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International Public Health Nutrition (MSc)

Course Description

Nutrition has long been recognised as a vitally important determinant of health status within both industrialised and industrialising countries, but significant changes are occurring in the profile of nutritional problems. Many countries continue to face problems of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, but countries in economic transition also face the public health challenge of rising rates of diet-related chronic disease, such as obesity and coronary heart disease. Also, many industrialised countries now face problems of food insecurity among low income groups. These challenges have led to a growing international demand for trained public health nutritionists to work in a range of contexts to control and prevent these issues.

This course will give you the specialist scientific knowledge and practical skills to take an active role in international public health nutrition in a range of different settings. Training in statistics, epidemiology, research methods, nutritional assessment and programme design will enhance your professional skills and competencies, employability and development as a public health professional.

Core modules

•Concepts and Principles of Nutrition
This module introduces you to the basic concepts and principles of nutritional science that underpin the theory and practice of public health nutrition. You will explore the role of macro- and micro-nutrients in maintaining health, and their effects when consumed in excess or when deficient, through the appraisal of scientific information relating to their structure, function, sources and bioavailability. This module emphasises the skills required to develop a critical understanding of the scientific basis of nutritional requirements, factors that influence them, and how they are applied to populations throughout the life cycle.

•Food and Nutrition in Public Health and Policy
This module introduces you to the context of public health and policy as they relate to public health nutrition, and the professional skills required to work as a public health nutritionist. A comparative and interdisciplinary approach is taken to examine different models of public health, the scope and nature of the challenges it faces including climate change and sustainability, and food and nutrition policy responses to these challenges. There is a strong emphasis on developing your skills for professional practice, including professional accountability.

•Food Security
This is a relatively new concept, but one which has become more current since the recent global food price crisis. This module considers the multi-factorial nature of food security, the methods used for food security assessment, and current global standards for interventions designed to enhance food security.

•Nutrition Assessment
You will cover the theory and techniques used to assess nutritional status, and gain practical skills in the measurement of body composition, energy expenditure and anthropometry.

•International Nutrition Programme Planning
This module examines nutritional disorders of public health significance, and looks at some different intervention strategies available to alleviate and prevent these. You will be able to apply your nutritional knowledge and to address current nutritional issues with considered, evidence-based interventions.

•Professional Skills for Nutrition
This module provides a foundation in knowledge and skills necessary for a public health nutritionist. The module covers the interpretation and presentation of nutritional data and analysis. The module aims to broaden students' knowledge base and skills in the application of research methods as related to nutritional epidemiology and statistics, and, to further develop students' ability to recognise, development and reflect on professional skills and personal attributes that contribute to employability enhancement, students are supported to become more reflective practitioners, helping them to develop skills like effective team leadership and performing well under stress while managing conflict. Students are also supported to engage in Public Health Nutrition advocacy, governance and leadership.

•Research Methods
This module aims to develop your knowledge and competence of the research process, and the application of research methods in the area of International Public Health Nutrition.

•Research Project in Public Health
The project is an extended piece of work on a relevant topic which you select, with the approval of the Course Leader. The topic will draw on knowledge, skills and methodological techniques covered by the course. The research topic needs to have an international perspective and/or data collection should take place overseas.

Associated careers

The course is designed for people wishing to work, or already working in, public health contexts such as government ministries, UN organisations and nongovernmental organisations.

Professional recognition

The course is accredited by the Association for Nutrition as part fulfilment of the requirements as an associate Public Health Nutritionist.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. We place as much emphasis on gaining skills relevant to the workplace as on learning the academic discipline that you are studying.

Obtaining a placement, part-time or vacation job while you study will provide you with extra cash and help you demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for.

In London, there is a plentiful supply of part-time work - most students at the University of Westminster work part-time (or full-time during vacations) to help support their studies.

Visit the International Public Health Nutrition (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should have a good Honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent from a non-UK university, in a relevant science or social science subject. Preference is given to those with related work experience. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS score of at least 6.5, with 6.0 in each element.

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