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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD5410M Nutrition: Policy and Practice

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Sally Moore

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Relevant undergraduate qualification

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

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 nutritional 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) enable students to carry out simple surveys relating to food consumption habits.
4) promote students' ability to effectively communicate health policy and health promotion messages to a relevant audience
5) allow students to reflect on their individual knowledge, skills, abilities and competences as relevant to the nutrition profession.

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) design material to be used in health promotion aimed to communicate nutritional policy to a range of audiences.
5) evaluate the effectiveness of health promotion campaigns using different methods.

Skills outcomes
- Ability to use a scientific evidence base to develop practice in public health nutrition
- Ability to communicate complex scientific information to a lay-audience
- Awareness of the code of practice for the UK voluntary register of nutritionists.


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, Fortification, 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 (eg epidemiology, cell culture, in vivo vs in vitro etc) will be discussed in terms of their advantages, disadvantages and limitations.
- The impact of nutrition policy on wider aspects of society will also be discussed such as inequalities.
- 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 understood by the general population and dietary behaviour change.
- Food Labelling legislation will also be discussed in relation to its impact on population food choice.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours167.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study hours 168.5
Contact hours 31.5

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

An opportunity will be provided for students to submit the previous coursework on nutrition in the media if they have not written an essay for a long time and would like some formative feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group Project3000 words in group of 4 or 530.00
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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