Surrey University Stag


Module code: MHUM001

Module Overview

This module is designed to equip students with the core knowledge of energy and the nutrients as a foundation to further nutrition modules within the MSc Nutrition programme.  It will also develop key academic skills for learning, research and communication at an advanced level. 

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

LAMBERT Helen (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: B400

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 80

Seminar Hours: 10

Tutorial Hours: 20

Practical/Performance Hours: 3

Guided Learning: 18

Captured Content: 19

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The taught content covers to the macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids and proteins) as well as an introduction to energy metabolism.  Key micronutrients may include the B vitamins, vitamin D, iodine, selenium, sodium and potassium, based on the specialised areas of research of the lecturers. Nutrient and non-nutrient plant constituents in food are also included in this module, as are functional foods and the effects of food processing.  Nutrition through the life-cycle and dietary recommendations are key topics that are also introduced. 

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy designed to enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes. Through this, students have an  opportunity to demonstrate presentation skills, insight and learning of a wide variety of nutritional topics which are fundamental to an MSc-level nutrition degree. Students can demonstrate creativity and novelty in their choice of presentation/essay topics. 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: 

A critical review essay (40%) and an on-line 150-minute exam within a 4-hour window (60%).  Written feedback is provided to build on for future assignments.

Formative assessment consists of: 

  • Group Presentation on a chosen topic. This is peer-marked, with additional verbal and written feedback from lecturers.  The formative nature of this assignment enables key skills to be developed in a supportive context, which can be applied to future (summative) assessments in other modules. The opportunity for peer-assessment contributes to the development of these skills, and develops students as independent learners. 

  • Regular self-tests on SurreyLearn to prepare for exam.  

  • Feedback is verbal, during presentations and written on SurreyLearn for essays and presentations. There is opportunity for one-to-one verbal feedback during drop-in sessions.  

Module aims

  • To provide an overview of the nutrients as an essential foundation for the study of Human Nutrition
  • To provide an insight into the role of nutrients in health, disease and across the life cycle.
  • To provide an introduction to the factors affecting nutrient availability and utilisation in foods
  • To introduce and build on foundational academic skills required at Master¿s level.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Have a comprehensive understanding of the physiological and metabolic importance of the macronutrients K D, E
002 Have an appreciation of the dietary sources, absorption, utilization and metabolic functions of the nutritionally important micronutrients. K D, E
003 Have an ability to discuss the roles of particular nutrients and non-nutrients in health and disease and at different stages of the lifecycle K D, E, G, S
004 Have a comprehensive understanding of the molecular and functional basis of nutrient requirements K D, E
005 Have the ability to access and critically assess current literature and recommendations for specific nutrients and non-nutrients in health and disease CT D, E, G
006 Have an understanding of the effects of food processing on nutrient and non-nutrient availability and utilisation K E, S
007 Develop academic writing skills CPT D, R, E
008 Develop presentation skills PT D, R, E
009 Develop group working and peer assessment skills PT D, R, E

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: allow students to develop bonds with their peers in order to foster a good team spirit which will be helpful in this, and future modules; to give all students confidence in the fundamentals of nutrition, regardless of academic backgrounds. 

The learning and teaching methods include: 

Lectures, seminars and tutorials. Pre-recorded material is made available to students prior to tutorials.  Students are encouraged to be active participants in seminars and tutorials, enabling them to develop as informed, confident and engaged independent learners. Students are also expected to extend their reading beyond the lectures and to make use of additional material provided to support each topic.   

Student led presentations and coursework provide an opportunity for self-directed and peer-supported learning. 

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: MHUM001

Other information

How this module aligns to the 5 pillars of the curriculum  

Digital Capabilities:  Learning to navigate the VLE, SurreyLearn, is an essential part of this, the first, MSc module.  Teaching and learning materials are provided in a number of formats, and students are encouraged to use discussion boards and Padlet for communication.  Students are encouraged to communicate with one another for preparation of their group presentations using WhatsApp, Teams and shared documents. Specific teaching on conducting literature searches and using referencing software is included in this module.  

Employability: The module provides essential content for any career requiring in-depth knowledge of nutritional science.  In addition, key transferable skills are developed, including group work, sourcing, synthesising and presenting information in written and spoken form and peer assessment. These skills are not only useful for other modules, but also benefit future employability. 

Global and cultural capabilities: Much of the teaching in this module is interactive, and contribution based on prior knowledge and experience is invited from students, who represent a wealth of nationalities and cultural background.  In addition, aspects of the content require an appreciation of ethnic differences in metabolism and cultural differences in diet.  Students are encouraged to engage with, and learn from, diverse perspectives through working in mixed groups.  Specific sessions are timetabled for those whose first language is not English, aimed at supporting and developing academic writing. International students are also encouraged to attend further sessions provided by the Department of Literature and Language.  

Resourcefulness and resilience: Students are introduced early on in the module to expectations regarding teaching, learning and assessment in order to facilitate self-efficacy.  There is clear mapping of this module to the context of the whole programme.  Timetabling encourages agency in planning workloads, for example through set times for study and preparation, and use of “flipped learning”.  This is where students prepare material during their own study times, and this is then built on and expanded in tutorials and seminars through discussion and activities. This module is taught by a wide range of lecturers, introducing students to a variety of teaching approaches.  Whilst support for coursework and other aspects of the module is clearly highlighted, students are given freedom to plan their work, choose their essay and presentation topics, and to become confident in their own judgement.  The group presentation in particular provides a “low stakes” opportunity to develop key skills for the future, creating spaces for students to learn by trial and error.  Formative and summative feedback are designed to “feed forward” to assessments in subsequent modules, enabling essential skills to be developed throughout the course. 

Sustainability: This module provides the foundations of nutritional knowledge, equipping students to consider these in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in future modules.  

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Human Nutrition MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Food Science MSc 1 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 2022/3 academic year.