Do you want to help prevent disease and improve the understanding of the relationship between diet and health? Our MSc in Human Nutrition will improve your knowledge of clinical, metabolic and molecular nutrition while also learning about the issues affecting public health.

This programme is studied on campus.

On this comprehensive MSc programme you will have the opportunity to study different areas of human nutrition before deciding which to specialise in. This includes molecular nutrition, which Aberdeen is unique in offering. This flexible course structure means your studying will be best aligned with your interests and career requirements.

The programme is run in collaboration with the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, part of the University of Aberdeen, one of the leading and oldest nutrition research institutes in Europe. For over 100 years, the Rowett Institute has played a major role in informing policy and establishing the link between diet and health; it continues to work on major diet-related health and food security issues to this day.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

In the first semester of study students take four core courses and generic skills training. These taught courses are based on lectures, laboratory practical classes and individual assignments. The topics covered include dietary assessment, macronutrients, energy balance and metabolism, micronutrients, nutritional status and body composition, nutrition throughout the lifecycle, diet and disease, computing and applied statistics.

Compulsory Courses

Foundations of Nutrition (PU5015) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides students with the under pinning knowledge required when studying human nutrition. Introducing the basic concepts of the biochemical and metabolic processes essential to human health, you will have lectures, tutorials and practical assignments on the metabolic and endocrinology pathway and immune system responses to the food and nutrients we eat. During the course you will gain a detailed understanding of the digestion, absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, fat, alcohol, vitamins and minerals.

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Applied Statistics (PU5017) - 15 Credit Points

This course intends to develop the student's awareness of the fact that statistical techniques are integral to scientific research. Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question in statistical terms and then select an appropriate study design in order to carry out an effective research project. They must also be able to assess the adequacy of the research presented in scientific or medical literature. The same skills are also required for many MSc dissertation projects.

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Nutrition and Health (PU5020) - 15 Credit Points

This course will provide a detailed knowledge of the relationships between diet, human development, health, and disease. Topics covered include diet and nutrition across the life course, integration and adaptability of different metabolic pathways to e.g. starvation, exercise, and the role of diet in the development of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition, it will also provide insight into the effects of malnutrition and food processing on health. A combination of lectures, laboratory classes and group presentations will help consolidate your understanding of the impact food and nutrients on health.

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Generic Skills (GS50M1)

This course gives students the opportunity to develop their transferable skills that they will require not only to complete their programme of study, but also in their future career. The course covers a range of skills including IT, numeracy, academic writing, critical appraisal, note taking, presentations and time management. It also provides support for job applications through CV, cover letter and interview preparation. The course strongly relies on self-assessment and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available.

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Research Methods and Professional Practice (PU5034) - 15 Credit Points

This course will equip students with the skills and information needed to appraise and undertake research in a professional manner. You will acquire the skills and information needed to: formulate a general aim and specific research questions and objectives; design a study; writing a research proposal, collect and manage data and critically appraise the data in the context of other relevant research and present the findings of a scientific study. In addition students will develop their knowledge of the standards, requirements and professionalism required to conduct high quality rigorous research.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

In the second semester students choose from one of three specialist courses; Clinical Nutrition, Molecular Nutrition or Public Health Nutrition. Within each of the specialisms you will also learn about study design, research methods, professional practical and ethical standards. Courses are taught over a 6-week period, which includes lectures, practical classes and exercises to give students understanding and first-hand experience of their chosen specialism.

Compulsory Courses

Assessment of Nutritional Status (PU5539) - 15 Credit Points

This course will give you a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the methods used to assess nutritional status, including dietary intake, assessment of body composition and energy expenditure applied in the context of energy balance. Theory will be put into practice through a series of practical workshop and laboratory sessions to give you ‘hands-on’ experience of using a range of assessment techniques using state-of-the-art equipment routinely employed by nutritional scientists.

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Research Project Management (MT5811) - 30 Credit Points

Gaining direct experience of the processes involved in managing the early stages of a specialist research project in nutrition this course focuses on an initial literature review of a research topic, preparing a research protocol, as well as developing good professional practice when undertaking a scientific research project.

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Optional Courses

Clinical Nutrition (PU5537) - 15 Credit Points

Clinical nutrition is defined as the study of diet in relation to the development and treatment of human disease. This specialism course provides an up-to-date and detailed knowledge on the role of nutrition in the aetiology, prevention and treatment of disease in humans, with particular emphasis on disease prevention/health promotion. The course covers key topics surrounding nutrition and disease, and furthermore discusses how clinical nutrition links with public health and molecular nutrition. The course also provides an overview of research tools widely used in clinical nutrition research.

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Public Health Nutrition (PU5534) - 15 Credit Points

This specialism course provides an up-to-date knowledge of Public Health Nutrition and provides students with an opportunity to develop their understanding of the social, economic and cultural determinants of nutrition-related health problems, and skills that will enable them to design, implement and evaluate nutrition policies and programmes aimed at addressing such problems. A combination of lectures, seminars, debates, tutorials and site visits will give insight into key aspects of public health nutrition and you will be expected to contribute to lively discussions of the topics.

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Molecular Nutrition (RR5502) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides up-to-date knowledge of the biological and molecular science research methods relevant to understanding the role food and nutrients in health and disease. A combination of lectures, seminars, laboratory classes, clinical sessions and site visits will help you integrate the practicalities of undertaking nutrition research with the biological processes involving nutrition and its roles in both clinical and public health nutrition. During this course you will be required contribute to lively discussions of the application of the research methods, study and intervention design.

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Semester 3

Semester 3

This course offers one of the most extensive research projects available on a taught masters, which will give you the opportunity to carry out a detailed piece of work. Many of our past students have successfully published the findings of their project in peer-reviewed journals.

Compulsory Courses

Specialist Research Project in Human Nutrition (PU5911) - 60 Credit Points

This applied research project, completed under the guidance of two supervisors, will give direct experience of the different processes involved in scientific research either in a laboratory, clinical or public health setting. A wide range of research topics will be offered covering the nutrition subjects studied in the taught course. Projects are carried out at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, School of Medical and Dentistry or Aberdeen Royal Infirmary; projects may also be undertaken in other institutions in the UK or overseas where suitable supervision can be identified.


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Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Our Human Nutrition taught programme combines traditional lectures with seminars and practical sessions. Many lectures are recorded via Camtasia and can be viewed again when required.

The MSc enables you to learn outside the classroom so that you can apply both theory and practice to human nutrition projects.

Some of the additional learning opportunities on the programme include:

  • Research placements
  • Insight into current human nutrition studies
  • Access to industry experts
  • Site visits to key nutrition projects in the community
  • Research-led teaching by key opinion leaders

On-going support is provided by the University’s dedicated team of experienced researchers, who will be tutoring you. Much of the teaching on this course involves participatory research work. Students are expected to engage with research work as well as classroom teaching and independent study in their own time.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

Students are evaluated in the form of essays, laboratory practicals, individual and group presentations and written examinations in December and March. The assessments aim to train you for your future career. We use innovative assessment procedures which complement the skills that you will be required for the future, such as academic poster presentations, writing papers and communicating with the public. The MSc project is assessed by a thesis and oral presentations of the project findings.

Why Study Human Nutrition?

  • Studying Human Nutrition at Aberdeen means you will experience multi-disciplinary, research-led teaching by experts who are leaders in the field.
  • As Aberdeen is a leading centre for human nutrition research, the programme offers site visits and arranges guest lectures that will provide you with unique insights into nutritional research. You will also gain first-hand experience of what is involved in running a research study.
  • You will be able to specialise in the area of human nutrition which is of most interest to you: Clinical Nutrition, Molecular Nutrition or Public Health Nutrition.
  • The MSc is accredited by the Association for Nutrition, one of only 3 MSc programmes in Scotland to have achieved this standard.
  • You will have access to the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, which has been responsible for ground-breaking nutritional research including the effect of milk on the growth of children, the development of partition chromatography, the identification of metallothionein protein and the establishment of the Food Standard’s Agency and the Scottish Diet Action Plan.
  • The programme is coordinated through the University Medical School and has strong links to the on-campus hospital, offering you the opportunity to carry out medical-focused nutrition projects.
  • The University has a strong focus on developing your applied skills and expertise, so that your qualifications and experience are closely aligned to employers’ needs.
  • The new purpose-designed Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health building has recently opened on the University's Foresterhill campus, one of the largest health complexes of its kind in Europe.
  • Lord Boyd Orr former director of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to the worldwide fight against hunger.
  • The MSc Human Nutrition is co-ordinated with the Medical School which is ranked 7th in the UK (Guardian League Tables 2016).

Entry Requirements


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

A second-class honours degree in Biological Sciences or Life Sciences, or equivalent research or field experience. Minimum 2.2, 60% or GPA 2.4/4 or 3.0/5 overall.

Please check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.

Students who do not meet the current entry requirements, such as a lower degree in a relevant subject, or appropriate level of degree but in an alternative discipline, may be eligible to enter the programme via one of our MSc access route options.

These routes are designed to help students planning to study MSc Human Nutrition (on campus) or MSc Clinical Nutrition (online) gain the required level of biomedical science knowledge and understanding to prepare for postgraduate studies.

For more information about our access routes for this programme please contact the programme coordinator(s) at

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

an up-to-date CV/Resumé
Degree Certificate
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £18,900
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The following options are available to support your studies. Please click the links for full details and eligibility criteria.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


Completing the MSc Human Nutrition at the University of Aberdeen will give you the knowledge, understanding and practical insight required to advance your career in nutrition. You will broaden your career opportunities and develop an invaluable network of contacts through the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, one of the leading nutrition research facilities in Europe.

Career options available to you include:

  • Further study (PhD)
  • Academic jobs in university settings, e.g. lecturer, researcher
  • Nutritionist
  • Public Health Policy Manager
  • Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinator
  • Fitness and Nutrition Counsellor

Not only will you gain a qualification from one of the world’s top 200 universities (QS World Rankings 2019 and Times Higher World University Rankings 2018), but you will be part of Aberdeen’s strong heritage of research excellence. In 2014, the University was ranked number 1 in the UK by the Research Excellence Framework in the Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science category.

Industry Links

NHS Grampian
Food Standards Scotland
Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health


This MSc Programme is accredited by the Association for Nutrition. AfN Degree Accreditation supports development of nutritionists’ skills by recognising university courses which deliver evidence-based nutrition education to a professional level.

You have the right to apply for direct entry at Associate level to the UKVRN, which would entitle you to use the letters ANutr after your name, without having to go through the lengthy process of additional assessment.

Programme Overview

Discover how our MSc Human Nutrition will improve your knowledge of clinical, metabolic and molecular nutrition while also learning about the issues affecting public health.

Watch video

Research Impact

Marks & Spencer (M&S) plc developed the Fuller Longer food range with expert input from University of Aberdeen scientists, led by Dr Alex Johnstone.

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What our Alumni Say

Jenny Harbottle

Jenny Harbottle

Jenny Harbottle

Graduated 2013

The course leaders provided continuous support and advice, and the links to the Rowett Institute allowed for an excellent environment for the study of nutrition, as well as access to cutting-edge research in the field.

Dominique Glatt

Dominique Glatt

Dominique Glatt

Job Details
Research Scientist with Bio-tech company
Graduated 2013

I really loved the course! I had wonderful professors, lecturers and project supervisors, the classes were engaging and always diverse, my classmates were from every corner of the world and I met some of my best friends on this course.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr Janice Drew
Dr Frank Thies
Dr Kirsty Kiezebrink
Dr Alan Sneddon
Dr Alex Johnstone
Dr Flora Douglas
Programme Coordinators
Dr Janet Kyle
Dr Viren Ranawana

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.


Image for Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health
Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health

Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health

The new purpose built Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health building, on the Foresterhill Health Campus, is equipped with state-of the-art laboratory facilities, write-up areas and a specialist Human Nutrition Unit.

Image for Health Sciences Building
Health Sciences Building

Health Sciences Building

The Health Sciences building, located on the Foresterhill Health Campus, houses the purpose built Clinical Research Facility, researchers from the Institute of Applied Health Sciences and the Imaging Department which boasts state-of-the-art equipment

Image for Foresterhill Health Campus
Foresterhill Health Campus

Foresterhill Health Campus

The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX