation of data.
  • Examine the role of diet, food and nutrients in the prevention and causation of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity.
  • The effects of pre-conceptual nutrition on adult disease.
  • The concepts and uses of dietary recommendations and reference values.
  • Interpreting and evaluating nutrition epidemiological data
  • Limitations in the scientific basis for nutrition and public health nutrition.
  • Detailed study of effects of socio-economic, environmental, psychological and cultural factors and political influences
  • Identifying the requirements for health promotion at an individual and national level.
  • Comparison of health promotion practices in UK, Europe, WHO and related organisations.
  • Application of basic health promotion principles to the design, implementation and evaluation of public nutrition strategies.
  • Constructs of learning and learning styles leading to lifestyle change.
  • The organisation and structure of the media, development of social marketing and relevance to  nutrition and health.

Learning and teaching

Knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be acquired via interactive tutor-led lectures (50 hours) and small group tutorials (52 hours) and seminar presentation (6 hours) and private study (192 hours). Students will also be given experience in presentation and interview skills as part of developing their employability and professional skills (as part of their PDP) in presentations in both semesters. 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 will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate methodologies used in nutrition epidemiology and interpret and evaluate epidemiological data in relation to nutrition and health.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to integrate the underlying nutritional principles with the   aetiology of health and disease
  3. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the principles of health promotion and public          health strategies, particularly related to reducing incidence of nutritionally related disease.
  4. Demonstrate a critical approach to the analysis of national and international research on developments in nutritional health promotion.
  5. Critically evaluate the social, economic and political influences on food choice and   understand the impact of the media and social marketing.
  6. Articulate the skills and experiences they have gained whilst in HE to future employers and other key stakeholders

Assessment strategy

This module will be summatively assessed by means of an in-class test, consisting of essay style questions (1.5 hrs) (30%). The coursework component (70%) will be assessed by the presentation of a poster examining the use of nutritional epidemiological data (used to provide formative feedback), a seminar presentation and a  scientific report.

This module will be assessed by a piece of poster presentation (10 min) (used to provide formative feedback), an in class test (1.5 hour), a presentation (10 min) (students will be expected to dress professionally for this) and written report (2000 words). To pass the module, students must get an overall mark of 40% or above.

Component Marks Learning outcomes
Poster presentation 20% 1,6
In class Test 30% 1,3
Presentation  20% 4,5,6
Report 30% 4,5



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