ERN3200 – Preventive and clinical nutrition

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This course is divided into two blocks and covers basic nutrition, clinical nutrition and community nutrition. The first block covers cancer pathogenesis, cancer treatment, disease-related malnutrition, nutritional screening, pharmacology, immunology and psychiatry. This part also includes supervised practice at a nursing home with nutritional screening of patients.

The second block deals with nutrition for different groups (children, pregnant women, the elderly, immigrants) and systematic development and evaluation of theory and evidence-based nutrition-related measures. This block will also include a period of supervised practice at a children's health clinic and/or wellness clinic with observation of consultations and communication of adapted information to recipients. In addition to the two parts, students shall also make an individual topical review based on a topic suggested by the supervisor.

Learning outcome

Block 1


On completion of block 1, you should be able to:

  • understand the relationship between cancer and nutrition and the molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and nutritional epidemiology    associated with cancer
  • explain nutritional issues related to cancer in different phases of disease development (during treatment, after treatment, at end of life)
  • explain cancer cachexia
  • explain the dietary recommendations, nutritional recommendations and nutritional needs of patients with cancer
  • identify patients at risk of malnutrition using nutritional screening
  • cite the indications and contraindications of enteral nutrition
  • understand the principles of common pharmaceutical treatment regimes
  • know the most common / most frequently used medications in Norway and be able to identify potential side effects
  • describe interactions between medicines and nutrients and interactions between different medications
  • understand how nutrients affect immune response
  • be familiar with the main psychiatric diagnoses and how nutritional treatment may be relevant


On completion of block 1, you should be able to:

  • suggest practical dietary advice to cancer patients in the various stages of disease development and on different treatment plans
  • use nutritional screening Tools
  • take anthropometric measurements, including measurement of skin-fold thickness
  • calculate the energy, protein and fluid needs of patients for monitoring of nutritional status

General competencies

On completion of block 1, you will be able to:

  • make a nutritional diagnosis
  • prescribe a treatment plan for different patients and initiate an enteral nutrition plan for patients who need enteral tube feeding
  • provide adapted nutritional treatment for patients with nutritional problems related to psychiatric diagnoses

Block 2


On completion of block 2, you should be able to:

  • know the dietary recommendations for and factors that affect the nutritional needs of different groups of people (children, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, the elderly, immigrants and vegetarians)
  • use a planning model to plan an intervention
  • describe central theories to explain and change behaviour within health promotion
  • make a formative, process and impact evaluation of an intervention
  • explain what qualitative methods are and how they can be used
  • describe how preventive nutrition work is organised globally, nationally and locally, and the documents that underlie the work
  • explain how nutritional policy is made and reflect on ethical dilemmas associated with engaging in politics
  • describe what it means to have a human-rights approach to changing eating and drinking habits in a population
  • explain the causes and consequences of malnutrition in low and middle income countries and in crisis situations, and discuss examinations and measures to reduce the extent of malnutrition


On completion of block 2, you should be able to:

  • identify the main factors that affect the diet of different population groups, and design interventions aimed at changing them
  • collaborate with different professionals in preventive nutrition and be familiar with different activities in municipal health work

General competencies

On completion of block 2, you should be able to:

  • provide specific dietary recommendations for different population Groups
  • identify ethical issues in preventive work related to nutrition
  • communicate adapted information to different user groups
  • participate in the public debate on issues related to nutrition

Topical review

This assignment is an exercise in scientific writing based on a targeted literature search in light of a defined scientific research question. Students are expected to be able to summarise the findings and draw an objective, balanced conclusion on the research question, based on literature found in the searches. This assignment runs through the entire semester, and the topic of the assignment is chosen from a list of topics specified by the supervisors early on in the semester. The assignment shall be submitted at the end of the semester.


On completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • define a research question and write a paper based on an individual literature search
  • summarise your findings and present them in an understandable manner

General competencies:

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • write an academic paper in terms of structure, layout, use of references, etc.


Closed professional degree.

This course is reserved exclusively for students taking the five-year master's degree in clinical nutrition.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Required previous knowledge

The Faculty may require a programme student who has been absent from the programme for more than two consecutive years to repeat previously approved mandatory teaching and/or previously passed examinations before being allowed to resume his/her studies.


The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, group work and student presentations. Students are expected to participate in the scheduled teaching as much as possible. There will also be various periods of supervised practice during the course.

Mandatory teaching – Attendance requirements

Block 1

  • Seminars on specific clinical topics as specified in the timetable
  • Laboratory teaching on measuring DNA damage
  • Participation at the screening day (supervised practice) 
  • Oral presentation of a screening report
  • Presentation of a topical review and preparation of opposition / questions on one of the other students' assignment

Block 2

  • Presentation and discussion of three part-assignments in intervention planning
  • Literature seminar and presentations of group work in qualitative methods (participation and presentation)
  • Practice at a senior citizens' community centre
  • Participation in planning, implementation and presentation of the practice period (supervised practice)

Written assignments / tests that must be approved before the examination

  • Screening report – Approved / Not approved
  • Topical review – Approved / Not approved

Students may be absent from up to 20% of the mandatory teaching (i.e. physically absent from teaching sessions; this does not apply to mandatory assignments / reports). All mandatory assignments / reports must be submitted. Students who are absent from 20–30% of the mandatory teaching must submit a comprehensive, written compensation assignment. Students who are absent from more than 30% of the mandatory teaching lose the right to sit the examination and must repeat the semester regardless of the reason for the absence.


Five-hour written examination

All mandatory teaching must be approved, including supervised training practice and the semester assignment, before students can take the examination.

A student who fails an examination one semester cannot normally progress in the programme until the examination has been passed. A student who is sitting a new or deferred examination may nevertheless continue to attend courses until the examination results are announced, or, as applicable, until the result of an appeal has been announced, but must discontinue the semester if the final result is a "fail".

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No support materials may be brought into the examination. When necessary, a calculator will be provided.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to sit the examination in this course up to three times. Students who do not turn up for an examination and do not have a legitimate reason for their absence ("legitimate absence") cannot take the deferred examination. They will be moved down a year group. Withdrawal during an examination counts as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


We have a system for continuous evaluation of this course and regularly request students to take part in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course




Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)