Skip to main content


Nutrition and Society

Module titleNutrition and Society
Module codeSHSM051
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Luciana Torquati (Convenor)

Dr Raquel Revuelta Iniesta (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The focus of this module will be to improve your knowledge and understanding of food in a societal or behavioural context, at all stages of the life course. Topics covered include: Food and nutrition and health policy; nutrition and public health agendas; the impact of religious and cultural beliefs on nutrition and health; dietary assessment methods for research; the impact of financial/social and environmental circumstances on diet and nutrition and theories of nutrition health education and promotion.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims at providing you with a different perspective on nutrition science, from a population approach. You will learn how individual, social and environmental factors affect individuals’ food choices and how these change through the life course. The module provides an introduction to nutrition epidemiology and how we can assess and monitor nutritional status of large population groups. You will develop your understanding of how this information is applied to inform dietary guidelines, policies and public health agendas at national and international levels.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Explain the complex interplay between individual and population factors influencing physical activity and dietary choices
  • 2. Design, implement and evaluate nutrition programs to meet specific groups needs

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Integrate quantitative and qualitative research methods to understand nutrition requirements of groups
  • 4. Explain how evidence informs public health agenda and policies at national and global level

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Develop arguments demonstrating critical thinking and synthesis
  • 6. Understand how to address multidisciplinary problems within a local and global context

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • Public health nutrition: definition and scope
  • Ecologic model of nutrition and health; individual, social, financial, institutional and policy factors
  • Social determinants of nutrition and health: culture, religion and population subgroups
  • Food security and malnutrition: UK and global perspective
  • Introduction to health behaviour and health promotion theories
  • Epidemiology in Nutrition and study designs, including; cross-sectional, cohort and case-control studies
  • Qualitative research methods in nutrition
  • Dietary assessment methods used in population-based studiesĀ 
  • Generating and critically appraising evidence to inform public health agendas, guidelines and public health practice screening
  • Overview of UK, Europe and WHO nutrition guidelines for different target groups and conditions

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 Teaching22Seminars and workshops
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
Research question and analysis proposal500 words1-3Written
In-class quiz15 questions, 30 minutes1-2Written

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
Individual research proposal502500 words1-5Written
Individual oral presentation (research proposal)5010 minutes1-6Oral/written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual research proposalIndividual written project (research proposal)1-5August/September Assessment period
Individual presentation (research proposal)Individual presentation (research proposal)1-6August/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

Relevant content can be found in Public Health nutrition journals including: Public Health Nutrition; Annual Review of Public Health; Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour, Social Science and Medicine; Health Promotion International; Lancet; BMJ (British Medical Journal); JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), Obesity, Obesity Reviews.

  • Aschengrau, A., and Seage, G.R., 2018. Essentials of Epidemiology in Public Health (4th edition). Burlington MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
  • Butriss, J.L., Welch, A.A & Kearney, J.M., 2018. Public health nutrition (2nd edition). Chichester: Wiley Blackwell (e-book available)
  • Boyd, D.R. & Bee, H.L. 2015. Lifespan development. Boston: Pearson, Seventh edition / Denise Boyd, Helen Bee.(electronic resource).
  • Field, A. 2018. Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics, 5th edition. Sage edge.
  • Sparkes, A.C., Smith, B. 2014. Qualitative research methods in sport, exercise and health: from process to product. London : Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. Latest edition.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Public health nutrition, society, dietary guidelines, health behaviours, nutrition program, needs assessment, evaluation

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS1606 Nutrition and Metabolism or equivalent

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date