Human Nutrition is the scientific study of the foods we eat, the nutrients in foods, the fate of the nutrients when they are eaten and the effects of diet on health and well being. As a graduate nutritionist, you will have the skills to elicit, disseminate, and apply knowledge drawn from the relevant sciences to promote an understanding of the effects of diet on human health and well-being.
This master's course is a 12 month taught full-time intensive programme. The programme will provide students with a broad knowledge and understanding of human nutrition, developing scientific research skills to master's level. Students will gain knowledge in food science, applied nutrition, nutritional assessment, nutritional biochemistry, public health nutrition and undertaking an independent research project. Development of key skills including communication, research and professionalism will enable graduates to become a competent Associate Nutritionist and eligible to register with UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) regulated by Association for Nutrition (AfN).
Closing date August of year of entry
We’d love to hear from you!
We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.
Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:
Course specific information
Fees and Finance
For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.
For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.
You will study modules in Biochemical and Molecular Approaches to Nutrition, Applied Nutrition, Nutritional Assessment Recommendations and Requirements, Research Methods and Biostatistics, Public Health and Nutrition Behaviour, Food Science & Microbiology. On sucessful completion of taught modules students undertake an independent Human Nutrition research project, developing research and statistics skills.
Development of key skills including communication, research and professionalism will enable graduates of MSc Human Nutrition programmme to become a competent Associate Nutritionist and eligible to register with UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) regulated by Association for Nutrition (AfN).
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, registered nutritionists, scientists and clinical practitioners.
Closing date August of year of entry
This course is a 12 month full-time taught programme. Semesters 1 & 2 are taught modules where attendance is required most days each week. Semester 3 is an independent research module which students carry out under close supervision. Attendance will vary depending on the nature of the research project.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
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 nutritionists, scientists and registered dietitians. Teaching is delivered by a variety of methods including face to face lectures and also using online 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, MCQ's, oral presentations and reports.
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 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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.
A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.
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.
This module discusses nutrition through the life-cycle, nutritional assessment, the aetiology, prevention and dietary treatment of common nutrition related diseases and nutrition support.
Biochemistry and Molecular Approaches to Nutrition
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.
Public Health and Nutrition Behaviour
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
Research Methods and Biostatistics for Nutritional Sciences
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.
Nutrition Research Project
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.
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.
Nutritional Metabolism in Sports and Exercise
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.
International Food Regulatory Affairs
This module is optional
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.
Nutrition and Health Claims in the UK and Europe
This module is optional
This module provides students with an appreciation of the complexity of Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (Regulation 1924/2006). The evolution of claims globally, the process of authorisation and scientific substantiation of claims for the UK and European markets, and contentious issues with regard to legal and regulatory aspects of claims will be explored.
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.
Diet and Disease
This module is optional
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
Food Science & Microbiology
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.
Standard entry conditions
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.
Applicants are required to have achieved at least a 2:2 classification in a science degree which contains a substantive component of biochemistry and physiology or equivalent related science subjects which demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals in biosciences. All qualifications are individually assessed in conjunction with academic references by the course director to ensure they meet the entrance criteria.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for students whose first language is not English
The minimum requirement is Academic IELTS 6.5 with no individual section less than 6.0 Graduates must be able to communicate in English to the equivalent of IELTS level 6.5 with no element below 6.0 to be eligible to apply for registration with Asociation for Nutrition
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 Masters award at least 50% of the credit value of the award in respect of a Postgraduate Diploma.
No exemption is permitted from the research project.
Students cannot transfer to MSc Dietetics due to limited places available
The academic content of the programme, together with the experience gained from the Human Nutrition research project, leads to excellent employment opportunities within industry, nutrition research, health promotion, public health, personalised nutrition ie in the areas of metabolomics, nutrigenomics or in nutrition overseas. Many of our graduates choose to pursue higher research degrees (PhD) or to pursue further taught study in the area of human nutrition, dietetics, sports nutrition or to complete a PGCE and become teachers of science, home economics or biology at both this University or at other institutions of higher education and research.
Work placement / study abroad
This course requires students to undertake a 3 month research project embedded within an internationally recognised nutrition research environment in Ulster University. There is no placement external to University
Accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN) for the purpose of eligibility for Direct Entry Registration at Associate Level with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN).
Fees and funding
Fees (total cost)
Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlement Status Fees
Scholarships, awards and prizes
On completion of MSc Human Nutrition specific prizes are available and awarded by the Board of Examiners.
Additional mandatory costs
In order to ensure students’ safety and to permit them to fully avail of the many learning opportunities students may require vaccinations which will incur additional costs.
Nutritional analysis software may incur an additional small charge.
Additional items will be required e.g. a lab coat, textbooks
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
'I choose the MSc Human Nutrition at Ulster as my lecturers during my undergraduate degree held it in very high regard. Also, I am aware that NICHE, based at the Coleraine campus, is at the forefront of nutrition research, giving me excellent training and developmental opportunities that will be essential for my career progression' Shane Gordon 2021.
'Online learning (during pandemic) was challenging but the lecturers really understood this made themselves extremely accessible so I would have to say the best, most reassuring aspect was knowing that if I was struggling no matter what the lecturers can be contacted and will happily help'. Aoibheann Swail 2021