Teaching and Learning
The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.
You are taught through a combination of online lectures to give an overview, with seminars to facilitate further student engagement; these are often based around pre read research papers or journal articles, which are disseminated via Blackboard the visual learning environment. Workshops are an integral part of most modules and maybe based around; exploring dietary analysis, drug nutrient interactions or exploring case studies using a systematic and functional approach. The development of reflective practice is embedded throughout with opportunities for personal development planning, reflection and critical reflection. A range of other approaches may be incorporated where relevant e.g. online quizzes and informal presentations in group workshops.
Clinical skills development throughout the theory modules will be both theoretical and practical to build on knowledge and understanding and to enable students to meet the National Occupational Standards for Nutritional Therapy. The professional practice standards of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council and The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine are embedded throughout the course including the clinic teaching and practice. A wide variety of practice skills sessions are included in the theory modules; dietary analysis, information gathering, anthropometric testing workshops, evaluating drug nutrient interaction, interpreting test results, clinical case scenario role plays resulting in a full case role play in the clinical practice module. Communication skills and behaviour change theory and practice is also included as are the development of business skills to enable students to set up in practice or start their own business on completion. Students will also be able to observe live clinic sessions or videos via the visual learning environment. The clinical practice takes place in the University teaching clinic, which meets the University's Management of Placement and Work-based Learning Policy. Students are fully supervised and assessed by a qualified and CNHC registered nutritional therapist and on average see three clients three times over a semester to build on the skills developed in the theory modules.
Students are supported via Student Services, Library Services, the Personal Academic Tutoring (PAT) system, Academic writers in residences and the English Language unit, all of which enable students to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help them to flourish and be successful.
In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are available on at least 4 occasions in the first year and are available three occasions in each of the other years of the course.
Each theory module is four days attendance (in two x two-day blocks) with one day (six hours) online learning; the research methods module is five days attendance in semester one and the dissertation module is five days over two semesters. Full time MSc students in their first year will attend six-theory module plus the research methods and dissertation module, which is approximately 12-18 contact hours per week. In the second year there is normally slightly less contact time to facilitate greater independent study (see framework and timetable).
Typically class contact time will be structured around:
- Practical sessions
- Role plays
In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 25-29 hours of personal self-study per week on the full time pathways. Typically, this will involve preparing for seminars, through reading set text, planning and writing module assignments, watching and writing a written commentary of recordings of consultation videos. Students are expected to read around topics introduced in class to further extend their knowledge and identify areas that need clarification in class.
Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.
You will be taught by a teaching team whose range of expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The current permanent staff of four all work part time, are senior lecturers, and are all Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council registered practitioners; this full time equivalent of 2.2 whole time staff are all also research active.
The team is also supported by a diverse group of practitioner associate lecturers who also have teaching and research experience and all those who are involved in clinical assessment are Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council registered and members of the professional body British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine. The associate lecturing team also includes a registered dietician. Wherever possible, academics from across the Institute of Health and Society also contribute to aspects of the course.
As at January 2018 all of the permanent staff have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and several of the'associate lecturers either have this or are working towards it.
Teaching is informed by research and consultancy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.
The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.
The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course can be seen below and here:
NUTH4031 - formative and summative in semester 1
NUTH4032 - formative and summative in semester 1
NUTH4033 - formative and summative in semester 1
NUTH4038 - formative and summative in semester 1
NUTH4034 - formative and summative in semester 2
NUTH4035 - formative and summative in semester 2
NUTH4036 - formative and summative in semester 2
NUTH4039 - formative in semester 2
NUTH4037 - formative and summative in semester 2
NUTH4039 - formative in semester 1, formative and summative in semester 2
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.