MEDSCI 709 : Nutrition in Health and Disease

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The influence that dietary patterns, foods and food components have on the promotion and protection against the common nutrition-related diseases in New Zealand. The relevant epidemiological, clinical, and biochemical/physiological aspects of each disease are covered.

Course Overview

This course provides students with the theoretical knowledge and skills to evaluate and disseminate evidence-based
research on the role of nutrition in health and disease, with a focus on health at each stage of life and common non-communicable diseases.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Director - Dr David Musson

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Compare and contrast the strength of evidence provided by different research study designs, and make appropriate conclusions based on experimental methods. (Capability 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 and 8.2)
  2. Understand and describe dietary patterns' influence on promoting and protecting health and disease. (Capability 1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1)
  3. Identify gaps in our understanding of how nutrition impacts health and disease and determine approaches to fill those knowledge gaps. (Capability 1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2 and 8.1)
  4. Communicate nutrition-related research orally and in writing. (Capability 3.1, 4.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2 and 8.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Multiple choice questions test 10% Individual Test
Article critique 10% Individual Coursework
Literature review 30% Individual Coursework
Poster presentation 25% Individual Coursework
Small group project - oral presentation 25% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Multiple choice questions test
Article critique
Literature review
Poster presentation
Small group project - oral presentation

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 24 hours of lectures, 24 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 72 hours of work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled seminars.

Course content will be provided through short online videos, related reading material, in person lectures and discussion-led tutorials.

Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will also be available as recordings, where possible.

The course will include live group discussions and presentations. Attendance is required for these activities.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

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 intention is to provide an up-to-­date view based on the most current research and to enhance skills that will be useful in the work place and for further studies. No single textbook covers the scope of the course, and it is intended that individual lecturers refer students to 2-3 current articles on their topic. 

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.

Provisions have been made to give content through extracurricular materials, in addition to in person teachings.

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.