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Dietary Assessment Methods, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kostundersökningsmetodik

This syllabus is valid: 2023-07-24 and until further notice

Course code: 2KN030

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Food and Nutrition: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science

Revised by: Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science, 2022-10-17


The course include theoretical understanding of basic nutritional epidemiology, different dietary assessment methods and ethical aspects of dietary research, and  practical application  of different methods for data collection as well as analyses of the results. Research in the discipline of nutritional studies is examined and discussed. The course focuses mainly on problems that deal with dietary assessment and how these errors can be detected. An important part of the course deals with methods for assessing the validity of dietary data collections.

The course consists of two parts.
Part 1, 4hp
This part deals with different types of study designs in nutritional epidemiology, the principles of the most common dietary assessment methods and methods for assessing the validity of dietary assessments. The practical part where dietary assessment methods are applied is initiated.
Part 2, 3,5 hp
The result of the practical application of dietary assessment methods is presented and discussed. This part of the course also includes planning a fictive study, with a particular focus on research ethics, study design, dietary assessment method and validation. Opposition to other students' works is included.

Expected learning outcomes

Part 1
On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the principles of common types of study designs in nutritional epidemiology
  • Understand the principles of the most common dietary assessment methods
  • Understand the principles of the most common validation techniques and their advantages and limitations regarding dietary assessment methods 


  • Use the most common dietary assessment methods

Analytical ability and attitude

  • Discuss different validation techniques for dietary assessment methods 

Part 2
On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding

  • Describe different type of measurement errors associated with dietary assessment methods and understand the consequences these can have


  • Design a dietary survey in relation to a specific research question
  • Recommend methods to assess validity of dietary assessment methods
  • Apply ethical principles to a study

Analytical ability and attitude

  • Discuss the advantages and limitations of different study designs in relation to specific research questions
  • Discuss the advantages and limitations of different dietary assessment methods in relation to specific research questions

Required Knowledge

Pass grades in at least 90 ECTS in Food and Nutrition, including 15 credits thesis or equivalent. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/6 (IELTS (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 5.5 and no individual score below 5.0. TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) with a minimum total score of 530 and a minimum TWE score of 4. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) with a minimum total score of 72 and a minimum score of 17 on the Writing Section).

Form of instruction

The teaching is conducted on the basis of a study guide. Lectures, compulsory discussions and compulsory group and individual assignments take place via a web platform, which requires access to the Internet.
All teaching is in English.

Examination modes

Part 1
Examination will take place through written assignments, individual as well as group assignments, and group discussions on the web platform, part one is graded with pass (G) or fail (U)
Part 2
This part will be examined by individual written assignments and a video assignment. Two of the written assignments are graded pass (G), pass with distinction (VG), or fail (U).
Full course
To pass the course, all work must at least be graded pass (G). To pass the course with distinction (VG), both written assignments where VG is a possible grade must be graded VG.

A re-examination will be offered no later than two months after the ordinary examination, however, the re-examination will be offered no earlier than ten working days after the result of the ordinary examination has been announced and a copy of the student's exam is available for the student. For exams conducted during May and June, the first retest may be offered within three months of the regular examination.
In addition, at least one further re-examination must be offered within one year from the regular examination. In cases where exams or compulsory teaching elements cannot be repeated in accordance with current rules for re-examination and retraining, it may instead be replaced by another assignment. The scope and content of such a task must be proportionate to the missed mandatory element.
Deviations from the syllabus can be made for a student who has been granted educational support due to a disability. Individual adaptation of the examination form will be considered based on the student's needs. The form of examination is adapted within the framework of the syllabus's expected study outcomes. At the request of the student, the teacher responsible for the course, in consultation with the examiner, must promptly decide on an adapted examination form. The decision must then be notified to the student.
Students who fail at one examination have the opportunity to take part in renewed examination on a total of at least five occasions. A student has the right to request a change of examiner after two failed tests on parts of the course. The Director of Studies is contacted in such cases. The examinations based on this syllabus can be guaranteed for two years after the student's first registration on the course. Students who have been graded pass on a test can not undergo a re-examination. In the event that the syllabus expires or undergoes major changes, students are guaranteed at least three examination opportunities (including ordinary examination opportunity) according to current syllabus for a maximum period of two years from the date the previous syllabus expired or the course ceased to be offered.
Equivalency credits
The equivalence of course credits (completely or partially) can be assessed (see the Umeå University Code of Rules and Procedures). An application can be made on a special form according to the Student Services directive.


Valid from: 2024 week 1

Gibson Rosalind S.
Principles of nutritional assessment
2. ed. : New York : Oxford University Press : 2005 : xx, 908p. b ill. :
ISBN: 0-19-517169-1
Search the University Library catalogue

Good research practise
The Swedish Research Council's group on ethics : latest version :

Basic epidemiology [electronic resource]
Bonita R., Beaglehole R., Kjellström Tord.
2nd ed. : Geneva : World Health Organization : c2006. : 1 online resource (xi, 213 p.) :
ISBN: 9789240681835 (electronic bk.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Perspective: An Extension of the STROBE Statement for Observational Studies in Nutritional Epidemiology (STROBE-nut) : Explanation and Elaboration
Hörnell Agneta, Berg Christina, Forsum Elisabet, Larsson Christel, Sonestedt Emily, Akesson Agneta, Lachat Carl, Hawwash Dana, Kolsteren Patrick, Byrnes Graham, De Keyzer Willem, Van Camp John, Cade Janet E., Greenwood Darren C., Slimani Nadia, Cevallos Myriam, Egger Matthias, Huybrechts Inge, Wirfalt Elisabet

Scientific papers (mainly from the peer-reviewed journals) will also be used during the course.