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Dietary Assessment Methods, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kostundersökningsmetodik

This syllabus is valid: 2015-01-05 valid to 2017-12-31 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

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: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science

Revised by: Head of Department of Food and Nutrition, 2014-12-15


The course deals with study design, the most common dietary assessment methods and their advantages and disadvantages as well as possible sources of error. The course include a theoretical part dealing with basic nutritional epidemiology, different dietary assessment methods and ethical aspects of dietary research, and a practical part where the student uses different methods for data collection and analyses the results. Current research in the discipline of nutritional studies is examined and discussed. The course focuses mainly on problems that deal with exposure measurement and how these errors can be detected and possibly corrected. An important part of the course deals with methods for assessing the validity and probability of dietary data collections.

Expected learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
  • Understand the underlying principles of the most common dietary assessment methods
  • Describe different type of measurement errors associated with dietary assessment methods and understand the consequences these can have
  • Use the most common dietary assessment methods
  • Recommend methods to detect and if possible correct errors in dietary assessment methods
Analytical ability and attitude
  • Compare and argue the strengths and weaknesses of different dietary assessment methods in relation to specific research questions
  • Discuss ethical aspects of dietary assessment methods

Required Knowledge

Univ: 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 (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). Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

This is a part-time distance learning course. Lectures, discussions, mandatory group- and individual assignments will be web-based. Access to Internet  is therefore required. All teaching material will be in English. When foreign students take part in the course all group discussions and different assignments will also be in English.

Examination modes

Assessment is based on written assignments of which two are graded pass (G), pass with distinction (VG), or fail (U). To pass the course, all work  must at least be graded pass (G). To pass the course with distinction (VG), the two assignments where VG is a possible grade must be graded VG.
For rules and regulations about the examination/assessment see the Umeå University Code of Rules and Procedures.
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.