SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2B426444
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. Environmental factors, psychological and social factors affecting food choices and how these relate to diet and nutrient intakes are explored e.g. sustainability, ethnicity, socio-economic, cultural. Students gain practical experience in using nutritional guidelines to plan meals and in using nutritional analysis software. The assessment for this module is an exam.


In all aspects of the module sustainable diets and health will be a core element for consideration and discussion. The syllabus will be informed by the British Dietetic Association ONE BLUE DOT resources. 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: The syllabus for infant feeding will be informed by the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Learning outcome for Dietetic Students. 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. Analyse the interaction between nutrition, growth and development.2. Explain factors affecting the nutritional needs and food choices of individuals, communities and population groups eg. age, gender, socioeconomics, religion, psychology, culture, vegetarianism, lifestyle, activity and sustainability.3.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 outcomes.4. Identify and be able to translate nutrient requirements at different life stages into practical dietary guidelines giving consideration to sustainable diets and health. 5. Design and formulate diets: use food tables and dietary analysis software for individual diets, recipe analysis and menu planning.6. Evaluate food policy in relation to improving health in different settings and age groups.7. Discuss financial, social and environmental issues that relate to diet and food sustainability.

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. Independent learning will be facilitated by asking students to prepare for topics in advance of lectures, seminars and practical session and also working in small groups to carry out practical demonstrations. Teaching is supported by a variety of learning and teaching activities delivered to students using a 'blended learning' approach. This approach involves a blend of online/digital learning materials and face-to-face learning activities. The digital activities include narrated powerpoints, online tests and quizzes via turning point, discussion forums and interactive online lectures, seminars and workshops via Collaboarte Ultra Formative assessment is given in practical's by topic area.

Indicative Reading

Gandy (2019) Manual of Dietetic Practice. 6th Edition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc (also see electronic resource for this book at <> which includes summary of energy and nutrient requirements) British Dietetic Association 2019. One Blue Dot is the British Dietetics Association Environmentally Sustainable Diet Project. <> Pregnancy and Infant Feeding UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Learning outcome for Dietetic Students <> Derbyshire (2011). Nutrition in the childbearing years. Wiley Blackwell. (e book available) Michael E. Symonds (2010) Maternal-Fetal Nutrition during Pregnancy and Lactation. <> First Steps Nutrition Trust: A series of ebooks on eating well in pregnancy, infant milks, infant feeding etc <> Weaning, toddlers and pre-school children NHS Health Scotland (2014) Setting the table - Nutritional guidance and food standards for early years childcare providers in Scotland. <> School age children and adolescents O'Dea, J, Eriksen, M (2010) Childhood Obesity Prevention <>. Oxford University Press More J (2013) Infant, child and adolescent nutrition: a practical handbook. CRC Press (useful for planning for practical classes) Older adults Mann, J (2012) Essentials of human nutrition. Oxford Univ. (electronic resource) see Part 6 Life Stages Caroline Walker Trust Report (2004) Eating Well for Older People, 2 nd Edition (this uses out of date DRVs, but apart from this it includes some useful practical information) Gariballa, S (2011) Nutrition and quality of life in older people. Chapt. 192 In Preedy, VR , Watson, Martin eds. (2011) Handbook of behavior, food and nutrition, Electronic resource from library Dietary Supplements Webb (2011). Dietary supplements and functional foods 2e. Wiley Blackwell (e book available) ISBN: 9781444332407 Safe Upper Levels for Vitamins and Minerals: Report of the Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals ISBN 1-904026-11-7 Published by the Food Standards Agency April 2003. Tel 0845 606 0667 or FAX 020 8867 3225 (email: <>) Nutrition and income Community Food and Health Scotland: <> Vegetarianism and Minority ethnic groups, Plant foods Vegetarian society <> Thaker (2012). Multicultural handbook of food, nutrition and dietetics. Wiley Blackwell. (e book available) ISBN:9781405173582 Data sources Food Standards Agency (2014) McCance and Widdowsons the composition of foods. 7 th Summary edn. Cambridge, Royal Society of chemistry. (The 6 th edition is available as online resource from library) Department of Health. (1991) Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. Coma Report No.41 HMSO, London. (and please see SACN updates , and summary of current requirements here: <> Food Standards Agency (2002) Food Portion Sizes. Third Edition.London TSO WEB sites - see GCU library subject guide for various sources <> Also: Food Standards Agency Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) reports British Nutrition Foundation. - various briefing papers, reports British Dietetic Association

Transferrable Skills

Generic skills Communication, presentation skills, teamwork. Inter-personal, group work Employability skills Working with others, critical analysis and problem solving, self-management, presentation skills, information gathering Digital capabilities Data literacy, computer literacy, digital participation, analytical skills, data interpretation

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 138.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 2.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 2.00 100.00 40% Unseen, written examination. Assess understanding, evaluation and critical appraisal