BIOSCI 358 : Nutritional Science


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The scientific basis of nutrition focusing on its biochemistry and physiology in health and disease. Nutritional aspects of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and trace nutrients are covered in an integrated manner. The methodologies which underpin nutritional science and its applications are included. Reference will be made to a broad range of examples, and a number of specific nutritional topics of current interest will also be included.

Course Overview

This course focuses on the scientific basis of nutrition in an interdisciplinary manner, covering the biochemistry and physiology linking diet to health and disease. Nutritional aspects of macro- and micronutrients will be integrated within the exploration of nutritionally-related conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The course is structured into six themes, each consisting of a block of lectures followed by a theme tutorial. Course content will be focused on recent research and developments in the field, and as such, students will have the opportunity to critique and debate contemporary issues in nutritional science. Throughout the semester, students will also participate in a number of interactive laboratory sessions, where they will not only acquire practical skills related to dietary analysis but also, as the subjects of their own analyses, gain insight into their own nutritional status!

BIOSCI 358 is a required course in the BSc specialising in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition pathway), and also of interest to any students planning further study or a career in the areas of food, nutrition and metabolism, dietetics, health and/or biomedical science or bioscience enterprise.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 203

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Recognise, describe and explain the importance of nutrition to health, and relationship between diet and various diseases. (Capability 1)
  2. Describe and explain differences in nutritional needs both within and between populations. (Capability 1 and 6)
  3. Engage in group discussions and critical interactions. (Capability 2 and 3)
  4. Acquire practical skills and knowledge of the assessment of diet and dietary biomarkers. (Capability 1)
  5. Communicate concise information on the relationship between diet and disease. (Capability 1 and 4)
  6. Critically evaluate research literature. (Capability 2)
  7. Formulate, present, and defend their own opinion on a contemporary nutritional debate, in the context of existing scientific evidence. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Final Exam 45% Individual Examination
In-Course Theory Test 25% Individual Test
Laboratory Worksheets 15% Individual Coursework
Research Editorial 13% Individual Coursework
Theme Quizzes (Formative) 2% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Final Exam
In-Course Theory Test
Laboratory Worksheets
Research Editorial
Theme Quizzes (Formative)
Students must pass the practical (laboratory worksheets) and the theory (quizzes, test, research editorial and exam) independently to pass the course overall.


For more information and to find contact details for the School of Biological Sciences Tuākana coordinator, please see 

Key Topics

  • Energy balance & body weight regulation
  • Diet & cardiometabolic disease
  • Methods in nutritional science
  • Nutrition & metabolism across the lifespan
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Nutrition and gastrointestinal health

Special Requirements

  • Attendance at laboratories is compulsory. Students who are approved to take this course remotely will have alternative arrangements made
  • All tests and tutorials will take place during class-time, on campus, with the exception of one laboratory which will be held at the University of Auckland's Human Nutrition Unit.
  • Important information regarding the structure of the course, and the health and safety requirements for the laboratories will be presented in the first lecture session. All students are therefore required to attend this session.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 2.5 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation. A 3 hour laboratory is held every 2 weeks.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will be available as recordings when possible - however, please note that due to the nature of our course workshops these interactive discussions will not be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is required for the in-course theory test and exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions, or those with an exemption to study remotely.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The majority of this course will be based on research literature published in peer-review journals rather than text books. Information and links to these journal articles will be provided during lectures and in lecture material posted on Canvas. 

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 08/11/2021 10:23 p.m.