13 - 17 January 2020

Course details

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Fees:
    -  Medical Doctors -  £985
    Nurses and AHPs - £750

      Assessment (optional) - £250

 Registration process

Step 1: Email us your qualifications and/or a short CV to

Step 2: Register Online (for those accepted on the course)

This short course is one of the modules from the MRes Clinical Research programme

This pathway specific module provides a greater insight into the academic, clinical, practical, and regulatory requirements of human nutrition and introduces the latest in cutting-edge research.


In this module you will discuss and debate the research methods required to study human nutrition in controlled and free living situations. You will explore body composition methodology as a way of highlighting these techniques. You will be exposed to the latest imaging, metabolic enquiry and nutritional epidemiology techniques. During this module you will gain skills in measuring diet, nutritional status and body composition. You will also build on skills of critical appraisal, data interpretation and presentation in relation to nutrition research.

You will discuss the research methods required to study human nutrition in controlled and free living situations and be equiped with the skills to evaluate body composition in a variety of populations and settings. You will also gain skills in how to measure diet, and nutritional status in a variety of populations and settings. Detailed information of the latest imaging, metabolic enquiry and nutritional epidemiology techniques will be provided. You will also enhance and develop skills of critical appraisal, data interpretation and presentation in relation to nutrition research.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module, participants should be able to:

1. Examine how the basic components of dietary intake relate to health and the aetiology of disease.

2. Evaluate a range of dietary assessment methods to determine nutritional status in a variety of populations and settings.

3. Differentiate epidemiological versus experimental methods when assessing nutritional intake and status and explain how these might be applied in both the research and clinical settings.

4. Appraise the application of cutting edge tools and technologies such as metabolomics in the context of human nutrition.

5. Undertake practical techniques and interpret body composition or dietary intake data.

Module Schedule

The module is delivered as a 5 day block at the start of term 2. Students will be provided with self-directed learning materials prior to the block teaching commencing (flipped learning), which will be used to enhance active teaching sessions during the module. Further formative tasks and support will be available throughout and following the module.

Assessment (optional)

The summative assessment for the module will consist of one practical (OSCE style) session led by two of the teaching team (both Registered Dietitians), in which students will independently be asked to take a measure of body composition or dietary assessment of one of either 1) waist circumference 2)bioelectrical impedence, 3)24 hour dietary recall or 4) completing a validated nutrition screening tool. Following the practical aspect, there will be a short series of questions to assess whether students can verbally interpret the results (based on relevant evidence based guidelines) and students will be further questioned on the topic e.g. what are limitations of the method, in what setting is the method appropriate. These practical skills are regularly undertaken by Registered Dietitians working clinically and in the research setting. The total practical assessment including questions will take approximately 20 minutes per student, including questions and the oral questioning will be similar in format to an oral examination The students can also undertake additional formative assessment via e-learning on the Blackboard Learn platform.

The practical assessment is schedules to take place the W/C 17th February (date TBC)

More information

Course content

Topics covered:
  • Fat’ body composition. 
  • Appetite regulation and GI tract.
  • What is a healthy diet?  (Healthy eating guidelines and evidence behind them).
  • RCTs in nutritional research: basic principles and challenges
  • Public Health Nutrition – research to policy
  • Meta-analyses in nutritional research: introduction to basic principles, diet and cancer (WCRF)
  • Nutritional Epidemiology (and flipped session)
  • Introduction to dietary assessment
  • Introduction to practical session using dietary assessment methods (Dietplan)
  • Practical session: taking a 24 hour recall
  • Practical session: Dietplan analysis
  • Body composition: theory of measurement methods
  • Energy expenditure / energy balance: theory and practice
  • Measuring Body Composition – practical session: anthropometric measurements
  • Data analyses – inter and intra measurement error assessment. 
  • Appetite regulation: fMRI
  • Undernutrition workshop (MUST screening tool)
  • Nutrition through the lifecourse- early stages (pre-conception to childhood)
  • Changing diet: behaviour change – key concepts
  • New advances in nutrition research: metabolomics: assessment of dietary patterns using metabolic profiling
  • Appetite regulation: brain
Final timetable to be confirmed prior to the course


Who should attend?

The MRes programme is designed primarily for those with a Clinical or Biomedical background, including Healthcare Professionals.

MRes Clinical Research - Background

Introduction / Purpose and Background

The primary objective of the programme is to provide a broad training in and practical experience of designing, implementing, and reporting clinical studies, with the majority of graduates going on to undertake PhD degrees in relevant fields, and other graduates have gone on to work in research and clinical settings as well as Industry.

Link to programme web pages:

A range of learning approaches including team work, e-learning and problem based learning are deployed, with active teaching and learning forming a large proportion of taught activities. Breaks between block modules provides students with space for reflection, integration of concepts e.g. application to their research project, and open-ended problems, for example working on the e-learning based module ‘critical appraisal’.

As this is an MRes programme, the focus is on research, with the research project allowing you to implement essential research skills supported by your supervisor(s). Project options are provided by staff, however, if you have a particular topic in mind this can also be considered. The key criteria are that:

  • the research question is examined using appropriate design and methodology
  • the project is feasible given available time-scales, and
  • the scope and depth are sufficient for Master’s level study

 Course Aims

The aims and learning outcomes of the programme are to allow students to:

1. Utilise innovative technologies in specific areas of clinical research and explain concepts, theories and developments that underpin novel clinical investigation.

2. Apply and justify regulations, including clinical governance and ethics, in the context of clinical research.  

3. Formulate hypotheses and research methodologies by applying the principles that govern research design.

4. Interpret and critically analyse data and information from a wide range of sources using relevant computational tools and packages.

5. Communicate advanced scientific concepts and evidence in a variety of formats

6. Work as part of a team to apply creative solutions and critical thinking to complex clinical problems. 

 7. Develop, implement, troubleshoot and organise a substantial programme of original research in a clinical context.

8. Perform measurement and analysis techniques using appropriate laboratory and clinical methods in a clinical research setting.

 9. Retrieve, manage, analyse and integrate complex scientific information into a specific research area. 

10. Generate novel experimental data and critically appraise their quality and importance in the field of clinical research. 

11. Independently defend novel research findings in the context of the wider literature. 

Course Methods

The course consists of 5 modules given as lectures and hands-on practical sessions. Students undertake 4 compulsory modules (Research Conduct & Clinical Research Measures, Clinical Research Scenarios, Critical Appraisal, Research Project) and one speciality module (either *Human Nutrition, *Diabetes and Obesity, Translational Medicine) depending on the pathway.

*The Diabetes and Obesity and Human Nutrition modules are the only two modules offered as short courses.