The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore, the programme structure and delivery method for September 2020 may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about September 2020 study with us.

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
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month

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 four core 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)
  • Nutrition in Context (RN5006) (please note this is a compulsory 0 credit course)
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.

View detailed information about this course
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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Stage 2

Stage 2

Students take two compulsory courses learning about nutrition throughout the lifecycle and diet and disease. You must also choose from one of three specialist courses - Clinical Nutrition, Molecular Nutrition or Public Health Nutrition. Additionally students should select any two elective courses from a 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
  • Nutrition and Health (RN5507)
  • Human Nutrition in Context (RN5006)

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

  • Clinical Nutrition (RN5501)
  • Molecular Nutrition (RN5502)
  • Challenges in Global Nutrition (PU5547)
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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

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

  • Health Economics (PU5546)
  • Sustainable Diets (RN5506)
Epidemiology (PU5538)

15 Credit Points

This course in applied epidemiology gives an introduction to disease measurement at a population level, basic epidemiological study design and analysis, and provides an understanding of key methodological issues needed to apply when designing – or critically appraising – an epidemiological study.

View detailed information about this course
Health Informatics (PU5532)

15 Credit Points

We live in a time of ‘Big Data’ with the rapid growth in the digital capture of health information. Health Informatics is the science of data capture, linkage and analysis of large datasets to improve health. The demand for health researchers with training and experience in health informatics is high. For people practicing in Public Health, it is a key skill. It will equip students for any career in health research or public health practice and this course is an excellent stepping stone for those wishing to develop a specialist interest in the field.

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Work - Based Placement with Health and Development Sector Organisation (PU5521)

15 Credit Points

This Work Based Placement elective offers a professional placement with one of the following: public, civic, voluntary, development sector organisations or government agencies. Students undertake a 10-week placement with a host organisation, either within the organisation, remotely from Aberdeen, or using a combination of both.

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Systematic Reviewing (PU5526)

15 Credit Points

This course will equip students with the relevant skills to interpret and conduct systematic reviews on the effectiveness of healthcare interventions.

Students will learn to formulate a clear research question and understand the principles and main steps for undertaking systematic reviews. In particular, they will learn how:

i) to develop an adequate search strategy;

ii) to critically appraise primary studies;

iii) to extract data from primary studies;

iv) to identify the main sources of heterogeneity among primary studies;

v) to analyse findings from primary studies;

vi) to interpret results;

vii) to assess the quality of existing systematic reviews.

View detailed information about this course
Values and Ethics in Public Health (PU5528)

15 Credit Points

This course challenges you to engage robustly with questions about what is good and right (and why) in public health policy and practice. You will develop your ability to critique and participate effectively in debates about what matters – and what is morally justified - in efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of communities and populations. You will develop the knowledge and confidence to identify value-based assumptions as you examine a range of real-world health problems and practice justifying and objecting to different strategies for addressing them

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Qualitative Health Research (PU5529)

15 Credit Points

This course provides a sound introduction to qualitative health research. You will consider the relevance and value of qualitative methodologies which respond to current health agendas. The course introduces planning to conduct relevant research and a range of methods to generate, handle and analyse qualitative data. You will gain insight into issues of rigour, quality and ethics, and understand the importance of engaging with relevant audiences. The course is delivered by a range of experienced contributors, and you will gain insight into the practicalities of undertaking qualitative research via practical workshops and stimulating lecture sessions.

View detailed information about this course
Health Needs Assessment (PU5525)

15 Credit Points

Public health is the art and science of improving health through the organised efforts of society. This course supports students in developing a critical understanding of the breadth of public health approaches to protecting, promoting, monitoring and improving health among the population as a whole.

The course is core to the MPH programme, but also open to students interested in understanding the population-based approach to health. All must be registered for the course and complete all assessments. The course is suitable for students wanting a professional (specialist/ practitioner) public health career and also for those wanting a related academic career.

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

Plus, one of the below two 60-credit research project courses for MSc Human Nutrition

  • Research Project (April-Aug) or
  • Research Project (Laboratory) (April-Aug)

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


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

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

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £21,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 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.


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.

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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


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 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.


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