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Study information

Professional Conduct in Nutrition

Module titleProfessional Conduct in Nutrition
Module codeESS3511
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Mrs Sarah Grey (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module will provide you with an understanding of professional conduct, fitness to practise and the Association of Nutrition’s standards of ethics, conduct and performance. Topics covered include:

  • Ethics and values of professions.
  • Legal context of nutrition practice, including current relevant legislation and guidelines to providing information to individuals.
  • Responsibilities and accountability in relation to the current national and international legislation, national guidelines, local policies and protocols and clinical/corporate governance in relation to nutrition and intellectual property issues.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in becoming an Associate Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition (AfN). You will explore the regulatory and ethical aspects of the nutritionist profession and nutrition research, with real-world examples and case studies. You will progressively learn how to apply the AfN standards and nutrition evidence into practice, with practical sessions where you will help individuals improve their diet and reach their health goals. Altogether, the activities in this module aim to inform the development of a reflective portfolio in which you will demonstrate your understanding of professional standards, policies and regulations regarding nutrition practice, and application of behaviour change techniques and interpersonal skills to improve an individual’s diet and health outcomes.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Identify good professional conduct and practice, fitness to practise and potential ethical/conflict of interest issues in research and practice
  • 2. Provide evidence-based nutrition advice in line with local/international legislation and guidelines

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Apply AfN standards of ethics, conduct and performance in practice
  • 4. Identify appropriate behaviour change theories to individuals’ needs

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Reflect on progress and learning, identify gaps, manage time; learn independently
  • 6. Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills: effective communication and goal negotiation with individuals

Syllabus plan

  • The nutritionist profession: scope of practice, career paths, and current legislation in the UK,
  • AfN Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance; applied examples.
  • Assessment of nutritional status of individuals: anthropometry/body composition, biochemistry, clinical, dietary and environmental assessment methods
  • The remit and role of a nutritionist within an interdisciplinary team.
  • Principles of nutrition practice: moral and ethical principles, fitness to practise and confidentiality (general data protection regulation).
  • Principles of nutrition practice: research governance frameworks, conflict of interest and intellectual property.
  • Legal context of nutrition practice: local, national and international legislation and guidelines
  • Applied nutrition in practice: diet, lifestyle and psychosocial management of different age groups (infants, children, young people, adults and older adults) some of which will be living with nutrition related diseases or diagnosed with chronic conditions that can be managed by Nutritionists registered with UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionist professionals (UKVRN).
  • Communication, interpersonal skills, nutrition education and behaviour change theories and applied techniques, which include goal setting and motivational interviewing.

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 Teaching16Lectures
Scheduled teaching and learning10Seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Practical classes
Guided Independent Study42Reading
Guided Independent Study20Completing study tasks on ELE
Guided Independent Study56Preparation for assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Reflective portfolio – part 1500 words1-5Oral
Practical sessions, observation3 sessions, 1 hour each 1-5Oral

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
In-class examination251 hour1-3Written
Reflective portfolio 751500 words1-6Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
In-class examinationExamination1-3August/September Assessment period
Reflective portfolio Reflective portfolio 1-6August/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

  • Department of Health (1991) Report on Health and Social Subjects. Report 41 Dietary Reference Values for food and energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. Report of the Panel on Dietary Reference values of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy.
  • Gandy, J. 2019 Manual of Dietetic Practice. BDA. Wiley Blackwell
  • Michie, S. F., West, R., Campbell, R., Brown, J., & Gainforth, H. (2014). ABC of behaviour change theories. Silverback Publishing.
  • Shaw, V. (2015). Clinical Paediatric Dietetics (most recent edition). BDA. Wiley Blackwell.
  • Van Servellen, G. (2009). Communication skills for the health care professional: Concepts, practice, and evidence. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Professional standards, professional conduct, ethical values, nutrition practice, data protection, data governance, registered nutritionist

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS2512 Nutrition Science, ESS2510 Nutrition and Society

Module co-requisites

Only for BSc Nutrition program

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date