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MSc Nutritional Medicine

Course Description

Delivered by leading experts at the cutting-edge of research and practice, this programme is the only evidence-based Masters degree course in Nutritional Medicine in the UK.


On our MSc Nutritional Medicine, you’ll gain a deep evidence-based understanding of the complex relationships between nutrition and diseases. You’ll learn to take a critical and scholarly approach to theory, practice, literature and research findings, resulting in a greater understanding of the range and potential of the nutritional management of disease.

Visit the website http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/nutritional-medicine


Nutritional medicine includes clinical nutrition but is wider in scope, covering aspects of nutrition and health via the part that nutrition plays in health, disease, lifecycle and ageing.

This programme attracts high-quality students from both within and outside the UK, and is appropriate for the in-service training of doctors (who receive little training in nutrition), dietitians, pharmacists and healthcare workers.

The modular, part-time programme is accessible to those in full-time employment, consisting of three-day taught periods at the University, preceded by preparatory study and followed by consolidation and assessment. During some modules, a special dinner is arranged on the theme of the topic studied.

Programme structure

To complete the MSc, students must complete nine taught modules and a research project which will normally be carried out at your place of work, for example, hospital, surgery, clinic or pharmacy. Literature-based projects are also acceptable if they include an additional element of complexity. The Postgraduate Diploma may be awarded on the satisfactory completion of eight modules. A Postgraduate Certificate may be awarded on the completion of four modules. Modules can be taken as standalone units for CPD.

All students commence the programme with registration for four modules, to include the two compulsory modules. The programme has a number of "modular" start dates, enabling you to begin your study at a time that is convenient for you. For further details about the dates please contact the admissions team.

Module overview

The two compulsory modules — Principles of Nutritional Science and Principles of Applied Nutrition and Epidemiology — have been planned to give an excellent foundation in nutritional science and applied nutrition that will benefit participants in their understanding of the other modules.

The remaining ten modules range broadly over the interface between nutrition and health, covering diseases widely recognised to have a nutritional component and those, such as mental illness, where such a link is less well-known.

Some modules address stages of life such as pregnancy and old age while others concentrate on classes of nutrients important to health. The gut, being the means whereby we receive our nutrients, has a module to itself. Nutrition in the hospital setting is covered in Clinical Nutrition and Nutritional Support. A research module is required for the MSc (except with special permission).

Compulsory modules:

- Principles of Nutritional Science
- Principles of Applied Nutrition and Epidemiology

Optional modules

Antioxidants, Phytoprotectants and Disease
Obesity, Diabetes and Eating Disorders
Diet, the Gut, Food Allergy and Intolerance
Nutritional Aspects of Pregnancy, Infancy and Childhood
Nutrition and Ageing
Lipids and Essential Fatty Acids
Dietary Minerals in Health and Disease
Clinical Nutrition and Nutritional Support
Nutrition and Exercise for Health and Sports Performance
The Brain and Nervous System; Diet and Behaviour

Teaching and module delivery

- Distance learning prior to attendance at the module

You will receive some preliminary material (that will require approximately 40 hours of study) around six weeks before you attend each module. This will generally be background material (for example, a core text and/or specially written material/journal article/s) aimed at ensuring that all students, whatever their previous learning experience, will have attained a certain basic knowledge of the subject and its terminology.

- Teaching at the University

The three-day periods spent at the University consist mainly of formal lectures, but will also include interactive or participative sessions incorporating some of the following learning strategies: workshops, syndicated work, demonstrations, case studies, debates, and journal clubs. You will generally be given additional papers, reviews, notes or reading lists relating to the module lectures. Module 1 is four days long, to allow for registration and introductory sessions.

- Distance learning following attendance at the module

In the two months following the module, you will be expected to study the material covered and to carry out further reading (including journal articles) to expand your understanding.

- Research project module

A hypothesis will be examined by the collection of data, or by analysis of the literature within a novel framework.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is appropriate for GPs, gastroenterologists, dietitians, pharmacists, other clinicians and health professionals with a role in nutrition and health practice.

Programme objectives

The aim of the programme is to inform and educate those to whom the public turns for advice on nutritionally-related aspects of health and disease and those involved in the manufacture of foods and food supplements.

Additionally it aims to:

- Provide a programme in nutritional medicine, defined as the science and practice of prevention and treatment of dysfunction and disease by nutritional means

- Provide a high-level programme, based on a fundamental understanding of nutritional science, which takes a critical and scholarly approach to relevant theory, practice, literature and latest research findings on the importance of nutrition in diet–health–disease relationships

- Provide new knowledge and understanding, for health professionals and other interested groups, of the role of nutrition in both individual and community health

- Discuss the role of diet in the development of disease

- Evaluate the potential, efficacy and scope of nutritional methods of disease prophylaxis and management

- Examine current knowledge of the specific roles of individual macro- and micronutrient deficiencies and imbalances on short- and long-term disease risk

- Explore the concept of optimal nutrition in various special situations

- Evaluate the practice, efficacy and appropriateness of the use of dietary supplements

- Develop an understanding of research methodology in the area of nutritional medicine

- Supply a programme that would serve the need for training in those aspects of nutrition identified by the Royal Colleges

Career opportunities

Recent graduates' roles include:

- Principal Scientist, Leatherhead Food Research
- Director, The Urban Kitchen
- GP, Medical Practice
- Chief Dietitian, Stoke Manderville Hospital

Find out how to apply here - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

Visit the MSc Nutritional Medicine page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Dr Sheldon Cooper

When I started on the programme I was a Specialist Registrar on the West Midlands Gastroenterology rotational training programme, and am now a Consultant Gastroenterologist with an interest in clinical nutrition in the Dudley Group of Hospitals.

My interest in nutrition was sparked when working for a local gastroenterology consultant who managed a large home parenteral nutrition service, and furthered by observing nutritional challenges with in-patient care. This course is, I believe, ideal for any professional dealing with nutritional issues.

Whilst there are other gastroenterology registrars on the course, students come from all varieties
of backgrounds, for example, dietitians, GPs, pharmacists, dentists, nutritionists and others. With such a wide mix of backgrounds, discussions in seminars and lecturers (as well as socially) are
very stimulating.

The modules cover a wide range of issues of nutrition in health and disease, providing a wellbalanced, scientific and pragmatic view. Every module attracts both national and international experts to share their knowledge.

Whilst the amount of work is considerable, it is this, the slick administration, enthusiasm of
the tutors and lecturers, support of the course organisers and the speakers’ standing in their fields that earns this course, and the awards/degrees, such a high reputation.

(Student Profile)

Sarah Bolger

“Although the demands on my time and energy were challenging, I received unbeatable support from the team at Surrey.”

Sarah, a Practice Development Midwife with 15 years’ experience as a qualified nurse and 11 years’ experience as a qualified midwife, explains how a Masters from the University of Surrey has boosted her career prospects.

“I wanted a course that would enable me to consolidate my previous experience and give me the qualification I needed for career progression. I chose the University of Surrey because it offers higher education as part of a contract with local Trusts. I was also looking to study at a university that could rival others at a national and even an international level.

The most challenging aspect of the course was juggling my academic work, working for the Trust and family life. The impact of studying for a Masters on family life can never be underestimated, so time management is key. For me, this often meant studying in the evening, which after a long day at work was gruelling.

Although the demands on my time and energy were challenging, I received unbeatable support from the team at Surrey. The emphasis wasn’t on taking away my challenges, but providing me with guidance so I could find a path that enabled me to achieve my full potential.

Now I have completed the course, the sense of achievement I have is immeasurable. At Surrey, you’re encouraged to think outside the box and consider new ideas.

Based on the results of my Masters, I have been awarded a full-time funded PhD studentship at Surrey. It’s thanks to the experience I had during my Masters that I had the confidence to even apply.”


Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Entry Requirements

Medical graduates and those with a minimum of a 2.1 honours degree in appropriate bioscience or health disciplines. English language requirements: IELTS minimum overall: 7.0; IELTS minimum by component: 6.5

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