Food and Nutrition - MSc

2024/25 Part-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Master of Science

Faculty:

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School:

School of Biomedical Sciences

eLearning:

This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.

Start date:

September 2024

Overview

Understanding key aspects of the science of food and nutrition in the context of regulatory affairs policy and legislation.

Summary

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.

The course is accredited by the Insitute of Food Science and Technology.

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

About

This course is a master's course. It is modular and studied on a part-time basis over 30 months.

This course provides study of core modules in Food & Nutrition including aspects of food toxicology, policy and food legislation from an EU perspective. Year 1 semester 1 (30 credits) and 2 (30 credits) are taught modules in core subjects. Year 2 semester 1 (30 credits) and 2 (30 credits) are taught modules in core subjects. Year 2 semester 3 students undertake Food & Nutrition Masters research project (60 credits) which is an integral part of the programme where students undertake an independent research project.

Attendance

The Food and Nutrition MSc programme has the option of being taken as distance learning (which is fully on-line) or as blended learning (which mixes on-line 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.

Start dates

  • September 2024

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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.

Modules

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

Year one

International Food Regulatory Affairs

Year: 1

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

Year: 1

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 in the UK and Europe

Year: 1

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.

Nutritional Assessment

Year: 1

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.

Year two

Risk Analysis

Year: 2

This module provides students with a solid foundation in the concepts and principles of risk analysis so that they will be capable of applying knowledge gained in this module to practical situations in the workplace.

Food and Nutrition Research Project

Year: 2

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

Nutritional Controversies

Year: 2

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.

Research Methods and Biostatistics for Food and Nutrition

Year: 2

This module will provide a comprehensive understanding of the research methods for food, nutritional and sports sciences. The design of experimental investigations and the use of specialist statistical methods will be discussed. The module requires the completion of a critical evaluation of published literature and development of a novel research project proposal and problem-based assessments; issues relating to research ethics and governance are also included.

Supply Chain Management Applied to Functional Foods

Year: 2

This module will provide students with an understanding of functional foods and components and the scientific and legal measures which are used throughout the food supply chain to ensure food produced is healthy and safe. An understanding of this topic is of vital importance for food and nutrition graduates who aspire to a career in the food industry.

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.

Entry Requirements

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.

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

Career options

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 local, European and international agri-food industry.

Work placement / study abroad

None

Professional recognition

Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST)

Accredited by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2024

Fees and funding

The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of credit points that you initiate in the relevant academic year.

For modules commenced in the academic year 2024/25, the following fees apply:

Fees
Credit Points NI/ROI/GB Cost International Cost*
5 £194.45 £474.70
10 £388.90 £949.40
15 £583.35 £1,424.10
20 £777.80 £1,898.80
30 £1,166.70 £2,848.20
60 £2,333.40£5,696.40
120 £4,666.80£11,392.80
180 £7000.20£17,089.20

NB: A standard full-time PGCert is equivalent to 60 credit points per year. A standard full-time PGDip is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.

*International student access to courses is subject to meeting visa requirements. More information can be found in the Visas and Immigration section.

Additional mandatory costs

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.

Contact

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

Disclaimer

  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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.