Nutritional science is a subject of growing importance in many aspects of healthcare, lifestyle and industry. This programme, established since 1994 and accredited by the Association of Nutrition (AfN), provides students with an expert evidence-based approach to Human Nutrition, integrating teaching on basic sciences, clinical practice and public health applications.
- Students explore how our choices of foods affect the biochemical and physiological functions of cells and organs, and how our diets influence physical, mental and social health.
- This MSc is unique in the UK in providing four different specialisation areas – Public Health Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition, Obesity & Weight Management and Sports & Exercise Nutrition.
- If you are passionate about nutrition and keen to learn through an in-depth, evidence based, critical approach and enthusiastic about specialising in a particular area - public health nutrition, clinical nutrition, obesity and weight management or sports and exercise nutrition, then this programme is for you.
- There is a long tradition of excellence in Nutrition at the University of Glasgow, with pioneering research by Cathcart, Paton and Boyd. More recently Durnin, Cockburn and Dunnigan, and current Glasgow academics continue to make important contributions in the field of Nutrition.
- This programme has a truly global reach, taught by international staff and external experts, offering great flexibility to suit individual student needs.
- A range of transferable skills are integrated and embedded into this programme, for example, critical review skills, which are highly sought after within the competitive job market. You will learn how to develop a substantial research proposal as a team, gaining valuable skills for future employment.
- After completing this programme you will have gained valuable understanding and a range of skills for interdisciplinary working and for interpreting nutrition research.
- Our staff are highly trained, enthusiastic and experienced. The staff and University environment are very supportive: feedback from past students emphasises the dedication, approachability and enthusiasm of the programme team.
- The MSc (Med Sci) Human Nutrition is accredited by the Association for Nutrition. All graduates will be eligible for direct entry to the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) as an Associate Nutritionist (ANutr). It is expected that you will normally transition to full registration after three years, when you will also identify your area of specialism from the five options available. For more information, please see www.associationfornutrition.org/.
- You will have the opportunity to study at the recently refurbished Glasgow Royal Infirmary with its state of the art teaching facilities.
The programme provides a thorough grounding in the principles, practice and research of human nutrition and the opportunity to follow a successful career in the UK or overseas. You will have the knowledge and experience necessary for engaging in and contributing to current issues in the field of human nutrition. An additional research component allows the development of valuable skills for practising and interpreting nutrition research.
The teaching programme is given in the form of lectures, practical sessions, debates, case studies, team work tasks, self-directed learning, seminars and tutorials. Additional material and electronic resources such as quizzes, online chats and teaching videos are available on moodle, the University’s virtual learning environment, to support and enhance students’ learning experience.
- Food and nutrient requirements and nutrition through the lifecycle
- Digestion, absorption and nutritional metabolism
- Dietary and nutritional assessment
- Public health and eating behaviour.
One from the following:
- Public health nutrition
- Clinical nutrition
- Obesity and weight management
- Sports and exercise nutrition.
As part of their specialisation, all students complete a taught course and research proposal.
Subject to satisfactory results, students progress on to a research project in the area of their specialisation. The project is presented as a written report in the form of a scientific paper for assessment in August and may also provide the basis for publication and presentation at scientific meetings.
This programme includes a range of training in transferable skills.
- Learning techniques
- Literature searching
- Academic journal review
- Statistics and data handling
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAMME DOES NOT LEAD TO STATE REGISTRATION IN DIETETICS.
Being brought up in a small town on the outskirts of Glasgow I am keen to tell new people that Glasgow University is central and accessible. I was lucky enough to attend for 5 years of my life. At the age of 17 I started out to work towards an undergraduate degree in physiology and at the age of 22 left with an MSc in human nutrition. My time at Glasgow university shaped me as a person and my interests blossomed, leaving me with a passion for human nutrition. The MSc course was exciting with a healthy balance of individual and group based study. The course offers a unique advantage in that you can choose to specialize in a particular area, I chose obesity and weight management. My masters at Glasgow has opened up opportunites for me that I never thought possible as I am now working with the Medical Research Council on human nutrition research. I find it fascinating how the university can offer so many different paths to bigger and better things more so than other universities with its unmistakeable reputation. I would thoroughly recommend the university and the human nutrition course in particular.
Emma Ross (UK) 2012-13 Human Nutrition
Not only did the MSc Human Nutrition course allow me to study nutrition in great detail, it provided me with transferable skills for my future career path. My favourite part of the course was my research project in which I had the opportunity to study the area of nutrition I am most passionate about. Glasgow is a wonderful, diverse city and I have met some friends for life from all over the world while studying at the University of Glasgow.
Kimberley McLean (UK) 2012-13 Human Nutrition
The course is taught by a diverse range of enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable staff from start to finish. From the core academic staff to the regular guest speakers they together provided a truly excellent all round learning experience in the area of human nutrition and indeed in the specialisations on offer which were a personal highlight. The specialisations allow you to really focus on an area which interests you the most and are taught by experts in the field which was a true privilege. The most valuable things I learned from the course were; to think differently, to have a healthy level of scepticism and to use a solid evidence based approach toward my work at all times.
The course certainly attracts a massive range of cultures and nationalities to it, which help to further enrich the experience I had as one that is genuinely unforgettable. A demanding programme based in a city full of surprises but one that is rewarding and above all enjoyable throughout. That is of course as long as you can stand the weather.
Phillip Arthur (UK) 2012-13 Human Nutrition
After completing my Bachelor degree in Saudi Arabia, I decided to continue for an MSc course in one of the UK leading universities. The MSc Human Nutrition course at the University of Glasgow was a well-structured, practical and challenging course. My supervisors were very knowledgeable, encouraging and helpful. This has been a great experience!!
Roba Naaman (Saudi Arabia) 2012-13 Human Nutrition with specialisation in clinical nutrition and current PhD student
Glasgow is a typical student city and my choice to study there gave all kinds of emotions, not always the happy ones. For me it was a challenge to move away from my country and deal with all the things facing me in Glasgow. Nevertheless, with a little support from my professors and peers, i managed everything and gained a huge experience that no one will ever take away from me.
The nutrition programme will give you loads of information in a short period of time. Although, the professors will give their guidance and support, hard work is the key to success. Don’t worry, you will still have some time to enjoy Glasgow and Scotland’s beatiful nature.
All your lectures will be evidence based and you will be given an opportunity to learn from one of the best experts in the nutrition field. You will learn how to deal with the growing amount of available information, critically appraise it and apply it in your own work. The most important thing I learnt was how to distinguish between strong evidence and a weak one and how to detect bias in scientific research. After finishing particular programme, no one will be able to speculate with you providing misleading health information, as there will always be a question in your head – “what is the evidence behind that ?”.
To sum up, I am happy to hold a MSc degree from one of the best universities and could not imagine a better place to study nutrition. Take the challenge and you won’t regret it !
Eva Kataja (Latvia) 2011-12 Human Nutrition with specialisation in obesity & weight management and currently working as a freelance nutritionist
I did the masters course with sports nutrition specialisation and found it really interesting and enjoyable and a great addition to my undergraduate degree. This MSc has enhanced my career and allowed me to gain experience and work with a Premier league football team. Furthermore, this MSc helped me progress my career in academia as I am currently doing a PhD, examining the efficacy of a weight loss intervention for adults with intellectual disabilities at Glasgow University. I would highly recommend this course; the staff are very supportive and it was an enjoyable experience which has provided me with a wide range of skills and knowledge that can be applied to many different vocations.
Leanne Harris (UK) 2011-12 Human Nutrition with specialisation in sports and exercise nutrition and current PhD student
The M.Sc in Human nutrition course has an excellent structure covering theory, practicals, journal clubs and interesting debates, in various aspects of nutritional science. The faculty is highly knowledgable, experienced, supportive and experts in their own areas. In a nutshell, the course has given focused attitude' in to my nutrition career with an evidence based approach to clinical practice, research skills starting from a funding proposal to conducting credible research and producing publications. I also want to add that, the skills attained here contributed significantly in winning the Caroline Walker Student Award 2010 - for writing a memorandum to the new public health minister. This highlighted the top five nutritional priorities for the British government to improve the health of the population. Also Glasgow is a beautiful city with various parks, museums, pubs and fine art centres. It was a memorable year – academically, personally and socially!
Anvesha Mahendra (India) 2009-2010 Human Nutrition with specialisation in public health nutrition and currently clinical nutritionist in India
The course gives students the chance during lectures to explore intermediate and advanced topics in the field of human nutrition, giving equal opportunities to students from different backgrounds.
Aiming to increase critical thinking, the most important skill gained during the course is the ability to apply evidence based nutrition and keep up with latest advances in the area even after graduating.
A multi cultural course, in a student friendly city that can transform this year from just an academic opportunity to a chance to meet people and gain experiences worth remembering.
Antonis Vlassopoulos (Greece) 2009-10 Human Nutrition with specialisation in obesity and weight management and current PhD student
The programme offers a strong foundation for students interested in research in addition to allowing you to build a network with future researchers in different parts of the world. It has supportive staff and interesting lectures with an opportunity to specialise in the area which is most relevant to your interests.
Bahareh Mansoorian (Iran) 2008-09 Human Nutrition with specialisation in clinical nutrition and current PhD student
It’s a wonderful experience to study here in Glasgow – although the weather is not that wonderful! I really enjoyed it. It has been one of the best periods of my life.
Fei Dong (China) 2007-08 Human Nutrition with specialisation in public health nutrition currently working for Nutrition Society of China
Food and Nutrient Requirements and Nutrition through the Lifecycle
Course Leader – Dr Alison Parrett
This course provides a detailed overview of the structure, function, sources and requirements of nutrients. Food safety, food additives, genetically modified foods, food labelling and other key issues are discussed and debated. Students will also gain an evidence based understanding of the nutritional requirements at each stage of life and their relation to developmental and health risks.
Assessment - Examination comprising essay and data handling questions.
Digestion, Absorption and Nutritional Metabolism
Course Leader - Professor Christine Edwards
This course provides students with an understanding of the processes of digestion, absorption and nutrient metabolism and how they relate to nutrition and health. The post absorptive metabolic processes and their impact on lipoprotein metabolism and other biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk will be discussed. Students are introduced to the importance of energy expenditure and discuss methods for estimation and measurement of energy expenditure.
Assessment - Examination comprising essay and data handling questions.
Dietary and Nutritional Assessment
Course Leader – Dr Alison Parrett
This course will train students to carry out dietary assessment and discuss the strengths and limitations of different methodologies and their appropriate use in different settings. Students will consider the principles of nutritional assessment using anthropology, biochemical, and functional tests and consider the evidence for their strengths, limitations and appropriate use.
Assessment – examination and dietary analysis report
Public Health Nutrition and Eating Behaviour
Course Leader - Dr Ada Garcia
The course discusses the factors which influence food choice and eating behaviour, presents the fundamental principles of nutritional epidemiology and public health nutrition and reviews the evidence for the role of diet and exercise in the cause and prevention of chronic conditions including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Assessment – examination and course work
Core recommended reading
- Introduction to Human Nutrition 2nd Edn (Eds Gibney, Lanham-New, Cassidy, Vorster 2009)
- Nutrition and Metabolism 2nd Edn (Eds Lanham-New, Macdonald, Roche 2011)
- Public Health Nutrition (Eds Gibney, Arab, Margetts 2004)
- Metabolic Regulation: A Human Perspective (Eds Frayn 2003)
- Dietary reference values for food, energy and nutrients for the Uk (DoH 1991).
Students will also be expected to read relevant reports and peer-reviewed articles.
Students have the option to specialise in their particular area of interest. Subject to satisfactory completion of the taught components, students then progress to a research project within their specialisation.
Public Health Nutrition Specialisation
Course Leader - Dr Ada Garcia
This course provides students with the skills required to conduct a needs assessment and plan, implement and evaluate a nutrition intervention. Students have the opportunity to work as a member of a project team. Students following the Public Health Nutrition route will have the knowledge and expertise to perform the competencies of Public Health Nutritionist, as described by Nutrition Society in 2007. This route is accredited by the Association for Nutritionists (AfN) and graduate can become Associated Registered Public Health Nutritionists (ARPHN).
Students will be expected to read relevant reports and peer-reviewed articles and websites.
Clinical Nutrition Specialisation
Course Leader - Dr Konstantinos Gerasimidis
This courses trains students to obtain and critically evaluate the scientific evidence, and thus master the principles of disordered nutrition in the aetiology of disease, as a consequence of disease, and in the management of disease (including primary nutritional disease). Students also learn skills, which with experience will lead to competency in the identification of at-risk patients whose nutritional status should be assessed, and in the practical assessment of nutritional status.
- Clinical Nutrition (edited by M J Gibney, M Elia, O Ljungqvist, 2005)
Students will also be expected to read relevant reports and peer-reviewed articles.
Sports and Exercise Nutrition Specialisation
Course Leader - Dr Dalia Malkova
This course provides students with an evidence based understanding of the role and importance of Nutrition in Exercise and Physical Performance. Students have the opportunity to critically review and discuss recent literature in Sports and Exercise Nutrition.
- Clinical Sports Nutrition (3rd Edition) (edited by L Burke, V Deaking. 2006).
Students will also be expected to read relevant reports and peer-reviewed articles.
Obesity and Weight Management Specialisation
Course Leader - Dr Catherine Hankey
This course provides students with the skills to obtain, and critically evaluate, the scientific evidence on overweight/obesity, its aetiology, its health consequences and its prevention and management and competencies in patient assessment, diet design and delivery, monitoring and audit for service improvement.
Students will be expected to read relevant reports and peer-reviewed articles
The MSc (Med Sci) Human Nutrition is accredited by the Association for Nutrition. All graduates will be eligible for direct entry to the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) as an Associate Nutritionist (ANutr). It is expected that you will normally transition to full registration after three years, when you will also identify your area of specialism from the five options available. For more information, please see www.associationfornutrition.org/
Subject to satisfactory results, students progress on to a research project in the area of their specialisation. A range of projects are available; some take place with academics from the programme team whilst others take place out in the field. Depending on students’ abilities, skills they wish to develop and their interests, projects can take place in the laboratory, in a hospital setting, out in the community or can be more theoretical. Students are encouraged to be proactive and independent in their project work.
Some examples of recent projects are shown below.
- Are the effects of moderate exercise on appetite and plasma ghrelin influenced by energy status
- Diet and body composition of professional football players
- Effect of creatine supplementation on exercise metabolism and performance in the heat
- The effects of hyperhydration on running economy of endurance trained runners.
- The impact of two exercise programmes with similar energy expenditure and intensity but different frequency on fat oxidation and cardio respiratory fitness
- Glycerol and creatine supplementation with and without glucose: impact on health risk factors
- Is iodine important in pregnancy? Knowledge, awareness and attitude from mothers and midwives
- Commercial baby foods: an exploration of feeding practices in Glasgow
- Public perception of traditional and "balanced" / "healthy" ready-meals
- Evaluation of HALFF Heart Hub, a community programme working on CVD risk reduction
- Food Banks in Lanarkshire: a mapping exercise
- How do preferences for vegetables as a toddler track into childhood
- Nutri-epigenetic mechanisms involved in mediating the health benefits of olive oil supplementation
- Alternative and fad diets in cancer on WWW; evaluation of websites, evidence and potential consequences
- Gut microbiota metabolic activity in children with obesity of different aetiology
- Low protein staple foods, nutritional status and disease management in children and adults with phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Quality of life in children on restrictive diets
- Accidental risk of exposure in food allergens in pre-packed meals
- A Longitudinal Observational Study of vitamin E Concentrations in the Critically Ill Patient
- Energy and nutrient intake of hospitalised elderly patients
- Quantitative dietary advice vs the plate model: a pilot study in overweight and obese employees
- BMI changes in rheumatoid arthritis patients
- Survey of young adults: opinions on the overweight and obese
- Effectiveness and efficiency of family-based weight management programme targetting children 2-15 years, POST funded by NHS
- What motivates individuals to lose weight and what are their perceived barriers to successful weight loss/weight maintenance?
- Objective measurement of behavioural components of NEAT in pre-school children
- In vitro glycation of proteins with different compounds
Some students continue working in their project area after their MSc and this has in some cases led to publications.
for entry in 2016
An Honours degree in a suitable science subject, or an ordinary degree in a highly relevant subject such as nutrition or dietetics from an institution recognised by the University Court.
You are required to provide two references, a full degree transcript and a personal statement with your application.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office: email@example.com
The University requires a deposit of £1000 to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme.
A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the
MSc (Med Sci). This includes graduates and those who have
completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at
the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who
are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No
additional application is required.
Graduates are well placed for a variety of employment opportunities in the food and health industries, public health, research, health promotion, food policy, the media and relief/development work in less developed countries. There is an expanding role for high quality nutritionists in all these sectors. The programme is intended to meet this demand. This course provides a sound basis from which to apply for employment in advisory positions in industry or government agencies, to undertake professional training in dietetics, or for further doctoral-level research training for academic or teaching careers.
A high proportion of our graduates go on to complete PhDs in Glasgow or other high quality institutions across the world. Careers of some of our recent graduates include:
- Weight management consultant
- Researcher, MRC nutrition research facility
- Nutritionist, Dribble Delights
- Assistant project worker, Angus Healthy Happy Communities
- Research Associate, Nutritional Biochemistry (U. of Glasgow)
- Nutrition Society of China officer
- Project administration, Action Against Hunger, Canada
- Private Nutrition clinic, Greece
- Nutrition Researcher, Kenya
- Lecturer in Clinical Nutrition (U. of Glasgow)
- Research Fellow on Eating Behaviour (U. of London)
- Development Worker, High Five for Fruit, Lanarkshire Community Food and Health Partnership
- Nutritionist, North Lanarkshire Council
- Food & Health Alliance Co-ordinator, NHS Health Scotland
- Nutrition Consultant, FAO Rome
- Programme Officer, Food & Health Alliance, NHS Health Scotland
- New Product Development Project Manager, Kinnerton Confectionery Ltd
- Intervention worker on prevention of childhood obesity, National Institute of Perinatology, Mexico
- Nutrition Adviser, Scottish Consumer Council
- Milton Community Food Project Officer, North Glasgow Healthy Living Community
- Emergency Nutrition Worker, Action Against Hunger, GOAL
We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.
You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.
Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?
Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.
Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?
No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.
What documents do I need to provide to make an application?
As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:
- A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
- A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
- Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
- Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
- Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
- A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)
- A two-page personal statement highlighting:
- How your academic career to-date makes this programme a suitable next step
- Why you want to study this programme
- How you think this programme will help you in your future career development
If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?
Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.
How do I provide my references?
You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?
If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.
You may send them to:
Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
Fax: +44 141 330 4045
Can I email my supporting documents?
No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.
What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.
What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?
If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.
Guidance notes for using the online application
These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.
- Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
- Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
- Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
- Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
- Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
- English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
- Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
- References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.
Standard application deadlines
- International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016
- UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016
Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.