Module code: BMSM010

Module Overview

This module aims to give participants an understanding of the way malnutrition and disease influence body composition, metabolism and function especially of the gut, and nutritional demands. It will critically review the methods of nutrient delivery in a clinical setting, their effectiveness, and limitations. It will also cover novel areas of nutrition support such as immunonutrition, as well as organisational and ethical aspects of nutritional support.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

WHYTE Martin (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 2

Independent Learning Hours: 100

Lecture Hours: 17

Tutorial Hours: 17

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 4

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes some or all of the following topics

  • Nutritional assessment in the clinical setting

  • Assessment of clinical and functional metabolic state; assessment of gastrointestinal function in health and disease; effect of functional state on nutritional status; nutrition and immune status; effect of status on clinical outcomes

  • Metabolic stress: anorexia and starvation, injury, infection, burns, surgery, etc.

  • The gastrointestinal tract in the inflammatory state

  • Nutritional requirements and metabolic stress: macronutrients and micronutrients

  • Special clinical situations: nutritional and biochemical aspects of inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, liver disease, alcoholism, renal disease, diabetes, cancer cachexia, stroke, multiple organ failure (in the ITU setting), malabsorption, anorexia and bulimia etc.

  • General principles of nutritional support: routes of support; including food, oral nutritional supplements (ONS), enteral nutrition (EN); appropriate use of parenteral nutrition (PN); peripheral PN; home PN and home enteral tube feeding (HETF), percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding, complications of PN; refeeding syndrome; paediatric nutritional support

  • Benefits of nutritional support

  • Novel substrates, functional foods, immunonutrition

  • Common myths in clinical nutrition

  • Nutritional support teams: roles and dynamics

  • Ethical issues: case studies

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 are 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

  • During the module, students have the opportunity to read an up-to-date research paper and to present it to the group.  Immediate peer and faculty feedback is provided.

  • Students also receive feedback electronically in SurreyLearn with regard to their submitted essays. The Module Organiser and the internal lecturers are available for discussion prior to, during and after the module, if necessary.

Module aims

  • To give participants an understanding of the way malnutrition and disease influence body composition, metabolism and function (especially of the gut), and nutritional demands.
  • To review critically, the methods of nutritional assessment, methods, effectiveness and limitations of nutrient delivery in clinical settings and at home, the role of conditionally essential nutrients, the opportunities for utilisation of functional foods and the organisation of nutritional support.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain how clinical and functional metabolic states influence nutritional needs KC
002 Describe methods of assessment of clinical and functional metabolic state KP
003 Discuss the way malnutrition and disease influence body composition, metabolism and function (especially of the gut), and nutritional demands K
004 Debate the appropriateness of different types of nutrition support KCPT E
005 Discuss the causes of malnutrition and their consequences for nutritional needs C
006 Evaluate how nutritional support is organised in a clinical setting, the range of feeds and feeding methods available, including novel substrates, and their effectiveness CP E
007 Interpret how nutritional requirements are affected by common clinical disease states CP
008 Reflect on the methods of nutrient delivery in own clinical setting, their effectiveness and limitations, the role of conditionally essential nutrients, the opportunities for utilisation of functional foods and the organisation of nutritional support 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:

  • - be aligned with the grade descriptor for qualification at level 7 in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

  • use group work to continue to build students’ confidence in the critical evaluation of the scientific literature. Develop skills in presentation which will be useful in BMSM013.

  • allow students to develop bonds with their peers and staff in order to foster a good team spirit which will be beneficial for this and future modules.

  • engage students with different professional backgrounds to maximise their learning by drawing on their own expertise and experiences to contribute to class discussions.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Class discussions based on lectures,

  • Critical evaluation of topical journal articles (group work),

  • Case studies

  • A bespoke evening meal, designed to consolidate learning during 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: BMSM010

Other information

Can be taken as a stand–alone module.


Digital Capabilities:

Students on the programme have a wide range of digital capabilities, due to the varying nature of their professions and prior experience. Group work whereby students prepare presentations in a short space of time develops the skills and confidence required for the effective dissemination of science. As in other modules, students are encouraged to work together in groups, utilising collaborative tools (Whatsapp, Teams, Zoom) to communicate.   These are key skills that are increasingly important to the modern nutritionist, working in a variety of settings and teams.


Resourcefulness and resilience:

Students on the module will be at various stages in their journey; it could be their second taught module out of nine, or it could be their ninth. Students at the earlier stages discuss strategies with those in the later stages, to plan workloads which must often be fitted into a busy working life. This is encouraged during coffee and meal breaks. Meals are taken at round tables to encourage discussion and the ‘coffee queue’ encourages introductions and small steps to developing a network of support in the module and overall programme

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 2025/6 academic year.