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Applied Human Nutrition

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024



Course length

Full time: MSc: 12 months

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


Our course is accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN)

  • Association for Nutrition 235


Applied Human Nutrition is a practical, research driven master course. It details the science behind the nutritional requirements of humans from pre-conception to old age.

Poor nutrition is causing increasing public health problems in all sectors and ages. This is especially clear among the young and the elderly. On this course you will examine:

  • the specific problems of global nutrition and the implications for public health
  • the provision of food and nutrients to the body, facilitating optimum physical and mental development and health maintenance.

Our Oxford Centre for Nutrition and Health (OxBCNH) is the UK's first research centre dedicated to functional foods. The Centre has excellent links with the food industry.

As part of your research project you will have opportunities to work with the Oxford Centre for Nutrition and Health. You can get involved with cutting edge research that helps the government and food industry develop new products with specific health and nutritional benefits.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

In order to successfully complete a postgraduate course, applicants are usually expected to have (or be about to attain) at least a second class honours degree in a related scientific subject from a recognised institution of higher education. If you do not have these academic qualifications, you could still be offered a place on this course if you can show evidence of the potential to succeed based on professional and/or related experiences.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, an Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (with 6.5 in Reading and Writing, and 6.0 in Listening and Speaking) is required.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

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

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

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.

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.

Learning and assessment

Depending on the course you are studying, you will be required to complete the following:

  • MSc students - 180 level seven credits
  • PGDip students - 120 level seven credits
  • PGCert students - 60 level seven credits.
Group of students cooking

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 that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

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.


Assessment methods used on this course

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.


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

After you graduate

Career prospects

Graduates pursue a range of nutrition-related careers, particularly in:

  • health promotion as food and health co-ordinators
  • 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.

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.