Module code: MHUM003

Module Overview

This module focuses on the role of energy balance and lipid metabolism in cardio-metabolic disease.  Students are taught current evidence based understanding on the interplay of diet, physical activity and lifestyle on the development, prevention and management of metabolic disease.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

GRIFFIN Bruce (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: 128

Lecture Hours: 18

Tutorial Hours: 4

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Previous attendance of MHUM001 and MHUM002

Module content


Introduction to module

From animal studies and epidemiology to evidence based nutritional medicine; understanding the hierarchy of evidence linking nutrition to metabolic disease 

Energy balance and regulation of body weight

Regulation of appetite and food intake, mechanisms of satiety

Energy expenditure and adaptive thermogenesis

Adipose tissue & metabolic aetiology of obesity 

Obesity, Weight loss, relapse, regain. 

Lipid and lipoprotein metabolism II

Cardio-metabolic risk in obesity & metabolic syndrome

Adipose tissue & fatty acid metabolism 

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and steatotic hepatitis (NASH)

Dietary sterols (plant sterols, stanols and cholesterol)

Dietary fatty acids I  (SFA, trans FA, n-6 PUFA, MUFA)

Dietary fatty acids II (n-3 PUFA)

Dietary carbohydrate (glycaemic index & load, and extrinsic sugars)


Nutrition, metabolism & diabetes. 

Translation of metabolic nutrition to dietary recommendations

Concept of personalised nutrition: roles of nutrigenomics & nutrigenetics

Revision of module


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CASE STUDY 40
Examination EXAMINATION - 120 minutes 60

Alternative Assessment

Re-assessments will be a reworking of the original coursework using the same data (or if required, provided class data). 

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their acquisition of extensive knowledge on a wide range of topics in metabolic nutrition, understanding of mechanisms by which diet impacts on to cardiovascular health and disease, and to show awareness and ability to interpret the current concepts and controversies in nutritional science.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Course work consisting of written report on a case history (40%)

  • Written examination (2h): 25 MCQs and 2/4 long essay questions (60%).

Formative assessment

The students will be encouraged to engage in two-way question and answer sessions with the lecturers throughout, and at the end of all formal lectures. Revision tutorials (6h) will revise all of the lecture material and address model answers to passed exam questions.

Feedback: Feedback will be provided on the electronic submission of the case history-based course work. This will take the general form of a description of the positive and negative aspects of the work, and provide an indication of a miniumum of three ways to improve.  There will also be an oral feedback session on the case history-based course work.   

Module aims

  • To provide understanding of the variable strength of evidence produced from a hierarchy of experimental studies in nutrition
  • To evaluate the role of energy expenditure and adaptive thermogenesis in the regulation of energy balance. 
  • To elucidate the mechanisms involved in the regulation of appetite and food intake and the dietary, behavioural and dietary factors which influence this
  • To review the cardiovascular risk associated with the insulin resistant conditions of obesity and metabolic syndrome in relation to energy, adipose tissue and lipid metabolism
  • To detail the metabolic regulation of lipid lipoprotein and fatty acid transport systems, and the impact of fatty liver disease to CVD. Review current evidence for the effects of dietary sterols, fatty acids, carbohydrates and alcohol on energy balance, lipoprotein and fatty acid metabolism in relation to cardio-metabolic disease
  • To provide an overview of the influence of genetic and epigenetic phenomena on variation in response to diet and nutrient-gene interactions, within the context of personalised nutrition.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of adaptive thermogeneis and energy expenditure in regulating energy balance, and in relation to the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome KC
002 Demonstrated an understanding of the control of appetite and its role in regulating energy balance. KC
003 An ability to describe and evaluate the integrated metabolic control of lipoprotein pathways and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. KC
004 An appreciation of the relationship between diet and cardio-metabolic disease and show a critical awareness of how data on nutrients relates to foods and dietary recommendations. KC
005 Demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge of the latest developments in obesity research and management, and of the genetic and epigenetic phenomena underlying the concept of personalised nutrition. KC

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:

The module is taught through a series of lectures of closely inter-related topics, the content and detail of information of which builds in breadth, depth and degree of difficulty over the two weeks of the module. The content of the lectures and delivery methods are designed to provide both knowledge and improve their analytical, cognitive and transferrable skills. Students will be encouraged to evaluate their own progress in the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of key concepts by engaging with the lectures during the lectures, and also through interactive discussions with the lecturers, and each other, at the end of the formal lectures and in revision tutorials.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, seminars and tutorials

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: MHUM003

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Human Nutrition 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 2020/1 academic year.