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NUTN401 Principles of Human Nutrition

An overview of macronutrients and micronutrients, including analysis of topical research specific to each nutrient. Assessment of nutritional status, with particular emphasis on dietary assessment and interpretation.

This paper is relevant for health or education professionals who want to develop or update their nutrition knowledge and skills to complement their work as:

  • General practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Dentists
  • Public health professionals
  • School teachers with a background in biological sciences (eg physical education, food technology or home economics teachers)

Note that this paper does not prepare participants to practise as dietitians.

Paper title Principles of Human Nutrition
Paper code NUTN401
Subject Human Nutrition
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,801.00
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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CMNX 401, NUTX 401
A core paper for PGCertHealSc, PGDipHealSc, MHealSc endorsed in Human Nutrition; may also be taken by other approved students.

Eligible students will be professionals in the healthcare and education sectors without a background in human nutrition but with a background in biological sciences or health science.

Teaching staff

Professor Rachel Brown

Paper Structure

The modules that comprise the paper are as follows:

  • Introduction to nutrition
  • Dietary assessment methodology
  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals and trace elements
Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is taught remotely.

The paper is distance-taught using Zoom.

Zoom sessions run from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on alternate Tuesdays. The zoom sessions run as tutorials rather than lectures, and there is an expectation that students will have read material provided prior to the session and participate in the discussion.


Understanding Nutrition, Eleanor Noss Whitney; Sharon Rady Rolfes; Tim Crowe; Adam Walsh3rd Australian and New Zealand Edition. South Melbourne, VIC. Cengage Learning, 2017.
The textbook is available by ebook

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

  • Assess dietary practices of individuals using the appropriate dietary assessment methodology.
  • Describe the roles of macronutrients and micronutrients in the body.
  • Evaluate nutrition advice and claims made by the popular media and food industry.
  • Search the scientific literature and critically evaluate a scientific article in nutrition.
  • Evaluate recent developments in nutritional science.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system