MAPHN4100 National and Global Nutrition Challenges Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Nasjonale og globale ernæringsutfordringer
Study programme
Masterstudium i helsevitenskap - spesialisering i samfunnsernæring
Year of study
FALL 2021
Course history


Language of instruction: English

This course aims to enable the students to assess food and nutrition-related challenges both nationally and globally by means of critical use of research. The course provides a broad theoretical basis in public health nutrition and covers the history and use of theories and models for analysing current and future food and nutrition challenges. It has a focus on different food systems and how food environments contribute to the development of obesity and non-communicable diseases, malnutrition and food insecurity.

Required preliminary courses

The student must have been admitted to the Master’s Degree Programme in Health Sciences - Specialisation in Public Health Nutrition.

Learning outcomes

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


The student

  • can critically assess how diet affects the development and risk of obesity and diet related non-communicable diseases
  • can critically discuss the scientific evidence that forms the basis for dietary guidelines and nutrient recommendations
  • can discuss different types of food systems and analyse the interconnection between diet and sustainability, food production and consumption locally and globally
  • can discuss the social, political, economic and cultural factors that have an impact on food consumption among different population groups
  • can discuss the development of public health nutrition as a professional practice


The student

  • can apply relevant explanatory models and theories in the understanding of changes in diets and unequal distribution of diet and health
  • can assess and evaluate the prevalence and distribution of nutrition-related health challenges in different population groups 

General competence   

 The student

  • can convey scientific perspectives and results from own academic work

Teaching and learning methods

The course uses varied, student-active work methods. The course uses a blended learning approach that combines digital learning resources (e.g. videos, lectures and knowledge tests) and sessions on campus. There are three two-day teaching sessions on campus. Students will also have a one-day observation internship at a relevant workplace. Students must schedule this themselves based on a list of available institutions and organisations.

The students will choose the topic of their written assignment from a selection of topics at the first session, and work with this independently or in groups until the last session. The assignment is presented to the other students as an oral presentation or poster presentation.

The students are also given access to a pool of tasks they can use in order to practice different course topics which can be used as a task for the oral examination.

Course requirements

The following must have been approved in order for the student to take the examination:

  • A written assignment of up to 3,000 words (individually or in groups of two to three students)
  • Presentation of the assignment in a plenary session - oral or poster presentation 
  • A reflection note of up to 1,000 words, or a video/audio file of up to five minutes from the one-day observation internship at a relevant workplace


Individual oral examination where the candidate draws a task, up to 20 minutes. 

The course is taught in English. Students may choose to conduct the examination in a Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Swedish or Danish).

Permitted exam materials and equipment

No aids are permitted.

Grading scale

Grade scale A-F.


All examinations are assessed by an internal and an external examiner.