Dietetics - BSc (Hons)

2024/25 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Biomedical Sciences


Coleraine campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2024

Students from England, Scotland, Wales or EU (except the Republic of Ireland)

Unfortunately, Ulster University is not in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland, Wales or EU (except the Republic of Ireland) for this course due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland.

Further information on Department of Health funded courses

With this degree you could become:

  • Community Dietitian
  • Acute Dietitian
  • Research Dietitian
  • Industry
  • Health communication
  • Health Promotion
  • Academia

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • National Health Service
  • Food and Nutrition Industry
  • Nutrition Communication
  • Nutrition and Sport Industry
  • Education


We produce high-quality and motivated graduates who can apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Dietitian.


Dietitians are uniquely qualified to translate scientific information about food and nutrition into practical dietary advice to promote health in the population. At Ulster, we deliver an engaging course that will prepare you well for a successful career in dietetics.

Teaching on the course is mainly delivered by academic staff from the world-renowned Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), a large research centre within the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute. NICHE undertakes high quality research to understand the links between diet and human development with a particular focus on obesity, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and ageing. We engage with a large number of local and international stakeholders including colleagues from the NHS, Academia and Industry as well as the general public and use this alongside our research to deliver a high quality degree.

Nutrition and Food Science degrees have been ranked Top 15 in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2023. Dietetics has a 92% student satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2022.

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
  • Admissions

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.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course


As well as providing impartial advice about nutrition and health, dietitians are involved in the prevention and treatment of nutrition-related problems and in the dietary treatment of disease. This course provides a sound background in nutrition, the scientific study of the foods we eat, the nutrients contained within foods and the fate of the nutrients when foods are eaten, and the effect of diet on health and well-being.

Therefore, this course includes the study of the science of nutrition and dietetics, the supportive sciences of chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, biology, immunology, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, food science, epidemiology and statistics, as well as inputs from the social sciences, such as sociology, psychology, communication and management.

The number of places available on the dietetics course is limited by the availability of dietetics clinical placements.


This is a four year full-time course with a compulsory placement year.

Typically there are 20-25 timetabled hours per week between 9.15am - 5.05pm Monday - Friday, including lectures, tutorial and seminars.

During your placement, you will be expected to work on a full-time basis.

Start dates

  • September 2024

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions allowing you to gain a deep understanding of the subject.

We will assess your learning through a variety of methods including class tests, case studies, projects, examinations, workbooks, presentations, literature-based assignments and project reports.

In Year 3, you will also get the opportunity to work alongside an academic member of staff within the world-renowned Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health to undertake an independent research project.

Attendance and Independent Study

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:

  • 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. 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

    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 assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) 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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.

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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.

Year one


Year: 1

This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamental biochemical pathways, an understanding of which are necessary for the further study of life and health sciences. The structure, function and metabolism of biological macromolecules and the regulation of the pathways involved in their metabolism are discussed in detail

Human Physiology & Anatomy

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to the study of human physiology and anatomy to underpin further study of the pathophysiology in health and disease.

Medical Cell Biology

Year: 1

This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the cellular basis of life and the relevance of studies of cell structure and function at the molecular level to human disease. In addition, it will provide a foundation for further studies in genetics, microbiology, histology and biochemistry.

Chemistry and Pharmacology

Year: 1

This module introduces general descriptive, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry and the principles underlying chemical properties and reactions of simple organic and inorganic compounds with applications to pharmacology.

Practical and Laboratory Skills

Year: 1

This module aims to provide students with the basic skills and techniques required to work safely in a laboratory setting, which underpins further study and practice in the life and health sciences.

Fundamentals of Nutrition Science

Year: 1

This module introduces the basic scientific concepts of human nutrition, health psychology theories related to diet and physical activity behaviours and provides a general introduction to learning in a university setting, including scientific information retrieval, and handling. It also introduces the basic statistical methods essential to scientific analysis and informs on the use of specific software packages for the analysis and presentation of data. Employability and professionalism are also introduced within this module. Teaching methods include lectures, computer laboratory classes and tutorials.

Year two

Clinical biochemistry

Year: 2

This module is designed to provide an understanding in clinical biochemistry sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.


Year: 2

This module is designed to provide understanding of key concepts in pathology sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences


Year: 2

This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the key concepts in immunology sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences. Additionally, the module aims to foster critical thinking, independent research skills, and an appreciation for the relevance of immunology in various scientific and medical contexts. Ultimately, students completing this module should be well-prepared to comprehend, analyze, and engage with immunological concepts in both theoretical and practical settings.

Food science

Year: 2

The module provides an integrated overview of food science and technology across the food supply chain and in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Core topics include principles of food processing, structure and chemistry of food components, elements of food microbiology and food safety hazards/risks. Students are introduced to the production and processing of the main food commodities, challenges in food (re)formulation and other factors for sustainable and ethical food quality, safety and security of supply. Students will engage and report on laboratory practicals, and will undertake a site visit to a local company to gain insights into the food production process.

Epidemiology and statistics

Year: 2

The module provides an opportunity for students to acquire necessary understanding of nutritional epidemiology and statistical analysis. Providing an integrated overview to the principles of epidemiology and its analysis and interpretation with respect to the study of diet and disease.

Assessment of Nutritional Status

Year: 2

This module is designed to promote an understanding of the fundamentals of nutritional assessment through directed learning on anthropometry, body composition and dietary assessment methodologies. Students will gain practical skills in the measurement and collection of anthropometry and dietary intake data.

Nutrition Through the Lifecycle

Year: 2

This module discusses the changing nature of nutritional requirements and determinants of food selection through the human life cycle.

Biosciences for Nutrition

Year: 2

This module introduces Nutrition students to the basic concepts of Pharmacology, Genetics and Microbiology, sufficient to underpin further study.

Dietetics Professional Practice UG

Year: 2

This module uses formal teaching methods incorporating practical and skills based learning to prepare the learners for practice-based learning experiences and for a professional career.

Year three

Health Promotion and Nutrition Communication

Year: 3

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. It focuses on strategies for planning and evaluation of current health promotion and nutrition education, the scientific evidence and consumer understanding of food and nutrition policies.

Biochemistry and Molecular Nutrition

Year: 3

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.

Clinical Nutrition

Year: 3

This module discusses the aetiology, prevention, dietary management and treatment of common nutrition-related diseases and nutrition support.

Diet and clinical medicine

Year: 3

This module provides an integrated study of the nutritional management of diseases/disorders commonly encountered. Building on the concepts developed in module NUT503 Clinical Nutrition in semester 1, it explores the rationale for and application of dietary modifications for service users and the means of evaluating dietary treatments. Using the Model and Care process learners will translate nutrition principles into interventions integrating and applying this knowledge with underlying medical aspects of diseases to enable service users to self-manage their condition

Nutrition Research Methodology

Year: 3

This module provides an integrated overview of nutrition- and food-related research as the ongoing basis of the knowledge that informs future practice, research & development. The module provides an opportunity for students to acquire skills necessary to produce a critical review of scientific literature, conduct statistical analysis using relevant computer software and acquire presentation skills, which help to prepare students for the Food, Nutrition and Dietetics research project module (NUT517).

Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Research project

Year: 3

This module provides students with experience in research in a selected area of investigation in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics conducting an independent research project and interpreting the findings for presentation to a scientific audience in the form of scientific poster and scientific paper for publication.

Year four

Dietetics Practice-Based Learning 1

Year: 4

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.

Dietetics Practice-Based Learning 2

Year: 4

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.

Dietetic Clinical Competency

Year: 4

This module requires the pre registration dietetic learner 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.

Learners will use the Model and Care process to translate nutrition principles to formulate
intervention strategies based on current scientific evidence and demonstrate that they are a competent autonomous reflective practitioner.

Dietetic Professional Competency

Year: 4

This module requires the learner to draw on in-depth knowledge and skills acquired from academic modules and from practice based learning. On completion of all components of the course the learners must demonstrate that they are autonomous reflective practitioners with transferable employability skills to work in a patient centred manner to demonstrate professional competency of regulatory and professional body competencies.

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.

A level

Grades BBB (to include 2 subjects from Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Nutrition & Food Science of which Chemistry is preferred). Single Award Life & Health Sciences is accepted as a science subject along with a second science from A Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Applied Science Double Award and Life & Health Sciences Double Award are acceptable.

BTEC Award profile of D (to include subject requirements) plus A Level Grades BB to include 1 core science subject from Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

Applied General Qualifications

Science-based BTECs only - contact Admissions Office for details

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Award profile of DDD (to meet subject requirements)

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Award profile of DDM (acceptable optional units 8 - 14, 17 - 22)

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma

Award profile of DD (to meet subject requirements) plus A Level Grade B

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

Award profile of DM (acceptable optional units 8 - 14, 17 - 22) plus A Level Grade B

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

Award profile of D (to include 3 distinctions and subject requirements) plus A Level Grades BB to include 1 science from Chemistry, Physics, or Biology.

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate

Award profile of D (acceptable optional units 8 - 14)) plus A Level Grades BB to include 1 science from Chemistry, Physics, or Biology.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grades H3, H3, H3, H3, H3 to include 2 subjects from Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Home Economics and Agricultural Science.

You are required to achieve a minimum of Grade H6 if studied at Higher Level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level in Maths and English.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

International Baccalaureate

Overall IB profile minimum 26 points to include at least 13 at higher level and to include two subjects from Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Home Economics at Higher level.

Higher or Subsidiary level in English Language and Maths at Grade 4 or above.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Pass Access course with an overall mark of 65% to include a minimum of 65% in all level 3 modules (only science-based programmes are acceptable). To include a 20 credit Level 2 Mathematics module, passed at 40% or successful completion of NICATS Mathematics as part of the pre-2021 Access Diploma


For full-time study you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at grade C/4 or above in English Language. You must also hold a GCSE pass in Mathematics and Chemistry or Double Award Science at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills- Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

English Language Requirements

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.

Additional Entry Requirements

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units may be specified

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4 credits/units may be specified

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:

2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

A Level and BTEC National Diploma

Entry to the course is to year 1 only.

As part of the selection method applicants will be required to undertake an interview. Interviews will occur after the 31 January 2024 deadline.

Please note the following addition to criteria for entry in September 2024; Applicants will be required to complete a questionnaire, which will be sent out after the UCAS deadline fro applications. This questionnaire should be fully completed and returned to the University within 5 working days. Responses to the questionnaire will be utilised for short-listing purposes for interview for those who have/will meet the academic criteria. Please ensure that the email address you provide is one that you regularly use and it is strongly recommended that you check your spam/junk folders for email.

Entry to Dietetics is also subject to a satisfactory criminal records check (AccessNI) and medical.

In order to ensure your safety and to permit you to fully avail of the many learning opportunities provided throughout the course it is important that you have the relevant vaccinations. Not having some vaccinations may exclude you from specific types of placements or projects.

Information on the various relevant vaccinations will be made available to you at Induction (Week1). You will also be asked questions about your vaccinations on a Health Declaration form completed prior to registration. Vaccinations will be administered by the campus nurse and will incur a small charge.

Exemptions and transferability

As this is a professionally validated programme, exemptions and transferability are not normally considered.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • National Health Service
  • Food and Nutrition Industry
  • Nutrition Communication
  • Nutrition and Sport Industry
  • Education

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Community Dietitian
  • Acute Dietitian
  • Research Dietitian
  • Industry
  • Health communication
  • Health Promotion
  • Academia

Career options

The academic content of the programme, together with the experience gained from placement, leads to excellent employment opportunities within the NHS as well as the food industry, health promotion or in nutrition overseas.

There are also opportunities for suitably qualified graduates to pursue higher degrees (MSc, MRes, MPhil, PhD) through further taught studies and/or research at both this University or at other institutions of higher education and research.

Work placement / study abroad

After passing all academic modules in Year 3, you will have the opportunity to underake two 14-week placements at approved settings. The placements, which take place within one of the five Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland, are an excellent opportunity for you to continue your personal and professional development under the supervision of experts in the field of clinical dietetics.

Professional recognition

British Dietetic Association (BDA)

Accredited by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) as delivering the approved pre-registration curriculum framework. Provides eligibility to apply for HCPC registration as a dietitian.

Health and Care Professions Council, the (HCPC)

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.


Start dates

  • September 2024

Fees and funding

Funding is available for this course - find out more

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Students who gain an average mark of greater that 70% are eligible to be included on the annual Dean's List in Years 1 and 2.

Prizes are awarded for the best overall student in final year, the best final year research project and the student who performs best in final post clinical Dietetics placement examinations.

Additional mandatory costs

All students are health screened and must get the appropriate vaccinations. The health screening and vaccination programme will cost approx. £35 - 155 depending on the vaccinations required.

The criminal record check through AccessNI currently costs £33.

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.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


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
  • Admissions

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.

We look forward to hearing from you.

For more information visit


  1. 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.
  1. 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.
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