module specification

NU5079 - Public Health Nutrition (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Public Health Nutrition
Module level Intermediate (05)
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 30%   Online Test (30 minutes)
Coursework 70%   Public Health Report (1500 Words)
Running in 2020/21

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

Module summary

Public Health Nutrition
Semester: Spring (15 credits)
Module pre-requisites: NU4005 Human Nutrition, DT4056 Health, Society and Behaviour, DT4057 Applied Health Psychology

Through successful completion of the module, students will learn the theory and application of public health nutrition and will understand the process of developing and evaluating public health nutrition interventions.

I. Assessment: On-line test (30%) (30 minutes)
II. Coursework (70%) (1500 words)

Module Aims:
1. Develop an understanding of Public health infrastructure and its role in the UK.

2. Be able to appraise the role of cultural, socio economic and psychological factors in health outcomes.
3. Increase knowledge and understanding of the methods used for acquiring and interpreting nutritional and epidemiological information on a population level.
4. Be able to gather and analyse population health data.

Prior learning requirements

NU4005 Human Nutrition

NU4056 Health Society and Behaviour and

NU4057 Applied Health Psychology


Principles of public health policies, needs assessments, planning, implementation and evaluation.
Concepts of international and UK health promotion strategies
The interaction of diet, and other environmental factors (diversity, inequalities, socio-economic, genetic and political influences) on health and disease.
Methods of optimising nutritional status at a population level.
Identifying behaviours and lifestyle factors which impact health and disease.
Current policies for the provision of health education in the UK.
Joint strategic needs assessment of communities and populations.
Developing, implementing and evaluating public health nutrition interventions and policies.
Factors influencing public health policy and health policy overall including ethical and political concerns.
The role of the nutrition workforce and the multidisciplinary team in public health nutrition.
Current professional standards and code of conduct documents.
Assess the determinants of (un) healthy behaviour.
Review techniques to change health behaviours.
Use of available data sources in the development and evaluation of health promotion and public health including and not exclusively epidemiological data, demography and results of nutrition surveys.

Learning Outcomes LO1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Student learning and understanding of the subject matter of this module will be developed through an integrated programme of interactive lectures (24 hours) and group tutorials (24 hours).
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.  Students will be required to spend up to 102 hours in self-directed study and preparation. This independent study includes directed learning, which is encouraged by the regular class discussions.
Students will be instructed in the appropriate use of learning resources and assisted with suitable directed reading material (20 hours).
A mix of RLOs, power points; podcasts/videos and an on on-line assessments, in-class discussions and formative coursework enhance the student learning experience.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Explain the key elements of public health policy in relation to nutrition.
2. Discuss needs assessment of communities and populations within public health in relation to planning, implementation and evaluation of nutrition interventions.
3. Discuss health promotion strategies designed to promote behaviour change in varying educational, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
4. Understand the professional requirements of registered nutrition professionals in health education and health promotion

Assessment strategy

Assessment comprises a combination of online test and coursework. Coursework is current and interactive and includes interpretation of national government data.
In order to pass the module, students are required to obtain a minimum aggregate mark of 40%. The module will be summatively assessed by means of an on-line test (30 minutes) and a report (1500 words). The on-line test will assess the students’ knowledge of the theory of public health nutrition, including the social determinants of health, the public health framework and the use of data in formulating public health strategy, policy and interventions. This will assess learning outcomes 1 and 2.
Report (1500 words) will be an evaluation of a joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA). Students will be required to discuss the information required to formulate a JSNA and the process required. In addition, they will have opportunity to evaluate an example JSNA and discuss the needs of the population it refers to.  This will assess learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.


Butriss, Welch, Kearney and Lanham-New (2018) Public Health Nutrition. The Nutrition Society. (CORE)
Gibney, M. (2004) Public Health Nutrition (The Nutrition Society Textbook), Imprint Oxford, UK; Ames, Iowa: Blackwell Science.
Margetts, B. and Nelson, M. (1997). Design Concepts in Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Willett, W. (1998). Nutritional Epidemiology, 2nd ed.  Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Wilson, F. and Mabala, M., (2009). Key concepts in public health. London: Sage Publications Ltd