POPLHLTH 765 : Nutrition Interventions in Public Health

Medical and Health Sciences

2024 Semester Two (1245) (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
Course Director

For any additional queries please contact:
Upendra Wickramarachchi
Group Services Administrator
FMHS Student Centre
Phone: (09) 923 2760
Email: fmhs@auckland.ac.nz

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 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 and compare individual and environmental models explaining health behaviour and relate them to nutrition behaviours in general. (Capability 2.1, 3.1 and 3.2)
  2. Prioritise a nutritional issue for a population group in Aotearoa New Zealand or internationally and explain the wider social determinants of the issue. (Capability 1.1, 1.2 and 5.1)
  3. Develop an appropriate nutrition intervention to address an identified nutritional issue for a specific population group in Aotearoa New Zealand, making sure to consider equity. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 5.1 and 8.1)
  4. Develop a rigorous plan for assessing the effectiveness of the a population nutrition intervention in Aotearoa New Zealand, and it's likely impact on equity. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 8.1 and 8.2)


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

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.
Some learning activities may be available as recordings or summary documents.
The course may include live online events including group discussions.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

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.

There will be three or fewer core 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.

2022 SET Evaluations
Here is what students said they liked about the course:
All students were satisfied with the quality of the course, thought it was easy to find course information and resources, were provided with opportunities to collaborate with peers and communicate with teaching staff, felt like they were a community of learners, were able to stay motivated and engaged with the course, and were satisfied with the small group teaching.  Almost all students said they understood how they would be assessed, the assessments supported the aims of the course, and they were provided with helpful feedback on their learning progress. 
Changes which were implemented in 2023:
To better connect students with the assessments, their peers from different backgrounds and experiences, and the learning outcomes, the final assignment was changed from being completed in pairs to groups of four.  The success of this change from a student point of view will be determined by 2023 SET evaluations, but students in class in 2023 said they agreed with the change and enjoyed working together in diverse groups.  This change has also enabled teaching staff to provide more detailed, constructive feedback for students. 

Other Information

This course is held at The University of Auckland Grafton Campus. The teaching days and times are (oddly) spread across the semester to fit with the dietetic teaching programme.  Four-hour teaching blocks are held on the following Tuesdays in 2024, from 9am to 1pm:  16th, 23rd, and 30th July; 10th, 24th Sept; and 8th Oct (weeks 29, 30, 31, 37, 39, 41).

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 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 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 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 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.