Short courses


Nutrition and Public Health (a Global Perspective)

  • 30 hours
  • 2 weeks (3 days per week)


Nutrition is one of the major determinants of the health and wellbeing of children in all societies.

In order to design effective programmes to alleviate malnutrition (along with its adverse effects on health and developmental outcomes), it's essential to understand the causes, prevalence and severity of nutritional problems.

This short course will give you an overview of global nutrition epidemiology and policy.

You'll learn about the causes and impacts of malnutrition, as well as approaches to nutritional intervention in developmental and emergency contexts.

You'll also gain hands-on experience of anthropometry and survey analysis software.

This course is run by UCL's Institute for Global Health (IGH).

Course content

This course provides a concise and field-orientated overview of public health nutrition in development and emergency contexts.

You'll learn about enduring problems caused by undernutrition, as well as the obesity epidemic and the emerging challenges of the double burden of malnutrition.

Topics covered include:

  • the importance of nutrition in public health
  • the main determinants of malnutrition
  • methods of nutritional assessment
  • approaches to nutritional intervention

You'll also learn about more practical field issues, such as conducting surveys and running treatment programmes for severe acute malnutrition.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for professionals working for relevant organisations, including NGOs, UN agencies, the public sector and universities.

Teaching, structure and assessment

This course is taught on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays over two weeks.

It involves lectures, group work, practical hands-on training sessions on anthropometry and software tools, and independent learning.

Lecture notes and reference materials are provided via Moodle (a virtual learning environment), which you'll also use to access regular online quizzes to help monitor your progress.

As a short course student you won't be formally assessed, but you're expected to fully participate in group work. You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completion of the course.

This course can also be taken as a taster course, allowing you to earn UCL credits.

The taster course is assessed by a 2,000 word essay (80%) and a one-hour unseen MCQ exam (20%).

Find out more about the difference between short and taster courses on the IGH website.

Learning outcomes 

On completing this course you'll be able to:

  • outline the global prevalence of malnutrition, trends and future projections, and the main stakeholders and players in international nutrition
  • describe how nutrition interacts with other aspects of maternal and child health and gain awareness of the social, economic and cultural factors which impact on nutritional status
  • describe current global initiatives aimed at addressing malnutrition
  • interpret dietary requirement reference data with respect to populations and individuals
  • explain the basic nutritional physiology of key micronutrients and methods for their assessment
  • critically review current policy and practice relating to HIV/AIDS and nutrition/food security interventions
  • describe the range of nutrition interventions that are used in development and humanitarian contexts for preventing and treating different forms of malnutrition

Entry requirements 

For the short course you'll need:

  • professional work experience in a relevant area and/or a first or second-class honours degree in a relevant subject
  • a good standard of English proficiency

Cost and concessions

The fees for the short course are:

  • Home/EU - £850
  • Overseas - £1,200
  • Overseas low-middle income countries - £750
  • IGH staff - free 
  • other UCL staff - £400
  • IGH/UCL alumni - £650

The fees for the taster course are:

  • Home/EU - £950
  • Overseas - £1,300
  • Overseas low-middle income countries - £850
  • IGH staff - £100
  • other UCL staff - £500
  • IGH/UCL alumni - £750

Course team

Dr Andrew Seal

Dr Andrew Seal

Andrew is a Senior Lecturer at the IGH. He works on nutritional problems in populations affected by disasters, emergencies or HIV/AIDS. He leads the Nutrition in Crisis Research Group, which studies the epidemiology of malnutrition in emergency-affected populations, optimisation of food assistance, diagnosis and management of acute malnutrition, and approaches to human resource development and capacity building. He's worked in Bangladesh, Eastern Europe, and many countries in Africa.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00