Institute for Global Health


Nutrition and public health

Nutrition is one of the major determinants of the health and well being of children in all societies. Accurate understanding of the causes, prevalence and severity of nutritional problems is essential to designing effective programmes for the alleviation of malnutrition and its associated adverse effects on health and developmental outcomes.

This module provides you with an understanding of the public health importance of nutrition, the main determinants of malnutrition, methods of nutritional assessment, and approaches to nutritional intervention in both developmental and emergency contexts. It covers global nutrition epidemiology and policy, as well as focusing on more practical field issues, such as conducting surveys and running treatment programmes for severe acute malnutrition.

Module Code: CIHDG016

UCL Credits: 15

Module Organisers: Dr Andrew Seal  Please direct queries to the course administration team in the first instance igh.adminpg@ucl.ac.uk

Who can study this course?

MSc/PG Dip Global Health and Development students, other UCL MSc/PG Dip students, TropEd students, Taster course students and Short course students, subject to availability.

Admission Requirements

MSc and PG Dip students: Open to all UCL MSc/PG Dip Global Health and Development, and to any UCL MSc/PG Dip students.

tropEd students: evidence that you are registered as a tropEd student, successful completion of core course.

Taster students: UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or upper 2nd class Honours or an equivalent qualification.  Two academic or professional reference letters.

Short course students: Professional work experience in a relevant area and/or UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant/allied subject awarded with a 1st or 2nd class Honours or an equivalent qualification.

In addition to the above, all students must demonstrate a GOOD standard of English Proficiency with 6.5 in each of the subtests.

Course length 3 weeks 
Course dates 12 to 28 March 2018
Days and times Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 09.30 to 12.30 and 14.00 to 16.30 for the three weeks. Assessment to be completed in the final week.


· Nutritional status assessment

· Dietary assessment

· Protein energy malnutrition

· Obesity and the double burden of malnutrition`

· Micronutrient malnutrition

· Food security and livelihoods

· Nutrition in emergencies

· HIV/AIDS and nutrition

· Analysing nutrition surveys with ENA software

· Using general food ration planning software (NutVal)

Teaching and learning methods

  • Lectures
  • Critical review of the literature
  • Assignment
  • Self-study
  • Group work and role-plays
  • Computer practical
  • Moodle (the institutional Virtual Learning Environment) is used for lecture notes and links to reference materials


Essay 80% (2000 words)

Unseen multiple choice exam 20% (1 hour).

Assessment Date

Exam: 27 March 2018 tbc

Essay: 9 am on 9 April 2018

Selected Reading List

Semba R D, Bloem M W (2008) (2nd Edition) Nutrition and Health in Developing Countries. Humana Press

Micronutrient Malnutrition:


Emergency Nutrition Network (publishers of Field Exchange)

Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS)


United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition