AP1A18-Digestion and Nutrition

Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Sokratis Stergiadis

Email: s.stergiadis@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

You’ll learn about the anatomy of the digestive tract of animals and humans, and understand the associated digestive physiology. You’ll also learn about the chemical composition of foods and feeds, the nutrients they contain, how they can be analysed and how they contribute to overall diets, energy and nutrient intakes. You’ll learn through lectures and a software-assisted practical exercise.


To provide the students with:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the chemical composition of feeds/foods, nutrients and their analysis.

  2. Knowledge and understanding of the concepts of energy balance, energy intake and expenditure and the relative contribution of food components to energy intake

  3. A factual knowledge of the anatomy of the digestive system of monogastrics (e.g. human, pig, poultry, horse) and ruminants (e.g. cow, sheep, giraffe) and the associated digestive physiology.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of the module the student should be able to:

  1. List the nutrient components in feeds/foods, outline their chemical composition and describe methods for their analysis.

  2. Describe the key definitions in the concept of energy balance and ways to estimate energy intake and expenditure

  3. Describe the anatomy of the alimentary tractdigestive system of man, horse, chickenmonogastrics and ruminants

  4. Describe the dig estive processes occurring in the gut and give details of the digestive physiology associated with secretion and absorption.

Additional outcomes:

Students will be able to relate the essential nutrients and their digestion and absorption to the overall function of the whole animal. They will have developed some knowledge of the relevant analytical techniques. Other transferable and employability skills that will be developed throughout the module are written communication, time management, IT/digital skills to nutrition software to assess energy balance in humans, critical analysis, numeracy, organisation, independence and research/enquiry skills.

Outline content:

The lecture content covers:

  • the chemical composition of foods/feeds, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins and their analysis

  • the concepts of energy balance, intake and expenditure

  • the differing nutrients contained in a variety of foods/feeds and their importance is providing essential factors for animalsin animal functioning

  • the anatomy of the alimentary tract of humans, avian, ruminant, herbivoro us and carnivorous domesticanimals

  • the digestive processes occurring in the alimentary tractssystem of monogastric and ruminant animals

  • detailed digestive physiology of the associated secretory glands, digestive enzymes and the absorptive process

  • gut microflora and their role in digestion and health

  • some comparative digestive physiology

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be two 50 minute lectures, separated by a short break, each week.

These will be followed, on occasions, by one hour of other activities which will include computer exercises and a practical exercise.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 1
Guided independent study: 79
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Report 20
Class test administered by School 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

A one-and-a-half hour examination requiring the answer of 50 multiple-choice questions.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


- Practical reportReport: 20%

- Weekly quizzes: 10% (a weekly quiz will be taken on material covered in lectures).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
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: 27 July 2020


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