Nutritional Aspects of Pregnancy, Infancy and Childhood

Key information

Start date:
To be confirmed

Contact details:

Module overview

This module will summarise the state of the art and 'hot topics' in the field of nutritional management of pregnancy, infancy and childhood.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Describe the role of optimal nutritional status in successful conception, pregnancy and lactation including the roles for specific micronutrients and trace elements
  • Discuss the recommended nutritional requirements of the full-term infant and how these may be met by human milk and currently available artificial milk formulae
  • Relate the factors involved in the development of eating patterns and shaping of food choices to nutritionally ‘at risk' groups within the infant and child populations
  • Critically evaluate the role of nutrition in fertility
  • Critically examine theories of infant feeding and food preference development
  • Evaluate available strategies for the prevention and treatment of maternal and childhood obesity
  • Appraise strategies for promoting positive eating behaviours in the home and school settings
  • Evaluate the impact of appropriate nutritional counselling strategies for pregnant, infant and child populations in own professional practice.

Course content

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

  • Pre-conceptual nutrition and nutritional infertility
  • Physiology and metabolic demands of pregnancy and lactation: Body composition, weight gain, energy costs of pregnancy and lactation, managing maternal obesity
  • Nutritional needs of pregnancy and lactation:
    • Essential fatty acids - effects of deficiency on development of brain and vision etc.
    • Folic acid and neural tube defects
    • Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins
    • Calcium needs in relation to fetal growth and lactation
    • Iron - effects of deficiency on mental and motor development etc.
    • Trace element nutrition
    • Nutritional causes of low birth weight and reduced linear growth
  • Nutritional aspects of pre-eclampsia
  • Feeding the infant:
    • Nutrient requirements
    • Human and substitute milks
    • Weaning and weaning foods
  • Childhood:
    • Nutritional needs for normal growth and development
    • Assessment
    • The healthy diet
    • Development of healthy eating habits
    • Nutrition and school
    • Obesity in children management of fussy eatinG.

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Pre-reading and critical appraisal of scientific publications and websites
  • Lectures and seminars
  • In class small group work
  • In class discussions and debate.


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, Kathryn Hart, 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

Kathryn Hart profile image

Dr Kath Hart

Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics

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