Nutrition has long been recognised as a vitally important determinant of health status within both industrialised and industrialising countries, but significant changes are occurring in the profile of nutritional problems. Many countries continue to face problems of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, but countries in economic transition also face the public health challenge of rising rates of diet-related chronic disease, such as obesity and coronary heart disease. Also, many industrialised countries now face problems of food insecurity among low income groups. These challenges have led to growing political resources to address nutrition. There is now an increased need for trained public health nutritionists, to work in a range of contexts, to control and prevent diet related problems.
The United Nations Secretary General has declared 2016-2025 the ‘Decade of Nutrition’. What better time to develop your skills in this crucial area? This course will give you the specialist scientific knowledge and practical skills to take an active role in global public health nutrition in a range of different settings.
You will be introduced to policy making, leadership and governance frameworks. You will be encouraged to explore and debate the political and social influences underpinning policy implementation and impact. Your modules will explore the relationship between diet and disease, the nutrition science underpinning these factors, public health nutrition epidemiology, research methods for health science, nutritional assessment tools and how to develop and manage nutrition programmes. The course will introduce you to stakeholders and skills that can enhance your professional competency, employability and development as a public health reflective professional.
The course is currently pending accreditation from the Association for Nutrition as part fulfilment of the requirements for registration as an associate Public Health Nutritionist.
You should have an Honours degree (At least a lower second class honours) from a UK university, or equivalent from a non-UK university, in a relevant science or social science subject. Students from a non-nutrition background are welcome to apply but they will be invited to complete our online Essentials of Nutrition module, which has four short assessments. Once the assessments for all four sections are passed the cost of the module can be taken from your MSc fees.
If your first language is not English you should have an with IELTS score of at least 6.5, 6.0 in each element.
CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN NUTRITION
This module introduces you to the basic concepts and principles of nutritional science that underpin the theory and practice of public health nutrition in a range of settings. You will explore the role of macro and micronutrients in maintaining health, and their effects when consumed in excess or when deficient, through the appraisal of scientific information relating to their structure, function, sources and bioavailability. This module emphasises the skills required to develop a critical understanding of the scientific basis of nutritional requirements, factors that influence them, and how they are applied to populations throughout the lifecycle. The module covers the aetiology aspects of both under and over nutrition.
DIET AND DISEASE
This module will introduce the discipline of public health with in an international context. Within this, three key themes are explored. Firstly what is public health and what is its scope. Secondly an exploration of nutrition and disease including the definition of and consequences of an unbalanced diet, and finally changing patterns of diet and disease across the globe. In this way the module provides key knowledge and skills that are a foundation for future professional practice in public health nutrition.
GLOBAL CHALLENGES FOR FOOD AND HEALTH
This module will explore the many challenges to sustainable, safe and equitable food supplies in the world today. The utility of different conceptual frameworks, such as food security and food regimes, will be compared and this will allow appreciation of the contributions of different academic disciplines in understanding factors influencing global and national food supply and consumption patterns. The role of the UN, government and private sectors actors in relation to food production, trade, access and consumption will be examined. Finally, inter-sectoral actions and current policies to establish safe and equitable food supplies will also be considered.
NUTRITION INTERVENTIONS AND PROGRAMME PLANNING
This module examines nutritional disorders of public health significance and considers different intervention strategies available to alleviate and prevent these. It allows students the opportunity to apply their public health knowledge to address current nutrition issues with evidence-based interventions. It focuses on malnutrition including acute and chronic under nutrition, over nutrition (obesity) and micro-nutrient deficiencies (hidden hunger) and the evidence behind the interventions designed to address them. The module also covers skills and tools required to gather essential relevant and appropriate information for programme planning and evaluation.
You will cover the theory and techniques used to assess nutritional status, and gain practical skills in the measurement of body composition, energy expenditure and anthropometry. Methods for collection, analysis and interpretation of individual and population level data will be explored. You will be able to identify characteristics associated with poor nutrition status and justify improvements required. You will demonstrate your theoretical knowledge through appraisal of practical considerations necessary for nutritional assessment of individuals and populations across the life cycle in varying socio-demographic populations.
POLICY AND GOVERNANCE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION
This module introduces the political influences on health and nutrition policies and the challenges that nations encounter when trying to implement them. The module will examine the history of global health and nutrition policies, focusing on which policies have been more effective and why. Students will explore policy making and governance frameworks and carry out a policy analysis for their assessment. Students are supported to become more reflective practitioners, helping them to develop skills like effective team leadership and performing well under stress while managing conflict. There is a strong emphasis on developing your skills for professional practice, including professional accountability using the Association for Nutrition’s competency framework.
RESEARCH METHODS FOR HEALTH SCIENCES I
This module aims to develop your knowledge and competence of the research design process, exploring both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and quality assurance tools to be used in the application of research methods in the area of global public health nutrition.
It will show how these designs and methods can be applied to evaluation studies as well as to research. It will provide a supportive and intellectually challenging environment within which students can develop their knowledge, understand and skills as researchers.
RESEARCH METHODS FOR HEALTH SCIENCES II AND RESEARCH PROJECT
This module consolidates and extends the skills learned in other modules, particularly Postgraduate Research Methods for Health Sciences I. It culminates in the conduct of a supervised research project relevant to a student’s area of professional practice and course specific discipline.
The course is designed for people wishing to work in national or global public health contexts such as Public Health Nutrition organisations, academic research institutions e.g. Public Health England, Ministries of Health, NGOs (like Save the Children and Action against Hunger), UNICEF, FAO, GAIN and other UN organisations.
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