Tools and Techniques in Nutrition Research

Course content

This course offers a comprehensive overview of available methodologies for assessing and evaluating dietary intake (ranging from subjective questionnaires to objective biomarkers of intake), body composition, energy metabolism, and appetite regulation in humans. It combines theoretical knowledge with practical exercises.



MSc Programme in Human Nutrition

Learning outcome

The main objective of the course is to provide a solid understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using a variety of methodologies that are available for assessing dietary intake, body composition, energy metabolism, appetite regulation, and biomarkers.


  • Describe different methods that can be used to assess dietary intake (in relation to nutrients or foods); body composition (in relation to fat, muscle, water, and bone); physical activity patterns; energy metabolism, substrate oxidation (resting, postprandial and total); appetite regulation; biomarkers.
  • Outline the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
  • Recognize the existence (or the absence) of national and international nutrient and dietary reference values and standards that can be used to evaluate the results.


  • Utilize a food recall or record to assess dietary intake by means of digital tools and evaluate the results.
  • Measure resting metabolic rate by indirect calorimetry and estimate total energy expenditure, fat and carbohydrate oxidation.
  • Measure body composition by different methods and compare the results.
  • Measure subjective appetite sensations and evaluate the outcome.
  • Measure the levels of various biomarkers in blood by using wet lab techniques.



  • Choose the most appropriate methodology to answer a given research question in a given experimental situation.
  • Evaluate the results in relation to national and international nutrient and dietary reference values and standards.
  • Reflect on the results after taking into consideration the limitations of the methods used to obtain them.

Lectures, theoretical and practical exercises, group reports, presentations and discussions in plenum. The reports will be used as basis of the individual, oral exam.

Course literature will be announced at study start on the course’s Absalon page.

Knowledge, skills and competences in the field of human physiology are recommended.
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree are recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

We provide feed-back on the exercises and group reports mostly in plenum, but also some written feedback on language and content of the group reports.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral exam on basis of previous submission, 12 min.
Type of assessment details
Oral examination of each student (minimum 12 minutes), with no preparation time.
Questions to the group reports and curriculum.

In order to acces the oral exam the submission (group reports) must be submitted and approved during the course.
Only certain aids allowed

Group reports with notes. 

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same as the ordinary exam.

Group reports may be reused.

Report(s) that have not been submitted or approved must be submitted and approved no later than 3 weeks before the re-exam.

Criteria for exam assessment

Please see ”Learning Outcome”

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 75
  • Exercises
  • 56
  • Project work
  • 48
  • Exam
  • 3
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
No limitation – unless you register in the late-registration period (BSc and MSc) or as a credit or single subject student.
Study Board of Food, Human Nutrition and Sports
Contracting department
  • Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinators
  • Anne Raben   (3-6576654472697c77326f7932686f)
  • Alexandr Parlesak   (4-6671756645736a7d7833707a336970)
Saved on the 19-02-2024

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Courseinformation of students