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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD1150 Principles of Human Physiology and Nutrition

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Matthew Campbell

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

FOOD1050Elements of Human Nutrition

This module is not approved as a discovery module


The module aims to:
- introduce students to scientific principles underpinning nutritional science, including the biochemistry of nutrients and non-nutrients and their metabolism by the human body
- provide an overview of human physiological systems with relevance to human nutrition
- provide an overview of nutrient sources in the diet
- provide an overview of the recommendations for optimal nutrition of the general population
- introduce students to methodology related to diet/food composition and dietary and health assessment
- introduce students to the factors that affect personal food habits, including cultural and socio-economic determinants of food choice.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the module, students should be able to:
- recognise the structure of nutrients and non-nutrients and identify sources of these nutrients in the diet;
- explain the processes of ingestion, digestion, absorption, metabolism and excretion for all macro and micronutrients, as well as non-nutrients such as alcohol;
- explain the physiological processes that govern human health, including endocrine, circulatory, respiratory and immune systems;
- recall current nutritional recommendations for the general population and apply them to evaluate the adequacy of diets;
- explain how food composition data is obtained and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this data in diet evaluation;
- apply basic nutritional assessment techniques (eg basic anthropometry) and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of their use to evaluate health status;
- explain the role of culture and socio-economic factors on the food habits and food choice.

Skills outcomes
- Use of food composition tables
- Use of basic nutritional assessment techniques.


- Nutrient structure and function, sources of nutrients and non-nutrients in the diet, fate of food components in the gastro-intestinal tract, including ingestion, digestion, absorption and excretion.
- Other physiological systems in the body including the endocrine, circulatory, respiratory and immune systems.
- Basic nutrient metabolism.
- Nutritional Guidelines, basic nutritional assessment techniques.
- Role of culture and socio-economic factors on the food habits and food choice.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Private study hours158.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

-Directed reading for lectures: 68 hours
- Additional reading/study: 52hours
- Preparation of diet-evaluation assignment (25% of module): 20hours
- Preparation and revision for exams (50% of module): 18 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be formally monitored through course-work assignments (summative assessment).

General feedback on assignment performance will be posted on the VLE, while individual feedback will also be provided upon marking of the assignment.

It is envisaged that feedback from the first assignment will help students prepare for the second assignment and for the exam.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment1,500 word report on diet evaluation25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)25.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 75.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)75.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/09/2019


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