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Course content

Nutritional science is a subject of growing importance in many aspects of healthcare, lifestyle and industry. This Human Nutrition degree, established since 1994 and accredited by the Association of Nutrition (AfN), provides students with an expert evidence-based approach to human nutrition, integrating teaching on basic sciences, clinical practice and public health applications.

Why this programme

  • Students explore how our choices of foods affect the biochemical and physiological functions of cells and organs, and how our diets influence physical, mental and social health.
  • This Human Nutrition MSc is unique in the UK in providing four different specialisation areas – Public Health Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition, Obesity & Weight Management and Sports & Exercise Nutrition.
  • If you are passionate about nutrition and keen to learn through an in-depth, evidence based, critical approach and enthusiastic about specialising in a particular area then this MSc Nutrition programme is for you. 
  • There is a long tradition of excellence in nutrition at the University of Glasgow, with pioneering research by Cathcart, Paton and Boyd. More recently Durnin, Cockburn and Dunnigan, and current Glasgow academics continue to make important contributions in the field of nutrition. 
  • This programme has a truly global reach, taught by international staff and external experts, offering great flexibility to suit individual student needs. 
  • A range of transferable skills are integrated and embedded into this programme, for example, critical review skills, which are highly sought after within the competitive job market. You will learn how to develop a substantial research proposal as a team, gaining valuable skills for future employment. 
  • After completing this programme you will have gained valuable understanding and a range of skills for interdisciplinary working and for interpreting nutrition research. 
  • Our staff are highly trained, enthusiastic and experienced. The staff and University environment are very supportive: feedback from past students emphasises the dedication, approachability and enthusiasm of the programme team.
  • The Human Nutrition MSc (Med Sci) is accredited by the Association for Nutrition. All graduates will be eligible for direct entry to the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) as an Associate Nutritionist (ANutr). It is expected that you will normally transition to full registration after three years, when you will also identify your area of specialism from the five options available. For more information, please see http://www.associationfornutrition.org/.
  • You will have the opportunity to study at the recently refurbished Glasgow Royal Infirmary with its state of the art teaching facilities.

Programme structure

The programme provides a thorough grounding in the principles, practice and research of human nutrition and the opportunity to follow a successful career in the UK or overseas. You will have the knowledge and experience necessary for engaging in and contributing to current issues in the field of human nutrition. An additional research component allows the development of valuable skills for practising and interpreting nutrition research.

The teaching programme is given in the form of lectures, practical sessions, debates, case studies, team work tasks, self-directed learning, seminars and tutorials. Additional material and electronic resources such as quizzes, online chats and teaching videos are available on moodle, the University’s virtual learning environment, to support and enhance students’ learning experience.

Core courses

  • Food and Nutrient Requirements and Nutrition through the Lifecycle
  • Digestion, Absorption and Nutritional Metabolism
  • Dietary and Nutritional Assessment
  • Public Health and Eating Behaviour
  • Nutrition Research Proposal

Specialisation courses

Choose one from the following

  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Obesity and Weight Management
  • Sports and Exercise Nutrition

As part of their specialisation, all students complete a taught course and research proposal.

Research project

Subject to satisfactory results, students progress on to a research project in the area of their specialisation. The project is presented as a written report in the form of a scientific paper for assessment in August and may also provide the basis for publication and presentation at scientific meetings.

Transferable skills

This programme includes a range of training in transferable skills, including

  • learning techniques
  • communication
  • presentation
  • literature searching
  • academic journal review
  • statistics and data handling


Career prospects

Graduates are well placed for a variety of employment opportunities in the food and health industries, public health, research, health promotion, food policy, the media and relief/development work in less developed countries. There is an expanding role for high quality nutritionists in all these sectors. The programme is intended to meet this demand. This course provides a sound basis from which to apply for employment in advisory positions in industry or government agencies, to undertake professional training in dietetics, or for further doctoral-level research training for academic or teaching careers. 

A high proportion of our graduates go on to complete PhDs in Glasgow or other high quality institutions across the world. Careers of some of our recent graduates include

  • weight management consultant
  • researcher, MRC nutrition research facility
  • nutritionist, Dribble Delights
  • assistant project worker, Angus Healthy Happy Communities
  • research associate, Nutritional Biochemistry (University of Glasgow)
  • officer for the Nutrition Society of China
  • project administration, Action Against Hunger, Canada
  • private nutrition clinic, Greece
  • nutrition researcher, Kenya
  • lecturer in Clinical Nutrition (University of Glasgow)
  • research fellow on eating behaviour (University of London)
  • development worker, High Five for Fruit, Lanarkshire Community Food and Health Partnership
  • nutritionist, North Lanarkshire Council
  • coordinator, Food & Health Alliance, NHS Health Scotland
  • nutrition consultant, FAO Rome
  • programme officer, Food & Health Alliance, NHS Health Scotland
  • new product development project manager, Kinnerton Confectionery Ltd
  • intervention worker on prevention of childhood obesity, National Institute of Perinatology, Mexico
  • nutrition Adviser, Scottish Consumer Council
  • milton Community Food Project Officer, North Glasgow Healthy Living Community
  • emergency Nutrition Worker, Action Against Hunger, GOAL.

Visit the Human Nutrition - MSc (MedSci) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!





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