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Unit information: Determinants of Physical Activity and Eating Behaviour in 2021/22

Unit name Determinants of Physical Activity and Eating Behaviour
Unit code PHEDM4014
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Toumpakari
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit focuses on the factors or determinants which influence physical activity and eating behaviours. Students are presented different frameworks and associated evidence to represent the personal, social, environmental and policy influences on behaviour. Lectures and related workshops will encourage students to consider theoretical relationships between determinants as well as practical implications for manipulating them to achieve behaviour change in different populations.


The aim of this unit will be to investigate:

  1. To explore determinants of physical activity and nutrition behaviours within existing models and frameworks.
  2. To examine the interactions of determinants across different populations and how this affects behavioural outcomes.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. To outline determinants which are evidenced to relate to physical activity and nutrition
  2. To identify existing models that provide a framework for understanding personal, social, environmental and policy level determinants of physical activity and nutrition (cognitive vs behavioural approaches?)
  3. To be aware of the strength of evidence for personal vs social vs environmental vs policy determinants of physical activity and nutrition
  4. To highlight how determinants can be used to target individuals for intervention
  5. To understand the complexities of measuring determinants in physical activity and eating behaviour.

Teaching Information

The unit will be delivered through blended learning involving a combination of lectures, group discussion and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

Assessment is through the completion of a written essay equivalent to 4000 words and is directly related to one of the learning outcomes. Students are required to show an in-depth understanding of the unit at a level consistent with a Master's degree. This assessment is associated with Intended Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHEDM4014).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.