Clinical Nutrition and Nutritional Support

Key information

Start date:
15 April 2024
Attendance dates:

15, 16, 17 April 2024

Leggett Building, Manor Park campus, University of Surrey, Daphne Jackson Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7WG
Contact details:

Module overview

This module aims to give you an understanding of the way malnutrition and disease influence body composition, metabolism and function especially of the gut, and nutritional demands.

It will critically review the methods of nutrient delivery in a clinical setting, their effectiveness and limitations. It will also cover novel areas of nutrition support such as immunonutrition as well as organisational and ethical aspects of nutritional support.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain how clinical and functional metabolic states influence nutritional needs.
  • Describe methods of assessment of clinical and functional metabolic state.
  • Discuss the way malnutrition and disease influence body composition, metabolism and function (especially of the gut), and nutritional demands.
  • Describe the different types of nutrition support.
  • Discuss the causes of malnutrition and their consequences for nutritional needs.
  • Evaluate how nutritional support is organised in a clinical setting, the range of feeds and feeding methods available, including novel substrates, and their effectiveness.
  • Interpret how nutritional requirements are affected by common clinical disease states.
  • Reflect on the methods of nutrient delivery in own clinical setting, their effectiveness and limitations, the role of conditionally essential nutrients, the opportunities for utilisation of functional foods and the organisation of nutritional support.

Course content

Indicative content includes, some or all of the following topics:

  • Nutritional assessment in the clinical setting.
  • Assessment of clinical and functional metabolic state; assessment of gastrointestinal function in health and disease; effect of functional state on nutritional status; nutrition and immune status; effect of status on clinical outcomes
  • Metabolic stress: anorexia and starvation, injury, infection, burns, surgery, etc.
  • The gastrointestinal tract in the inflammatory state.
  • Nutritional requirements and metabolic stress: macronutrients and micronutrients.
  • Special clinical situations: nutritional and biochemical aspects of inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, liver disease, alcoholism, renal disease, diabetes, cancer cachexia, stroke, multiple organ failure (in the ITU setting), malabsorption, anorexia and bulimia etc.
  • General principles of nutritional support; routes of support, including:
    • Food
    • Oral nutritional supplements (ONS)
    • Enteral nutrition (EN)
    • Appropriate use of parenteral nutrition (PN)
    • Peripheral PN 
    • Home PN and home enteral tube feeding (HETF)
    • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding
    • Complications of PN
    • Refeeding syndrome
    • Paediatric nutritional support.
  • Benefits of nutritional support.
  • Novel substrates, functional foods, immunonutrition.
  • Common myths in clinical nutrition.
  • Nutritional support teams: roles and dynamics.
  • Ethical issues: case studies.

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures (9am to 6pm during three day module)
  • Workshops (these may be included at the lecturer’s discretion)
  • Journal club (the lectures usually include discussion of scientific papers)
  • Class discussions (5-10 minutes following each lecture)
  • Pre-course reading (this is circulated to students before the module).


Assessment for the module is optional for those taking it as a short course. Assessment is compulsory if it is being taken as part of an award programme. Please contact the course leader, Martin Whyte, or the Programme Administrator, Angeliki Panagiotara, for further details.

Summative assessment

The summative assessment for this module consists of: 

  • Coursework: a range of subject areas will be assessed, demonstrating learning outcomes across the range for the module.
  • You will be required to submit the coursework electronically on a set deadline two months following the module.

In order to complete the assessments you will, as a starting point, be required to demonstrate knowledge obtained from the course material and reading. The essays will also require you to discuss and reflect on the material. Coursework essays are expected to be well researched and referenced.

Formative assessment

You will receive feedback electronically and module organisers will be available for further discussion if necessary.

Course leader

Martin Whyte profile image

Dr Martin Whyte

Associate Professor of Metabolic Medicine

Reading list

You will be required to do some reading prior to the module starting, take a look at the reading list.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 UK honours degree in either a medical degree (MBBS, MBChB), Biology, Biological Sciences, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nutrition, Nutritional Science, Human Nutrition, Dietetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Natural Sciences, Pharmacology, Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Sport and Exercise Science, Psychology, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.

Applications that do not meet these criteria will also be considered based on relevant experience.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

Fees and funding


How to apply

Please download and fill in an application form.

Send your form back to us at the address or email included on the form.

Please ensure that you have completed all sections and answered all questions, uncompleted forms may result in delays and ultimately missing out on available places. 

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.

Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read the full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Angeliki Panagiotara Programme Administrator

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH