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The University of Southampton

HLTH6243 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

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 knowledge and 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
  • critically debate the longer-term effects of early nutrition on growth and neurodevelopment


The syllabus will be delivered by a group of experienced neonatal clinicians with a special interest in neonatal nutrition. 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

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.

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

Resources & Reading list

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

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

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

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

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. The formative strategy will enable iterative formative written feedback to be provided with regard to your online activity. This will be completed by your online tutors and the module lead half way through the module. In addition examples of the MCQ questions and a written assignment will also be provided within the Assessment Office of the VLE. The summative tri-partite approach to assessment is designed to enable you to demonstrate your depth and breadth of neonatal cardiology knowledge as well as your ability to demonstrate your ability to use higher cognitive skills. It includes the following: 1. An unseen 2 hour online written examination comprising 30 “best-of-five” questions. This contributes 60% of your final mark. (these questions consist of a descriptive stem, a specific lead-in question and 5 options from which one best answer must be selected). 2. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of your online activity and participation within your learning group. This contributes 20% of your final mark. 3. An evidence-based clinically relevant written assignment of 1,500 words focused on demonstrating your ability to write at Master's level. This contributes 20% of your final mark. All elements of the assessment must be attempted and an overall pass mark of 50% or more must be achieved for successful completion of the module.


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


MethodPercentage contribution
Summative assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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