IDM098-Global Issues in Nutrition and Health

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
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 Simona Grasso


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Explore major contemporary social issues related to human nutrition and health in developed and developing country contexts. Draw on examples from around the world to investigate issues such as: how and why people’s diets are changing, and what the consequences of these changes are; why obesity is rising, and what can be done to deal with this problem; and how under-nutrition manifests itself in different countries, and what the most effective interventions to address this phenomenon are.


The module is intended to appeal to students with a wide range of social and scientific backgrounds. This includes students with a background in nutritional and biochemical sciences who are interested in exploring the wider social, economic and political dimensions of their field. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

1. Describe what constitutes a healthy diet and how to carry out basic dietary assessments; 

2. Explain the main individual, social and structural factors that influence dietary choices in different societies; and 

3. Discuss the major dietary- and health-related problems that exist worldwide, and the main public policy approaches that are being taken to address these. 

Additional outcomes:

Students will develop communication, writing and critical analysis skills through class participation and reading of academic materials.

Outline content:

On the module we will look at the main ways in which people access and use food around the world, in both developed and developing countries, and at local, national and international levels. Key topics addressed will centre on the ongoing problems resulting from over/undereating, how these trends are changing in different countries, and the various scientific and socioeconomic solutions that have been developed in an attempt to address these challenges. The full list of lecture topics will be presented at the beginning of the first class of spring term.  

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Classes are classroom and lecture based. The module will draw on speakers from across the University to ensure that students are being taught by experts in their field. Lectures are delivered using a diverse set of developed and developing country case studies to illustrate practice. Additional individual study and class preparation is required, and participation in class discussion is encouraged.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Report 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The module will be assessed by coursework:

An essay selected of no more than 2000 words (excluding the bibliography). A list of essay titles will be provided by the module convenor towards the start of the module (70% of final mark).


Formative assessment methods:

A bibliography of key sources on an essay topic that goes beyond the material provided in class and is accompanied a short, written commentary critically evaluating what has been read (30% of final mark).  

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:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

An overall mark of 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

By the submission of a written essay on a new topic.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 12 August 2020


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