SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3B426445
Module Leader Yvonne Brogan
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Nutritional Science, Human Physiology and/or Biochemistry at Undergraduate level

Summary of Content

This module studies the role of diet and nutrition in improving public health and the primary prevention of diet related ill health in communities and populations through healthy and sustainable food systems. It includes the study of nutrition surveillance and nutritional epidemiology; types of study design, the use of demographic, anthropometric, diet and nutrition data. Theories of public health, health policy, health education and health promotion are studied. The influence that the wider environment has on nutrition related public health issues will be studied. Public health nutrition strategies and interventions at the global, national and community level will be discussed. The role that sustainability plays in public health nutrition is embedded throughout this module. The assessment os this module is by exam.


Nutritional epidemiology : Aims of nutritional epidemiology, types of study design, ecological, cross-sectional, case-control, cohort studies and intervention trials, terminology, demographic, anthropometric and nutrition survey data. Nutrition surveillance : Aims and objectives, dietary surveillance in the UK, measuring progress towards the Scottish dietary goals. The underlying mechanisms involved in the aetiology and approaches to primary prevention of nutrition related ill health and disease will be studied in the following areas; Dental and oral health - Nutritional aspects of dental health particularly in children. Causes of dental caries, dietary recommendations for good dental health, oral health promotion, evidence of the impact of oral health promotion. Prevention of cancer - The role that diet plays in the risk and prevention of cancer, mechanisms of the effect of diet, epidemiological studies of diet and cancer, practical dietary advice in relation to diet and cancer. Strategies for prevention. Obesity -Nature and causes of obesity, genetics of obesity, attitudes towards obesity, childhood obesity. Evaluating preventative strategies to tackle obesity. Cardiovascular disease -The approaches to primary prevention of CVD at national and local level, controlling and reducing risk factors and CVD at population level. Epidemiology behind the recommendations. Bone health and osteoporosis - Key nutrients & foods involved in bone production and maintenance, roles played by different dietary constituents in protecting and promoting bone health along with the evidence to support the recommendations. Practical dietary advice to promote good bone health. Allergies - Population aspects of food allergy. Physical Activity and Public Health - Benefits of physical activity for population health and the prevention of disease, current recommendations for physical activity at the population level, physical inactivity and public health, promoting physical activity at a population level, measuring physical activity. Public health nutrition strategies and approaches-interventions at a global, national and community level including looking at different settings e.g schools, evaluation of policies, ethical and political issues in public healt h. Sustainability and public health - Food behaviours and their effects on health and the environment.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of public health nutrition including an understanding of the theories of public health, health policy, health education and health promotion. 2. Appraise the impact of diet on disease using epidemiological data and population based approaches.3. Explain the global prevalence of malnutrition and describe current global initiatives aimed at addressing malnutrition taking sustainable food systems into consideration.4. Critique food and nutrition policies and interventions implemented to address public nutrition problems in different settings and population groups. understand the steps involved in developing health policy strategies and action plans at a global, national and local level.5. Describe the links between diet and physical activity and their combined impact on public health.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A mixture of approaches to teaching and learning will be experienced. Lectures are balanced with interactive seminars and workshops where students are encouraged to study topic areas in more depth. In the seminars and workshops the knowledge base is built upon via a student centred approach which emphasises the development of interpretative, innovative and critical skills. Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate on-line data gathering techniques for seminar and workshop presentations and develop skills in literature review and critical appraisal. Synthesis will also be expected of novel ideas to tackle nutrition related challenges. 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.

Indicative Reading

BUTTRISS, J.,2018. Public Health Nutrition . Second edition. Chichester, W. Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. FRAYN, K. N. et al., 2019. Cardiovascular Disease: Diet, Nutrition and Emerging Risk Factors. 2nd ed. England: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated. GANDY, J., 2019. Manual of dietetic practice. 6 th edn. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. GEISSLER, CA., and POWERS, HJ., 2017. Human Nutrition. 13th edition. Edinburgh: Oxford University Press. Also: WEB sites - see GCU library subject guide for various sources <> Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) reports (SACN summary of current requirements here: British Nutrition Foundation. - various briefing papers, reports British Dietetic Association Food Standards Agency

Transferrable Skills

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

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 149.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 3.00
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam 01 2.00 100.00 40% Unseen, written examination to test competence in Nutrition and Public Health