Nina: Modules in semester 1 (aka ‘Why am I learning this?’)

After I explained my journey to university in previous blogs, I now want to focus some more on the actual Applied Nutritional Science course.

The first semester consists of three modules. When I got told what they are, I actually felt like double-checking if that was a mix-up in some sort of way. In the beginning it made no sense to me why I had to do those modules! But now, a year later, I can see that to be able to study nutrition and the ways diet influences health and wellbeing, I needed a base. This is provided in the three modules in Semester 1: Scientific Communication and Laboratory Skills, Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Body, and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. As you can see, it all sounds very broad and the word ‘nutrition’ was missing to me.

But all three subjects have a purpose. To understand the influence food can have on the body, it is extremely important to understand the way the body is built as well as all the body systems.

Cellular and Molecular Medicine consisted of really interesting sessions in the lab where we studied diseased body tissues in comparison to healthy body tissues. It is great to understand the nutrition side of things but, in my eyes, equally as important to understand what effects diseases have in the body and how tissues change – for example due to liver cirrhosis, which can be very closely connected to someone’s diet.

In Scientific Communication and Laboratory Skills, all the basics of being in a lab were taught. Of course, you can go to a lab and do what someone tells you to do. But not everyone would be too sure what an Erlenmeyer flask was; and I personally had no clue about different levels of laboratories.

The lesson to learn from this is that the course is designed in a certain way and that a lot of clever people were involved in its planning. Sometimes we just have to trust them and it tends to make sense in the end!



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