module specification

NF7W49 - Professional Practice in Nutrition (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Professional Practice in Nutrition
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
150 hours Placement / study abroad
30 hours Guided independent study
20 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Reflective Diary (1000 words)
Coursework 70%   Report (3000 words)
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

Largely practice based, this module will develop the skills required for a nutrition professional in the contemporary workforce, in either public health nutrition or sports and exercise nutrition.

Module aims

Through a period of work based experiential learning that is tailored to the students chosen needs, the module aims to provide students with a means to consolidate and apply knowledge and skills acquired in their postgraduate modules and to develop their career awareness.


The placement will enable the development of an agreed range of relevant professional skills and competencies identified through personal profiling. The content of placements will vary considerably, reflecting both student aims and interests and the focus or specialism. During the module students will be required to maintain a continuous and reflective record of their work and the experiences gained. This will enable them to reflect upon their experience and its implications for professional practice. It is important that this record contains a critical analysis both of the experience and of the student's own progress.

Students will spend a minimum of 21 days attached to an appropriate public or not for profit organisation or private sector business. This could be a three week block as appropriate or spread over a longer period such as 1 to 2 days a week over the semester or a combination of the two.
The responsibility for seeking a placement will primarily be placed upon the student. The tutor will agree the placement at the commencement and supervise whilst on placement.

Learning and teaching

Students will undertake a programme of practical professional practice relevant to nutrition. They will carry out a self-profiling of their skills/competencies, have regular meetings and contact with the module leader.  The module will consist of a programme of seminars/workshops and students will be prepared for work placement by staff-led tutorials to agree learning objectives (20 hr).
Pre-placement induction sessions will introduce students to the requirements and demands of work placements, assist them in the diagnosis of their abilities, obtain DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check if necessary, help them to make decisions about suitable placement areas, support them in placement search, CV construction and debriefing and reflection post-placement. All students will be informed of the necessity to attend an induction session and suggested preparation session, ideally in the previous semester, run by the Career Development and Employment service.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an ability to identify career development needs and self-direction through the acquisition of a placement and agreement of a learning contract.
2. Acquire a range of appropriate professional competencies and transferable skills.
3. Develop a reflective understanding of what constitutes effective practice in the nutrition specialism and how to evaluate this.
4. Develop an ability to reflect on knowledge and performance, seek and use feedback and identify personal professional development.

Assessment strategy

  1. Reflective diary (Maximum 1000 words)
    Students will maintain a continuous diary or journal that should combine a summary of work activity and experience gained with evaluative reflection and critical analysis on its implications for future professional practice.  Evidence of work carried out should be indicated and samples of documents reflecting the type of work done as appropriate (30%)
  2. Final Report (3000 words)
    Students will write a report of the work/project activity and experience gained in the placement context (with due consideration for any confidentiality that may be required). It is expected that the student will show how the knowledge and experience gained could be used for their own development as professionals in the field of nutrition, evaluating the impact of the theory learnt on actual practice.
    A self assessment profiling form that identifies transferable skills and competencies gained a statement of priorities for Continuing Professional Development should be included.
  3. Students should obtain a brief placement supervisors report, confirming the activities undertaken and competencies developed, together with an evaluation of the contribution which the student made.
    To pass the module an aggregate mark of at least 50% must be obtained.
    Component                     Learning outcome
    Written  placement  report        1,2,3
    Reflective Diary                         1,4


Association of Nutrition, Work Experience (2016) (accessed 21.1.16)

QAA (2007) Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in Higher Education. Section 9: Work-based and placement learning.  Available from: (accessed 21.1.2016)

Royal College of Physicians (2010) The training of health professionals for the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity. (accessed 21.1.2016)

The Nutrition Society, Find a Job in Nutrition (2016) (accessed 21.1.16)

Specific literature produced by the University’s Student services: Career Development and Employment. The CDES offers drop in sessions for support and guidance on work placements.

Students will be expected to read appropriate literature related to their placement role and to keep up with current specialist journals.