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Excellent graduate opportunities in the food industry, and in advisory or research roles in companies or public agencies.


Food and nutrition form an integral part of the daily life of everyone as a consumer. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly clear that the food we eat can influence our health, and that certain foods may help to decrease the risk of many serious diseases. Today's food industry aims to satisfy the needs of the consumer for safe, good tasting, inexpensive, convenient, nutritious and healthy foods that are available all year round. Food and nutrition thus embraces a range of subjects including sciences, business and consumer marketing and consumer behaviour. The programme is mainly taught by academic staff from the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), a world-renowned research centre in the School of Biomedical Sciences. NICHE is engaged in numerous regional and international research projects concerned with food, nutrition and health, many of which involve close collaborations with the food industry.

International Students

If you don't meet our entry requirements for this course you may want to consider our International Foundation Programme (IFP)

The International Foundation Programme (IFP) will prepare you for studying an undergraduate degree at Ulster.

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About this course

In this section


This course has been running since 2003. Food and nutrition are of fundamental importance in people’s lives, all the more so as the links between nutrition and health become clearer. Today's food industry is increasingly aware of this. Food and nutrition embraces a range of subjects including sciences, business and consumer marketing and consumer behaviour.

Linked programmes

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Find out more about placement awards


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

Start dates

  • September 2017
How to apply


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


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.

Chemistry in Practice

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

Biostatistics and study skills for nutrition

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to the basic statistical methods essential to scientific analysis and the use of selective software packages for the analysis and presentation of data. It provides an introduction to learning in a university setting, including information retrieval and handling, as well as communication and presentation. Teaching methods include lectures, computer laboratory classes and tutorials.

Psychology Applied to Health

Year: 1

The focus of this module is to introduce psychological perspectives to examine contemporary health issues. The module will introduce students to the field of health psychology, and provide an awareness of the role of psychological theory to understand health behaviour. Important themes are the relationships between human behaviour and health outcomes, and the importance of psychological processes to understand and change health behaviours.

Bioanalysis for Nutrition

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module develops an understanding in fundamental aspects of bioanalysis for the life and health sciences. The module introduces modern analytical technologies applied to the analysis of biomolecules including; chromatography, electrophoresis, spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and immunochemical analysis.

Medical Cell Biology

Year: 1

This module is optional

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.

Introduction to Chinese language

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module gives a basic introduction to the Chinese language to build learners? very basic communicative competence, and establish a basic foundation in the language system to help prepare for the year 2 Chinese language module (CHN311Fundamentals of Chinese Language).

Introduction to Management

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module examines the theories of management and applies these to the practice of organisational management. It's an introductory module which will familiarise students with the nature and scope of management. It examines the development of management theories and the impact of the external and internal environments on effective professional management. Issues such as methods of improving organisational effectiveness, leadership, team building and motivation are studied.

Food Choice and Consumer Behaviour

Year: 1

This module is optional

The principles of food choice and consumer behaviour are explained within the context of the food industry. This module enables students to gain a knowledge of the principles and theories underpinning consumer behaviour and highlights the importance of understanding the consumer in today's global economy.

Year two

Innovation-led Entrepreneurship

Year: 2

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop enterprise competences and transferable skills. The module will be taught by lectures, case studies, tutorials and attendance at a relevant public engagement or professional body event. The module is web supplemented with the NICENT entrepreneurship awareness materials. Students will be required to carry out a group new venture planning project.


Year: 2

This module provides insight into the major historical events, discoveries, disciplines, activities and relevance of microorganisms to the different areas of human activity. A major goal is to provide a foundation for understanding and learning microbiology as a biological science and its relation to our public health and the environment.

Food science

Year: 2

The module provides an integrated overview of food science and technology including principles of food processing, structure and chemistry of food components, elements of food microbiology and food safety hazards. Students are introduced to some commercial constraints relevant to the large-scale production of food that is affordable, palatable and safe.

Epidemiology and statistics

Year: 2

This module is designed to provide understanding of key concepts in epidemiology and statistics sufficient to underpin further study in nutrition science.

Assessment of Nutritional Status

Year: 2

This module is designed to promote an understanding of the fundamentals of body composition and the principles, uses and limitations of anthropometry and dietary assessment methodology for the evaluation of nutrient intake data and nutritional status of individuals and groups.

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.

Clinical biochemistry

Year: 2

This module is optional

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

Fundamentals of Chinese Language

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module gives an intensive introduction to Chinese, providing a firm introduction to the basics of the language as well as developing basic language learning strategies.

Human Resource Issues

Year: 2

This module is optional

The Human Resource Issues module will provide students with an introduction to the fundamentals of Human Resource Management and people management concepts. The module provides an introduction to the legal framework and examines key issues associated with managing people within the service industry.

Marketing for Services

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module introduces and explores key areas of marketing theory and their application to the services industry. The module defines services marketing and examines the development of the marketing concept, the marketing environment and key aspects of services marketing including segmentation, consumer behaviour, marketing research, the marketing mix and through assessment provides students with the opportunity to actually apply these concepts to current services industry situations.

Year three

Food and Nutrition Placement - Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP)

Year: 3

During the third year, students gain 48 weeks of structured work experience in the field of nutrition research, health promotion or the food industry. This placement experience is designed to provide an insight into the world of work, to consolidate nutrition knowledge and skills acquired during the first two years and to promote the development of transferable skills.

Food and Nutrition Placement -Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS)

Year: 3

In this study programme students spend one year in another university, either in Europe under the Socrates scheme or in the US under the Northern Ireland Business Education Initiative (BEI) or other relevant programme. This placement experience is designed to provide experience of an educational and cultural environment in an overseas country and to promote the development of transferable skills.

Year four

Food Product Development

Year: 4

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop food product development skills and to extend their knowledge of managing food operations. The module will be taught by lectures, case studies (work-based learning), workshops and a sensory analysis practical session. Students will be required to carry out a group product development project and an individual assignment.

Nutrition Research Methodology

Year: 4

This module gives an integrated overview of nutrition and food research as the basis for advancing knowledge to inform practice in dietetics, the production and promotion of foods for commerce and health, and future research. The value of the scientific literature, and the rationale and inherent limitations of research are explained. Quantitative research methodology and a selected range of experimental approaches are described and critically evaluated. The module includes practical sessions, seminars, tutorials, a literature review, and a presentation.

Food and nutrition research project

Year: 4

This module provides experience of the research process and involves the final planning, organisation, conduct, critical analysis and reporting of a substantial, independent, original, research study undertaken within the field of food and nutrition under the supervision of a member of academic or academic related staff.

Food Safety Management

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module is concerned with management of food safety from ?farm to fork?. Food safety controls and management system requirements, and management responsibilities are covered. This module is taught through the Blackboard Learn virtual learning environment, with the support of an e-tutor, and assessed by a HACCP assignment, group seminar presentation, discussions and an exam.

Microbial and Food Biotechnology

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module aims to develop the students' understanding of fundamental biotechnology principles and their ability to apply those principles to the study and exploitation of microorganisms, and within the context of traditional and contemporary food processing. Teaching methods include lectures and practicals.

Competency in Chinese language

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module consolidates the work of modules in years 1 and 2 in the area of Chinese (namely CHN111 and CHN311), providing a firm mastery of the key aspects of the language as well as developing a core understanding of Chinese culture and traditions.

Consumer Marketing Management

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module examines the principles, concepts and theories of consumer marketing management. Students will be introduced to numerous analytical models and techniques that can be applied by marketing managers to scenarios so as to ensure that an organisation still retains its competitive advantage.

Contemporary Consumer Issues

Year: 4

This module is optional

Available evidence linking diet, disease and consumer behaviour is very often contradicting and confusing. This module enables students to appreciate the current consensus of scientific opinion on a number of specific controversial consumer issues. The emphasis is predominately on student centred enquiry into current and controversial consumer issues and critical analysis of relevant scientific evidence in oral and written presentations.

Global Food Issues

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module examines the the effects of food policy and global food issues not only on the consumer but the environment and the food industry as a whole. The module draws on the knowledge and experiences of students and relates them to global food issues. A number of contemporary food policy and food issues are discussed and their implications for the consumer and the social, economic and political environment are outlined.

Health Promotion and Nutrition Education

Year: 4

This module is optional

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 behind nutrition policies and the principles of food labelling.

Sport & Exercise Nutrition

Year: 4

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.

Biochemistry and Molecular Nutrition

Year: 4

This module is optional

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: 4

This module is optional

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

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.

In this section

A level

Grades CCC including at least 1 subject from Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Applied Science, Physics, Home Economics or Environmental Technology. PE will be considered acceptable where accompanied by AS level in Chemistry, Physics, Maths or Biology (Grade C or above).

Applied Science Double Award is also acceptable.

Provided the subject requirement above is met you can substitute a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University for one of the A level grades.


Pass overall with MMM to include a minimum of 15 merits (only science-based BTECs are accepted).

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grades H3, H4, H4, H4, H4 to include 1 subject from Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Biology or Home Economics.

Applicants are also required to have Irish Leaving Certificate Higher level English and Maths grade H6 or above OR Ordinary level English and Maths grade O4 or above.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 24 points to include 12 points at higher level to include at least 5 points in one of the following subjects: Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Biology, Home Economics.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Pass Access Course (120 credits) with overall mark of at least 60% including 60% in each level 3 module. Only science-based programmes are acceptable.


You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at Grade C or above (or equivalent). Also you must hold a GCSE pass in Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent) and a pass in Double Award Science or Chemistry at grade CC or above (or equivalent).

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 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 for Tier 4 visa purposes.

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 15 distinctions in level 5 credits/units may be specified.

Pass HNC with overall Merit to include 45 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

For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff on T: +44 (0)28 7012 4159 or E:

As part of your course you may have a placement/project that involves contact with patients and/or potential exposure to human blood/tissue. At that time you will be asked to complete a Health Declaration Form which will include information about your vaccination history. Following screening of your form, it may be necessary for you to meet with a nurse or for a medical to be arranged with the University Occupational Health Physician. Depending on the exact nature of your placement/project you may require immunity from Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken pox and Tuberculosis and/or have completed a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations with subsequent positive serology results. You will be advised further should the need for health screening and vaccination arise.

Exemptions and transferability

Although the modules taken in Year 1 are not identical, students may transfer to or from BSc Hons Human Nutrition with DPP/DIAS at the end of Year 1, depending on Year 1 options chosen, performance in Year 1, and the availability of places.

Students with good passes in HND Applied Biology or equivalent may be permitted entry into Year 2. All such transfers and entries are at the discretion of the Course Committee.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

Career options

The academic content of the programme, together with the experience gained from placement, leads to a range of excellent employment opportunities in various aspects of the food industry including product development, quality assurance and marketing, and in advisory or research roles in companies and public agencies. 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. Depending on the final year options studied, graduates may also be eligible to pursue dietetics at postgraduate level by undertaking the PgDip/MSc Dietetics course with eligibility for State Registration in Dietetics.

Work placement / study abroad

In year three students undertake a placement. The Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP/DPP International) is awarded for the successful completion of a placement year in the food industry, nutritinal science research or health promotion. The Diploma in Academic Studies is awarded for the successful completion of a year in another university, for example, Study USA (SUSA). Find out about one student's work placement experienceabroad.

Professional recognition

Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST)

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

Academic profile


Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,000.00  Discounts available - find out more

Additional mandatory costs

You may require health screening and have to get certain vaccinations. The cost of this is currently around £35 - £155 depending on the vaccinations required.

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.


Faculty Office
T: +44 (0)28 7012 4159

Course Director: Dr Mary McCann

T: +44 (0)28 7012 3969