2021/22 Full-time Postgraduate course
Master of Science
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Biomedical Sciences
Intensive 20 month course providing pre-registration training in dietetics for science graduates.
The overall aim of this master's programme is to provide science graduates with core knowledge and skills to practice as a dietitian and develop advanced research skills. Registered dietitians are qualified health professionals who assess diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems both at individual and population level. Dietitians use the most up to date research on diet and health which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
This course is an intensive 20 Masters taught course designed to provide a scientific base in the study of food and nutrition and the effect of diet and health on wellbeing. On completion of this course, graduates will be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a dietitian or apply to CORU as part of the recognition process for validation of qualification to practice as a dietitian in the Republic of Ireland prior to registration. The course is also accredited by the British Dietetics Association (BDA). Graduates will also have advanced research skills having completed an independent research project as part of this degree.
This course is designed for pre-registration training in Dietetics. It is not aimed at qualified dietitians wishing to take a masters research degree. Qualified dietitians are encouraged to apply for the MSc Human Nutrition.
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This course is a professional master's course. It is studied on a full-time basis over 20 months where attendance is required on campus most days each week during semester. During clinical placement attendance is required each day. This course cannot be taken part time.
This course provides study of core modules in human nutrition and dietetics and includes two practice based learning blocks. Year 1 semester 1 (60 credits) and 2 (75 credits) are taught modules in core subjects. Year 1 semester 3 students undertake Human Nutrition Masters research project which is an integral part of the programme where students undertake an independent research project. Practice based learning modules are undertaken in year 2 and are generally within a hospital and/or health care setting. Practice based learning placements are predominantly in Northern Ireland with consolidation tutorials at University. Graduates will be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a dietitian or apply to CORU as part of the recognition process for validation of qualification to practice as a dietitian in the Republic of Ireland prior to registration. The course is also accredited by the British Dietetic Association.
Practice based learning blocks are an integral part of this course. Placements are generally undertaken within Health care Trusts in Northern Ireland and must be approved by the University in advance of allocation to students.
Ulster University is a leading centre for internationally recognised teaching and research in the field of nutrition and dietetics. You will be taught by a dynamic team of expert nutritionists, registered dietitians, researchers and scientists with involvement from PPI (patient and public involvement).
This professional course is a taught full-time programme over 20 months including master's research project and practice based learning. Attendance is required during semester most days each week. Placements require daily full time attendance. This course cannot be taken part time.
Ulster University is a leading centre for internationally recognised teaching and research in the field of nutrition. You will be taught by a dynamic expert of researchers, nutritionists, scientists and clinical practitioners. Teaching is delivered by a variety of methods including face to face lectures and also using on line lectures and discussions. A variety of assessments are used throughout the course to test knowledge and understanding. Assessments include examinations, class tests, practical reports, case studies, MCQs, oral presentations and reports and also through clinical placement portfolios.
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:
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.
The feeling of community at our Coleraine campus makes for a warm and welcoming student experience.
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Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.
At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
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.
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This module uses formal teaching methods incorporating practical and skills based learning to prepare the students for practice-based learning experiences and for a professional career.
This module discusses nutrition through the life-cycle, nutritional assessment, the aetiology, prevention and dietary treatment of common nutrition related diseases and nutrition support.
This module discusses the biochemical roles of the essential nutrients in metabolism, the possible aetiologies of major chronic diseases together with postulated nutritional involvement in the disease mechanisms. In addition, the module also reinforces for students the concept of nutrigenomics and the role of nutrition at the molecular level.
This module builds on the concepts developed in module NUT801 Applied Nutrition in semester 1, and provides an integrated study of the role of diet and nutrition interventions in the treatment and management of disease. It explores the rationale for and application of dietary interventions for service users with specific diseases and the means of evaluating dietary and health outcomes. This knowledge is integrated with an understanding of the medical aspects of common disease states
This module provides a broad overview of the concepts of health, health belief, health promotion and behavioural change and the sociological factors that influence that food related behaviour and the practical application of these to public health issues. It focuses on strategies for planning and evaluation of current health promotion and nutrition education, the scientific evidence behind nutrition policies and the principles of food labelling in influencing food choices
This module provides the foundation for research methods for nutritional sciences. The design of experimental investigations and the use of statistical methods are discussed. The module requires the completion of computer sessions, a critical evaluation of published literature and development of the research project proposal, problem-based assessments; issues relating to research governance and research commercialisation are included.
This module provides the student with experience in research at MSc level in a selected area in human nutrition through conducting an independent research project under supervision. The experience will enable the student to develop effective research skills and competencies involving: the retrieval and critical evaluation of relevant scientific literature; formulation of an appropriate research question to be addressed; the planning and execution of an independent nutrition research project; the analysis, interpretation and critical synthesis of the results; the presentation of research findings to a scientific audience; the preparation of scientific papers in a format and standard suitable for publication in a nutrition journal.
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.
This module is optional
This module provides an introduction to the biochemical principles of exercise and sport, the role of nutrition and exercise in the prevention of disease and the importance of nutrition in enhancing athletic performance.
This module is optional
Development, implementation and evaluation of Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (Regulation 1924/2006) in the European Union and comparison with other regulatory regimes.
This module is optional
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.
This module is optional
The module provides an integrated overview of food science and microbiology including the structure of major food components, processing and elements of food microbial safety. Students are introduced to some commercial constraints relevant to the large-scale production of food that is affordable, palatable and safe.
This is a 14-week practice-based learning module within a dietetics department approved for training learners, incorporating tutorials and seminars as appropriate. It will allow learners to begin developing the skills and knowledge required for safe and effective dietetic practice.
This module is a 14-week practice based module within an integrated health care setting and/or public health environment approved for training dietetic learners. This module incorporates practical experience with solution-focused tutorials and seminars using model and process for nutrition and dietetics practice to integrate theory and practice. It will allow learners to demonstrate competency in the skills and knowledge required for effective and safe dietetics practice with transferable employability skills to work in a patient-centred manner to demonstrate clinical competency and become a competent practitioner who can deliver effective, evidence-based and quality-driven care.
This module requires students to demonstrate clinical competence in dietetics by the application of clinical reasoning and integration of academic and practice based learning knowledge to provide evidence of safe and effective dietetic clinical practice.
This module allows postgraduate students to demonstrate competence in professional dietetics practice by the integration of academic and practice-based learning modules completed throughout the course.
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.
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Applicants must have gained a Bsc Hons second class upper (2:1 classification minimum) in a science based course which has provided substantial background in core science subjects in particular biochemistry and also physiology or equivalent science subjects from a recognised institution or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning. All applications are screened on a case by case basis.
EU students are eligible to apply. However this course is not currently open to overseas applicants due to placement constraints.
Students must be in good health as evidenced from a satisfactory medical report (SENDO compliant).
Entry to the course is also subject to a satisfactory criminal record check carried out through AccessNI.
The closing date for applications is 15th January of the year of entry. Each application must be accompanied by a copy of degree transcript, a brief personal statement highlighting the reasons for applying and also two academic references in support of your application which are required for shortlisting. Please note that it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that referees have provided a reference. Applications are scored on the information provided and shortlisted for interview. Interviews (in March/April) form part of the selection process at which attendance is required. Interviews cannot be conducted by SKYPE. The number of places available on this course is limited by the availability of dietetics clinical placements. There are currently 5 places, although it is anticipated that this number will increase. Further information on admissions process and selection can be obtained from Course Director or Admissions Office, Coleraine
English language requirements for students whose first language is not English
The minimum requirement is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5. Graduates must be able to communicate in English to the equivalent of IELTS level 7 with no element below 6.5 to apply for registration with HCPC.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level in respect of a master's award at least 50% of the credit value of the award in respect of a Postgraduate Diploma.
Exemption is not permitted from the research project or from placement.
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The academic content of the programme together with the experience gained from practice based learning leads to excellent employment opportunities. There are excellent opportunities for graduate dietitians in hospitals, community or public health as well as the food industry, research, sports or to pursue a higher research degree (PhD) in the area of human nutrition.
Practice based learning is an integral part of this programme. Placements are generally undertaken within hospital and/or health care Trusts in Northern Ireland and are approved by the University in advance of allocation to students.
Placements are unpaid and full time. Practice based learning settings are approved by HCPC therefore graduates from this programme are eligible to apply for registration with the Statutory Regulator for Dietitians, the HCPC. The course is also accredited by the British Dietetic Association.
Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a dietitian.
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Fees illustrated are based on 21/22 entry and are subject to an annual increase.
Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply.
Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
On completion of MSc Dietetics specific prizes are available and awarded by the Board of Examiners.
Students must also complete at AccessNI application (cost currently £33.00)
In order to ensure your safety and to permit you to fully avail of the many learning opportunities available you may require vaccinations which will incur additional costs.
You are also required to undertake a Food Hygiene certificate which will incur an additional cost.
Previous students have requested that nutritional analysis software be available to download onto personal computers which may incur an additional small charge.
Additional items for example a lab coat, textbooks will be required.
Placement is unpaid and therefore students are expected to pay for travel and living expenses associated with placement.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Wendy Kearney, Admissions Office, Coleraine
International Admissions Office