School of Health Professions

MSc Human Nutrition

Designed for graduates with a non-nutrition background, this broad-ranging programme offers you an advanced understanding of nutrition and the links between diet and health. Core nutrition science will underpin a critical evaluation of the role of nutrition in public health at the local, national and international level. Explore the role of nutrition in exercise and sports performance and graduate with the skills to work and lead as a nutritionist in a wide range of environments.

Thumb brainz20

Enhance your career in the healthcare professions

This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Key features

  • Designed for graduates with a non-nutrition background, this full time programme will provide you with a new and alternative career pathway.
  • Train to become an evidence based nutrition professional equipped to manage and lead in dynamic settings.
  • The only programme of this type in the south-west region.
  • Delivered by a team with extensive experience in the delivery of masters level modules and a diverse range of expertise in nutrition, public health, research, sports nutrition and physiology. The team have external recognition for the quality of feedback to support student learning.
  • The programme will be accredited with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) allowing students who have completed the masters to apply for direct entry at associate level to the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN).
  • Focuses on public health nutrition and disease prevention at the local, national and international level.
  • Develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of current and topical issues in sports nutrition and apply them to current practice utilising links with local sporting partnerships. 
  • Engage with local AfN registrants who will provide curriculum enrichment, local expertise and knowledge of future career pathways.
  • Research informed teaching will be embedded throughout the curriculum.
  • Issues around sustainability of nutrition will be threaded throughout the programme. 
  • Gain a core understanding of professional practice and ethics, elements of which are embedded within the programme.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • This MSc in Human Nutrition will be delivered on a one year full-time basis. Core modules in the science of food, nutrition and human health will underpin an advanced understanding of links between diet and health at the individual, population and strategic level. Nutritional epidemiology will be studied to inform the practice of public health nutrition and how key issues in population health may be addressed. Key and topical issues in sports nutrition will be studied and applied to real world situations. Research modules will provide you with key research skills to design and carry out high quality nutrition research under supervision. You'll become a nutrition professional equipped to work in a range of nutrition settings and you will be eligible to apply to register as an associate nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition.

    Nutrition Science (20 credits): Includes the science, application and consequences of food choice/ lifestyle and its impact on human nutritional health.

    Applied Nutrition (20 credits): Examines basic nutritional metabolism and the evidence base linking diet and health.

    Applied Sports Nutrition (20 credits): Critically evaluate the role of nutrition in sports and exercise and cover the professional aspects of working as a registered nutritionist.

    Nutritional Epidemiology (20 credits): Critically evaluates key concepts and principles of nutritional epidemiology, including design aspects of dietary assessment methodologies, aetiology of disease and occurrence of disease in populations.

    Public Health Nutrition (20 credits): Judges the role of nutrition in public health and critically evaluates the evidence base for applying nutrition principles to health and wellbeing.

    Project Design for Research (20 credits): Identify and appraise research and data analysis methods and allow you to formulate a research proposal.

    Research Dissertation (60 credits) You'll complete your research dissertation under the supervision from a member of the programme team.

    For a Pg Cert in Human Nutrition - you need 60 credits
    Core modules Nutrition Science (20 credits) and Applied Nutrition (20 credits) must be achieved.

    For a Pg Diploma in Human Nutrition – you need 120 credits
    Core modules Nutrition Science (20 credits) and Applied Nutrition (20 credits) must be achieved.

    MSc Human Nutrition - you need 180 credits

    Core nutrition modules (Nutrition Science and Applied Nutrition) must be achieved to obtain the exit awards of PgCert and PgDip in Human Nutrition. The remaining credit for PgCert and PgDip can be obtained from any of the remaining 20 credit modules.

    Core modules
    • ADV715 Project Design for Research

      You’ll explore methodology and methods relevant to the development of a research project and by the end of the module you’ll formulate a research proposal. You’ll learn how to define and refine a research question, select and appraise methodology, address ethical considerations, and select and appraise data collection and analysis techniques.

    • ADV716 Research Dissertation

      You’ll complete your dissertation as part of your Advanced Professional Practice Masters programme under supervision from the module team and a named dissertation supervisor.

    • HNUT701 Nutrition Science

      This module enables students to develop a sound scientific understanding of the role and function of nutrients and non-nutrients in the human body and impact on health. It includes the science, application and consequences of food choice/ lifestyle and impact on human nutritional health. In addition it explores the evidence behind health claims and impact of compounds such as drugs on nutritional status and function.

    • HNUT702 Applied Nutrition

      This module examines the physiological and metabolic background to nutrition exploring the evidence base linking diet and health. Basic nutritional metabolism will be covered and then used as the basis to discuss the role of metabolism in various conditions as well as exploring practical difficulties of implementing changes to diet.

    • HNUT703 Applied Sports Nutrition

      This module will critically evaluate the role of nutrition in sports and exercise. It will look at the key physiological factors underpinning applied nutritional practices, as well as potential psychological/cultural/ psychosocial factors impacting on food intake in athletes. Professional aspects of working as a registered nutritionist will also be covered.

    • HNUT704 Nutritional Epidemiology

      This module critically evaluates the relationship between diet and disease and explores the epidemiological data underpinning nutritional recommendations. It combines nutritional knowledge with skills in evaluation of dietary assessment methods and nutritional surveillance to investigate the determinants of health and disease in populations.

    • HNUT705 Public Health Nutrition

      This module judges the role of nutrition in public health and critically evaluates the evidence base for applying good nutritional principles to health and wellbeing, considering wider ecological aspects of the food supply system.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Human Nutrition Programme Specification 5742

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements


You need to have a BSc (Hons) degree at 2:2 or above or European first cycle equivalent in a science or social science subject.


International students must provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with Plymouth Universities Admissions Code of Practice and requirements set out by the AfN, This will be a minimum overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of at least 6.5 in each element and a mean score of 7.0.  If you need to improve your English language to get onto a degree programme at Plymouth University, you can book a pre-sessional academic English course.


Scholarships are available for postgraduate taught programmes. Tell me more about scholarships and bursaries.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £7,500 To be confirmed
International £13,250 £14,000
Part time (Home/EU) £400 £450
Part time (International) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

Information about loans and funding for postgraduate study.

Please be aware that there may be additional costs to undertaking your studies relating to printing of course materials, parking charges if you are studying at PAHC, and requirement for an initial outlay for travel and accommodation in respect of practice placement. If you have any questions regarding these costs please contact

How to apply

When to apply

Applications for this programme should be made by the end of July in the academic year that you wish to commence studying. Please check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.

Apply for this programme

Applications should be made by using the relevant PDF or Word application form.

Postgraduate application form DOC – A 10 page DOC application form for postgraduate students to print, fill in and mail to University

Postgraduate application form PDF – A 10 page PDF application form for postgraduate students to print, fill in and mail to University

International student postgraduate application form DOC – Postgraduate taught programmes application for international students

International student postgraduate application form PDF – Postgraduate taught programmes application for international students

Printed application forms are also available and can be obtained from the Professional Development Unit. Please send your completed application form to the address or email listed below:

Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
Plymouth University
Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA

Tel: +44 1752 586951

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website.

Support is also available if you are an overseas student applying to the University from our International Office.

Automatic postgraduate bursaries for Plymouth University graduates

A ten per cent alumni discretionary award is available in all faculties if you are:

  • a graduate of Plymouth University
  • enrolled on a full-time or part-time taught postgraduate programme on which a postgraduate fee is charged and no student loan is available
  • self-funded
  • part funded/sponsored the discount will apply to the self-funded element of the tuition fee only.
Please note exceptions apply.
Find out more about the ten per cent discount for Plymouth University graduates

English Language Centre

We offer a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills.

These include pre-sessional academic English courses for undergraduates, taught postgraduates and research students along with insessional language classes, tutorials and activities to support students who have English as a second language.

Find out how we can help you reach your potential.