module specification

NU5057 - Micronutrients for Health (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Micronutrients for Health
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   Web-based multiple choice (I hour, 3 tests, an average mark is taken)
Unseen Examination 50%   Written exam, 1 hour
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

Vitamins and minerals are essential for life.  While they do not yield energy directly, they are essential to many metabolic pathways and support human life and health. This module explores the functions of vitamins and minerals in human beings, identifying the roles of micronutrients in metabolic pathways and the importance of nutrition in maintaining the human body in a healthy state.  This module covers the biochemical aspects of a range of vitamins, minerals and trace elements and includes dietary sources, chemistry, metabolic functions, storage, turnover and consequences of imbalanced micronutrient intakes.

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 develop a critical understanding of the physiology and biochemistry of micronutrients. To demonstrate the metabolic consequences of insufficient and excessive nutrient intakes in human nutrition. This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility and decision making.

Prior learning requirements

NU4005 (Human Nutrition)
NU4052 (Biochemistry for Nutritionists)
NU4053 (Cell Biology for Nutritionists)

Available for Study Abroad? NO


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter:
Micronutrients: concepts of essentiality and requirements.
Biochemical aspects of vitamin, mineral and trace element metabolism, considering those which present common deficiency states. 
To include: dietary sources, chemistry, metabolic functions, turnover, storage, catabolism and excretion; physiological, biochemical and clinical consequences of insufficient, imbalanced and excessive intakes of micronutrients; physiological basis for assessment of requirement; parameters for assessment their nutritional status.
Bioactive substances.
The role of non-nutritive dietary components.
Metabolic roles of the essential fatty acids. Cellular generation of reactive oxygen species. Endogenous and dietary anti-oxidants (LO1, LO2, LO3).

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 and tutorial workshops; web-based learning and through the guided use of student-centred learning resources. Small group work will be used to consolidate the student with guidance for directed activities. Self-managed time and private study should be spread out over the whole module and not left until the final weeks.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Explain the functions of minerals and vitamins in the human body.
2. Understand the limitations of current knowledge and methodologies relevant to the physiology and biochemistry of human nutrition.
3. Demonstrate the ability to apply relevant nutritional theory to human health.

Assessment strategy

This module will be formatively and summatively assessed by:
1. Three on-line phase tests, each test lasts 30 minutes in duration. The tests are based on material covered in lectures, as well as additional reading materials provided. The final mark will be an average taken of the 3 tests.
2. Written exam (1 hour).