Module code: BMS2050

Module Overview

This module builds on the subject knowledge students have gained with respect to individual nutrients and disease conditions and supports students to apply this in a practical way to the dietary needs of various population groups, equipping them for their future careers across the food, nutrition & dietetic space.  The module takes a life course approach moving from pre-conception and pregnancy through to middle and older age, discussing the key nutrients needs at each stage and the key health conditions affecting each group and how they can be reduced or managed via diet and nutrition. In all cases students are encouraged to consider the range of factors affecting diet and lifestyle choices and health outcomes to allow them to provide practical and population-centred recommendations which develop their global and cultural capabilities. 

Through this module students are also supported to build on the transferable skills developed at level 4 (for example referencing and critical appraisal) and both assignments provide opportunities to apply, and receive feedback on, these skills as well as to apply their subject knowledge. 

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

HART Kath (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 2

Independent Learning Hours: 78

Lecture Hours: 29

Tutorial Hours: 7

Guided Learning: 5

Captured Content: 29

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

 BMS2039 - Human Nutrition 

Module content


  • Life-stages/ population groups and their requirements 

  • Pre-conception, pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, older adults, ethnic minorities 

  • Diseases & disorders 

  • Obesity (childhood & adult), learning disabilities, mental health, diabetes, autistic spectrum disorder, cancer, CVD, food intolerance & IBS 


  • Developing a health promotion campaign (group work & presentation skills) 


  • Topic based refreshers & revision throughout the module 

  • Coursework feedback 

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 knowledge and application of UK population-group nutrition of relevance to their future career settings and service users. 

The summative assessment for this module consists of the following components: 

  • 3 x client essays – these are brief (500 words each) evidence-based summaries of the ‘at risk nutrients’ and practical strategies for three population groups from the early life component of the module (including pregnancy, lactation, infancy and pre-school childhood). This is worth 30% of the module mark.  As well as encouraging students to evidence their understanding of the subject-specific knowledge, access relevant up-to-date data and recommendations and to put themselves ‘in the shoes’ of the population group, emphasis is placed on (and marks awarded for) transferable skills including writing style, adherence to word count, structure and referencing, all of which are of direct relevance to the second assignment and to subsequent modules.  

  • 4 x online examination questions – these are short essays in the same format as the coursework, allowing students to apply their knowledge from the school-age and adult component of the module and to apply the writing skills developed during the coursework. Questions will ask student to apply their understanding of population nutrition in creative ways including outlining plans for health promotion campaigns, discussing the pros and cons of popular dietary approaches to specific disease conditions and explaining the role of the nutritionist in the management of different groups and conditions.  As the assignment is completed online, and is therefore ‘open book’, questions are more applied and require students to support their answers with statistics and references to gain the higher marks rather than relying on simple recall of facts. 

Formative assessment/ peer assessment:

Workshop session in class – an opportunity for students to work in small groups to develop a health promotion campaign for a specific health condition and to receive feedback from their peers.  This activity specifically encourages students to think about the ways to leverage change in specific groups (applying and developing their global and cultural capabilities), to identify appropriate target groups for intervention and to think about how to evaluate any interventions. 


Real-time feedback is provided in-class via end of topic discussions and the discussion of past papers.  Extensive individual and group feedback is provided for the coursework assignment to feed forward into the final assignment. 

Module aims

  • provide an understanding of the nutritional requirements and how they may be met throughout the lifecycle
  • provide an understanding of the aetiology and prevention of common diet-related diseases

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the nutritional requirements of a range of population groups including pregnant women, infant, school children and older adults, with reference to key documents and publications. K DC
002 Appraise the nutritional problems (at risk nutrients) of specific groups including i) pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children and ii) adults of all ages including those with specific health conditions KC
003 Explain the factors (social & medical) that may influence the provision of food or achievement of requirements for population groups in the UK. K GC
004 Assess, using data, the nutritional quality of a population's diet. C DC
005 Develop practical strategies (cognizant of the environment, levers for change and barriers to change) to ensure any nutritional deficiencies or excesses are addressed i) for pregnancy, lactation, infancy and childhood ii) during adulthood and old age KPT GC, E
006 Discuss the role of nutrition in the aetiology and prevention of common diseases including CHD, obesity, cancer and diabetes. K GC, S
007 Critically appraise the qualifications and practices of alternative nutrition practitioners. CPT 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 build on the understanding and transferable skills gained in previous modules and to support students to refine this, by increasing subject-specific knowledge, and to apply this, by appreciating the facilitators of and barriers to behaviour change in different population groups and the factors affecting lifestyle choices. 

The module is scaffolded around a series of lectures which take a life course approach leading the learners through from pregnancy and early life right through to middle and older age, helping them to organize their learning and to appreciate the key health and social issues for each age group. Each group of lectures is consolidated with a tutorial where students can ask questions, go over any difficult concepts and get feedback on their understanding via the discussion of past papers.  A reading list is provided with key documents of relevance across the topics, but students are encouraged to engage with up-to-date literature and new articles and reports are shared on Surreylearn throughout the module. 


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: BMS2050

Other information

The School of Biosciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience in line with Surrey’s Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:  

  • Employability: In this module, students are trained and encouraged to employ their knowledge of nutrition to a range of UK population groups with whom they are likely to work in the future regardless of the field of nutrition, dietetics or food science they pursue, and to really appreciate the needs, agendas and priorities of these groups and their facilitators of and barriers to change.  Students are supported to develop their transferable writing, research and critical appraisal skills explicitly, through the two summative assignments, and implicitly through the in-class activities and tutorials. Time management and organizational skills are reinforced by the setting of interim deadlines for assignments, the assignment briefs for which are made available from week 1 to encourage students to spread out and plan their workload across the semester. Students will complete the module with an understanding of the most up-to-date UK policies, documents and evidence related to the nutritional needs, dietary intakes and disease statistics of the population. Students receive information on how to appraise the qualifications and experience of their self & others in the nutrition field and how to recognize a safe scope of practice and work in a professional manner in the future. 

  • Sustainability Through lectures looking at older adults and specific conditions such as cancer and obesity students are encouraged to discuss the implications of shifting to more plant-based eating, for the individual and society, to recognize the implications of an aging society for future healthcare and to understand the cost-benefit ratio of different disease treatment approaches at both an individual and societal level.  The potential economic and societal impact of breastfeeding is introduced. 

  • Resourcefulness and Resilience:   The teaching of this module provides a scaffold around which students need to apply their knowledge and resourcefulness to solve problems and demonstrate innovation.  Through critically appraising and developing novel foods and diets, participating in research studies, and gathering and interpreting evidence.  The nature of the assessments and formative activities in class are such that students will be required to draw upon their individual and collective resourcefulness, often working in partnership with other students to work through cases and innovate solutions.   

  • Digital Capabilities: Students are encouraged to work independently and in groups and to access the module content both face to face and via Panopto, Zoom and Surreylearn. Communication via online discussion boards is encouraged and appropriate online behaviours are modelled. Students are also encouraged to access relevant online documents and datasets, including the most up to date NDNS data and a range of UK statistics and nutritional recommendations to support their learning.   

  • Global and cultural capabilities: Students are encouraged to really try and ‘put themselves in the shoes’ of the population groups discussed to appreciate the social, psychological and medical factors influencing their behaviours and their ability to change these behaviours.  This includes, but is not limited to, an appreciation of the impact of low income and chronic disease on diet and lifestyle and an understanding of the key inequalities in UK health and disease.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 40% to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2024/5 academic year.