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Unit information: Nutrition, Disease and Public Health in 2015/16

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Unit name Nutrition, Disease and Public Health
Unit code PHEDM4012
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Papadaki
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit will identify and critically review key public health nutrition issues and explore the role of nutrition in the aetiology, prevention and management of disease. The unit will also enable students to analyse and interpret the links between diet and health across the lifespan. It will describe the requirements for optimal nutrition across the lifespan and identify how these needs can be met in practice to prevent and manage major public health problems in society.


To critically review the key public health issues related to nutrition in Western societies, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer and mental health problems

to examine the role of nutrition in health promotion across the lifespan to prevent and manage chronic disease

to critically review the methods of assessing dietary intake

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise and evaluate the evidence for the role of nutrition in the aetiology of aetiology, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases (including obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer, osteoporosis and mental disorders.)
  2. Interpret and critically analyse the evidence for the role of nutrition across the lifespan (including pregnancy and infancy, childhood and adolescence, older age)
  3. Be aware of and critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of dietary assessment methods

Teaching details

The main teaching method is face to face lectures and small group learning activities. Teaching takes place across four 1-day visits across 4 weeks equivalent to ~5 hours of taught time per day

Assessment Details

Summative assessment is via the completion of a critical review of public health nutrition theory, and evidence. This will be submitted as a written assignment essay equivalent to 4000 words. The assignment is directly related to the learning outcomes and students are required to show an in depth understanding of the unit at a level consistent with a Master’s degree. Formative assessment throughout the unit will be performed via group work and/or PowerPoint presentations

Reading and References

  • Barasi, ME (2003) Human Nutrition: A Health Perspective, 2nd Edition .London: Hodder Arnold.
  • Gibney MJ, Margetts BM, Kearney JM and Arab L (2004) Public Health Nutrition. Blackwell Publishing.
  • Mann J and Truswell SA (2007) Essentials of Human Nutrition, 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press.
  • Thomas B. (ed.) (2007) Manual of Dietetic Practice, 4th Edition. Blackwell Science.
  • Thompson J, Manore M and Vaughan L (2007) The Science of Nutrition Pearson Benjamin Cummings
  • Thompson J and Manore M (2006) Nutrition for Life. Pearson Benjamin Cummings