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Public Health Nutrition (MSc)

Course Description

The part that nutrition plays in public health has long been recognised. Within the UK's national health system, tackling obesity and the chronic diseases that result remains a priority. This is reflected in the growing provision of locally based food and lifestyle projects intended to prevent obesity and other diet-related diseases, and designed to address inequalities in health. These challenges have led to a growing demand for trained public health nutritionists to work in a range of different projects.

This course will give you the specialist scientific knowledge and practical skills you need to meet those challenges, and take an active role in public health nutrition in a range of different settings. Training in statistics, epidemiology, research methods, nutritional assessment, and health promotion and behaviour change 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.

•Health Promotion in Nutrition
This module covers the skills and tools needed for information gathering, needs analysis, implementation of intervention strategies to address diet related chronic diseases.

•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.

•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 Public Health Nutrition.

•Research Project in Public Health

Option modules

•Communicating Science
Introducing you to key concepts in science communication, its challenges, rewards and applications, this module is designed to incorporate scenarios related to your interests, such as health, drug discovery and water science. The roles of science and scientists in society and how the public perceives, interacts with and responds to the information produced by scientists are explored, with the history of communicating science used to contextualise current issues in disseminating information.

•Prevention and Treatment of Obesity in Children
This module takes an ecological approach to the prevention of obesity in children, and addresses the evidence base for current strategies to prevent and treat obesity.

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 non-governmental 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 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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Recipient: University of Westminster

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