Postgraduate taught 

Human Nutrition MSc(MedSci)

Obesity And Weight Management Specialisation MED5161

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Through lectures and seminars, students will learn and appraise scientific evidence on the occurrence, causes, and consequences of being overweight and obesity. Students will also critically evaluate methods that prevent and treat overweight and obesity and will learn and appraise the key principles of lifestyle regimens for weight management.


Classes will meet several times a week during semester 2

Excluded Courses

MED5104, MED5182, MED5199




A 90 min written examination (50%).

This will cover intended learning objectives 1, 2, 4 and 5.

An individual coursework case study of 1750 (+/-10%) words (50%).

This will cover intended learning objectives 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

To provide students with the skills to obtain, and critically evaluate, the scientific evidence on

overweight/obesity, including its prevalence, its aetiology, health consequences and prevention and management.

To develop competency in patient assessment, design and delivery of weight management regimens, monitoring and audit for service improvement.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of this specialisation course students will be able to:


1. Critically review and discuss the epidemiology of obesity and overweight and the reasons for its development.

2. Critically discuss, with reference to the evidence, the scale of obesity and weight gain problem in relation to health economics, the health complications of weight gain and the benefits of managed weight loss.

3. Critically review strategies for primary health care/community management of obesity: from recruitment and referral to specialist care and evaluation.

4. Discuss critically the evidence and guidelines on overweight/obesity treatment strategies, including nutrition, physical activity, pharmaceutical, surgical management and behavioural management

5. Critically review evidence for prevention of obesity and overweight and of obesity related health conditions in both adults and children.

6. Communicate effectively and present research evidence and ideas clearly in a style appropriate to a variety of different audiences using different media.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

For students on MSc Human Nutrition with specialisation:

As per the Association for Nutrition accreditation requirements students must submit all assessment components and achieve a minimum grade of D3 in each component.


For students on MSc Human Nutrition with Knowledge Transfer:

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.