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The University of Southampton

MEDI6076 Nutrition in Emergencies

Module Overview

This module develops your understanding of the core and para nutritional considerations in relation to coping with nutrition in humanitarian emergency settings that may include areas of conflict, emergencies or extreme climatic conditions. In particular the decision making options and defined steps that need to be followed to ensure or maximise survival of people.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Provide you with the knowledge to understand the effects of undernutrition on metabolism. • Enable you to develop an integrated understanding of the links between the nutrition support and survival. • Provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to effectively manage undernutrition to reduce morbidity and mortality. • Apply the underpinning concepts and principles in performing a community assessment using a structured approach.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Recognise a food and nutrition crisis.
  • Explain the process and consequences of reductive adaptation.
  • Explain the underlying principles in correcting reductive adaptation.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Consider when, what and how to provide appropriate nutrition support in different situations.
  • Discuss which factors influence choosing when and how to implement general food distribution, supplementary feeding and/or therapeutic feeding programmes.
  • Plan a targeted food aid programme considering an equitable and ethical distribution of an adequate general food ration.
  • Defend the importance of nutrition in livelihoods approach.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate decision making options for different environments.


• Humanitarian systems, nutrition information and surveillance. • General food distribution and logistics. • Supplementary feeding programmes. • Therapeutic care. • Community management of malnutrition. • Non nutrition programmes and emergency recovery.

Special Features

Teaching faculty have extensive experience of working in nutrition in harsh environments.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A range of methods will be used including tutorials and lectures that are supported by e-learning/ interactive tools, guided reading and individual study.

Independent Study80
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Up to date resources will be provided for individual sessions on Blackboard. Students are not expected to read all texts. 

The Sphere Handbook.

State of Acute Malnutrition.

Food and nutrition needs in emergencies.


Assessment Strategy

There will be one assessment for this module that must be passed. The pass mark for the module is 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (1750 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (1750 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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