NUTR09022 2019 Nutrition Research Methodologies

General Details

Full Title
Nutrition Research Methodologies
Transcript Title
Nutrition Research Methodologi
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_SPUNU_M09 201900 Master of Science in Public Health Nutrition

This module will introduce learners to both qualitative and quantitative research methods, different types of study designs used in nutrition research and its major limitations.

Learning Outcomes

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


Illustrate key characteristics of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and reflect on their main advantages and challenges


Critically reflect on the problems encountered when designing and carrying out nutrition research


Discuss the key statistical issues including analysis, sampling, study size and statistical power


Apply qualitative methods of data collection and analysis to investigate the nutrition related health problem


Critically evaluate the nutrition related issue and using quantitative and/or qualitative approach prepare the research research proposal

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 qualitative research study as well as the development of the MSc research proposal

Repeat Assessments

Repeat continuous assessment if required. 

Indicative Syllabus

Qualitative methods of data collection (interviews and observations), different methodological frameworks (e.g. grounded theory), methods of data analysis (e.g. content and thematic analysis, discourse analysis)

Quantitative methods of data collection: introduction to population - based studies, intervention studies 

Reliability and validity testing of nutrition surveys

Introduction to bias, confounding, sampling, statistical power and error

Ethical considerations; compliance; subject cooperation; development of good research practice; dissemination of research findings and ownership of data

AfN Code of Ethics and Statement of Professional Conduct. Practice of nutrition - legal issues, legislation, insurance and indemnity, research governance framework.  

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Mini Qualitative research study Continuous Assessment Assessment 40 % Week 5 1,4
2 MSc research proposal Continuous Assessment Assignment 40 % Week 10 3,5
3 Online discussions Continuous Assessment Assignment 20 % OnGoing 1,2,3

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
2015-03-30 Nutrition Research Methodologies John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781118554678 ISBN-13 1118554671

Nutrition Research Methodologies Edited by Julie A Lovegrove, Leanne Hodson, Sangita Sharma and Susan A Lanham-New A new book in the acclaimed Nutrition Society Textbook Series, "Nutrition Research Methodologies" addresses the rapidly advancing field of nutrition research. It covers the diverse methodologies required for robust nutritional research to ensure thorough understanding of key concepts, both for students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and for scientists working in nutrition research. Combining theory with practical application, "Nutrition Research Methodologies" addresses both traditional research methods and new technologies, and focuses on a range of complex topics, including energy compensation, nutrient-gene interactions and metabolic adaptation. It also considers statistical issues as well as application of data to policy development. Provides the reader with the required scientific basics of nutrition research in the context of a systems and health approach Written specifically to meet the needs of individuals involved in nutrition research Combines the viewpoints of world-leading nutrition experts from academia and research with practical applications Accompanied by a companion website with a range of self-assessment material About the Editors: Professor Julie A Lovegrove, Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition and Institute for Cardiovascular Research, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, UK Associate Professor Leanne Hodson, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, UK Professor Sangita Sharma, Centennial Professor, Endowed Chair in Aboriginal Health, Professor of Aboriginal & Global Health Research, Aboriginal and Global Health Research Group, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Canada Professor Susan A Lanham-New, Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Biosciences and Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, UK With website: A supporting companion website featuring illustrations and self-assessment questions is available at Other books in the Nutrition Society Textbook Series: "Clinical Nutrition, Second Edition" ISBN: 978-1-4051-6810-6 "Sport and Exercise Nutrition " ISBN: 978-1-4443-3468-5 "Nutrition and Metabolism, Second Edition " ISBN: 978-1-4051-6808-3 "Introduction to Human Nutrition, Second Edition " ISBN: 978-1-4051-6807-6 "Public Health Nutrition" ISBN: 978-0-632-05627-9 For further information, companion material for use with these textbooks, and full details of how to purchase them, visit:

Recommended Reading
2007-04-01 Public Health Nutrition Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781741761207 ISBN-13 1741761204

A ground breaking text in the developing field of public health nutrition.' from the foreword by Basil S. Hetzel At last! A book that approaches public health nutrition in a scholarly, scientific and evidence based manner that at the same time delivers the practical competencies and skills required by the professional Public Health Nutritionist.' Elizabeth Belton, Senior Lecturer, School of Life Sciences, The Robert Gordon University. How can the nutritional health of populations be improved through action at local, national and global levels? The work of public health nutritionists is to bring population-wide perspectives to the relationship between food and health. Systematically drawing on international research, in Public Health Nutrition leading international practitioners present both the theoretical underpinnings and applied nature of the field of public health nutrition. The book is peer reviewed and divided into four sections: * Principles - presents conceptual frameworks, solutions, responsibilities and outcome measures, philosophical and evidential dimensions, standards and dietary guidelines. * Populations - explores groups for whom nutrition is especially relevant, providing analysis of the food and health relationship from physiological, social, cultural, political and economic perspectives. * Priorities - examines key issues including vulnerable populations, obesity, indigenous nutrition, international nutrition, the nutritional transition, food system trends and sustainability. * Practices - covers professional skills for public health practitioners including monitoring the food and nutrition situation of populations, physical activity, research skills, project management, professional practice, health promotion and communication, policy and politics. Public Health Nutrition is an essential resource for public health practitioners, researchers and administrators, as well as students of nutrition, dietetics and public health wishing to obtain advanced and specialised competencies.

Recommended 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.

Recommended Reading
2015-07-08 Qualitative Research from Start to Finish, Second Edition Guilford Publications
ISBN 9781462517978 ISBN-13 1462517978

This book will help readers understand the practice of qualitative research--whether they want to do it, teach it, or just learn about it. All the major research phases are encompassed (startup, design, data collection, analysis, and composing), including newly emerging trends. Numerous easy-to-read vignettes show how other scholars have successfully implemented specific procedures. Equally distinctive, the book presents qualitative research as an adaptive craft. The array of choices among different procedures and methods enables readers to customize their own studies and to accommodate different worldviews and genres. New to This Edition: *Stronger discussion of different worldviews (e.g., constructivism, postpositivism, and pragmatism) and how they relate to different methodological choices. *Clearer emphasis on doing a generalized qualitative study, while acknowledging 12 specialized genres (e.g., action-based research, arts-based research, autoethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, and others). *Expanded discussions of different kinds of qualitative study samples and of mixed methods. *New ideas on how to avoid getting stalled when analyzing qualitative data. *Consideration of an additional way of concluding a qualitative study: by taking action. Pedagogical Features *Chapters start with an abstract and end with a suggested exercise. *Key terms and concepts appear in boldface throughout the text and are listed in end-of-chapter recaps as well as in the book?s glossary. *Sections within each chapter start with a preview box: ?What you should learn from this section." *An appendix presents a semester- or yearlong field-based project.

Recommended Reading
2010-12-08 Qualitative Research Methods SAGE Publications Limited
ISBN 1412922267 ISBN-13 9781412922265

This comprehensive text takes a practical approach that mirrors the path that students follow in conducting a research project. The book is based on the authors' highly successful multidisciplinary qualitative methods workshops, which have been conducted for over a decade. They introduce a 'qualitative research cycle' that leads students through the selection of appropriate methods, the collection of data, and the transformation of findings into a finished project. The book provides a clear explanation of the nature of qualitative research and its key concepts.

Required Reading
2009-03-30 Qualitative Methods for Health Research SAGE
ISBN 9781847870742 ISBN-13 1847870740

Qualitative Methods for Health Research provides a thorough and practical introduction to designing, conducting, and appraising qualitative research. It is aimed particularly at students and researchers in fields such as public health, health services research, nursing and health promotion. Judith Green and Nicki Thorogood draw on over twenty years experience of teaching methodology to students from a range of backgrounds. They focus on applied research, but cover the essentials of theory and principles in an accessible way, with easy-to-follow guidance on how to apply core research skills to the particular contexts of health research.

Required Reading
2009 InterViews SAGE
ISBN 9780761925422 ISBN-13 0761925422

The First Edition of InterViews has provided students and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines with the whys and hows of research interviewing, preparing students for learning interviewing by doing interviews and by studying examples of best practice. The thoroughly revised Second Edition retains its original seven-stage structure, continuing to focus on the practical, epistemological, and ethical issues involved with interviewing. Authors Steinar Kvale and Svend Brinkmann also include coverage of newer developments in qualitative interviewing, discussion of interviewing as a craft, and a new chapter on linguistic modes of interview analysis. Practical and conceptual assignments, as well as new tool boxes, provide students with the means to dig deeper into the material presented and achieve a more meaningful level of understanding. New to This Edition Includes new developments in qualitative interviewing: New materials cover narrative, discursive, and conversational analyses. Presents interviewing as a social practice: Knowledge produced by interviewing is discussed as linguistic, conversational, narrative, relational, situated, and pragmatic. Addresses a variety of interviews forms: In addition to harmonious, empathetic interviews, the authors also cover confrontational interviews. Intended Audience This text is ideal for both novice and experienced interview researchers as well as graduate students taking courses in qualitative and research methods in the social sciences and health sciences, particularly departments of Education, Nursing, Sociology, Psychology, and Communication. Praise for the previous edition: I think this is one of the most in-depth treatments of the interview process that I have seen. The frank and realistic approach that the authors take to this topic is rather unique and will be very reassuring to researchers who are undertaking an interview study for the first time. Lisa M. Diamond, University of Utah

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Willett, Walter. Nutritional epidemiology. Vol. 40. Oxford university press, 2012. 

Qualitative research : standards, challenges and guidelines. 2001. The Lancet. London: 1823-ISSN:0140-6736 

Journal Resources

Journal of Public Health Nutrition  

Journal of Nutrition  

European Journal of Nutrition  

British Journal of Nutrition  

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  

Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 

Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour 

URL Resources

Mack, Natasha, C. Woodsong, K. MacQueen, G. Guest, E. Namey. 2005 Qualitative Research Methods.: A Data Collector’s Field Guide. USAID. Access at:'s%20Field%20Guide.pdf 

Sections of Saldana, J. (2015) Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Sage. Access companion website at: