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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD3381 Nutrition Policy and Public Health

20 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Sally Moore

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successfully completed level 2 of BSc Nutrition course or equivalent qualification

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

- Why is eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables good for health? - What is the evidence to support this recommendation and what has been the impact of the 5-a-day campaign on the health of the UK population? - What would happen to the UK fish stocks if everyone ate 2 portions of fish per week? - Should there be a sugar tax?This module deals with how scientific information is used to develop policies and recommendations that may have far-reaching consequences, not only on the health of the individuals, but also on other aspects of society such as inequalities in health.


The module aims to:
1) introduce students to the legislative and advisory bodies that inform, formulate and implement nutrition policy.
2) enable students to evaluate the scientific evidence that supports the policy-making process and discuss the impact of policies on populations and individuals.
3) promote students ability to effectively communicate health policy and health promotion messages to a relevant audience.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the module, students should be able to:
1) discuss the role of scientists, industry, government and consumers in the policy making process;
2) critically evaluate the scientific evidence supporting policy including a discussion of the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of different experimental approaches and the need for periodic review;
3) discuss the impact of particular policies on the health and wellbeing of populations and individuals with an appreciation of the difficulties involved in implementing nutrition policy due to socio-economic, environmental, ethical and cultural constraints;
4) carry out a simple questionnaire-based nutritional survey to assess the link between food habits;
5) design promotional material to be used in public health nutrition and to communicate nutrition policy to a lay-audience.

Skills outcomes
Ability to:
- use a scientific evidence base to develop practice in Public Health nutrition;

- communicate complex scientific information to a lay-audience.



Nutrition Policy is ever-evolving, with new policy being developed as new evidence emerges. Therefore, the syllabus will evolve accordingly and relevant policies will be discussed according to their timely relevance.

- Role of various bodies in national and international policy development (eg WHO, UNICEF, Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, Department of Health, Food Standards Agency, DEFRA, Academics and Medics etc).
- Review of the scientific evidence supporting current policies (eg School Meals, 5-a-day, sugar tax, Salt recommendations etc) and their impact on their target groups (eg children, adults etc) and other relevant groups (eg schools etc).
- The different scientific approaches used in nutritional research will be discussed in terms of their advantages, disadvantages and limitations.
- The impact of policy on wider aspects of society will also be discussed.
- Methods for dissemination and implementation of health messages (eg mass media, GP practices, schools etc) will be reviewed in relation to their effectiveness in translating policy into messages that can be unambiguously interpreted and understood by the general population.
- Food Labelling legislation will also be discussed in relation to its impact on population food choice.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Directed reading for lectures: 69 hours
- Additional reading/study: 30.5 hours
- Preparation for seminars: 20 hours
- Preparation of assignments: 20 hours
- Research for group presentation: 15 hours
- Preparation of group presentation: 5 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students will have opportunities to obtain formative feedback during the seminar sessions. Progress will be formally monitored through course-work assignments (summative assessment).

- General feedback on assignment performance will be posted on Minerva, 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.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentGroup project design of a public health nutrition intervention30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment3 hr 00 mins70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

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: 12/09/2022 10:38:44


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