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Dietary Assessment Methods, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kostundersökningsmetodik

This syllabus is valid: 2018-01-01 valid to 2019-12-29 (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, 2017-09-25


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. 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. An important part of the course deals with methods for assessing the validity of dietary data collections.

Expected learning outcomes

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
  • Describe different type of measurement errors associated with dietary assessment methods and understand the consequences these can have
  • Understand the principles of the most common validation techniques and their advantages and limitations regarding dietary assessment methods 
  • Design a dietary survey in relation to a specific research question
  • Use the most common dietary assessment methods
  • Recommend methods to assess validity of dietary assessment methods
  • Apply ethical principles to a studyAnalytical 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
  • Discuss different validation techniques for dietary assessment methods
  • Review and evaluate another student report

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).

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.

A re-test will be offered within three months of the regular examination, however, re-test is offered no earlier than ten working days after the students have been told about the result of the regular examination and a copy of the student's exam is available. Furthermore, at least one more retest should be offered within one year from the regular examination. If the examination or practical assignments cannot be repeated under the current rules for retesting it may instead be replaced with another task. The scope and content of such task shall be proportionate to the failed test / practical assignment

For rules and regulations about the examination/assessment see the University’s 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.



Valid from: 2018 week 4

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 Album, the University Library catalogue

Good research practise
The Swedish Research Council's group on ethics : 2017 :

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 Album, the University Library catalogue

Perspective: An Extension of the STROBE Statement for Observational Studies in Nutritional Epidemiology (STROBE-nut) [Elektronisk resurs] : 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.