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The University of Southampton

HLTH6155 Neonatal Nutrition (Online)

Module Overview

This module has been designed by a specialist neonatal interprofessional group to increase your knowledge and depth of understanding of neonatal nutrition and its essential role in the successful nutritional management of the newborn infant.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide you with the opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills required to justify and provide appropriate enteral nutrition for the preterm infant whilst also learning how to optimise the nutritional opportunity of parenteral nutrition. The module is designed to enable you to critically reflect on the nutritional needs of the newborn infant from delivery to approaching discharge and after going home.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive ability to critically discuss the key nutrients and their requirements for optimum growth and development of the newborn infant
  • critically assess the nutritional status and growth of the preterm infant from delivery to discharge and justify a range of nutritional management strategies
  • demonstrate your understanding of the key role of maternal breast milk and it’s nutritional suitability for preterm nutrition and apply and justify this knowledge to practice
  • critically evaluate the goals, indications for use of and the essential nutritional components of parenteral nutrition and how it is used in practice
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the potential risks and benefits of parenteral nutrition and justify ways to evaluate its efficacy and contribution to nutritional intake
  • critically debate the longer-term effects of early nutrition on growth and neurodevelopment.
  • develop your ability to analyse, interpret and synthesise new and emerging scientific knowledge in the field of neonatal nutrition
  • critically reflect on and debate current nutritional practice with recommended, evidence based best practice


The syllabus will be delivered by a group of experienced neonatal clinicians including a specialist dietitian and a Professor of Neonatal Medicine with a special interest in neonatal nutrition who have developed the module. In this module there is a focus on promoting discussion and debate regarding the diversity of approaches to nutritional management in this vulnerable group. • functional and motor development of the gastro-intestinal tract • scientific basis of nutritional needs and requirements for term and high risk infants • principles and approaches to the introduction and subsequent management of enteral nutrition for high risk infants • principles and approaches to the introduction and subsequent management of parenteral nutrition for high risk infants • evaluation of the influence different feeding strategies may have on growth and neurodevelopmental outcome • analysis of the nutritional status of infants at discharge and the need for the implementation of ongoing nutritional assessment and monitoring and management of weaning the preterm infant

Special Features

Prior to commencing the module you will have completed the pre-requisite online induction module, the aim of which will be to introduce you to the key principles of online learning as well as providing the opportunity for you to become familiar with learning within the VLE. You will be expected to spend at least 4 hours each week working online within your collaborative learning group. You will be supported by online tutors as well as the module developer who as a subject specialist will be able to provide an appropriate learning experience. This online learning experience is designed to give you an insight into and the opportunity to engage in, authentic online learning related to neonatal nutrition. This inclusive virtual learning environment can support a range of learner needs and styles and can also promote an increased awareness, insight and understanding of global challenges facing the nutritional management of infants. Method of repeat year: Repeat the referred element of the assessment internally. The examination and the written assignment can be taken as a standard second attempt however as it is not possible to have a second attempt at the discussions this element of the assessment strategy will be substituted with an alternative method of assessment. For this second attempt you will be required to submit a written assignment (1,500 words), which will critically debate the international differences in the approach to the management of early neonatal nutrition in the preterm neonate.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will take a broad-based learner centred approach to teaching and learning methods, intending to promote deeper learning whilst meeting a range of learning styles. The core theoretical material will be delivered as online text “lectures” within a “Virtual Learning Environment” (VLE) and you will be allocated to discussion groups (“Discussion Forums”) which will be tasked with reflecting on, and discussing within the VLE, clinical scenarios which relate to the theoretical material. The groups will each include up to 12 participants and discussions will be directed and modulated by experienced tutors – two per group. While most of the discussions will be asynchronous – by leaving comments within the Discussion Forums - each group will also hold synchronous discussions, possibly once every two or three weeks, when they will “meet” together - online. These sessions will be facilitated by your group tutors, the module leader or the module developers. Where appropriate, “Plenary Sessions” will be included, which will allow you to share in discussions on nutritional topics. A range of resource material, including links to relevant online sites, will be made available on the VLE. These methods will facilitate learning from text-based material, from participation in discussion and reflection with peers working in a range of different cultural environments. Specially developed case based studies will be explored to focus on the application of the lecture materials. Topics including the nutritional needs of preterm infants during their early neonatal course, period of growth on the unit and early weeks at home to develop strategies for nutritional management will be debated and evaluated.

Wider reading or practice50
Follow-up work20
Preparation for scheduled sessions80
Completion of assessment task30
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Jones E., and King C. (2005). Feeding and Nutrition in the Preterm Infant, Elsevier.. 

Tsang R C., Uauy R., Koletzko B., & Zlotkin S H. (2014). Nutrition of the Preterm Infant: Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines. 

Thureen PJ, Hay W Jnr (2006). Neonatal Nutrition and Metabolism. 

Koletzko B., Poindexter B., Uauy R.. Nutritional Care of Preterm Infants, Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines, volume 110. 

Groh Wargo S., Thompson M., Hovasi Cox J., (Eds) (2000). Nutritional Care for High Risk Newborns. 

Enteral Nutrient Supply for Preterm Infants: Commentary from European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Committee on Nutrition, 50, pg.1-9.

Optimal feeding of Low Birth Weight Infants: A Technical Review..

Nutrient Requirements for Preterm Infant Formulas J. Nutrition 2002, 132(4)..

UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative.


Assessment Strategy

This tri-partite approach to assessment is designed to enable you to demonstrate your depth and breadth of nutritional knowledge and experience as well as your ability to demonstrate your ability to use higher cognitive skills. All assessment guidance will be available in your module handbook where you will also find information on referencing and plagiarism. As all assignments will be submitted electronically Turnitin will be used to confirm originality of your work


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice question  (2 hours) 60%
Qualitative evaluation 20%
Written assignment  (1500 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Summative assessments 100%
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