module specification

NU6051 - Sports and exercise nutrition (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Sports and exercise nutrition
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
104 hours Guided independent study
46 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Menu Plan/Case Study
Unseen Examination 50%   Exam (1.5 h)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical attendance
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

This module allows students to integrate their knowledge of nutritional physiology and biochemistry and to apply this knowledge to develop a critical understudying of the nutritional and practical dietary needs of sports people and athletes.  It includes discussion of different sporting groups and exercise types; macro- and micronutrient requirements; hydration; ergogenic aids; practical dietary considerations in relation to training and competition; policy; current issues and research in sports nutrition.

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Specifically it aims to enable students to gain a critical understanding of the nutritional and practical dietary needs of sports people and athletes. Integrate the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules. Encourage independent learning through the access of background information using appropriate primary and secondary sources. Develop and encourage confidence in the use of appropriate learning, critical and discursive skills Develop competence in discussion, oral presentation and written work, encouraging clarity of presentation and scientific rigour.
This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility; decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

Prior learning requirements

NU5053, NU5054, NU5051


1. Metabolic demands of exercise and sports. Exercise types, fatigue. Energy, macro- and micronutrient requirements of sports people. Thermoregulation in the athlete. Fluid and electrolyte balance, needs and status. Nutritional supplements/ergogenic aids, sports drinks. Training and competition - metabolic demands. Requirements, reference values and recommendations. Reference to specific groups, eg vegetarians, children, women, veterans, disabled. Body weight and composition. Immune function, overtraining. Disordered eating patterns.
2. Factors to be taken into account when working with sports people.
3. Working with the individual sportsperson, teams and agencies. Dietary assessment. Dietary intervention and advice - strategies and approaches. Menu design, preparation and evaluation. Religion and cultural factors. Whole person approach. Strategies for teams and other groups. Training and competition - dietary strategies.
4. Monitoring and evaluation of advice and practice. Policy and strategy formulation. Ethics. Professionalism, reflection and professional development.
5. Recent research in sport nutrition. Teaching/education aids.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Acquisition of knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be promoted through lecturer-led lectures (28 hours) and tutorial workshops (12 hours) and through the guided use of student-centred learning resources and Self managed time and private study (82 hours) (84 hours). Practical classes and small group work (6 hours) will be used to consolidate the student knowledge in the applied aspects of sports nutrition with guidance for directed activities (20 hours).

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Integrate the theoretical aspects of nutrition with the applied nature of sports and exercise science
2. Assess the metabolic demands of the various types of exercise in relation to the nutritional and fluid needs of sports people engaged in various physical activities
3. Translate the nutritional requirements of physical activity and sport into dietary practice and to be able to offer basic nutritional advice to healthy people in relation to their sporting activity
   4. Demonstrate an appreciation of the ethical issues around the use of dietary supplements and the diet and hydration issues of vulnerable sports people