Global Nutrition

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


The objectives of the course are to increase the student¿s knowledge, competence and skills in the field of global nutrition embracing:

  • the interdisciplinary nature of nutritional problems in low-income countries
  • the current key global challenges to human nutrition today
  • the regional trends in nutritional indicators
  • the interaction between nutrition and child health and/or development in low-resource settings
  • the most common diseases affecting nutritional status of children and mothers
  • the nutritional indicators and clinical and system responses to critical undernutrition
  • the position of nutrition in international policy and the right based approach to water and food
  • the UN structure and development relevant for nutrition policy
  • the most common carbohydrate sources in different parts of the world, the preparation and nutritional values


The course content is divided into three parts:

Overview of global nutrition:

Overview of the world nutrition situation in relation to other critical issues for our common future, including: Poverty, demographic changes, water, sanitation and other environmental issues, the UN Sustainable development goals and food as a Human Right, epidemiology of global nutritional problems and their current trends.

Health and nutrition.

The influence of nutrition on the health status, including: Immunity, diseases of poverty, maternal and child health, breastfeeding, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Food production and nutrition in low-resource settings.

Overview of crop and livestock systems, household fuel, food production, post-harvest technology, marketing and participatory rural appraisal.

Food security and gender issues in food production are key areas.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student:

  • Has advanced knowledge regarding the nutritional challenges globally in our world today, and regional trends in nutritional indicators
  • Can analyse individual and societal factors that affect diet and health globally focusing on food security and diversity
  • Has thorough knowledge of the interaction between nutrition and health, especially in low-resource settings
  • Can apply knowledge of food production and trading globally and in low-resource settings
  • Has thorough knowledge of the most common food crops in the world, smallholder¿s production systems, subsistence farmers¿ strategies and livestock.


The student:

  • can analyse a subject matter in global nutrition, behaviour, diet and health, in light of relevant policy and research.
  • Can apply the most common nutrition strategies and interventions focusing on children and mothers based on knowledge of the context
  • Can use relevant methods for research focusing on use of scientific literature in an independent manner about nutritional preventive strategies relevant for SDG 1,2,3 and food as a human right

General competence

The student:

  • Can present relevant global nutrition and health problems focusing on mothers and children
  • Can communicate about a policy document and depict the implications for implementation priorities.
  • Can contribute to new thinking about global nutrition research literature

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Centre for International Health, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Bergen
Required Previous Knowledge
The course is targeted for those holding a bachelor¿s degree in food and nutrition, or is trained in medicine, psychology, dentistry or other allied health professions. Other backgrounds including agriculture and in social sciences can attend. Previous work experience in a low-income country is a merit. Master level studies or higher-level studies are a requirement.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
This course overlaps with INTH360A
Access to the Course
Students enrolled in the Master¿s Programme in Human Nutrition and similar programmes at UiB or other partner universities (e.g. tropEd Network for Education in International Health) will be prioritised.
Teaching and learning methods

The course comprises lectures, seminars, group work and individual studies and assignments. The seminars and group work comprise crop and food preparations and presentations

The course will have a research-oriented focus through presentations, discussions and reading material and present relevant activities at our faculty.

This will be a total of 104 working hours, of which 56 hours are contact hours: 43 hours of teaching and 13 hours of supervision of tasks (physical and through electronic contact) and exam. Individual work 48 hours consists of 32 hours for individual reading, assignments and exam preparation, and 16 hours for group work and seminar on crop and food preparation and presentation.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Participation in demonstrations, group/individual assignments and presentations of group assignments.

Mandatory individual report (appr. 1500 words)

Forms of Assessment

Written 3 hour exam.

In order to take the exam, the students need to adhere to the compulsory assignments and attendance.

Students who receive the grade "F" are allowed to re-sit according to standard procedures at the University of Bergen.

Grading Scale
ECTS credits A-F (F = fail)
Assessment Semester
Reading List
The reading list will be made available by 1 December on Mitt UiB
Course Evaluation
Online evaluation.
Examination Support Material
English English dictionary
Programme Committee
Programme Committee for Global Health
Course Coordinator
Professor Ingunn Marie S. Engebretsen
Course Administrator
The Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care
The Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care at The Faculty of Medicine