FDSC20230 Introduction to Human Eating Behaviour

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module is offered online.

In this module, students will be introduced to the topic of Human Eating Behaviour, and the various factors affecting food choice. Food, as presented in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is essential for human life, but in addition is a pleasurable experience that is intertwined with culture, traditions, ethical and sustainability concerns, conscious and unconscious internal factors, as well as being controlled by a number of biological feedback mechanisms that influence intake, hunger and satiety. These factors vary from person to person, and can also be influenced by external cues. Food preferences, eating habits and behaviours develop, grow and adapt from birth right through to old age, as our internal and external environments and our sensory perceptions change, and as nutritional requirements change over time.

The module will examine some of the frameworks around food choice, covering the various aspects from choice behaviour, nudge theory, external cues such food packaging and marketing, sensory attributes, and food environment, and internal cues such as hunger and satiety, perception of food intake, individual genetic influences, inherent values and the development of individual food preferences.

Students will learn about how these change and adapt over the lifespan and with changing environments. They will be introduced to basic principles of sensory science, and to basic concepts of eating behaviour such as eating rate, bite size, energy density, portion size, and their measurement. On completion of the module, students will gain an understanding of how the internal and external environment can impact these different factors and lead to differences in eating behaviour across the lifespan.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be able to:
• Describe frameworks governing food choice, and eating behavior
• Describe the role of food in a range of culture and traditions globally
• Understand differences in food preferences and describe theory on how these develop
• Understand basic concepts of nudge theory and the application to eating behaviour
• Demonstrate knowledge of the biological and psychological factors that impact food intake in different population groups

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, short quizzes, and autonomous student learning.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: 2 x MCQ Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: MCQ End of trimester MCQ No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

After each assessment, feedback on the class performance will be given, which will be used for their continuous improvement and mastery of the module.

Name Role
Ms Kate Bermingham Tutor
Ms Jacqueline Conway Tutor
Dr Emma Feeney Tutor
Ms Lauren Mc Guinness Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

There are no rows to display