MSc / PGDip
Nutrition is the keystone to good health, but there is growing concern over our diet and future problems, which stem from it. Obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are becoming more prevalent around the globe, causing increasing public health problems in all sectors and ages, especially among the young and the elderly. On the other hand, in some areas of the world, deficiency diseases and malnutrition are common.
The course details the science behind the nutritional requirements of humans from pre-conception to old age and how we can best eat a balanced diet. It also emphasises the specific problems of international nutrition and their global implications. It is suited to graduates with a background in the biological sciences, including those who work in non-governmental organisations, international agencies or the food and beverage industries. Applications are encouraged from UK, EU and overseas students who have an interest in acquiring expertise in nutrition, and for graduates who wish to pursue careers as nutritionists.
MSc students are required to complete 180 M-level credits, ie all the following modules. PGDip students are required to complete 120 M-level credits, ie all modules excluding the Research Project and PGCert students are required to complete 60 M-level credits.
Human Nutrition (20 M credits) This module examines:
* the nutrients required by humans throughout the life cycle and their sources in food in the UK and worldwide
* the critical assessment of dietary reference values, nutrient intake and food composition databases
* nutritional needs and problems throughout the life cycle.
Food Science (20 M credits) This module covers:
* the properties of foods in the context of different commodity groups
* the measurement of food quality, including nutritional composition and manipulation, sensory and physical attributes, and hygienic and microbiological aspects of food production and preservation
* the relationship between food and nutrition, the role of functional foods and new product development of foods with modified nutritional properties.
Research Methods (20 M credits) This module provides a foundation and training in fundamental research methods, from literature searching, experimental planning and design to data analysis and presentation. Assessment is by coursework only.
Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health (20 M credits) This module examines the relationships between nutrition, physical activity and health and disease 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.
International Nutrition (20 M credits) A module covering nutrition in the context of world health, examining current international nutrition problems and their social context in developing countries, and their treatment and prevention, oriented to a practical approach for their control. The subject gives emphasis to mother and child health and nutrition.
Current Research in Sport, Exercise and Nutrition (20 M credits) A module exploring contemporary research in nutrition and sport and exercise. The class will promote discussion of latest findings from peer-reviewed journals through directed and independent reading of relevant literature.
Research Project (60 M credits) The study of a specific topic in nutrition, involving original research. The choice of topic is by negotiation between the student and an appropriate member of teaching staff acting as supervisor.
Teaching, learning and assessment
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 to five 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.
The Nutrition Group is an active research group consisting of visiting professors, fellows, research assistants and PhD students, who are all researching nutritional topics. Facilities include newly commissioned laboratories, a commercial kitchen and a metabolic room.
Teaching staff are drawn primarily from the School of Life Sciences, but will include some visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, consultancies and research bodies.
Accreditation by the Nutrition Society is being sought.
Graduates can pursue a range of nutrition-related careers, particularly in health promotion as food and health co-ordinators, in industry with food and drink manufacturers and retailers, medical food companies, food service providers and trade associations, in government and policy to improve the health of the population and research in universities, food companies or research institutes.