Nutrition BSc (Hons) (with Foundation Year)UCAS Code: combined only - see combinations|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Hope Park|UCAS Campus Code: L46
Accredited|Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
Nutrition is becoming a vital discipline as the awareness of the importance of healthy eating grows. Nutritionists have a key role in helping us understand how diet helps maintain health and prevents disease. Nutritionists work in a diverse and wide range of professional roles providing and implementing evidence-based nutritional guidelines, public health nutrition strategies, and developing the safe, sustainable, and healthy foods of the future.
Our Nutrition degree is focused on developing the practical, professional and research skills needed to develop a successful career as a professional nutritionist in various roles across the public health and commercial food sectors (as well as preparation for further study or pursuing a professional career in dietetics).
The curriculum includes a focus on nutritional science; the food supply chain; the social and behavioral sciences; health and wellbeing; and the importance of professional conduct. You will be taught in our new Health Sciences building, which features specialist laboratories and equipment dedicated to the study of food, nutrition and health.
You will learn from a highly committed team of research-active UK registered nutritionists (supported with additional expertise in food science, the biological sciences, and public health). Our staff have a wide range of practical experience and are enthusiastic about both the academic subject and the quality of your student experience.
Our nutrition course will include a mixture of teaching methods, including:
- Lectures - where all students are taught together
- Seminars - smaller groups of around 15-20 students
- Tutorials - which typically have no more than 10 students
- One-to-one meetings and supervision with your tutor
If you study a Single Honours Nutrition degree, in your first year of study there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 hours in your second and third years. Teaching hours will be split between your two subjects if you are studying a Combined Honours Nutrition degree.
On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend approximately 18 hours studying independently each week, either individually or in groups (to help prepare for your individual and group assessments).
Assessment and feedback
During your three years of study, you will have a number of assessments, including written exams, portfolios, case studies, laboratory logs and diaries, viva and group presentations. In your final year, you will complete a dissertation.
Feedback will be provided for all formal assessments. The feedback can be offered in various forms such as written feedback, verbal feedback in a one-to-one meeting or as general feedback of class performance in tutorial and teaching sessions. The individual feedback on written work will be typically offered within four weeks after submission.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
In the first year, the curriculum will be focused on the sciences that underpin the principles of Human Nutrition. Topics studied include:
Principles of human nutrition
During this part of the course students will learn about optimum macro and micronutrient intakes, as well as the implications of excesses and deficiencies. How digestion occurs in the human body will also be considered, as well as fluid and energy balance and the impact of alcohol and non-nutritive substances.
General anatomy and physiology
Focus will be given in this part of the course to general anatomy and physiology. All major body systems will be explored, from the cellular level through to whole organs and how systems are integrated through neural and hormonal controls. Key systems include the heart and cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, musculoskeletal, nervous, renal, endocrine and immune systems.
Nutritional biochemistry and metabolism
Students will have an opportunity to develop their understanding of key principles regarding biochemistry, with a focus on the biochemical assemblage of macronutrients and their metabolism. Students will also learn about cellular and molecular biology relevant to biological systems, with emphasis given to cell structure and function, cell division, the cell cycle and foundations in molecular biology, including DNA and RNA. Students will also take part in a series of practical classes to support deeper learning of theoretical concepts through the application of knowledge in understanding key biological data. There is a strong focus on developing a baseline competency of key laboratory techniques, with a clear emphasis on how to work safely.
This part of the course will equip students with a clear understanding of the food supply chain and how this is liked to sustainability and health. Furthermore, students will also learn about key principles regarding food safety and allergen awareness, as well as having the opportunity to become certified in these areas by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Dietary modification is of core importance for a variety of career pathways in nutrition, including sports nutrition and dietetics. Students will learn how to assess and modify the diet of an individual using dietary analysis software and will have the opportunity to try out their own reformulated diet plans in our state-of-the-art food laboratories during several practical sessions.
In the second year, the focus of the curriculum is on applying and expanding your knowledge gained in the first year. Topics studied include:
Nutritional assessment is used to determine the nutritional status of individuals via the collection and interpretation of measures and information. Students will explore the ABCD of nutritional assessment. A is for Anthropometry, the measurement of the body. B for the Biochemical analysis of nutritional status. C for the Clinical signs of malnutrition and D for assessment of Dietary intake.
Nutrition throughout the lifecycle
Energy and nutrient requirements differ depending on sex and stage of life. During this block, students will acquire knowledge and understanding of specific nutritional requirements needed for development, growth and optimal health. They will explore how dietary intakes and nutritional status during the early stages of the lifecycle, i.e. fetal, childhood and adolescence, influence health, by increasing or decreasing the risk for dietary related disease at later life stages.
Influencing factors that affect health and nutritional status
Students will have the opportunity to explore how factors such as ethnicity, culture, religion and socioeconomic status influence food choice, dietary behaviours and health. Students will learn how nutrients interact with the human genome influencing long term health, with a focus on the contribution genes make to obesity.
Nutritional status and intakes can be enhanced at population level via the fortification and enrichment of commonly consumed foods. In addition, the possible interactions between nutrients and/or drugs and how these can potentially impede optimal nutritional status will be explored.
Basic nutritional epidemiology and public health nutrition
Nutritional epidemiology is the study of the relationship between dietary exposure and the causes and pattern of diseases in populations. Students will critically appraise nutritional assessment, in addition to different research methods and study designs. Students will also explore the principles of Public Health Nutrition in promoting good health through healthy eating and preventing dietary related diseases in the population.
Pathology of diseases
Pathology is the study of the structural and functional changes produced by diseases. Within this part of the course, you will gain an overview of major organs and systems of the human body as well as the molecular and cellular factors contributing to its disease condition. The incidence, the severity linked herewith the causes, mechanisms and extent of disease will be examined. This part of the course addresses how accumulation of damage or adaptation to injury in cells, tissues, or organs can result in a loss of function of that particular cell/tissue/organ, disrupt the entire cascade and lead to an increased risk of death of an individual involved.
Endocrinology, gut microbiome and metabolic diseases
Students will gain understanding of the physiological and pathological role of microbiomes, hormones, enzymes and the chemical processes involved in metabolism. They will focus on the roles of second messengers and endocrine system disorders in the context of carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism as well as in cellular respiration and metabolism of drugs. Both the theoretical and practical aspects of the principles and applications of clinical biochemical and microbiological investigations used in sample collection, screening, analysis, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of disease will be covered.
Molecular and cellular biology
In this part of the course students will increase their understanding of both molecular and the cellular biology concepts and techniques. While molecular biology is underpinned by gene/genome sequencing, sequence analysis and sequence manipulation, cell biology looks at the biological processes at the cellular level. Here, students will be exposed to genetic organisation of cells, DNA replication and gene expression, recombinant proteins production, forensic applications genome sequencing, paternity dispute and genetic disease diagnosis. In particular, this part of the course will focus on the several molecular and cellular biology techniques which have helped to revolutionise gene analysis be it in the medical sector, vaccine development, or human genome sequencing etc. The content will be delivered via a series of interactive lectures that will allow students to gain insight into the theoretical aspects of molecular and cellular biology. This part of the course is highly supported by a series of laboratory-based sessions to introduce the basic techniques such as cell isolation, DNA purification, nucleic acid quantification using spectrophotometry, analysis via agarose gels and PCR.
This part of the course will build upon first-year knowledge regarding the immune system allowing the students to gain a solid and deeper knowledge of the protective ability of the immune system in maintaining homeostasis as well as fight against microbial agents. Students will delve deeper into how the presence of danger signals initiate the release of chemical mediators, antibodies, and cellular processes related to the innate and adaptive immune responses. In addition, the role of the immune system in cancer development/progression, organ transplantation, rhesus incompatibility, autoimmune disease, hypersensitivity etc will be explored. Students will also be exposed to the principle of vaccine development, implications of vaccination and the rationale for disease control.
Bioscience lab techniques
During this part of the course, students will learn several techniques in the laboratory to develop subject specific, technical and transferable skills. Here, students are exposed to key experimental techniques, cell culture, clinical microbiology and clinical biochemical techniques. Key research skills are also a prerequisite, including, design, ethical implications, process of data collection, statistical analysis, scientific report writing, presentations and manuscript writing. Assessment is via a series of abstracts writing as well as lab reports based on study design and data analysis.
In the final year, the curriculum will focus on the advanced understanding of the contemporary issues in Human Nutrition and Food Science. Topics studied include:
Nutrition, physical activity, and sport
Students have an opportunity to learn about several key perspectives in the interrelationship between nutrition, physical activity, exercise, and health within this area. The role of body composition within health and disease and methods of assessment of body composition will be discussed. The difference between physical activity, physical fitness, sport, and exercise will be established with the critical appraisal regarding the impact of the complex association between these constructs with nutrition and health. In line with that, the relationship between active and balanced lifestyle and health will be explored, while the subject area will also discuss the key principles of nutrition for successful contribution to sport and exercise.
Within this area, the interrelationship between nutrition, obesity, and non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer together with cognitive function and impairment will be discussed. The role of nutrition and weight management in the prevention of the above clinical conditions will be critically appraised as part of broader discussions of the association between lifestyle, holistic health, and wellbeing.
Public health nutrition
The topic area explores the key principles of public health nutrition, reflecting on the international, national, and local perspectives in the development of food and nutrition policies, to incorporate public health nutrition models into practice and explore practical considerations in devising and evaluating local food and nutrition policies.
Food choice, behaviour modification and nutrition education
The theoretical models underlying food choice, and the ones explaining nutritional health behaviour will be explored while students critically appraise the traditional and modern strategies used for nutrition education and behaviour modification for enhancing nutritional status.
Food supply, formulation, and policy
In this area, students will have an opportunity to develop an understanding of the food supply chain, together with the policies and regulations involved. In line with this, the regulations considering food fortification, health claims and food labelling will be appraised and the role of food reformulation for enhancing the nutritional quality of foods will be investigated to collectively provide an understanding of potential strategies to the integration of those in improving public health.
Nutrition ethics & professional practice
The area explores the development of bioethics from theoretical to practical perspectives, including the key principles of ethics in practice and in research, giving examples of the ethical and moral dilemmas in nutrition, to establish the framework of the professional code of conduct for nutritionists and their scope of practice.
Food processing techniques and biotechnology
The conversion for raw food materials into consumable products involves a variety of processing techniques. Innovative, cost effective and safe techniques are regularly being developed. Biotechnology has in recent times been an important aspect of world food production, supply, and availability. Students will have the opportunity to explore and develop in-depth knowledge of the various food processing techniques and essential skills required to identify their suitability during the production of foods and drinks. Students will also explore and develop extensive knowledge of the scientific, legislative, social and health implications of biofortification, genetically modified foods, novel foods, and fermented food products.
Food product development, food packaging and sensory evaluation
Sensory analysis is a scientific method of assessing the organoleptic properties of a product. Outcomes of these analyses are useful to help a manufacturer evaluate the acceptability of their food and drink product. Through experiential learning, students will explore, from theory to practice, the principles, and multiple stages of new product development. Focus will be on development of food and product that aim to address global health issues and enhancement of sustainable food systems. Students will explore and develop in depth knowledge of the processes and laws that guide global food and drink packaging systems. Students will be equipped with the essential knowledge, understanding and skills needed to effectively undertake a robust and reliable sensory evaluation.
Food safety, authenticity, and food quality management
Acknowledgement of food allergens and sensitivities is a legal requirement for food manufactures and students will develop a comprehensive understanding of underlying legislation and obligations. Students will explore and develop extensive knowledge and understanding of the government regulations regarding food safety. Through experiential learning, students will develop in depth understanding of steps and processes whilst also developing skills required for effective food safety and quality management.
Contemporary issues in food science & food innovation
The food industry is rapidly evolving. Students will explore a wide range of contemporary and trending topics of discussion. Students will critically appraise, with the use of scientific research, to evaluate the effectiveness of innovations in the food and drink industry in the management of global food crisis.
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
Nutritionists work in a wide range of careers; examples include working for national and local government (in various roles linked to nutrition, public health and food quality); the NHS, charities and public sector organisations (particularly those involved in public health nutrition initiatives); community-based organisations (such as those addressing food-related health inequalities and food poverty); commercial food businesses (particularly roles helping to develop healthier and more sustainable foods); as well as roles linked to sport, education and teaching,
Many of our graduates also go on to postgraduate study and research.
Work Placement Opportunities
Professional placements are a valuable part of our Nutrition degree. Placements provide you with practical experience and is essential to your academic and professional development, particularly in today’s competitive job market.
Placements are unpaid (minimum) two-week periods working full time in either commercial food businesses, clinical and hospital settings; or community-based organisations involved in food-related activities. Placements take place in the Summer each year and you typically work full-time on specific projects or providing general support to the organisation.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
On top of your tuition fees, you also need a maximum of £300 per year for field trips, textbooks, lab coats and portfolio preparation.
If you graduate and want to join the Register of Nutritionists, there is a fee. If you graduate with Nutrition Major (Combined Honours) you can apply for registration via submission of a portfolio of evidence to meet the requirement of the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) as set out by the AfN. Full details about joining the register and the cost can be found on the AfN website.
You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2023/24 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This course is also available with Foundation Year as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects: