Food and Nutrition - PgCert/PgDip/MSc
Understanding key aspects of the science of food and nutrition in the context of regulatory affairs, policy and legislation.Take a look
Understanding key aspects of the science of food and nutrition in the context of regulatory affairs, policy and legislation.
The food and drink industry is a global business that is thriving; the food industry in the UK alone contributes almost £90 billion to the economy. While career opportunities within food and nutrition continue to expand, there is still a worldwide shortage of qualified graduates with food and nutrition knowledge and skills.
A major aim of the PgCert /PgDip /MSc course in Food and Nutrition is to provide students with an academically challenging and professionally relevant programme of study which will enable them to pursue a career in the area of food and nutrition. The course is aimed especially at those interested in the relationships between food, nutrition and health, who wish to pursue the wide variety of career opportunities within this challenging and rewarding environment.
Sign up for course updates
Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.
We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.
About this course
In this section
This course is a master's course. It is modular and studied on a full-time basis over 12 months.
This course provides study of core modules in Food and Nutrition science including aspects of food toxicology, policy and food legislation from an EU perspective. Year 1 semester 1 (60 credits) and 2 (60 credits) are taught modules in core subjects. Year 1 semester 3 students undertake Food and Nutrition master's research project ( 60 credits) which is an integral part of the programme where students undertake an independent research project.
The Food and Nutrition MSc programme has the option of being taken as distance learning (which is fully online) or as blended learning (which mixes online modules with on campus provision). All students would be offered an on campus induction (optional).
Students undertaking the programme by blended learning would be required to attend campus 1 day per week in each semester for on-campus taught modules. Those undertaking the MSc in full-time mode would complete a research project either on-campus or by distance learning; on-campus this would require students to attend the campus at least 3 days per week during the semester in which the research project runs.
- September 2020
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
International Food Regulatory Affairs
This module gives students an appreciation of global regulation of the food supply. It provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts and principles of risk analysis so that they will be capable of applying the knowledge gained in this module to practical situations in the workplace.
Food and Health
This module introduces students to basic nutritional concepts, including the relationships between diet and chronic disease, and how these concepts inform developments in food and nutrition policy.
Nutrition and Health Claims
Development, implementation and evaluation of Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (Regulation 1924/2006) in the European Union and comparison with other regulatory regimes.
Functional Foods and Components
This module addresses the role of conventional food groups as functional foods and their possible effects on disease risk. Ideas discussed in this module provide groundwork for other parts of the course.
Principles of Toxicology and Risk Assessment
This module introduces students to basic principles of toxicology, pharmacology and risk assessment and their application to food toxicants, supplements and nutraceuticals in discussions of efficacy and safety.
Food and Nutrition Research Project
This module, which is normally practical based, provides the opportunity, through research or advanced scholarship, to integrate knowledge of food and nutrition by the advanced study and elucidation of a chosen topic in the food and nutrition areas. It is conducted under supervision.
Available evidence linking diet and disease is often conflicting. This module enables nutritionists to appreciate the current consensus of scientific opinion on specific nutrition issues which are particularly controversial. The emphasis is on student-centred enquiry into controversial issues and critical analysis of relevant scientific evidence in oral/online and written assignments.
Nutritional Assessment, Recommendations and Requirements
This module will introduce the principles of nutrition assessment. It will review the anthropometric, biochemical and dietary assessment methodologies, including the advantages and limitations of each.
Research Methods and Biostatistics for Food and Nutrition
This module provides the foundation for research methods for food and nutrition sciences. The design of experimental investigations and the use of statistical methods are discussed. The module requires the completion of a critical evaluation of published literature and development of the research project proposal and problem-based assessments; issues relating to research governance are also included.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
A second class honours degree or better from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification. In exceptional circumstances, as an alternative entrance route an individual who has substantial and significant demonstrable experiential learning may be considered.
Relevant subject degree areas include biology, biochemistry, food and nutrition, food science, human nutrition, physiology or other relevant degree discipline. Applicants must also demonstrate evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent).
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
The academic content of the programme helps students to develop knowledge and understanding of key topics relevant to food and nutrition, developing creative and critical thinking, research and development skills, project planning, data analysis and the application of key aspects of food regulatory affairs including policy and legislative aspects. The enhanced skills base provided by this programme will lead to excellent employment opportunities in government (EU and international) and non-government organisations, and in the local, European and international agri-food industry.
Accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).
- The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
- Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
- If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
- The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
- The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.
Being a student at the MSc program Food and Nutrition at Ulster University has been a life changing experience and an excellent choice. In this program you have the opportunity to progress your studies, meet new colleagues, and network, while staying at your home place without lacking in any significant element of an on campus MSc program. Everyone had the opportunity and was encouraged to participate actively in interactive tutoring and live online chats.
Assignments were very interesting and addressed the latest scientific concerns in Food and Nutrition sector. Additionally, all teaching staff was always friendly and helpful and of recognised scientific caliber. Overall I would strongly recommend this program to UK/EU and international applicants not only due to its mode of teaching and structure, but also because of the transferable, and quality teaching that emphasizes in new trends in food science and nutrition and produces high level graduates. A tip to prospective students: On campus research projects are a great choice if you want to gain experience in biochemistry, food, and biology analysis.
Ioannis Portokalakis. MSc Food & Nutrition 2015.