Listed below are a sample of the modules that students will study. Full details of all Module Outlines can be found in the Module Summary Booklet.
Nutritional Biochemistry and Genetics
To develop concepts of genome organisation and of prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression, to discuss how gene expression is regulated, and to illustrate the significance of this regulation for cell function and development. This module develops concepts of molecular biology and metabolic integration that are essential for the application of modern biology to understanding and improving human and animal nutrition. It deals with genome organisation and prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression, discusses how gene expression is regulated, and illustrates the significance of this regulation for cell function and for development. It considers the specialised metabolic activities of major mammalian tissues and the mechanisms by which these activities are regulated.
To introduce the scientific foundations on which a sound understanding of nutrition in the maintenance of normal function of mammals including humans is built. This will include informing students about the concepts of nutrient requirements. The module will describe the basic principles of nutrition and nutritional biochemistry as they are applied in mammals including humans. The subject is approached firstly from an anatomical perspective; comparing the structure and function of the digestive tract from different species focussing on adaptations to suit specific dietary regimes. The digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients and energy is then discussed, using macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as examples. Knowledge of nutrient function is then related to nutrient requirements for normal health and development.
Experimental Human Nutrition
To provide an opportunity to carry out human nutrition investigation including laboratory analysis, using computers for data handling and preparation of a report. This module provides students with an opportunity to carry out human nutrition investigations including laboratory analyses and use of computers for data handling and preparation of a report. Students work in small teams of 3-4 individuals to carry out a series of specific nutritional investigations on human subjects and produce a joint report which will allow development of skills in teamwork. The overall scientific objectives of the experiment are met by the combined efforts of all teams.
Introduction to Human Nutrition
To provide an introduction to the scientific basis on which an understanding of human nutrition is built and upon which recommendations about dietary and nutrient intake are made. This module will provide an introduction to the scientific basis on which an understanding of human nutrition is built and upon which recommendations about dietary and nutrient intakes are made.
Experimental Food Science
To provide students with practical training in the experimental study of the physical and chemical properties of foods. It will also allow students to gain an appreciation of the methods used for sensory evaluation of foods. This module introduces students to a range of analytical methods commonly used in the analysis of food and food products. This is a practical-based module in which students complete a range of practicals working in pairs. It therefore introduces team working activities as well as giving the opportunity to use a number of different analytical instruments. The students will be introduced to sensory evaluation methods using meat products and bread as model foods.
To stimulate interest in microbiological aspects of the food industry; to make the students aware of common microbe-food interactions, both beneficial and deleterious; to enable the student to appreciate the need for safe procedures at all points along the food production and handling chains and to understand risk assessment procedures; to enhance a student’s information retrieval skills and to provide an introduction to critical evaluation of a process against specific criteria; to increase knowledge of and skills in practical microbiological procedures. The module introduces students to aspects of microbiology specifically linked to food and the food industry. It considers factors affecting microbial growth, how knowledge of these can be used to preserve food and how failure to preserve food may result in food spoilage. It introduces important aspects of legislation covering food production and in particular to HACCP procedures. It introduces students to the roles of microorganisms in food production and in food poisoning.
Human Nutrition and Health
This module aims to utilise recent literature to inform a consideration of the relationships between diet and health and to provide rational approaches to the interpretation of this literature.
Nutrition and Disease
This module will provide students with an understanding of the part played by diet in the aetiology, prevention and treatment of disease.
Sports and Exercise Nutrition
Nutrition has become a popular subject in the sports and exercise arena especially in relation to the enhancement of performance. This has resulted in the development of a large industry selling ‘sports’ supplements and aids to performance, sometimes transgressing into unlicensed and illegal activities. This module will consider current dietary advice and products related to sports and exercise performance. Detailed consideration will be given to understanding the importance of macro and micronutrients in aiding sporting performance and the role nutrients play in aiding sports related injuries and recovery from exercise. For example, topics covered will include carbohydrate manipulation, drinks supplementation and fluid balance as well as energy intake.
Contempory Issues in Food and Nutrition
This module explores contemporary issues and debates that define the global food and nutrition sector. As food consumers, we are bombarded daily with advice about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and where to eat. The key issues surrounding food all have behavioural implications for the general public. The campaigns around obesity are tasked with getting us to eat healthy foods in the right quantities. Food Safety campaigns are tasked with getting us to be safer and more careful with how we prepare, store, cook and dispose of food. The promotion of local, organic, fair trade and other so called “quality” foods are tasked with getting us to spend more on our food. The debates around sustainable agriculture and carbon foot printing of foods challenges us to reconsider what foods we buy, from which types of production systems and at what times of the year. This module will challenge students to examine an array of contemporary food and nutrition issues and consider the technical, business, societal, ethical and regulatory factors that are driving these debates.
Medicinal Plants and Functional Foods
Through this module, students will be introduced to the concepts of medicinal plants and functional foods, gain knowledge about important products in each category, and gain skills in critical assessment of the use of research results in commercial contexts. Plants were historically the main source of medicine and medicinal plants are still important for health care in several contexts. Functional foods provide other benefits for health than provision of nutrients. The module will explain these concepts and provide knowledge of the most important products in each category, as well as explain and analyse how scientific evidence is used to document the associated benefits and risks.
Project and Dissertation
This project and dissertation will: provide experience of primary research; give the opportunity to develop research skills; encourage students to develop strategies for problem solving; and assist students to develop skills in the critical analysis of scientific evidence and in presentation of results and conclusions in a written form. This is the largest component of the final year’s work worth 30 credits.