Introduction

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.

Study Information

At a Glance

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

On this comprehensive MSc programme you will have the opportunity to study different areas of human nutrition before deciding which to specialise in. 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.

What You'll Study

Stage 1

Stage 1

Students take five compulsory courses which 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, study design, research methods, professional practical and ethical standards, computing and applied statistics.


Compulsory Courses
  • Foundations of Nutrition (RN5003)
  • Assessment of Nutritional Status (RN5008)
  • Fundamentals of Research Design (PU5052)
  • Applied Statistics (PU5017)
  • Nutrition in Context (RN5006) (please note this is a compulsory 0 credit course)
Applied Statistics (PU5017)
Foundations of Nutrition (RN5003)

15 Credit Points

Course Aims:

The course aims to enable you to develop a broad knowledge, understanding, and application of the scientific basis of human nutrition.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. Summarise the underlying physiology related to human nutrition.
  2. Explain the key concepts of nutrient and energy metabolism.
  3. Distinguish between the metabolism of different macronutrients.
  4. Outline the role of micronutrients and non-nutritive dietary components in human nutrition.
  5. Assess the interactions between nutrients as part of a whole diet.
  6. Prepare, process, interpret, and present topics in human nutrition using formal presentation.
View detailed information about this course
Assessment of Nutritional Status (RN5008)

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.

View detailed information about this course
Fundamentals of Research Design (PU5052)

15 Credit Points

Fundamentals of research design provides the student with skills in both quantitative and qualitative design enabling the student to plan ethical research in a health context. Students are taken through each step - from formulating the research question, to study design, sample selection, methods for data collection to dissemination of results.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Summarise the key factors involved in the research process
  2. Evaluate the appropriateness of study designs commonly used in applied health research studies
  3. Identify the advantages and disadvantages associated with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies
  4. Develop a research proposal to answer a health-related research question which maximises research quality and rigour.
View detailed information about this course
Human Nutrition in Context (RN5006)

With an overall aim of giving students an opportunity to gain a holistic view of the study of Human Nutrition this course will bring together and place their knowledge and training in context. Students will discuss and critically analyse and evaluate current nutrition topics in an informal setting. The course will running throughout their master’s studies. The course format allows the students to direct the nutrition topics considered, using a range of approaches and skills such as critical appraisal of evidence, myth busting debates, journal club, applied nutrition workshops, invited speaker masterclass, industry visits.

View detailed information about this course
Stage 2

Stage 2

Students take two compulsory courses learning about nutrition throughout the lifecycle and diet and disease. You must also choose one specialist course from a choice of four subject areas - Clinical Nutrition, Molecular Nutrition, Challenges in Global Nutrition or Public Health Nutrition. Additionally, students should select any two elective courses from the list of suitable courses.

Courses are taught over a six-week period, which includes lectures, practical classes and exercises to give students understanding and first-hand experience of their chosen specialism.


Compulsory Courses

Students must select the following two compulsory courses:

  • Nutrition and Health (RN5507)
  • Human Nutrition in Context (RN5006)

It is also compulsory for students to select at least one of the following four specialist courses:

  • Clinical Nutrition (RN5501)
  • Molecular Nutrition (RN5502)
  • Challenges in Global Nutrition (PU5547)
  • Public Health Nutrition (PU5534)
Nutrition and Health (RN5507)

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, and a laboratory class will help consolidate your understanding of the impact food and nutrients on health.

View detailed information about this course
Human Nutrition in Context (RN5006)

With an overall aim of giving students an opportunity to gain a holistic view of the study of Human Nutrition this course will bring together and place their knowledge and training in context. Students will discuss and critically analyse and evaluate current nutrition topics in an informal setting. The course will running throughout their master’s studies. The course format allows the students to direct the nutrition topics considered, using a range of approaches and skills such as critical appraisal of evidence, myth busting debates, journal club, applied nutrition workshops, invited speaker masterclass, industry visits.

View detailed information about this course
Clinical Nutrition (RN5505)

15 Credit Points

Clinical nutrition is 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. The course covers key topics surrounding nutrition and disease, and 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, and a training on evidence-based analysis of nutrition case studies.

View detailed information about this course
Public Health Nutrition (PU5534)
Challenges in Global Nutrition (PU5547)

15 Credit Points

This course provides up-to-date knowledge of the challenges of nutrition in the global context. It provides students with an opportunity to develop their understanding of the methods of monitoring population nutritional status, a picture of the current global nutritional status, the determinants of nutritional status in different populations, and skills that will enable them to design, implement and evaluate nutrition interventions and programmes aimed at addressing global nutritional issues. The learning is widely applicable to all populations globally although the main focus is on low and middle-income countries (LMIC).

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Students following the 60-credit research project option should select two elective courses from the list below. This is to make up the 30-credit deficit required for achieving an MSc. All these courses run during stage 2.

  • PU5538 Epidemiology (online)
  • PU5546 Health Informatics
  • PU5546 Health Economics
  • PU5548 Work-based placement in Applied Health Sciences
  • PU5526 Systematic Reviewing
  • PU5528 Values and Ethics in Public Health
  • PU5529 Qualitative Health Research
  • PU5525 Health Needs Assessment
  • RN5506 Sustainable Diets and Global Food Systems
Stage 3

Stage 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

Students take one compulsory course:

  • Human Nutrition in Context (RN5006)

Plus, one of the below research project courses for MSc Human Nutrition

  • Research Project or
  • Research Project (Laboratory)
Human Nutrition in Context (RN5006)

With an overall aim of giving students an opportunity to gain a holistic view of the study of Human Nutrition this course will bring together and place their knowledge and training in context. Students will discuss and critically analyse and evaluate current nutrition topics in an informal setting. The course will running throughout their master’s studies. The course format allows the students to direct the nutrition topics considered, using a range of approaches and skills such as critical appraisal of evidence, myth busting debates, journal club, applied nutrition workshops, invited speaker masterclass, industry visits.

View detailed information about this course
Masters Research Project (PU5922)

60 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of data-driven, empirical work within their field of study under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

Topics available will be varied but within the domain of their field of study. Alongside supervisors, students will identify a suitable topic area, describe an appropriate study design and implement an empirical study to be completed within a laboratory setting. Students will be involved alongside the supervisors in the process of defining the research question, and developing the research plan and, where appropriate, obtaining regulatory approvals. This course is for non-laboratory based projects (if you are intending to undertake a project in a scientific laboratory setting you should register on MB5913)

View detailed information about this course

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.
  • 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 University of Aberdeen is a World Top 200 University (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021).
  • The University of Aberdeen is a Top 30 UK University (Complete University Guide 2021).

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

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.

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 msc-humannutrition@abdn.ac.uk

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

TOEFL iBT:

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.

CV
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

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £21,500
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Additional Fee Information

  • 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.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship

Careers

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 2020 and Times Higher World University Rankings 2020), 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

Accreditation

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.

Watch video

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 Coordinator
Dr Fiona Campbell

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.

Facilities

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

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