Module code: BMS2077

Module Overview

This module is designed to accompany parallel modules on nutrition.  It demonstrates the context by which human physiology and metabolism impact nutrition and nutritional status.

The module outlines the role of the specific metabolic organs (liver, adipose tissue, skeletal muscle) and the integration of metabolism, including endocrinology.  The module also covers the role of micronutrients, particularly in relation to 1C metabolism.  

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

COLLINS Adam (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 90

Lecture Hours: 28

Tutorial Hours: 6

Practical/Performance Hours: 8

Guided Learning: 6

Captured Content: 12

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

BMS1027: Food science and nutrition, BMS1030: Biochemistry: Building blocks of life. 

Module content

GI Physiology

  • Functional anatomy of the GI tract

  • Motility and its regulation

  • Secretions of the GI tract

  • Sodium, potassium and water absorption

  • Macronutrient (Fat, protein and CHO) digestion & absorption


Energy Balance dynamics – Fuels& fluxes, and Energy homeostasis

Theory of measuring energy expenditure (recap or BMS2039 content)


Body Composition


Endocrinology –

  • introduction to the endocrine system

  • Thyroid

  • Adrenal

  • Pancreas

  • Growth Hormone


The metabolic organs

  • Adipose Tissue

  • Liver

  • Skeletal muscle


B vitamins and 1Carbon metabolism


Integration of metabolism in Health & Disease




Measuring energy expenditure

Body composition assessment

Glycemic Index

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Practical Proformas (Completed on SurreyLearn) 50
Examination Online Online SAQ Exam - 150 mins 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate both knowledge and application


  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Practical proforma – including data handling and interpretation, relation to theory

  • SAQ Exam

The coursework assessment is designed to test understanding of the practical and interpretation of results, in context to the related theory from lectures


The online SAQ exam tests understanding across the breadth of content in the module, split into sections by topic. Whilst this is "open book", there is a definite requirement for revision in order to complete the test in the time allowed


  Formative assessment- A series of self-tests on SurreyLearn, and revision sessions working through questions and problem-solving



Module aims

  • To understand the process of assimilation of energy and nutrients.
  • To provide an understanding of the role of nutrition in whole body homeostasis
  • To provide insight into how physiology and metabolism are regulated and controlled
  • To more fully understand the role of the metabolic organs;, liver, skeletal muscle and adipose tissue
  • To illustrate the role and regulation of 1C metabolism
  • To provide a theoretical and practical appreciation of the concept of nutritional status and its measurement

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the concept of whole body energy homeostasis KC
002 Introduce the activities of the GI tract and their effects on digestion of specific food types (for 2023 only). K
003 Identify key endocrine organs, explore the use of hormones as effectors of control and explain their actions at the target site KC
004 Understand the role function of the key metabolic organs: Skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and liver KC
005 Have a practical awareness of body composition and nutritional status assessment and its interpretation, KCPT
006 Understanding the role and regulation of 1C metabolism K
007 Appreciate the whole body integration of metabolism in health and disease. 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 are designed to instil an understanding of difficult topics whilst enabling the application of knowledge using tools commonly used in research and the nutrition profession.

This will be a combination of lectures and practicals. Lectures and practicals will be supported through the use of tutorials and online material.

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: BMS2077

Other information

Known food allergies need to be disclosed by students prior to some practical elements

Digital Capabilities: As with all modules, students are expected to engage with online material and resources via SurreyLearn, and other digital platforms.   Within this module students are introduced to, and gain proficiency in, specific digital tools.  These are for nutritional analysis (Nutritics) and statistical analysis and graph generation (GraphPad).  Students are also encouraged to build on their skills in using standard applications such as excel to generate data and perform calculations as applied to nutritional assessment.    The culmination of all this is to undertake, analyse and interpret data generated from practicals as the assessed practical proformas. . Students will also discuss and experience how technology developments (e.g., digital platforms and apps) may be used to enhance or help assessment of nutritional status on an individual or group/population level. 


Employability: This module equips students with a detailed understanding of the integration of metabolism and physiology on a whole-body basis, which is critical to applied nutrition science.  It builds on a foundation of knowledge to equip students with current understanding of key health and disease in the field.    The module provides students with a working knowledge of key tools used by nutritionists in practice and in research.  These tools will naturally be developed and refined over time with more experience and will be built on in subsequent modules on the programme The module continues to build on ability to collect analyse, present, and critically evaluate findings on individuals that are a key transferable skill sought by employers. 


Resourcefulness and Resilience:   The approach of this module is one where students are experiencing the methods of assessment from both the “client/patient/participant” perspective and the “practitioner/examiner/researchers” perspective.  As a cohort, all students will experience this together, sharing experiences, providing support and empathy, and supporting each other practically.  Through the practical elements, students are able to draw upon and develop their own resourcefulness and problem solving and building their own confidence and self-efficacy.  They will also develop an appreciation of barriers and challenges people face because of being assessed, and how these may be overcome, though an appreciation of their personal experiences, and the shared experiences of the collective cohort. 

Global and cultural capabilities: as in other modules within your programme, you will be working with peers from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures, and countries of origin, working together within teams towards common goals.   

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 1 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.