module specification

NF7041 - Advanced Metabolic Nutrition (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Advanced Metabolic Nutrition
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 206
168 hours Guided independent study
38 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Practical Report (2000 words)
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen Exam (1.5 hours)
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

This module focuses on the fundamental concepts of nutrition science and human metabolism. It addresses the functional roles of energy and macro- and micronutrients (and non-nutrients) and explores the physiological influences on energy and nutrient demands across the lifespan and in altered nutritional states.

This module aims to provide a conceptual framework for the study of human nutrition science and to enhance an understanding of the concepts of nutritional balance and turnover; nutritional supply and demand; the essential roles of energy, nitrogen and macro- and micronutrients. It also explores the interrelationships between food, nutrients, diet and lifestyle with physiology and human health.

Assessment: Practical report (50%) (2000 words)
Written exam (50%) (1.5 hours)

Learners must obtain at least 50% to pass this module.


Body composition assessment – theory and application. 2, 3 and 4 compartment models. Body composition assessment – theory and application. 2, 3 and 4 compartment models. Obesity, starvation, sarcopenia, skeletal muscle. Dietary energy and nutrients and their food sources. Water, fluid balance, electrolytes, oxygen.  The concepts of physiological and nutritional balance, including thermal, fluid, energy and nutrient balances; storage and turnover of energy, nitrogen and key nutrients and non-nutrients. Nutrient pools. Macronutrient and energy intake. Digestion, digestibility and availability of dietary energy. Macronutrient balance. Alcohol. Energy expenditure – BMR, physical activity, thermogenesis. Factors which influence these. Measurement of energy exp. Including respirometry, calorimetry, activity diaries, predictive equations, heart rate monitoring, accelerometery, DLW. Determination of energy requirements. Central regulation of appetite and energy balance, including pharmacological agents. Intermediary metabolism and its integration. Anaerobic and aerobic respiration. Endocrine regulation of metabolism. Micronutrient sources, digestion, physiology, role and requirements. Micronutrient deficiencies. Dietary nitrogen sources, availability, utilisation and excretion. Nitrogen balance. The dynamics of protein turnover and requirement for amino acids and protein. Protein quality – theory, assessment and implications for protein requirements. Colonic nitrogen salvage. Dietary fat and lipid metabolism. Lipoproteins. Relevance of cholesterol. Role of dietary fat, cholesterol, TAG in cardiovascular diseases. Dietary carbohydrates. Sources of glucose. Fibre and free sugars. Insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes Colonic metabolism and fermentation and its contribution to nutrition, health and disease. Microbiome and substrates. Selected vitamin and mineral metabolism including micronutrient deficiencies. Pregnancy and foetal nutrition; lactation, infancy childhood, adolescence and senescence. Nutrigenomics – nutrient-gene interactions, nutraceuticals. Nutrition, infection and immunity. Nutrient databases and statistical software in nutrition research and practice.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will consist of a programme of lecturer-led lectures (24 hours), tutorials (8 hours) and practical classes (6 hours) where students will collect and analyse their own data for the measurement of energy balance. The lectures will introduce students to the theoretical concepts, whilst the tutorials will include exercises and informal critical discussion to develop key elements of the syllabus, together with self-directed study time (162 hours).
PDP:  on completion of this module students will evaluate how the module allowed them to develop skills in information technology, organisation and planning, communication, time management; they will also be asked to reflect on their ability to research literature effectively. They should record this in a pro forma that will form the basis of their final PDP record submitted with their dissertation.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Critically explain the advanced concepts of nutritional balance (with particular reference to energy) and of nutritional turnover (with particular reference to protein); and non-nutrients, including colonic metabolism.
2. Demonstrate an advanced ability to critically apply understanding to situations where there may be altered nutritional states and health such as obesity, including energy intake and expenditure, how they are assessed and explain the current theories of the regulation of appetite and energy balance. Critically evaluate the implications and limitations of current knowledge in this field.
3. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the role of macronutrients and micronutrients in human nutrition and the consequences of dietary excesses and insufficiencies.
4. Critically evaluate the main physiological and nutritional influences on the foetus, pregnancy and lactation and the implications of these for maternal and infant health.
5. Gain an understanding of health promoting properties of specific foods, nutrients, non-nutrients and whole diets and how individual responses to food are influenced by genetic interactions.