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Nutrition for High Performance

Module titleNutrition for High Performance
Module codeESS3508
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Mary O'Leary (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module covers the role of nutrition in maximising training quality and high-level sports performance. You will be exposed to contemporary studies investigating the effect of nutrition and nutritional strategies on performance in a range of different sports (from explosive power events to long-duration endurance events, as well as sports where performers compete in weight categories). The efficacy of the nutritional strategies will be critically evaluated in relation to findings of previous studies. This module will cover the essential information that is required to enhance your knowledge which is required to work as an applied practitioner within elite sport.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will concentrate on the critical evaluation of nutritional strategies and ergogenic aids and their effects on performance of specific athlete groups. You will have the opportunity to put into practice the methodologies that you have previously acquired for assessment of nutritional intake and then to suggest practically how diets can be manipulated to achieve evidence-based nutrient intake goals.

You will develop a number of important graduate attributes through this module:

  • Team working and people skills.
  • Ethical awareness/thinking and strategic thinking and problem solving.
  • Data management skills.
  • Enquiring mind and application of knowledge.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically appraise the efficacy of different nutritional strategies for specific athlete groups to generate an evidence-based position statement
  • 2. Appraise and manipulate the nutritional habits of a sportsperson

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Communicate effectively with an athlete
  • 4. Analyse and evaluate new data objectively
  • 5. Synthesise the research literature
  • 6. Work within a laboratory setting using standard nutritional techniques

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Plan and implement a course of scientific investigation
  • 8. Study autonomously with minimal direction

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

• Introduction and overview including periodised nutrition.
• Nutritional requirements for:
o power and sprint athletes.
o Team and individual multi-sprint sports.
o endurance athletes.
o weight category athletes.
o female athletes.
o young athletes.
o master athletes.
o ‘Other sports’ e.g. Formula 1, equestrian sports, golf, eSports
• Effect of environmental conditions on nutritional requirements.
• Nutritional needs of travelling athletes.

The laboratories and seminars for this module will be student-led. You will form working groups to conduct a case study on an individual high performance athlete, which will include testing the efficacy of a supplement or nutritional strategy for that athlete.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Laboratories and seminars
Guided Independent Study30Reading
Guided Independent Study20Completing study tasks on ELE
Guided Independent Study56Preparation for assessments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation on case study10 minutesAllOral/written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation on case study5015 minutesAllWritten
Position statement: critical review of nutritional requirements for a specific athlete/discipline 502000 words1, 5, 8Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentation on case studyIndividual presentation on case studyAllAugust/September assessment period
Position statementPosition statement1, 5, 8August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will need to complete further assessment as required. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Sports nutrition – high performance – elite athlete – periodised nutrition – position stand – position statement athlete nutrition

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS2509 Sports Nutrition and Metabolism

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date