The University of Southampton

MEDI6076 Nutrition in Harsh Environments

Module Overview

This module develops your understanding of the core and para nutritional considerations in relation to coping with nutrition in harsh environments, which 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

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
Learning Outcomes

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 include clinicians who have pioneered the scientific understanding for managing 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 Study105
Total study time125

Resources & Reading list

Guidelines for the inpatient treatment of severely malnourished children.

Guiding principles for feeding infants and young children during emergencies.

The management of nutrition in major emergencies.

Food and nutrition needs in emergencies.

The sustainable livelihood approach to poverty reduction.

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


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  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (1500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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