Applied Human Nutrition

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

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Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: MSc: 12 months

Part time: MSc: 24 months, PGDip: 20 months, PGCert: 8 months

Location: Headington

Department(s): Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

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Nutrition is one of the most important factors contributing to human health. It’s an exciting and evolving field where your work could change lives and transform communities.

We’re home to the renowned Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health. You’ll have regular contact with top researchers throughout the course where you will hear the latest insights. Get involved in studies – as an assistant or work alongside them to gain key experience for your CV.

You’ll also focus on developing practical skills, working in labs and participating in projects. You’ll cover a range of topics, from nutrition in low-income countries to the impact of diet and physical activity on disease. These reflect the specialisms of our teaching team, which includes registered dietitians, nutritionists and specialists in areas like public health, chronic conditions or nutrition for sports.

If your scientific skills need sharpening before you start the course, you can take a short course with us. It doesn’t matter what your background is, we’re here to help you into the dynamic world of nutrition.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Home of cutting-edge research

    The Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health researches the role of foods in preventing chronic disease. You can volunteer for projects, get involved in research, and hear about breakthroughs.

  • Practical and career focused

    Whether we’re helping you find a summer placement or organising trips to a factory, we’re always looking for ways to make the course more valuable to your future.

  • Immerse yourself

    There are many opportunities to get involved beyond the course curriculum, like attending events organised by the student-run Nutrition Society, or volunteering to participate in research studies.

  • A valuable first step

    As well as looking for work in nutrition, you could use the course as a basis for further study and training, in dietetics for example.

  • Ideal location

    Oxford is home to many organisations who depend on nutritionists, from private healthcare agencies to food manufacturers. We also have great transport links to other areas of the country.

  • Accreditation(s)

    The course is accredited by the Association for Nutrition, an organisation respected around the world.

    • Association for Nutrition 235

Course details

Course structure

The MSc takes 1 year and you’ll need to complete 180 credits. You can also choose to exit with a PGDip or PGCert if you don’t complete the full MSc. The course is available full time over 1 year, or part time over 2 years.

The 6 taught modules cover a wide breadth of topics relevant to many careers in the food or healthcare sectors. You’ll also complete a research project where you’ll explore a subject in more depth with support from one of our academics. This is your chance to specialise in an area relevant to your career goals or simply find out more about an area that interests you.

Beyond the assessed elements of the course, we provide lots of opportunities for you to develop your CV, gain experience and expand your network. You can get involved in projects with groups like the Healthy Ageing Network and make links with our stakeholders, including food companies or healthcare organisations. Also, don’t forget to attend our popular annual careers event, where you can find out more about careers with many top nutrition employers.

Group of students cooking

Learning and teaching

You will learn using a variety of methods, including:

  • lectures
  • directed reading
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • practical work
  • project work.

Each module requires 200 hours of student input in each twelve week semester. There are approximately 36 hours of staff contact time. There is typically three hours teaching each week for 12 weeks. 

Our teaching staff are drawn primarily from the Department of Sport and Health Sciences. We also invite visiting speakers from:

  • business and industry
  • local government
  • consultancies
  • research bodies
  • other universities.

The Oxford Centre for Nutrition and Health (OxBCNH) is an internationally-renowned research group consisting of visiting professors, fellows, research assistants and PhD students. All of whom are researching nutrition and food topics.


Your performance in each module is assessed by:

  • evaluation of your written or design work
  • verbal presentations.

We use a range of assessment methods, such as:

  • essays
  • seminar papers
  • formal written examinations
  • in-class tests
  • project case work
  • design and verbal presentations
  • workshops
  • simulations
  • practical exercises.

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip and PGCert awards your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (20 credits)

    This module provides a comprehensive overview of the different nutrients required by humans throughout the life cycle and their sources in food in the UK and worldwide. It also critically evaluates methods used to assess nutrient intake at an individual and population level. The relationship between lifestyle and body composition will also be covered.

  • Food Science (20 credits)

    This module covers the properties of food components and their role in foods. It specifically addresses the measurement of food quality (including nutritional composition and manipulation), sensory and physical attributes, microbiological aspects of food production and preservation, new product development and the role of functional foods.

  • Research Methods (20 credits)

    This module provides a foundation and training in fundamental research methods, from literature searching, experimental planning and design to data analysis and presentation.

  • Nutrition, Physical Activity and Health (20 credits)

    This module examines the relationships between nutrition, physical activity and health outcomes 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.

  • Global Nutrition and Public Health (20 credits)

    This module covers nutrition in the context of world health. It examines current global nutrition problems and their social context in low-income countries, together with their treatment and prevention. It is oriented to a practical approach for their control. The subject gives emphasis to mother and child health and nutrition.

  • Health Promotion and Professional Practice Across the Lifespan (20 credits)

    This module explores the concept of health promotion and where it originated from through goal setting for diet, nutrition, and exercise in health and disease. The class will develop students to act as a professional nutritionist within the AfN Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance.

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (60 credits)

    This module involves original research in the study of a specific topic in nutrition. Past research projects include the effect of cocoa beverages on blood pressure, nutrient losses in cooking, and fruit and vegetable consumption of the elderly cf WHO guidelines. The choice of topic is by negotiation between you and an appropriate member of teaching staff acting as supervisor.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


Our research areas and clusters include:

  • glycaemic control and the development of low glycaemic index foods
  • female nutrition and the role of the menstrual cycle in energy regulation
  • appetite and satiety
  • childhood obesity and the factors influencing it
  • sensory testing of foods
  • weight management 
  • management of type two diabetes with nutrition and physical activity
  • functional food ingredients and their effect on energy regulation
  • antioxidant properties of foods.
Student researching on a laptop


Recent nutrition students have gone on to some exciting and wide-ranging careers with organisations like the NHS, Médecins Sans Frontières, Coca Cola, and many different research labs or independent healthcare agencies.

You might use the course to combine new skills with your existing job. Maybe you’re already working in the food or health industry and want to specialise. Or perhaps you fancy a change of career. With the broad range of skills you’ll develop here, and the international nature of the course, you’ll have plenty of options open to you.

Career destinations you might consider include:

  • health promotion as food and health coordinators
  • industry with food and drink manufacturers and retailers
  • medical food companies
  • food service providers
  • trade associations
  • government and policy to improve the health of the population
  • research in universities, food companies or research institutes
  • specialised training, in dietetics for example
  • further study with a PhD.

Student profiles

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.