module specification

NU6056 - Nutrition through the lifecycle (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Nutrition through the lifecycle
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%   Scientific 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 Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Nutrition through the lifecycle
This module aims to:
• Explore the fundamental physiological and nutritional influences between genetic, physiological, environmental and nutritional influences on human growth and development throughout the lifespan.
• Learners will develop an awareness of the short and long-term consequences for growth and development if these factors are not optimal.
• The concept of nutritional assessment and surveillance and the evaluation of different nutritional assessment systems.
• Introduce indices of nutritional status and the use of reference standards.
• Provide opportunity for the evaluation of population and individual data of nutritional status including the collection and interpretation of anthropometric data.
• This module will also provide learners 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
Semester: Autumn (15 credit)
Assessment: practical report (2000 words)(40%), progress unseen exam (1.5 hours)(60%).


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:
Pregnancy and reproduction, maternal nutritional status, foetal origins of adult disease:
Lactation & neo-natal nutrition, maternal metabolic adaptations, energy/nutrient cost of lactation, composition of breast milk, foetal metabolic and hormonal adaptations to life outside the womb
Early growth, infant feeding
Puberty, hormonal and nutritional changes and influences, bone health
Body composition
Hormonal and nutrition influences
Nutritional assessment and surveillance 
Determinants of nutritional status, including wider determinants of health, nutritional and socioeconomic factors.
Indices of nutritional status and the use of reference standards.
Collection and interpretation of anthropometric data.
Safe working practices, including the selection of appropriate hazard control and risk management, reduction.
Selection and correct use of personal protective equipment.

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 (15 hours); and through the guided use of learner-centred learning resources (94 hours). Practical classes and small group work (3 hours) will be used to consolidate the learner with guidance for directed activities (10 hours).

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the interplay between genetics; physiology; nutritional and hormonal factors over the various stages of the life cycle in the determination of growth and development and use, and apply appropriate anthropometric measurements to determine aspects body composition. 

2. Critically evaluate the main physiological and nutritional influences on pregnancy and reproductive function and the implications of these for the health of the mother and infant and acquire and evaluate published and experimental data in the field of growth and development

3. Appraise information relevant to the nutritional status of a population and handle and interpret data relating to body composition.