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2023/24 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 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Relevant undergraduate qualification

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module explores several UK and Global Nutrition Policies which aim to reduce health inequalities and improve people’s food choices and diets as well as health. Examples include:• Healthy and Sustainable Diets• The UK Sugar tax• Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling• Fortification of food with folic acidThe roles of scientists, Government, Industry and health professionals will be discussed. There will be consideration of which policies are recognised as “successful” and how we know the are (i.e. policy evaluation). Critical appraisal of research and scientific study design aspects will be included.


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) Outline examples of nutrition policy and how these are intended to reduce health inequalities
2) Demonstrate awareness of the role of scientists, industry, government, consumers and others in the development and success of policy;
3) Identify and review the scientific evidence supporting policy including a discussion of the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of different experimental approaches and the need for periodic review
4) Communicate to key non-specialist audiences , including stakeholders without nutrition specialist backgrounds, complex concepts around nutrition science and research relating to policy development and evaluation.
5) Critically appraise the evaluation and evidence concerning the impact of particular policies on the health and wellbeing of populations

Skills outcomes
Ability to:
Communicate complex scientific information to a lay-audience.
Develop skills in policy evaluation.
Critical appraisal of the scientific evidence base which informs policy in Public Health nutrition.
Awareness of the core competencies for 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.

Content to include a selection of:
- Role of various bodies in national and international policy development (eg WHO, UNICEF, UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, Food Standards Agency, DEFRA, Academics and Medics etc).
- Review of the scientific evidence supporting current policies (e.g. Soft Drinks Industry Levy, School Meals, 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 and public health research will be discussed in terms of their advantages, disadvantages and limitations.
- Methods of policy evaluation, and critically appraisal of their limitations, to show the impact of policy on specific outcomes of interest.

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, additional reading, and learning- associated “tasks” i.e padlet, group discussions etc. 90 hours
Preparation for assignments: 78 hrs
Private study hours 168
Contact hours 31

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have opportunities to obtain formative feedback on tasks and individual contributions during the active-learning lecture and seminar sessions. Progress will be formally monitored through individual 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 via turnitin

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentPolicy on a Page50.00
AssignmentCritique of a scientific paper reporting policy evaluation50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 10/10/2023


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