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    Department of Sport and Health Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Food Sciences

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    Full time: MSc: 12 months, PGDip: 8 months, PGCert: 8 months Part time: MSc: 24 months, PGDip: 20 months, PGCert: 8 months

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    24 August 2018

Course content

Accredited by the Association for Nutrition

Applied Human Nutrition is a practical, research driven master's course detailing the science behind the nutritional requirements of humans from pre-conception to old age.

Poor nutrition is causing increasing public health problems in all sectors and ages, especially among the young and the elderly. Whilst in some areas of the world deficiency diseases and malnutrition are common. A key focus of this course is examining the provision of food and nutrients to the body to facilitate optimum physical and mental development and maintenance of health throughout a lifetime. It also emphasises the specific problems of global nutrition and the public health implications.

The course is suited to graduates with a background in the biological sciences. Applications are encouraged from UK, EU and international students with an interest in acquiring expertise in nutrition, and from graduates who wish to pursue careers as nutritionists.

Why choose this course?

  • High profile speakers from the food industry, government and research bodies regularly present at our nutrition seminar series, keeping students up-to-date with current thinking on nutrition, food and policy topics.
  • You will have opportunities to work with our Functional Food Centre, the UK's first research centre dedicated to functional foods, in undertaking your research project - involving you in some of the cutting edge research that helps the government and food industry develop new products with specific health and nutritional benefits.
  • Our Functional Food Centre has excellent links with the food industry, providing you with an opportunity to undertake your research project externally or to develop contacts for career progression. 
  • Our course is accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN), the largest learned society for nutrition in Europe. There is increasing recognition among employers, in industry and in the public sectors that registration with the AfN is a sign of quality, which could enhance graduate career prospects.

Professional accreditation

This course is currently accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN). Please note that this AfN accreditation is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

This course in detail

MSc students are required to complete 180 level 7 credits (ie all the following modules). PGDip students are required to complete 120 level 7 credits (ie all modules excluding the research project) and PGCert students are required to complete 60 level 7 credits including Human Nutrition, either International Nutrition and/or Food Science, and one other module.

  • Human Nutrition (20 level 7 credits) provides a comprehensive overview of the different nutrients required by humans throughout the life cycle and their sources in food in the UK and worldwide. It also critically evaluates methods used to assess nutrient intake at an individual and population level. The relationship between lifestyle and body composition will also be covered.
  • Food Science (20 level 7 credits) covers the properties of food components and their role in foods. It specifically addresses the measurement of food quality (including nutritional composition and manipulation), sensory and physical attributes, microbiological aspects of food production and preservation, new product development and the role of functional foods.
  • Research Methods (20 level 7 credits) provides a foundation and training in fundamental research methods, from literature searching, experimental planning and design to data analysis and presentation. 
  • Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health (20 level 7 credits) examines the relationships between nutrition, physical activity and health outcomes in humans. In particular, the influence of diet and physical activity on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity will be considered along with counselling and goal-setting for diet, nutrition and exercise.
  • Global Nutrition and Public Health (20 level 7 credits) covers nutrition in the context of world health. It examines current global nutrition problems and their social context in low-income countries, together with their treatment and prevention. It is oriented to a practical approach for their control. The subject gives emphasis to mother and child health and nutrition.
  • Health Promotion and Professional Practice (20 level 7 credits) explores the concept of health promotion and where it originated from through goal setting for diet, nutrition, and exercise in health and disease. The class will develop students to act as a professional nutritionist within the AfN Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance.
  • Research Project (60 level 7 credits) involves original research in the study of a specific topic in nutrition. Past research projects include the effect of cocoa beverages on blood pressure, nutrient losses in cooking, and fruit and vegetable consumption of the elderly cf WHO guidelines. The choice of topic is by negotiation between you and an appropriate member of teaching staff acting as supervisor.

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of modules may vary from that shown here.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is organised on a module-credit basis, with each module involving approximately 200 hours of student input and approximately 36 hours of staff contact, normally delivered through three hours' teaching each week for 12 weeks. Learning methods include lectures, directed reading, workshops, seminars, practical and project work. The research project will be supervised on a one-to-one basis.

Each module is assessed individually, generally on the quality of written or design work, and to some extent on verbal presentations. Assessment methods may include essays, seminar papers, formal written examinations, in-class tests, project work, design and verbal presentations, workshops, simulations, and practical exercises.

Teaching staff are drawn primarily from the Department of Sport and Health Sciences, but will include visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, consultancies, research bodies and other universities.

The Functional Food Centre is an internationally-renowned research group consisting of visiting professors, fellows, research assistants and PhD students, who are all researching nutrition and food topics. 

Specialist facilities

As one of the biggest European Centres for Glycaemic Index testing, the Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health (formerly Functional Food Centre) boasts impressive facilities including a dedicated product development kitchen and fully equipped sensory booths.


Visit the MSc/ PGDip/PGCert Applied Human Nutrition page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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