FBMRSN-Postgraduate Research Skills in Nutrition

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn and Spring (Double presentation)
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: FBMRSF Postgraduate Research Skills for Food
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Emma Bennett

Email: e.j.bennett@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

To provide the students with a basic knowledge of current methodologies used in nutrition and food research. In addition the module aims to teach the student a number of basic non-laboratory based key skills which are essential to a successful researcher.

Assessable learning outcomes:
•Demonstrate an understanding of the practical skills and methods required to analyse the composition of foods.
•Use lab based practical classes to obtain, record, collate, analyse and interpret data
•Present the strengths and weaknesses in dietary, nutrition and health research methods.
•Critically evaluate research papers and summarise presentations into press releases, analysing and reporting back on investigations.
•Integrate knowledge and understanding from a variety of sources to produce a literature review.

Additional outcomes:
On completion of this module students should
•Have a comprehensive knowledge of the methodologies used in nutrition research
•Be in a position to critically evaluate available techniques in order to establish which method is best suited to answer particular nutrition questions
•Have developed and improved basic laboratory skills
•Have learned about the concepts of accuracy, precision and method standardisation
•Have improved presentation skills
•Have developed a number of additional key skills such as report and abstract writing
•Be able to design and implement intervention projects and programmes

Outline content:
This module consists of a series of lecture, laboratory sessions and seminars.

Overview of methodologies in human nutrition: a historical perspective; Biological sample analysis using chromatography/spectrometry techniques; how to write a press release; The use of cell culture in nutrition research; The use of animal models in nutrition research; The use of radio and stable isotopes in nutrition research; Isotopic labelling: use and methodologies; Ethics and values of professions; Intellectual property issues.

Basic laboratory skills, using HPLC and LC-MS/GC-MS to separate, identify and quantify food components. Use of electronic based food composition table to quantify nutrients intake.

Additional sessions
Presentation skills; Presentation of original paper including critical evaluation and feedback; Abstract writing and assessing, writing a press release. Attendance at the Food Industry Symposium.

Global context:
Science communication is an essential skill for any researcher and this module explores the many different forms of scientific communication available so that students can justify the research work they may do in the future. Proper execution of scientific method is also a key skill that drives the rigour on which science is based. We will also provide the students with the means of increasing their laboratory competency and introduce them to some of the cutting edge techniques available for food and nutrition research at the university.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
During this module teaching will be in the form of formal lectures, the flipped classroom, practical classes supervised by the lecturers and suitably qualified researchers, blackboard assignments given to the students, and feedback on all written work and presentations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 16
Seminars 8
Practicals classes and workshops 10 2
Guided independent study 20 39
Total hours by term 35.00 65.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Class test administered by School 20

Other information on summative assessment:
2 blackboard tests (worth 10% each),
2 x 200 word press releases (worth 10% each)
1 x 3000 word literature review (worth 40%)
1 presentation (worth 20%)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% across module

Reassessment arrangements:
One major written assignment of an appropriate level that tests a range of skills.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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