NUTR09011 2019 Nutritional Epidemiology

General Details

Full Title
Nutritional Epidemiology
Transcript Title
Nutritional Epidemiology
N/A %
Subject Area
NUTR - Nutrition
HEAL - Health & Nutritional Sciences
09 - NFQ Level 9
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Laura Keaver, Irina Uzhova
Programme Membership
SG_SPUBL_M09 201900 Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition

This course is designed to provide graduate students with the skills to conduct and interpret epidemiological studies relating diet and nutritional status to disease and health, and apply the statistical methods commonly used in nutritional epidemiology to analyse diet-disease associations.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Discuss key characteristics of study designs used in nutritional epidemiology and public health and the major (dis)advantages of the various study designs 


Demonstrate an understanding of the statistical methods commonly used in nutritional epidemiology to analyse diet-disease associations.


Apply the strategies to evaluate or adjust for dietary and lifestyle factors that may explain or influence relationships of diet and disease.


Critically evaluate studies used in nutritional epidemiology, taking methodological considerations into account 


Discuss the current state of epidemiological evidence for dietary patterns and apply the methods of dietary pattern analysis to study the association between the diet and certain disease status

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered through online weekly lectures. This will consist of a one hour lecture per week as well as one hour of asynchronous learning which will consist of interactive and forum discussions. In addition the learner will be expected to allocate an additional 5 hours per week for continuous assessment and additional reading. 

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 100% continuous assessment which will consist of both the application of dietary patterns analysis as well as the critical evaluation of a nutritional epidemiology research publication.

Repeat Assessments

Repeat continuous assessment if required. 

Indicative Syllabus

Basic concepts, measures used to describe health, disease and mortality;  surveillance systems ; strengths, limitations and theoretical basis of epidemiologic study designs; selection error, information error, confounding, bias and effect measure modification ; causal inference from randomized experiments and observational data; assessment of validity of epidemiological findings ; methods of dietary pattern analysis ; epidemiology of certain non-communicable diseases (obesity, CVD, cancer), introduction to nutrigenetics; introduction to R.


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Report: Dietary patterns analysis Continuous Assessment Assignment 40 % Week 10 3,5
2 Critical evaluation of a research publication Continuous Assessment Assignment 40 % Week 6 1,2,4
3 Forum discussion Continuous Assessment Assignment 20 % OnGoing 1,2,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Online Lecture Online One hour lecture and one hour asynchronous learning 2 Weekly 2.00
Directed Learning Not Specified Self-directed learning 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 7.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2013 Nutritional Epidemiology Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780199754038 ISBN-13 0199754039

Willett's Nutritional Epidemiology has become the foundation of this field. This new edition updates existing chapters and adds new ones addressing the assessment of physical activity, the role of genetics in nutritional epidemiology, and the interface of this field with policy.

Required Reading
2006 Basic Epidemiology World Health Organization
ISBN 9789241547079 ISBN-13 9241547073

Basic epidemiology provides an introduction to the core principles and methods of epidemiology, with a special emphasis on public health applications in developing countries. This edition includes chapters on the nature and uses of epidemiology; the epidemiological approach to defining and measuring the occurrence of health-related states in populations; the strengths and limitations of epidemiological study designs; and the role of epidemiology in evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of health care. The book has a particular emphasis on modifiable environmental factors and encourages the application of epidemiology to the prevention of disease and the promotion of health, including environmental and occupational health.

Required Reading
2012 Modern Epidemiology Lww
ISBN 1451190050 ISBN-13 9781451190052

The thoroughly revised and updated Third Edition of Dr. Rothman's acclaimed Modern Epidemiology reflects the conceptual development of this evolving science and the engagement of epidemiologists with an increasing range of current public health concerns.

Module Resources

Journal Resources

Public Health Nutrition  

American journal of epidemiology 

British Journal of Nutrition 

The American journal of clinical nutrition 

International journal of epidemiology 

Advances in nutrition  

Journal of nutrition


URL Resources

Current issue on nutritional epidemiology in Nutrients: 

Dietary patterns analysis: 

EPIC - European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition: