FBMNUT-Nutrition Concepts

Module Provider: Food and Nutritional Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Jeremy Spencer

Email: j.p.e.spencer@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces and expands fundamental concepts of nutrition, including – but not limited to – macro- and micronutrients, water, alcohol, anti-nutrients and bioactives, the development of dietary reference values and recommendations and techniques used in nutrition research. It will also introduce current research topics in the area of nutrition and health.


The aim of the module is to provide a thorough understanding of nutritional concepts including metabolism and how nutrition can affect human health. A further aim of the module is to become familiar with current research and research methodology in nutrition. Students will have an understanding of major issues of nutrition during the life cycle and have an appreciation of the scientific base of nutritional recommendations and controversial topics in nutrition research.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Explain and interpret  nutritional concepts, nutritional metabolism, including the development of dietary reference values and recommendations, and methods used in nutritional research

  • Investigate how diet can affect health and how nutritional research can influence recommendations and policy

  • Critical appraisal and evaluation of research from publications and seminars

Additional outcomes:

Students will become familiar with current nutritional research, including respective strengths and limitations.

Outline content:

The module will introduce the fundamental concepts of nutrition and their relationship to health in the first part of autumn term. This will include macro- and micronutrients, water, alcohol and antinutrients, but also a special focus on various bioactives. It will also incorporate the role of macronutrient in sensory perception. In the second part of autumn term, the module will focus on emerging results from current research in nutritional sciences.

Global context:

The impact of malnutrition, and in particular deficiencies, will be discussed in a global context.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 30
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 30
    Wider reading (directed) 30
    Preparation for seminars 30
    Revision and preparation 10
    Carry-out research project 10
    Essay preparation 30
    Reflection 10
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will prepare weekly seminars on topics introduced in the plenary lecture as group work. Seminars will be throughout the term (30%).

At the end of term, students will interpret dietary information from a fictional subject and provide recommendations (70%)

Formative assessment methods:

Students will engage in weekly group seminars on topics introduced in the plenary lecture and formative assessments will be carried out after each topic. Tutorials will be throughout the term and contributions will be formatively assessed.

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

Assessment requirements for a pass:

50% in each assessment

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 30 September 2019


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