Neonatal nutrition (masters level)
Neonatal Nutrition (Level 7) - image courtesy of Shutterstock

Key features

This 20 credit masters-level module will allow you to explore the nutritional and dietetic management of preterm and sick infants in the neonatal period and beyond in order to optimise growth and development and minimise post-natal growth restriction, including the management of complex neonatal nutritional problems.

The module will also provide you with the opportunity to understand, debate and critically evaluate the evidence base for the nutritional and dietetic management of preterm infants and infants with complex neonatal nutritional problems. 

You'll examine current clinical practices which will enable you to develop parental and enteral feeding strategies to meet the complex needs of sick-term and preterm infants during their neonatal care and during the growing phase prior to and post-discharge.

This module can be taken as a standalone short course or as a pathway-specific module towards the MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Paediatric Dietetics and is accredited by the British Dietetics Association.

Module code




FHEQ level

Level 7 – Masters Degree


Online delivery

Course details 

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the importance of early and appropriate nutrition for sick-term and preterm infants with complex needs to justify the choice of parenteral or enteral nutrition, appreciate the limitations that may occur in providing optimal nutrition and justify appropriate feeding plans to optimise growth, including the establishment of oral feeds and breastfeeding
  • evaluate and debate the dietetic management of infants following gastrointestinal complication including necrotising enterocolitis and surgery, to justify care pathways
  • synthesise an evidence-based justification to support dietetic advice for the feeding of preterm infants post discharge and for advice on longer-term nutrition
  • critically analyse and evaluate the evidence base for contemporary issues and controversial topics such as the effect of nutrition on later health in order to relate this to current practice and effect change in neonatal feeding practices and policies
  • synthesise a relevant approach to the nutritional management of infants and their carers which involves the ability to adapt and communicate plans to family members, carers, health care professionals and others.


The assessment for this module is a 4,000-word reflective essay.

(Please note that these assessment details are provisional – if you require further information please contact the module lead or the Professional Development Unit).

Module dates

The BDA paediatric module teams will follow government advice on social distancing and personal safety to ensure a ‘COVID-19 secure’ working and learning environment. As such, this module will be delivered virtually, following the usual programme of lectures and workshops. Students will work in small groups with expert facilitators to develop practical skills and knowledge.

1, 2, 13 and 14 December 2021 (online delivery).

29 and 30 November and 6 and 7 December 2022 (online delivery).

Module dates may be subject to change. 

Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers. 

In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date. 

Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers.

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.

Access to: 

  • application forms 
  • change of name forms
  • pre-course information
  • downloadable guides
  • student card.

Visit our admissions homepage for full details.

Entry requirements

Students wishing to undertake this module must:

  • currently be working in the field of clinical nutrition and dietetics
  • be a registered dietitian with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • have an in depth knowledge of nutrition and dietetics to honours degree level.

You will normally have a relevant first class, 2:1 or 2:2 honours degree.  

For further information regarding the entry requirements please contact the Professional Development Unit.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2021/22 academic year



Funding for this module may be available through your employing trust. To apply please contact your Trust’s Educational Co-ordinator who will guide you through the application process.

Find out more

For further information on how to apply for this module and to find out when booking opens, please contact Hayley Clarke, BDA Course Administrator:


Phone: 0121 200 8080

For any other queries please contact the Professional Development Unit:

Prospective student enquiries:

Phone: +44 (0)1752 586951

Current student enquiries:

Phone: +44 (0)1752 586958

Module lead

The University of Plymouth module lead is Jen Carroll.