module specification

DT6054 - Systems Pathology for Dietitians (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Systems Pathology for Dietitians
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 1140
1100 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40% 35 Case study report (1500 words)
Unseen Examination 60% 35 exam (1.5 hours)
Running in 2021/22

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

Module summary

This module characterises the aetiology, pathophysiology, clinical investigation and treatment of selected systems diseases that make a significant contribution to morbidity and mortality within healthcare. Aspects covered begin with an overview of pathology, followed by a systems approach to disease, including cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine, immune disorders, obesity, diabetes, inborn errors of metabolism, nutritional deficiencies, and cancer
The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. More specifically the module aims to provide an opportunity for in-depth study of selected body systems with reference to the pathogenesis of disease, its diagnosis and therapeutic options.  The module will also highlight the pivotal role of pathology in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of disease. In addition learners will be shown how body structure and function continues to change throughout the lifespan with reference to the increasing incidence and pathophysiology of selected “age-related” systems diseases. Learners’ ability to research and evaluate biomedical issues and present their findings in a cogent manner will be developed.
This module aims to provide learners with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and 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.
Learners must normally obtain at least 35% in each component of assessment within this module. A mark of between 35% and 39% may be compensated by other components. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.

Prior learning requirements

DT4003, DT4004


The specified learning outcomes will be developed around a framework based on the following subject matter: LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Introduction to systems disease; overview of pathology, monitoring and diagnostic strategies.
Disease and malformation resulting from genetic errors (immune disorders, diabetes and inborn errors of metabolism).
Aetiology, Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of selected systems diseases (cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, endocrine, immune and gastrointestinal), including these associated with current social issues within the UK (obesity, diabetes and alcohol toxicity).
Drug nutrient interactions
The classifications of medicines and medicines management, including the role of the dietitian and healthcare scientist.
The use of and evidence underpinning complementary and alternative medicine.
Learners will have opportunity to learn with and from learners from other learners studying biomedical science

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learner learning and understanding of systems pathology will be developed through an integrated programme of lectures, practical sessions and supporting tutorials (40 hours).  Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework whilst tutorials will be used to expand knowledge into more applied areas of pathology, with the focus on professional approaches to clinical diagnosis and investigation of disease.  A web based VLE is available to support, reinforce and test learner understanding through the use of on-line quizzes and access to additional learning resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:
1.   Describe, in depth, the aetiology, pathophysiology, clinical investigation and treatment of selected system pathologies.
2.   Appreciate the social and economic consequences of such diseases with the health service and the UK as a whole
3.   Evaluate and interpret relevant biochemical and medical data for a range of systems diseases.
4.   Investigate topical pathological issues using a wide range of learning resources, interpret and evaluate information, and communicate conclusions effectively, both in an ethical and scientific context.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will comprise a case study (1500 words) and an exam (90 minutes)

The criteria for assessment will include the following:
• The ability to assess a given case; justify, communicate and evaluate the nutrition and dietetic assessment and the diagnostic statement in relation to disease presentation and pathology, lifestyle and the wider determinants of behaviour and health.
• Demonstrate in the design and evaluation of the nutrition and dietetic assessment and diagnosis, understanding of the requirements by the Health and Care Professions Council. This will include demonstrating the understanding of the expectations of professional behaviour and the ability to practice within the ethical and legal boundaries of the dietetic profession.

To pass the module, learners need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. In addition learners must normally obtain at least 35% in each component of assessment within this module. A mark of between 35% and 39% may be compensated by other components. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.

Component                                         Marks            Learning outcomes
Case study   (1500 words)               40%             1,3,4  
Exam (1.5 hours)                                60%             1,2,3,4


Carton J, Daly R and Ramani P (2007). Clinical Pathology. OUP.
Cohen, B.J. (2010) Memmler’s The Human Body in Health and Disease. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Gould B (2006) Pathophysiology for the Health Professionals (3rd ed). Saunders
Kumar V, Abbas A, Fausto N and Aster J (2009).  Pathological Basis of Disease (8th ed) Elsevier Saunders.
Pocock, G and Richards, C.D. (2009). The Human Body. An introduction for the Biomedical and Health Sciences. OUP.
Walker BR, Colledge NR, Ralston SH, Penman I (2014) Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine 22nd Edn. Churchill Livingstone