Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Community Nutrition: From Epidemiology to Contemporary Practice

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Food Sciences and Nutrition

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will introduce key concepts and methods related to research mechanisms in public health nutrition. Topics to be covered include an introduction to nutritional epidemiology, methods used to measure dietary intake in population studies such as the food frequency design and food diaries, anthropometric measurements and assessment of overweight and obesity.

An introduction to statistical approaches to compare dietary methods, testing differences in continuous and categorical data, development of statistical models to analyse research data, including introduction to the statistical concepts of adjusting for confounders will also be given.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit deals with emerging concepts in human nutrition and with nutritional epidemiology.

Overall this study-unit aims to:
- Inform students of topical issues in the field of nutrition;
- Develop students' ability to critically evaluate research literature;
- Develop an understanding of the principles of nutritional epidemiology;
- Develop awareness of the limitations of scientific research specifically those associated with measuring dietary intake;
- Assist students to gain an understanding of core tools used by nutritional epidemiologists; and
- Provide examples of top-class research in the field of nutrition and health.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Report on current research findings in public health nutrition whilst including a critique on the limitations of scientific research in population based nutrition;
- Prepare a review on the available research evidence on various emerging topics in the field of global nutrition and make appropriate conclusions;
- Scientifically describe the selection of appropriate quantitative dietary assessment methods to match specific local and international nutrition scenarios;
- Report on the design of research protocols suitable for a variety of different contexts in nutrition research.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Evaluate research studies and findings linking diet and health;
- Critically appraise and summarise the literature (CASP); and
- Evaluate dietary assessment tools – strengths and weaknesses.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Buttriss, J.L., Welch, A.A., Kearney, J.M. & Lanham-New S.A. (2017) Public health nutrition. Wiley –Blackwell.
- Lovegrove, J.A., Hodson, L., Sharma, S. & Lanham-New, S.A. (2015). Nutrition Research Methodologies. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Supplementary Reading

Lecturers will also make reference to the latest relevant publications for class discussions.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study and Group Learning

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Analysis Task 25%
Presentation (15 Minutes) 25%
Examination (1 Hour) 50%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.