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Postgraduate distance-learning provision in Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods and Supplements.


Study Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods and Supplements at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

There is a growing awareness of the important roles played by functional foods and components in the prevention of chronic diseases across many national and international jurisdictions. Globally, the functional food sector is valued at GB£46.2 billion (US$74 billion) and GB£37.45billion (US$60 billion) for the food/dietary supplements. Public interest in food and health is increasing with some surveys showing 95% recognition of the term "Functional Food". A major aim of the postgraduate course in nutraceuticals, functional foods and supplements is to provide reliable and impartial appraisal of scientific and technological developments in the sector. The course is aimed at those interested in the relations between food, nutrition and health, including health and allied professionals, the food industry and the general public.

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About this course

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Candidates enrolled for the Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods and Supplements take 60 credit points of modules. Students wishing to proceed towards the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) take a total of 120 credit points of modules. After succeeding with all of the taught modules, candidates may chose to progress to the MSc (180 credit points) by completing an approved research project.


Distance learning, fully online - the course is fully distance learning. Candidates taking the MSc must either arrange appropriate laboratory access at their location or can come to undertake their project at the Coleraine campus.


PgCert – 1 year (2 semesters)

PgDip – 2 years (4 semesters)

MSc – 2 years (5 semesters)

Start dates

  • September 2017
  • January 2018
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.

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Year one

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 European food and nutrition policy.

Functional Foods and Components

Year: 1

This module addresses the role of conventional food groups as functional foods and their possible effects on diseases risk. Ideas discussed in this module provide groundwork for other parts of the course.

Nutraceuticals and Supplements

Year: 1

Up-to date and in-depth coverage of field of nutraceuticals and supplements with focus on vitamins, minerals and herbals and their characteristics, mode of action and safety.

Principles of Toxicology and Risk Assessment

Year: 1

This module introduces students to basic principles of toxicology, pharmacology and risk assessment and their application to food toxicants, supplements and nutraceuticals in discussions of efficacy and safety.


Year two

Current Issues in Food Regulatory Affairs

Year: 2

This module gives students the opportunity to study in-depth and to evaluate critically some of the current issues and challenges facing the EU in terms of implication for regulatory affairs.

Nutrition and Health Claims

Year: 2

Development, implementation and evaluation of Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (Regulation 1924/2006) in the European Union and comparison with other regulatory regimes.

Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods and Supplements Research Project

Year: 2

This module, which is normally practical based, provides the opportunity, through research or advanced scholarship, to integrate knowledge of food and nutrition by the advanced study and elucidation of a chosen topic in the food and nutrition areas. It is conducted under supervision.

Research Methods and Biostatistics for Food and Nutrition

Year: 2

This module provides the foundation for research methods for food and nutrition sciences. The design of experimental investigations and the use of statistical methods are discussed. The module requires the completion of a critical evaluation of published literature and development of the research project proposal, problem-based assessments; issues relating to research governance are also included.

Dosage Design Form

Year: 2

This module provides an understanding of the principles and procedures behind the design of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Furthermore, it provides significant detail and practical experience on the extemporaneous preparation of medicines.

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.

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Entry Requirements

Applicants must comply with the Ulster University admissions policy for postgraduate students and also satisfy the University’s entry requirements or alternatively demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL).

PgCert/PgDip: Applicants must:

(1) have gained (i) a BSc Hons degree or the equivalent from a recognised institution, (ii) or Graduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification; [and] (iii) a degree in biochemistry, biomedical science, human biology, human nutrition, food science, food and nutrition, physiology, pharmacy, pharmacology or other relevant science

(2) Applicants must provide evidence of competence in written or spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) or an IELTS of 6.0 with no band below 5.5 (international students).

(3) In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

PgDip: Qualifications as above and PgCert in Nutraceuticals, Functional foods and Supplements

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.

Teaching and learning assessment

The e-teaching is based on a virtual classroom model involving diverse activities online including; lectures, presentations, set reading. Students have opportunities to participate in discussion group, collaborative learning, coursework, and independent work. Masters students will complete a dissertation based on research according to their circumstances and supervisors expertise.

Presentations, reports, essays, quizzes, moderated on-line discussions and (for MSc) a written project report and supervisors comments.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Successful completion of this course should enhance employment prospects within the functional foods, and general food and health sector from food manufacture to retail and legislation. The skills base is relevant also for nutritionists, dieticians, and members of pharmaceutical professions, Government services, teachers, Universities, higher education institutions, as well as independent or private laboratories. Graduates are expected to develop professional competencies related to either research and development, quality control, analysis, education or training. The course will benefit professionals charged with the maintenance and/ or promotion of public health. Elements from the course will be available in the short-course format, suitable for continuous professional development (CPD).


Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017
  • January 2018

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

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:

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more

Additional mandatory costs

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.


For application enquiries contact the Faculty Office:

T: +44 (0)28 7012 4159


Course Director: Dr Richard K. Owusu-Apenten, FIFST

T: +44 (0)28 701 24314