BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutrition

On this accredited degree course you’ll learn the science and social importance of nutrition in a modern university with advanced equipment. Real-world voluntary experience will foster your practical skills and you’ll have the chance to study abroad.*

Nutrition affects everyone in the world every day. What and how we eat is vital to individual and community health and it is an engaging and rewarding subject to study. You’ll learn the academic principles behind food and gain practical skills in our advanced laboratories. You’ll also learn how to think on a larger scale. What are the social, political, cultural and environmental factors affecting what we eat? How can nutritionists use evidence to support behaviour change at an individual, community and population level? What are the most current issues in the field of nutrition? 

NB Since the printing of our 2020 entry prospectus, this course has undergone re-validation. Updates following that re-validation have been made to the text here. 

See the foot of the page for some student case studies/ staff profiles


Why QMU?

  • You’ll learn from registered nutritionists who are actively researching some of the most interesting and influential topics in the field.
  • You’ll build professional proficiency in our labs, using advanced equipment and proven research techniques.


About the course

If we are what we eat, then nutrition can tell us a lot about who we are, how we live and how we can improve the health of society. As a science it looks at how food affects the functioning of the living organism. It includes the study of food composition, how it is digested and absorbed, the production of energy, elimination of wastes and all the syntheses that are essential for growth, maintenance and reproduction across the life cycle.

In Years One and Two you’ll forge a solid understanding of the biological sciences. You’ll learn the fundamental principles of nutrition and integrate this with knowledge of other related disciplines. Modules will help you develop core study and professional skills as well as laboratory and investigative (information technology and research) expertise.

In Year Three you’ll look at how nutrition influences health at the individual, community and population level across all stages of the lifespan. You will learn to evaluate scientific and lay literature, and develop other key professional skills such as communication.
In Year Four you’ll focus most of your time on developing your individual research project. You will also choose an elective module that interests you; either Health Entrepreneurship or Nutrition in Practice, which allows you the opportunity to develop a nutritional intervention in a population group of your choice.


You can take an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. The modules and options for each year are outlined.

Teaching, learning and assessment

You’ll learn in lectures, seminars, practical workshops and laboratories. Outside these timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning through self-study. You will be assessed by written exams at the end of each module or semester. For full details see the course entry on our website. >>Click for more information on 'Teaching, Learning and Assessment'



Year One
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Food Science
  • Contextualising You and Your Profession/
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Food, Lifestyle and Society
Year Two
  • Pharmacology
  • Systems Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition (plus lab-based tutorials) and Food Science
  • Sensory Tutorials/ Research Methods
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Behaviour Change
Year Three
  • Disease Aetiology and Management
  • Dissertation
  • Nutrition Through the Life-course (plus tutorials in Research Techniques for Nutrition)
  • Epidemiology in Public Health
  • Volunteering Module
Year Four
  • Current Issues in Nutrition Science
  • Food & Nutrition Policy
  • Honours Project
  • plus one of the following options: (Health Entreprenuship or Nutrition in Practice)

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Oct 2019) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2020. Please check the website for any updates.


 Practical learning in real-world environments is the perfect way to consolidate your skills. In Year Three, students will organise their own compulsory volunteering experience. This can be in a variety of settings such as schools, community groups, laboratories, care homes or food and drink companies. Students may even wish to volunteer overseas.


*Exchange opportunities

In Years Two or Three you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a university overseas (subject to availability). For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/

Please note that exchange opportunities are subject to availability. In addition, please note that where exchange opportunities are arranged in the EU, Erasmus+ funding is available subject to the UK remaining in the Erasmus+ scheme.



We hope this degree will give you a taste for success. Our graduates work across a number of sectors including Government, third-sector and private companies. 


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard BBBC, Minimum: BCCC

A Level: BB

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

International: IELTS score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5.

Required subjects: Chemistry or Biology and preferably one other science (may include Maths or Home Economics) at Higher/A Level or equivalent AND Chemistry, Biology, Maths and English at Nat 5/GCSE.

Mature/Access: We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications in Biology and Chemistry or experience. See related Access courses — www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit

 Year Three

  • HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications




Other: You may be requested to be immunised against Hepatitis B.




Associate student places

Associate student places: You can study this course as an associate student completing your first year at West Lothian College. For more information, see the Associate Student Scheme

Professional registration/ accreditation

The course is accredited by the Association for Nutrition. As a graduate you will be eligible to register on the Voluntary Register of Nutritionists with the Association for Nutrition (AfN).



Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.


Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.


Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

EU students starting their studies up to and including academic year 2020/21 will have the costs of their tuition fees met by the Scottish Government for the duration of their course. For more information, see https://www.qmu.ac.uk/brexiteu-student-funding-update/

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Course Overview

On campus
3/4 years
Start Date
September 2020
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies


A Student Story - more at foot of page

Lucie Weir - BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutrition "With a nutrition degree, there are a lot of areas that you could go into after graduation." Read my story...