module specification

NU4054 - Introduction to Human Nutrition (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Introduction to Human Nutrition
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
102 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 40%   On-line tests
Unseen Examination 60%   End of semester exam
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

The module introduces learners to fundamental topics in nutrition and provides an overview of nutrition and health. It develops understanding of the nutritional composition of foods, the main sources of foods in the diet and their metabolic and physiological roles. Concept of energy and energy balance are introduced.
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.
1. You will be introduced to current topics in nutrition and develop an overview of nutrition and health.
2. You will develop concepts of energy intake and energy expenditure.
3. You will learn how to calculate the absolute and relative value of nutrients.
4. You will be introduced to nutritional research, current recommendations and policies.
5. You will be informed about professional issues in nutrition in relation to ethics and code of conduct.


The major food groups (Eatwell Guide, staple foods), and the nutrients provided by these groups.  (LO 1 & 5)
Dietary guidelines, including dietary reference values and their application to population groups.  (LO 4)
Introduction to nutrients: macro and micronutrients and bioactive substances. (LO 2)
Planetary diets and food sustainability. (LO 3)
An introduction to energy, energy balance and factors affecting energy intake and expenditure.  (LO 4)
Nutritional and physiological factors affecting food choice, diet and nutritional intake.  (LO 1, 2 & 4)
An introduction to nutrient analysis: via the basic use of food composition tables and databases, dietary reference values and guidelines (LO 4)
Atwater factors – the estimation of the absolute and relative energy and nutrient content of foods.  (LO 2 & 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, 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 hrs 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.
Formative preparation for the unseen examinations allows students to reflect on their learning and apply this in a formal setting.

Learning outcomes

1. Be able to describe the main food groups and the key nutrients they provide to the diet.
2. Gain understanding of macronutrients and common micronutrient deficiencies.
3. Enhance your understanding of the importance of planetary diets and sustainability in food and nutrition.
4. Demonstrate understanding of dietary reference values and energy balance.
5. Calculate the energy and nutrient content of ingredients and foods.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will comprise of 3 on-line tests in week 4,8 and 11 (60 minutes each) (40%) and by means of an end of semester one exam (1 hour) (60%).