module specification

NF7039 - Nutrition, Food Science and Catering (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Nutrition, Food Science and Catering
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
66 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
134 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Portfolio (1500 words)
Coursework 50%   Critical Evaluation (2500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will provide students with a critical understanding of food safety legislation and practice and the effects of food production, preparation and processing on the nutrient content of food.  Students will also gain an in depth understanding of catering management and the use of nutritional standards in the public sector alongside other key aspects of food systems management. In addition to this students will gain key professional skills including how to develop professional portfolios, key infection control practices and an in-depth understanding of research processes.

As part of this module students will complete a validated Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering.

Prior learning requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements for PG Dip Dietetics and Nutrition apply

Module aims

 This module will provide students with a:

  1. Critical knowledge of the effects of food production, preparation and processing on nutrient content of food
  2. Applied knowledge of food preservation and safety to manage and evaluate the service of safe food.
  3. Opportunity to evaluate and appraise public sector catering management.
  4. In depth awareness of core professional skills required to support dietetic practice


Introducing microbial world (Structure and function) including bacteria, eukaryotes and viruses. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting the growth of micro organisms
Food preservation: food spoilage and shelf-life, factors causing deterioration of food (biological, physicochemical, biochemical, Methods of controlling microorganisms in food, enzymes in food spoilage, Pathogens and food (infection and intoxication) Diet, gut microbiota and health, Food safety (food hygiene) in food production facilities, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in food manufacture.
Principles of catering management within the public sector. Financial and institutional constraints on menu planning. Development, implementation and monitoring of nutritional standards for catering services.
Management structures within the NHS and other public sector organisations, leadership skills, negotiating change
Core professional skills including development of a professional portfolio, reflective practice, current dietetic professional standards and code of conduct documents, requirements for CPD, team working skills, and the principles of the dietetic care process.  Fundamental infection control principles including clinical microbiology and implication of infection risk and infection control strategies
The use of technology in relation to dietetic practice including confidentiality and information governance, the regulations surrounding person identifiable information including: legislation, regulatory guidance, protocols and individual responsibility governing the security, confidentiality and sharing of information;  use of clinical records to inform service management and improvement, evaluation of interventions, research and public health and by services users; data quality, terminologies, classifications and their use in health and social care; E-Health (Telehealth, telecare and assistive technologies) including use of communications technology; electronic health records including structure, coded and free text and access and confidentiality
Principles of scientific enquiry, research methodology (qualitative and quantative), audit, governance, ethical procedures, systematic review and meta-analysis.

Learning and teaching

  1. Lectures (55 hours) interactive lectures will present the factual elements of the syllabus.
  2. Tutorials (11 hours) Small group tutorials will use student presentations, mini tests, e-learning packages, exercises and informal critical discussion to reinforce the material presented in lectures and to develop key elements of the syllabus.
  3. Private study (134 hours) Students are expected to undertake private study or distance learning by reading through their lecture notes, undertaking background reading from recommended sources and writing up the practical report.

Learning outcomes

On completing this module students will be able to:

  1. Summarise principals and major conventional and modern food preservation methods, the impact this has on the nutritional content of foods and strategies to prevent microbial contamination, food spoilage and food poisoning. 
  2. Critically evaluate the differing methods of food service and implications for the nutritional quality and safety of food
  3. Articulate a deep understanding of  how the nutritional standards and guidelines for catering services are developed, implemented and monitored
  4. Appraise public sector management structures and skills required to lead
  5. Critically evaluate nutrition and food related research applying knowledge of research methodology.
  6. Demonstrate an awareness of core professional skills required to support practice on Placement 1.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will comprise of:
1. Critical evaluation report (2500 words)
This will be a critical evaluation of two catering systems used in the public sector. The implications that the systems have in meeting nutritional standards for a variety of patient populations should be considered.This assessment will assess learning outcomes 2 & 3. 
2. Portfolio (1500 words)
The completion of a 1500 word portfolio of their learning on the module will demonstrate the students reflective practice skills.  This assessment will assess learning outcomes 1 and 4.
This module forms an essential part of placement preparation. Students must obtain at least 50% to pass this module. In addition students must normally obtain at least 45% in each component of assessment within this module. A mark of between 45% and 49% may be compensated by other components


Core Textbooks:
Adams, MR & Moss, MO (2007) Food Microbiology, 3rd edition, London, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge
Coultate, TP (2009) Food : the chemistry of its components, 5th edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry
Cross, M. & MacDonald, B. (2009) Nutrition in Institutions.  Wiley-Blackwell
Moon, J. (2004) A handbook of reflective and experiential learning – Theory and practice.  London: RoutledgeFalmer

Other resources:
Emerton, V (2007) Essential Guide to Food Additives: a Robust Approach. Leatherhead Food International.
Fellows, P. J. (2009) Food Processing Technology (3rd revised ed) Woodhead Publishing
Forsythe SJ (2002) The Microbiological Risk Assessment of Food. Oxford,Blackwell Publishing
Fox, B. A. & Cameron, A. G. (2000) Food Science, Nutrition & Health. Arnold.
Henry, C. J. K. & Heppell, N. J. (eds) (1998) Nutritional Aspects of Food Processing and Ingredients Aspen Publishers.
Jukes, D (2010) Food Law web pages, University of Reading:
Paul, A. A. & Southgate, D. A. T. (2002) McCance & Widdowson's The Composition of Foods (Summary Edition). Royal Society of Chemistry.
Pomeranz, Y. & Meloan, C. E. (1987) Food Analysis, Theory and Practice (2nd edition). Van Nostrand Reinhold
Shafiur Rahman, M (2007) Handbook of food preservation.  Second edition, CRC Press
Wheelis, M.L. (2008) Principles of Modern Microbiology. Jones and Bartlett.
British Dietetic Association (2012) The Nutrition and Hydration Digest: Improving Outcomes through Food and Beverage Services [Online].  Available at: . (Accessed: 10 June 2013)
Department of Health (2010) Better Hospital Food Programme [Online].  Available at: (Accessed: 10 June 2013
Donaldson, R.J. (2002) Essential Food Hygiene. London: The Royal Society of Health.
Health & Care Professions Council (2013) Standards of Proficiency – Dietitians [Online].  Available at: (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)