BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutrition

This four-year course will give you the theoretical understanding and practical skills that you will need to build a rewarding career as a nutritionist. You will learn the scientific and social importance of nutrition in a modern and forward looking university with excellent specialist facilities and equipment. Integrated real-world experiences, including a work-based placement module will foster your practical skills.

Why QMU? 

  • You will learn from registered nutritionists and experts in the field who are actively researching some of the most interesting and influential topics in the field.
  • You will build professional proficiency in our specialist labs, using advanced equipment and proven research techniques. Our practical teaching facilities include specialist microbiology, chemistry, food handling, and nutritional assessment laboratories.
  • The course is accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN) and on graduation you can register with the AfN as an associate nutritionist*.
  • Opportunity to study a semester abroad (subject to availability).
  • You will study at a university with wide ranging and widely recognised expertise in both health and in food science, that is home to the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation

On this course you will:

  • Learn the academic principles behind food and gain practical skills in our advanced laboratories. 
  • Learn how to think critically on a larger scale. What are the social, political, cultural and environmental factors affecting what we eat? How do nutritionists use evidence-based approaches to optimise health, prevent disease, and support behaviour change at an individual, community and population level?
  • Learn about the most current issues in the field of nutrition. For example, how does our gut microbiome composition impact our health? How do nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics influence current practice? What are the current / contemporary practices and policies in the field of nutrition

Attracting increasing attention in recent years, nutrition is an engaging and rewarding subject to study and provides a pathway to a range of fulfilling careers. Nutritionists generate, assess, and deliver scientific and evidence-based advice in a variety of settings to improve health and wellbeing, and to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. (See the ‘Careers’ section on this page for more information).

The science of nutrition employs evidence-based approaches to highlight the relationship between our diet and health, and it enables us to optimise health and prevent disease. The science of nutrition is concerned with 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.

Our course gives you a great balance of theoretical and practical learning, preparing you for a wide range of career paths. You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.​​

*NB the ordinary degree does not lead to registration with the AfN upon graduation.

Year One

You will:

  • Forge a solid understanding of the biological sciences.
  • Learn the fundamental principles of nutrition and integrate this with knowledge of other related disciplines.
  • Develop core study and professional skills as well as laboratory and investigative (information technology and research) expertise.


  • Physiology
  • Contextualising You and Your Profession
  • Food, Lifestyle and Society
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Introduction to Food Science

Year Two

You will:

  • Further your understanding of the biological sciences.
  • Further develop your knowledge of the concepts relating to health and nutrition, and integrate your knowledge of biological and social sciences.
  • Develop lifelong learning and research skills such as identifying reliable sources of information, interpreting and critically appraising scientific information, and applying this information to your evidence-based practice.
  • Have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see Exchanges and Study Abroad*.
  • Modules
  • Health Coaching Conversations
  • Nutrient Metabolism
  • Medical Microbiology and Immunology
  • Nutrition
  • Pharmacology
  • Evidence-Based Practice

*This opportunity is available in both Years Two and Three however you will only be able to undertake it in one of those years.

Year Three

You will:

  • Develop your knowledge of disease aetiology and management, nutritional requirements across all stages of the lifespan, and the role of nutrition in disease prevention and health optimisation at the individual, community and population level.
  • Explore a nutrition topic of your interest in-depth. Building on skills from Year Two, you will further your skills in identifying reliable sources of information, critically evaluating information, and developing other key professional skills such as communication.
  • Gain practical experience by undertaking an (unpaid) nutrition placement in an appropriate setting of your choice through the Volunteering Experience module.
  • Have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see Exchanges and Study Abroad*.


  • Disease Aetiology and Management
  • Dissertation
  • Nutrition Through the Life-course
  • Volunteering Experience
  • Clinical Nutrition (includes tutorials in Research Techniques for Nutrition)
  • Epidemiology in Public Health

*This opportunity is available in both Years Two and Three however you will only be able to undertake it in one of those years. 

Year Four

You will:

  • Learn about current and contemporary topics in nutrition science, and in food and nutrition policy.
  • Undertake an individual research-based project to develop and integrate your knowledge and skills in this area.
  • Choose an elective module that interests you; either Health Entrepreneurship or Nutrition in Practice.


  • Honours Project
  • Current Issues in Nutrition Science
  • Food and Nutrition Policy
  • Plus one of the following two options: Health Entrepreneurship OR Nutrition in Practice

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching is organised across two semesters each year, with three 20-credit modules in each semester. You will learn through face-to-face or online lectures, seminars, practical workshops, self-study packs and our well-equipped specialist laboratories, including microbiology, chemistry, food handling, and nutritional assessment laboratories. Outside these timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning through self-study. You will be assessed by a variety of methods (for example: written and practical exams, case studies, written assignments and presentations) at the end of each module or semester.



Practical learning in real-world environments is the perfect way to consolidate your skills.

In Year Three, you will undertake a compulsory nutrition placement in a setting of your choice and with the support of your tutors through the Volunteering Experience module. This can be in a variety of settings such as schools, community groups, laboratories, private practices, care homes or food and drink companies. This module has been organised to allow students to undertake their volunteering overseas if they wish to do so.

The Volunteering Experience module is a great practical experience, providing students with an opportunity to network within their profession, and to enhance their employability.

Exchange opportunities

Yes. The 'Year Two' and 'Year Three' tabs of this page provide more information.


The nutrition profession offers a wide variety of career options. Nutritionists may choose to work in areas of public health nutrition, clinical nutrition, sport and exercise nutrition, academia and research, food development and consultancy, private nutrition practice, and coaching.

For example, nutritionists may work within community settings or local authority public health teams with a focus on health promotion and policy. Depending on the role, their work might range from creating, delivering and evaluating a range of practical and educational food-based policies and initiatives to encourage healthy lifestyle change, to providing nutritional information for food production and to secure approval for health claims on packaging. Nutritionists also provide specialist advice for preventing specific diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Type-2 diabetes and cancer, or they may provide advice on healthy eating to particular client groups (for example nutritional advice during pregnancy, infancy or older adulthood). Other areas of practice include, but are not limited to, working with athletes and sports teams, or working in the food sector, for example in quality management or nutritional analysis.

Our graduates work across a number of sectors including government, academia, third-sector and private companies. Some have gone on to become Home Economics teachers through studying a PGDE Home Economics (a postgraduate course available at QMU).

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.

Am I a Widening Access student?: We apply the minimum entry criteria to applicants who meet one or more contextual factor. To see if this would apply to you, please refer to the access and application page.

Mature/Access: We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications in Biology and Chemistry or experience. Visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page for more information. 

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, visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page

Other requirements:

  • You may be requested to be immunised against Hepatitis B.
  • Students may require a PVG check for the Volunteering module.

Professional registration/accreditation

  • The course is accredited by the AfN.
  • As an honours graduate you will be eligible to register on the Voluntary Register of Nutritionists with the AfN.

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

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

Awarding body

QMU. More information is in the ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Open Day presentation

Please note:

  • The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2022) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2023. Please check back here for any updates.
  • The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).
  • Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Course Overview

On campus
3 or 4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2023
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level