module specification

NU4005 - Human Nutrition (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Human Nutrition
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
150 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
75 hours Guided independent study
75 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   3 x online tests (3 x 20 minutes)
Unseen Examination 30%   End of semester 1 exam (1 hour)
Coursework 20%   Workbook (750 words)
Unseen Examination 30%   (End of semester 2x1 hour)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

The module develops an understanding of human nutrition science which includes an introduction to the nutrient and non-nutrient components of foods, their main metabolic and physiological roles, and main food sources in the diet. It introduces knowledge of the nutritional composition of foods, the food groups, the concept of energy and energy balance, dietary reference values, and the importance of diet in health and disease through the lifecycle.  In addition, the nutritional and physiological factors which impinge on food choice are explored.

This module underpins the human nutrition content and thread of the course and encourages engagement with nutrition science from the outset.  It ensures that students are equally equipped with basic nutrition science concepts, regardless of their entry-level understanding, before engaging in more complex aspects in subsequent years. The students start to develop skills in: ingredient, meal and diet analysis; calculating the absolute and relative nutritive value of foods and meals; a basic understanding of food labels, including nutrition and health claims; simple food preparation and cooking; and an understanding of how aspects of food preparation can affect nutritional quality. Nutrients, foods, diets, and their effects are considered from a global and UK perspective reflecting the globalisation of the food chain, the diversity of our students, and their future employability.

Prior learning requirements

Course entry requirements


The major food groups (Eatwell Guide, staple foods), and the nutrients (together with non-nutrients and antinutrients) provided by these groups.  LO 2

Dietary guidelines, including dietary reference values and their application to population groups.  LO 2

Introduction to nutrients: macro and micronutrients; non-nutrient components and novel foods; anti-nutrients. Includes: classifications; main functions; dietary sources; DRVs; groups at risk of deficiency/excess. Food sustainability.  LO 1, 2

An introduction to energy, energy balance and factors affecting energy intake and expenditure.  LO 3 

An overview of the effects of key nutrient deficiencies and excess; including an overview of food fortification, and both acute and chronic disease risk.  LO 1

An introduction to dietary requirements and factors affecting dietary intake through the lifecycle.  LO 2

Nutritional and physiological factors affecting food choice, diet and nutritional intake.  LO 2

Food preparation skills - including foods of different ethnicities and cultures; effects of changing ingredients or cooking techniques on nutrition and taste; cost; portion size.  LO 4

An introduction to dietary assessment: via the basic use of food composition tables and databases, dietary reference values and guidelines; and dietary recall.

LO 3

Atwater factors – the estimation of the absolute and relative energy and nutrient content of foods.  LO 3

An introduction to food labels (nutrition and ingredient), nutrition and health claims.  LO 1, 3

An introduction to how food production influences the nutritional quality of food and diet.  LO 4

Transferable study skills to include: information gathering; team work; academic writing; referencing; numerical skills and data management.  LO 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching activity (including lectures, tutorials, kitchen practicals, and directed learning within scheduled teaching time) forms ~25% of the module.
Tutorials, group work in lectures, and directed learning within scheduled teaching time provide an opportunity for students to learn alongside and from other students.

Independent study forms the remainder of the module.  This independent study includes directed learning, which is encouraged by the regular assessments, which build in their level of difficulty.  The assessments are both formative and summative – the formative providing opportunity for self-reflection. 
A mix of RLOs, powerpoints; podcasts/videos, practical in-class examples and calculations, on-line assessments, in-class discussions and formative exam essay practice enhance the student learning experience.  Digital literacy is developed via online assessment, use of nutrition databases and nutrient analysis software, and the sourcing of online data.
Directed learning takes place within and external to the timetable. Within the timetable, 9 hr is allocated to directed learning. and are used to encourage and expand student learning. Continuous online assessment encourages regular directed learning and provides formative (and summative) feedback and allows students to monitor and reflect on their learning and development.
The workbook is linked to the kitchen practical sessions, and allows the students the opportunity for reflective learning, provides links between theory (lectures) and application (practical), and enable an opportunity to share their knowledge about food and nutrition.
Formative preparation for the unseen examinations allows students to reflect on their learning and apply this in a formal setting.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Describe the main functions of macro and micronutrients and their recall their main food sources.
2. Recall the main food groups, the key nutrients they provide to the diet and key dietary reference values.
3. Describe the concept of energy, and be able to calculate the energy and nutrient content of ingredients and foods.
4. Prepare meals based on specific food groups, and discuss and compare their relative attributes.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will comprise of 3 on-line tests in week 4,8 and 11 (20 minutes each) (20%) and by means of an end of semester one exam (1 hour) (30%), nutrition skills workbook (750 words) (20% each) and an end of semester two exam (1 hour) (30%).

Component                                   Marks                        Learning outcomes
3 x Online Quizzes (3 x 20 minutes)          20%                         1,2,3 
End of semester 1 exam (1 hour)              30%                         1,2,3
Nutrition Skills Workbook (750 words)       20%                          2,3,4,                
End of semester 2 exam (1 hour)              30%                         1,2,3,4,


Textbooks (no core text):
Mann J, Truswell AS (2017) Essentials of Human Nutrition (5th Edition). Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Geissler CA, Powers HJ (2017) Human Nutrition (13th Edition). Oxford. Oxford University Press.
Gibney MJ, Langham–New SA, Cassidy A, Vorster HH (2009) Introduction to Human Nutrition, 2nd Edition. London; Wiley- Blackwell.
Crawley H (1994) Food Portion Sizes (Second edition).  London. HMSO.
Department of Health (1991) Dietary Reference Values for food energy and nutrients in the United Kingdom.  Report of the Panel on Dietary Reference Values of the committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA).  Report on Health and Social Subjects 41. London. HMSO.

The Department of Health: Eatwell Guide; Government Dietary Recommendations; NDNS data; Composition of Foods Integrated Dataset

Electronic Databases:
Nutritics (Nutrition Analysis Software)

Social Media Sources:
Topical podcasts, blogs and newsfeeds incorporated