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Study information

Nutrition, physical activity, and health

Module titleNutrition, physical activity, and health
Module codeESS2515
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Raquel Revuelta Iniesta (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module will develop your understanding of links between nutrition, physical activity, and health. You will examine the impact of nutritional strategies on both acute and chronic health issues (e.g., type II diabetes) and consider the role of nutritional strategies in managing such issues. This module will focus on developing your knowledge of evidence base  information that is required to work as an applied practitioner within health and exercise settings.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims at providing you with a deep understanding of the role nutrition plays in the pathophysiology of common chronic diseases e.g., diabetes, cancers, neuro-degenerative and cardiovascular diseases. You will also study how key metabolic processes/physiological states (e.g., overweight/obesity, raised glucose/blood pressure/cholesterol, inflammation or hormonal imbalance), can lead to chronic disease onset. Throughout this module you will have opportunities to explore and assess the latest evidence on diet, physical activity and exercise approaches for the prevention, treatment, or management of chronic disease. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Summarise evidence to explain why diet/nutrition and physical activity is relevant to the prevention, treatment, or management of chronic disease
  • 2. Describe the mechanisms and underlying metabolic processes, at the molecular, cellular, and whole-body systems level, that explain how diet/nutrition and physical activity plays a role in the prevention, treatment, or management of chronic disease

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of diet, nutrition, physical activity, and health research methods to understand the limitations of current evidence/knowledge bases
  • 4. Integrate knowledge and understanding from a variety of sources to identify or propose how diet/nutrition and physical activity can be used to prevent, treat, or manage chronic disease

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Work independently and organise your own time to meet deadlines
  • 6. Assume responsibility for your own learning and work

Syllabus plan

  • Dietary and physical activity risk factors to promote health and prevent/manage chronic disease.
  • Key nutrition metabolic processes/physiological states including, overweight/obesity, raised glucose/blood pressure/cholesterol, and the role of inflammation and hormones in chronic disease onset.
  • The role of diet and exercise in adipose tissue modelling, inflammation and adipokines.
  • The role of diet/nutrition and physical activity/exercise for the following chronic diseases/disease states:
    • Obesity
    • Gut health
    • Diabetes
    • Cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors
    • Ageing related diseases
    • Cancers
    • Bone health

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 Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Seminars
Guided Independent Study30Reading
Guided Independent Study15Completing study tasks on ELE
Guided Independent Study72Preparation for assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual podcast title & transcript outline250 words 1-6Written

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
Individual podcast3010 minutes1-6Written
Individual critical analysis essay702000 words1-6Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual podcastIndividual podcast1-6August/September assessment period
Individual critical analysis essayIndividual critical analysis essay1-6August/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 need to complete further assessment as required. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Essential and recommended reading will be provided, each week, for specific teaching and learning sessions on ELE ( The below are general reading materials for the overall module:



  • Lanham-New S, Macdonald IA, Roche HM. Nutrition and Metabolism. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011
  • Raymond JL, Morrow K. Krause and Mahan's Food & the Nutrition Care Process, 15th Edition: Elsevier, 2020
  • Bouchard C, Blair SN, Haskell WL. Physical Activity and Health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007
  • Hardman A.E. and Stensel D. Physical activity and health: the evidence explained. Abingdon: Routledge, 2003
  • Ralston, SH., Penman, I., Strachan, M., Hobson, R., (2018) Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine. 23rd edition. Elsevier.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Nutrition for health - chronic disease - obesity - diabetes - cardiovascular disease - cancer – healthy ageing - metabolism - hormones

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS1007 Human Physiology and ESS2512 Nutrition Science, or equivalent

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date