NNEK23002U Tools and Techniques in Nutrition Research

Volume 2023/2024

MSc Programme in Human Nutrition


This course offers a comprehensive overview of available methodologies for assessing and evaluating dietary intake (ranging from subjective questionnaires to objective biomarkers of intake), physical activity, body composition, and energy metabolism of humans. It combines theoretical knowledge with practical exercises.


Learning Outcome

The main objective of the course is to provide a solid understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using a variety of methodologies that are available for assessing dietary intake, physical activity, body composition, and metabolism.


  • Describe different methods that can be used to assess dietary intake (in relation to nutrients or foods); body composition (in relation to fat, muscle, water, and bone); physical activity patterns and fitness levels; and energy metabolism (resting and postprandial metabolic rates, exercise energy expenditure, total daily energy expenditure).
  • Outline the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
  • Recognize the existence (or the absence) of national and international nutrient and dietary reference values and standards that can be used to evaluate the results.


  • Utilize a food recall or record to assess dietary intake by means of digital tools and evaluate the results.
  • Measure resting metabolic rate by indirect calorimetry and estimate total energy expenditure.
  • Measure body composition by different methods and compare the results.
  • Measure the levels of various biomarkers in blood by using wet lab techniques.



  • Choose the most appropriate methodology to answer any given research question in any given experimental situation.
  • Evaluate the results in relation to national and international nutrient and dietary reference values and standards.
  • Reflect on the results after taking into consideration the limitations of the method used to obtain them.

Course literature will be announced at study start on the course’s Absalon page.

Knowledge, skills and competences in the field of human physiology are recommended.
Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures, theoretical exercises, practical exercises, and discussions in plenum.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Class Instruction
  • 48
  • Preparation
  • 91
  • Exercises
  • 40
  • Exam
  • 3
  • Total
  • 206

Oral feedback will be given collectively when reviewing theoretical and practical exercises in class.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
The course has been selected for ITX exam
See important information about ITX-exams at Study Information, menu point: Exams -> Exam types and rules -> Written on-site exams (ITX)
All aids allowed

As the exam is an ITX-exam, the University will make computers available to students at the exam. Students are therefore not permitted to bring their own computers, tablets, calculators, or mobile phones.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

Same as the ordinary exam.

If 10 or fewer students have registered for re-examination, the examination will be changed to an oral examination. Student will draw 2-3 questions and have 10 minutes preparation time followed by 20 minutes examination including assessment. All aids allowed.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see ”Learning Outcome”