SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2B425949
Module Leader Marian Cunningham
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Essentials of Nutritional Science (or equivalent nutrition module). Elementary human biology

Summary of Content

This module introduces students to nutrition at different stages of the lifecycle. It identifies nutritional requirements and the science underlying these at different stages of growth and development and how age and lifestyle affects needs. Psychological and social factors affecting food choices and how these relate to diet and nutrient intakes are explored e.g. ethnicity, socio-economic, cultural. Students gain practical experience in using nutritional guidelines to plan meals and in using nutritional analysis software.


Nutritional requirements of the normal individual throughout the life cycle, accounting for growth and development needs: pre-conceptual, pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, ageing and old age. Identify the importance of nutrition in healthy growth and development at these stages. Sources of nutrients and the design and formulation of diets to meet nutritional requirements for individuals and community groups: taking into account age, gender, socioeconomics circumstances, religion, culture, lifestyle, food sustainability and physical activity. The diet of individuals, communities and populations in order to understand current dietary practices, food choices and nutrient intakes in relation to recommendations, social circumstances, psychology and health outcomes. This will be done at each life stage, as follows: Pre-conceptual nutrition: fertility; early pregnancy. Physiological and metabolic changes in pregnancy that influence nutrient requirements. Women at risk of poor outcomes: relating to environmental circumstances, physiology and socio-economics. Lactation - nutrient requirements, factors affecting composition of breast milk. Advantages of breast feeding on maternal health. Advantages for infant health. Compositional differences of infant formula and follow on milk. Promotion of breast feeding in different settings. Breast feeding policy: global, national and local Complementary feeding - nutritional needs, physiological and psychological changes at this stage, suitable food and drink choices, and evidence base. Toddler and pre-school children and children - requirements and factors influencing food choices, different settings (school, nursery), independence in food choices, puberty, ethnicity, vegetarian diets. Nutrition in the curriculum, health promoting schools, food policy in schools Adults - current requirements, recommendations and intakes, risk of chronic disease, women's nutrition around menopause Older people- nutritional requirements, factors affecting food choices and nutrient intake. Physiological, social and psychological factors influencing nutritional health. Settings for older people and nutrient intake. Ethnicity, diet and nutrition, beliefs, cultural differences. Vegetarianism - different degree of restriction, health benefits, nutritional risks. Vitamin and mineral supplementation through the lifecycle. The role of nutrient modified foods (food fortification, GM foods, functional foods, probiotics) for improving and optimizing nutrient intake.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1.Assess the interaction between nutrition, growth and development 2.Understand factors affecting the nutritional needs and food choices of individuals, communities and population groups eg. age, gender, socioeconomics, religion, culture, vegetarianism, lifestyle and activity3.Evaluate the diet of individuals, communities and populations in order to be aware of current dietary practices, food choices and nutrient intakes in relation to recommendations and health outcomes4.Understand and be able to translate nutrient requirements at different life stages into practical dietary guidelines 5.Design and formulate diets: use food tables and dietary analysis software for individual diets, recipe analysis and menu planning.6.Understand the relevance of food policy in relation to health promotion and primary prevention in different settings and age groups7.Understand financial, social and environmental issues that relate to diet and food sustainability8.Be aware of the psychological aspects of food choices

Teaching / Learning Strategy

In this module the student will experience a mixture of approaches to teaching and learning. Lectures are balanced with interactive learning and problem solving activities, which emphasises the development of skills of interpretation, innovation and critique. Practical food and nutrition skills will be developed in the nutritional laboratory, including adapting dietary intakes to requirements and dietary guidelines at different life stages.

Indicative Reading

Brown, JE (2013) Nutrition through the Lifecycle. 5 th Edn, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, UK Department of Health (1991) Dietary reference values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the UK. COMA Report 41 HMSO, London. Derbyshire (2011). Nutrition in the childbearing years. Wiley Blackwell. Food Standards Agency (2002) Food Portion Sizes. 3rd Edition.London TSO Food Standards Agency (2014) McCance and Widdowsons the composition of foods. 7 th Summary edn. Cambridge, Royal Society of chemistry Gandy (2014) Manual of Dietetic Practice. 5th Edition. Wiley Blackwell UK Geissler and Powers (2011) Human Nutrition 12 th Edition. Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, London. Langley-Evans, S. (2009) Nutrition: a lifespan approach. Wiley Blackwell. (electronic resource Mann, J (2013) Essentials of human nutrition. Oxford University, Oxford. More J (2013) Infant, child and adolescent nutrition: a practical handbook. CRC Press Preedy, VR , Watson, Martin eds. (2011) Handbook of behavior, food and nutrition, Springerlink Electronic resource Thaker (2012) Multicultural handbook of food, nutrition and dietetics. Wiley Blackwell. Webb (2011) Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods 2 nd edn. Wiley Blackwell Webb (2012)Nutrition: Maintaining and improving health 4 th Edn Hodder Arnold. Also government and WHO reports and surveys, eg National Diet and Nutrition Surveys, Scottish and English Health Surveys, SACN reports, FSA publications, expert reports.

Transferrable Skills

Critical appraisal, Group work skills, Analytical skills. Verbal Communication skills IT skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 108.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 40% Coursework
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 40% Unseen, written examination assess understanding, evaluation and critical appraisal