POPLHLTH 765 : Nutrition Interventions in Public Health

Medical and Health Sciences

2021 Semester One (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores the use of community-based nutrition interventions to reduce nutrition-related health inequalities, and focuses on the use of appropriate theories to understand the nutrition issue; the use of data and research in the design of evidence based nutrition interventions; and the design of rigorous evaluation plans to determine the effectiveness of the intervention.

Course Overview

The purpose of POPLHLTH 765 is to identify issues and inequities in population nutrition, examine  broader influences on population diets, and  learn how to develop and assess population nutrition interventions which address these aspects.  Delivery of the course is in four-hour blocks. Each session consists of lectures led by the teaching staff and topic experts from the School of Population Health and those working in the health sector. Class and small group discussions and activities are incorporated into each four-hour teaching block to facilitate student learning. This course is core for students in the MHSc Nutrition and Dietetics programme. Students in the Public Health programme are also eligible to enrol, and the content will be accessible for both groups of students.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Dr Helen Eyles, Senior Lecturer (returning from maternity leave mid-Feb 2021)
Course Director

For any additional queries please contact Indra Colambage Dona
Group Services Coordinator
FMHS Student Centre
Phone: (09) 923 2760
Email: fmhs@auckland.ac.nz

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 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe and compare individual and environmental models explaining health behaviour and relate them to nutrition behaviours in general. (Capability 1.1 and 2.2)
  2. Prioritise a nutritional issue for a population group in New Zealand or internationally and explain the wider social determinants of the issue. (Capability 3.1 and 6.1)
  3. Develop an appropriate nutrition intervention to address an identified nutritional issue for a specific population group in New Zealand, making sure to consider equity. (Capability 3.1)
  4. Develop a rigorous plan for assessing the effectiveness of the a population nutrition intervention in New Zealand, and it's likely impact on equity. (Capability 4.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 30% Individual Coursework
Assignment 30% Individual Coursework
Protocol and presentation 40% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Protocol and presentation

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course. Following University workload guidelines, a standard 15 point course represents approximately 150 hours of study, or approximately 10 hours per week.

During a typical teaching week there will be four hours of lectures, and two hours of reading and thinking about the content of the course.  For the six teaching weeks, this totals to 36 hours. Since the course as a whole represents approximately 150 hours of study, that leaves a total of 124 hours across the entire semester for independent study and working on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities to complete components of the course.  However, the course will be moved to an on-line format should there be a disruption preventing students from attending campus.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities may be available as recordings.
The course may include live online events including group discussions.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

There will be three or fewer readings, podcasts and/or videos required in preparation for each 4-hour teaching block.  In the event of a disruption preventing students attending campus, class activities will be moved to an on-line format and may require completion and preparation with another student or students enrolled in the course.  Course readings and resources will be posted on the University intranet system for teaching and learning, enabling students to access most resources online.

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.

Note:  the course was not evaluated in 2020 because the Course Director was on maternity leave.

2019 SET Evaluations (23 of 27 students responded)
Here is what students said they liked about the course:
Students said the aims of the course were clear to them and the resources, including digital resources, helped them to learn.  Major themes were that the course was well organised, the assignments helped them to learn, they were clearly informed about how they would be assessed, the course helped them to develop their thinking skills, and they liked the small group teaching.

Changes to be implemented in 2020:
Instructions for assignment 3 will be reviewed and clarified and the proportion of the mark allocated to group work will be reduced slightly.  Some group activities will also be modified slightly to ensure they are appropriate for a larger than usual class size (resulting from this course moving from year two to year one of the dietetic programme).  Note that the usual Course Director Dr Helen Eyles has organised the course for 2020 but as she will be on maternity leave the Course Director will be Prof Cliona NI Mhurchu.

Other Information

This course is held at The University of Auckland Grafton Campus. The teaching days and times for 2021 are:
9th and 23rd March, 20th April, 4th and 18th May, and 1st June (all Tuesdays from 9am to 1pm).

Digital 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.

Where possible, lecture slides will be provided prior to each 4-hour teaching block (including for guest lecturers).

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.

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 http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

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 https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

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 your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

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 https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.