DIETETIC 703 : Clinical Nutrition: Disease Pathophysiology and Management

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Provides basic and practical material for professional application of clinical nutrition knowledge to dietetic practice and case management. Includes the aetiology and pathophysiology of disease states that are relevant to, and underpin, nutritional management and/or treatment. Includes assessment of nutritional status and nutritional requirements, fluid and electrolyte management, nutrition therapy by tube feeding, and dietetic management of various disease states.

Course Overview

Provide students with an understanding of biological and nutrition science; disease aetiology and pathophysiology that is relevant to, and underpin, the principles of clinical nutrition care and treatment.

DIETETIC 703 is a core course in the Master of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Director: Dr Amy Lovell

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the aetiological and pathophysiological basis of diseases that underpin clinical nutrition management and/or treatment (Capability 1.1, 3.1 and 3.2)
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of relevant disease pathophysiology sufficient to aid the safe practice of dietetics and safe prescribing within the scope of practice (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1 and 5.1)
  3. Describe the nutrition science and medical nutrition therapy for people in states of health and disease (Capability 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of methods of nutritional assessment and malnutrition screening tools (Capability 3.3, 4.1, 6.1, 6.2 and 7.1)
  5. Outline body composition assessment and interpretation of this as relevant to individual care (Capability 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3)
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the limitations and provisional status of knowledge in nutrition and dietetics (Capability 4.1, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1 and 8.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignment 1 30% Individual Coursework
Assignment 2 40% Individual Coursework
Case Studies 30% Peer Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Case Studies

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 66 hours of lectures and tutorials, 20 hours of reading course materials and 64 hours of reading, preparing for / working on assessments and self-directed learning.

Delivery Mode


Attendance is required at scheduled online activities to complete the course.

The course may at times include live online events including group discussions and tutorials and these will be recorded.

Attendance on campus is required for the exam.

Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement.

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.

To support student learning the CANVAS learning management system will contain lecture slides, assignment information and link to a recommended MHSc Nut & Diet Talis reading list. A Masters of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics library database page will be available to students via the library or CANVAS sites. 

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester 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 and respond with summaries and actions.

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

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic staff will provide feedback to the class addressing issues raised by class representatives or via the central tools. 

Other Information

A fundamental principle of the course is the assimilation of knowledge and the acquiring of new skills within an online environment. It is therefore expected that students will listen to / watch all online content and attend assignment discussions. Students are also expected to adhere to the FMHS Clinical Programme Fitness to Practise Policy. 

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, 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.

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.

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.