Nutritional Epidemiology and Research Skills - 2018

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 4
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment - 1500 word assignment (35%) , Critical Analysis - 500 word critical analysis (15%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 1,169.00
HECS 1,169.00

In this subject you will develop an understanding of the fundamentals of epidemiology, the main study designs and research concepts of direct relevance to the role of food and nutrition in the prevention and causation of disease. Nutritional epidemiology techniques for the assessment of diet and body composition of individuals and populations are covered in depth. The course covers sources of data on mortality and morbidity, measures of disease prevalence, incidence and risk, chance, bias and confounding. Standard and non-parametric statistical techniques will be reviewed and you will have the opportunity to analyse a population dataset. You will acquire knowledge and skills that form the foundation for research practice in nutrition.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. to critically analyse and be able to design epidemiological studies in nutrition
  2. to be able to critically appraise epidemiological studies in nutrition
  3. to understand and apply the concepts of measurement of disease, including prevalence, incidence and risk, chance, bias and confounding
  4. to reflect on and synthesise the role of food and nutrition in the prevention and causation of disease
  5. to effectively apply skills in the measurement and assessment of dietary intake of individuals and populations
  6. to effectively apply skills in the measurement and assessment of anthropometry and body composition of individuals and population groups
  7. to gain practical skills in biostatistics and be able to analyse and interpret a small population dataset
  8. to reflect on and synthesise the principles of ethics to the conduct of nutrition research.
  • Assignment — 1500 word assignment (35%)
  • Critical Analysis — 500 word critical analysis (15%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam — 2 hour written exam (40%)
  • Quiz — 20 min online test (10%)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

  • Other special requirement — This subject is offered via Open Universities Australia. La Trobe University students can undertake this subject as part of a cross institutional enrolment under certain circumstances, and must seek approval from the Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Course Coordinator for eligibility. Due to the nature of the subject content and online delivery, enrolments are generally not permitted past the published OUA enrolment date for the study period.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to epidemiology and research methods
2The research process
4Measurements of disease exposure and occurrence
5Confidence intervals, relative risk, odds ratios
6Accuracy measures in epidemiology
7Nutritional biomarkers in epidemiology
8Quality criteria and levels of evidence
9Australian Health Survey results
10Epidemiology in diet and disease
11Food composition databases
12Human research ethics

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Web links

Print based materials

  • Study Guide

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Online Assessment
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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