PY3NUT-Nutritional Psychology

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: PY2NS Neuroscience or PY2NS1 Neuroscience 1 or PY2NS2 Neuroscience 2 or PY2CNS Cognition and Neuroscience or PY2CN1 Cognition 1 or PY2CN2 Cognition 2
Non-modular pre-requisites: Priority access given to student on BSc Psychology Mental and Physical Health. Pre-requisites: Pass at Part 2
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Claire Williams


Summary module description:
Nutritional Psychology

This module enables students to study topics in Nutritional Psychology in depth, provides students with experience of critical evaluation of topics in nutritiional psychology, enhances students' awareness of current research being undertaken in the department, and helps them develop the ability to study independently.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

1. Identify the theoretical roots of current nutritional psychology research. 

2. Critically evaluate the methods employed in this field. 

3. Argue their view(s) on diverging theoretical perspectives.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups. 

Outline content:

The module comprises 7 2-hour seminars. Long-term dietary habits and overall nutrition can have a significant impact on lifetime cognitive performance. Research has confirmed that dietary intake of fruit and vegetables, and other macro- and micronutrients (e.g. iron, folate, vitamin B12, PUFAs, antioxidants and other plant-derived phytochemicals) are important in early stage brain development and in the prevention of age-related cognitive decline. This course introduces students to the complex interplay between what we eat and our cognitive processes across the lifespan. The course will enable students to critically evaluate evidence collected using a range of different populations (e.g. animals, children and older adults), techniques (e.g. behavioural, cellular and neuroimaging) and study designs (e.g. randomised controlled trials, epidemiological studies).

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Seminars involve lectures and interactive group discussions.  Students are expected to prepare for each session as appropriate, and demonstrate independent self-directed learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 15
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Other information on summative assessment:

This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%). The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module. Coursework will comprise a poster presentation.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be provided the opportunity to receive feedback on up to two essay plans in preparation for the final examination.

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:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September

    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: 31 March 2017

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