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Study information

Literature Review in Nutrition

Module titleLiterature Review in Nutrition
Module codeESS2307
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Mrs Sarah Grey (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module allows you to investigate a question from any of the topics you have covered in your previous nutrition modules, or a question that is interdisciplinary in nature. You will then present a critically analytical literature review on this question. This module allows you to develop your literature-based research skills, your ability to critically analyse the evidence and present a well-argued and considered answer to your research question.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to present a literature review on a nutrition-related research question of your choosing. This module will allow you to apply literature review research skills and apply your knowledge in nutrition to summarise the evidence related to your research question.

Graduate attributes.  As part of this module you are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Strategic thinking and problem solving in designing your search strategies.
  • Interprofessional and collaborative work with library team to refine your search strategy.
  • Application of knowledge in interpreting findings of your literature search.
  • Building confidence as a communicator in discussing your literature search results with peers and your supervisor
  • Enquiring mind in pursuing further reading on topics you discuss with your supervisor and find in your independent study.
  • Data management skills in collecting and recording literature and critically interpreting results

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify and define a research question
  • 2. Obtain and appraise the relevant research literature or documentation
  • 3. Interpret the data/evidence and draw meaningful conclusions

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate skills of research, analysis, and critical evaluation
  • 5. Examine the meaning from quantitative or qualitative data

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Take responsibility for your learning, including appropriate time management, arranging student-supervisor meetings, data collection, study write-up
  • 7. Present ideas and information competently and cogently in written formats

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to module and assessment set up
  • Re-cap on systematic reviews and meta-analysis methods and procedures
  • How to organise your time and write a literature review
  • How to use reference manager software

Independent study:

  • Formulate / clarify research review question
  • Formulate a search strategy.  Identify search terms and pertinent databases in consultation with library team.
  • Progress in literature review
  • Submission of draft review
  • Feedback on the proposed review and action

Literature review write up and hand in

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Introduction to module
Scheduled Learning and Teaching9Lecture and Q&A session from module leader
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2Computer workshop
Guided Independent Study50Independent search and critical review of literature relating to a particular research question
Guided Independent Study70Write up final version of research review.
Guided Independent Study20Develop research question and search terms. Produce a coherent methodology

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft review (not to include the discussion section)Up to 500 words1-7Written/oral feedback/peer feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Literature review100200 word abstract plus 2500 words. Tables, figures, appendices, and table/figure captions are not included in the word limit. 1-7Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Literature reviewLiterature review1-7August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a new literature review. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative basic reading list:

Please note that you are encouraged to read more specific texts and research articles about your research question.  You should familiarise yourself with materials available on ELE.

  • American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).  Washington, DC: APA.
  • Huck, S. W. (2008). Reading statistics and research (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg, K. (2010). The psychologist’s companion: A guide to scientific writing for students and researchers (5th ed.) New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Greenhalgh, T (2010). How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine. 4th edition. BMJ Books
  • Gregory, AT & Denniss, AR (2018). An Introduction to Writing Narrative and Systematic Reviews — Tasks, Tips and Traps for Aspiring Authors. In Heart, Lung and Circulation. Elsevier. 27(7):893-898
  • Nutrition Reviews
  • Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care (
  • Syst-review.pdf (
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses: a step-by-step guide |


You should also take the opportunity to read nutrition related journals, including: Nutrition reviews, Nutrients, Clinical Nutrition/Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, British Journal of Nutrition, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Public Health Nutrition, Journal of Public Health. These journals publish review articles that interpret and evaluate the current literature to provide the rationale for and application of research findings in the field of nutrition science.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Literature review, critical evaluation, evidence-based nutrition, physiology, health

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

Cannot be taking ESS3303/05

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date