PY3NCM-Nutrition, Cognition and Metabolism

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Daniel Lamport


Summary module description:


The aim of this module is to enable students to explore and evaluate in depth the effects of nutritional intake and metabolic processes on cognitive function. Students will perform critical evaluations of the existing literature, and will explore mechanistic underpinnings of nutritional effects on the brain. The module aims to help student adopt both independent and team-based approaches to learning whilst exposing students to current research being undertaken in this field at PCLS.  

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students will be able to:

1.    Critically evaluate research approaches to exploring the effects of nutrition on the brain and behaviour

2.    Critically analyse the evidence for metabolic influences on the brain and behaviour

3.    Understand and appraise the theoretical and mechanistic underpinnings of nutritional and metabolic influences on the brain and behaviour


Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience in both independent learning and team-based learning, including evaluative discussion of research and theory in large and small groups. Students may also have the opportunity to administer a cognitive test battery and design an appropriate experiment to examine a relevant area of interest. 

Outline content:

The module comprises seven 2-hour seminars. Using short lectures, student-led presentations, discussion, small group work and team-based learning, this module will explore different nutritional and metabolic effects on cognition function. Initially we will consider key methodological approaches underpinning nutritional effects on the brain. We will then consider and evaluate the evidence for a variety of different micronutrients, macronutrients, and holistic diets before exploring mechanistic explanations for these effects. We will then explore how metabolic disturbances such as type 2 diabetes can affect the brain, and evaluate theories which explain these effects.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module uses a combination of Team-based Learning (TBL), short lectures, discussions and presentations. TBL enables students to work in teams to explore and evaluate the material facilitated by the module convenor. Short lectures and presentations will be interwoven into the seminars. Students may also have the opportunity to administer a cognitive battery, and to plan and administer a short experiment of nutritional effects on cognitive function. During the course of the module, students will prepare a presentation on a topic of their choosing within the bounds of the module. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Guided independent study 84
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Oral assessment and presentation 25

Other information on summative assessment:

The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module. Coursework will comprise an oral presentation plus written summary 

Formative assessment methods:

Students have the opportunity to provide the module convenor with up to two essay plans for comment and feedback in preparation for the exam.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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