module specification

NF7044 - Assessment of Nutritional Status (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Assessment of Nutritional Status
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
38 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
80 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
82 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Scientific report (2500 words)
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

This module provides students with an understanding of the methods available for assessing nutritional status of individuals, groups and populations. It aims to enhance student’s critical evaluation of the assessment of nutritional status at a population level using available published data. The module examines the derivation of nutrient reference values, their strengths and limitations. UK’s nutritional surveillance systems are analysed and evaluated. This will be approached within a context of applying statistical analysis to investigate the dietary and nutrient patterns of the UK population and subgroups. The methods applied to gather surveillance data will be critically scrutinised.


Indicators of nutritional status. Includes anthropometry, biochemical measures, clinical information, dietary intake and social and environmental factors.
Evaluation, selection and use of dietary, anthropometric, biochemical and functional indicators of nutritional status as well as ecological data and vital statistics. Consideration of the methods for assessing nutritional status in population sub groups including: children, adults, the elderly, sports people.
Anthropometry, range of measures and methods used to assess body composition, reliability and validity of measurements taken and interpretation.
Examination of existing data of relevance to nutritional status including official statistics e.g. NHANES, specific survey data e.g. NDNS, HSE and other UK surveys.
Consideration of the derivation of reference data ie child growth data, BMI, waist circumference and other percentile charts. Use of a recognised reference range to statistically analyse and present data from a large scale survey such as the NDNS thus gaining insight and understanding of the diet of the UK population.
An examination of nutritional surveillance systems in both developed and developing countries.  Evaluation of the uses and limitations of these systems as a basis for improving nutritional status.
Principles of data management, statistical analysis and interpretation.
Using statistical software – SPSS.
Ethical implications of managing health data.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures, directed activities and computer-based workshops (38 hours). The remaining hours will be devoted to learner centred learning reading and research in the area of nutritional status assessment. Tutorials will be used to statistically analyse NDNS data and expand knowledge in methods of assessing nutritional status. A web-based virtual learning environment is available to support understanding in statistical and digital literacy through access to SPSS software and additional learning resources.  Students would be expected to use the on-line resources for assisted study.
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 completing this module learners will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate the use of indicators of nutritional status to assess nutritional issues in individuals, groups and populations.
2. Evaluate the derivation and use of anthropometric, biochemical, clinical and nutrient reference ranges to classify and categorise nutritional status.
3. Identify and select the types of data which are relevant to the assessment of nutritional status at population, group and individual level and be able to make sound judgemental decisions on the appropriate use of recent relevant publications.
4. Analyse a large data set and critically evaluate associations of relevance to nutritional status.