Module code: BMSM002

Module Overview

This module provides an overview of the core and applied principles of nutritional epidemiology and public health nutrition for students and practitioners on the Nutritional Medicine MSc programme.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

AHMADI Kourosh (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 123

Lecture Hours: 27

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Some or all of the following topics

·     Nutritional Epidemiology: Data acquisition and analysis - types of study, problems and potential, sources of error, statistical evaluation

·     Patterns of dietary intake in the UK: e.g. influences of region, gender, ethnicity, lifestyle, age, religion

·     Patterns of diet-related disease in the UK e.g. anaemia, rickets, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, obesity, diabetes, cancer

·     Non-diet risk factors: socio-economic, smoking, alcohol, physical

·     Nutritional surveillance and identification of markers of nutritional status

·     Dietary Reference Values (DRVs); dietary recommendations and guidelines; limitations of DRVs in assessing individual requirements

·     Public health nutrition - policy: dietary recommendations and guidelines, the healthy diet

·     Public health nutrition - education: achieving change, education and motivation (education resources, theory and skills)

·     Public health nutrition - intervention: food supply, micronutrient adequacy/inadequacy in the modern food supply, fortification (e.g. folic acid, vitamin D), monitoring cost/benefit of nutritional interventions, legislation, food labelling, policy which affects food consumption

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their subject knowledge and understanding (see above) and the development of their cognitive and transferable skills (see above) through the assimilation and appraisal of the literature to address the coursework questions.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework: a range of subject areas will be assessed, demonstrating learning outcomes across the range for the module.

  • Students are required to submit electronically on a set deadline two months following the module.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive feedback electronically in SurreyLearn and Module Organisers will be available for further discussion if necessary.

Module aims

  • To give participants an understanding of the methods used (and their limitations) in acquiring and analysing information about the nutrition of individuals and population groups (i.e. food intakes, nutritional status), and about diseases with a nutritional aetiology.
  • To understand how to evaluate and/or interpret data which have been obtained by these methods.
  • To review critically the existing public health nutrition guidelines in terms of available information, its origins and limitations.
  • To assess the ways of achieving change in nutritional status and disease morbidity and mortality in terms of alteration of the nature of the food supply and individual intakes, and to understand the effectiveness and limitations of these methods

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Describe epidemiological methodology K
2 Discuss current statistics on the main patterns of nutritional intake, status and disease morbidity and mortality in the UK population K
3 Explain how to determine the current nutritional status of individuals or groups and to identify nutrient deficiencies K
4 Interpret published data relating to applied nutrition and epidemiology C
5 Employ current dietary recommendations for individuals and population groups C
6 Appraise the extent and effectiveness of interventions through the food supply and legislation C
7 Critically appraise current nutrition and epidemiology research T
8 Integrate nutrition epidemiology to written essays for module assessment exercises T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to be aligned with the descriptor for qualification at level 7 in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Workshops

  • Journal club

  • Class discussions

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: BMSM002

Other information

This module is only available to students on the Nutritional Medicine programme.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutritional Medicine MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.