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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

Good nutrition is fundamental to living a long, full and rewarding life. Nutrition related ill-health is a major factor that contributes towards preventable disease including obesity and many of the non-communicable diseases on both a national and global scale: diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

This is the first course of its kind in the UK to explore the role of behaviour in guiding diet and nutrition and the effects of diet and nutrition on shaping behaviour. It will provide a solid foundation in the physiology and biochemistry of nutrition, which is complemented by units focused on the role of nutrition in behaviour and cognition and the management of associated clinical conditions.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


1 year full-time, or 2-4 years part-time


Association for Nutrition

Required subjects:

Clinical/life sciences, psychology, nursing or equivalent health professionals

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 or equivalent in a required subject. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements

Course details

The course will improve the practical management skills of nutritionists and provide an important insight into contemporary developments in nutrition and behaviour for a range of healthcare professionals and graduates.

This course encompasses the role of nutrition from preconception to old age and includes topics such as in-utero programming, infant feeding practices, the development of food likes and dislikes in children, food promotion, psychological factors contributing to the development of obesity including appetite and weight control, disordered eating behaviours, prevention of diet-related disease, and the role of diet in normal ageing and age-related conditions. 

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.

Core units 

  • Advanced Research Methods: This module will provide an overview on experimental, survey and qualitative research analysis together with the relevant data analytic techniques and statistical analytic software. The unit will also reflect recent developments in medical research such as the need for effect size, power and sample size calculations.
  • Contemporary Nutrition: The aim of this unit is to enable you to develop and broaden your in-depth knowledge of the latest research findings within the context of the interaction between nutrients, physiological functions and the health conditions they influence. The course of lectures will aim to provide integrated information on nutrition, physiology, health and disease and public health applications – all in one unit.
  • Nutrition and Brain Function Across the Lifespan: This module provides an advanced insight into the interaction between nutrition and brain research and gives a core of knowledge about the role of nutrition in brain disorders from pre-conception to old age. It is designed to discuss the topical issues, such as development, neurological and neuro-degenerative disorders, neuro-protection and recent theories of the neuro-immuno-endocrine axis.
  • Nutrition, Health and Psychology: The course of lectures will encompass a review of recent evidence and current thinking on the control of appetite, food intake and the regulation of energy balance. You'll develop a detailed understanding of the interplay between the physiological and psychological (behavioural) regulatory processes underpinning the control of feeding and energy intake with a view to improve the health and quality of life among individuals and groups in the community.
  • Nutrition in the Prevention and Management of Disease: This module examines foundations of nutrition, for example macro nutrients and micro nutrients, vitamins, methods of assessing dietary intake and nutritional status, energy and nutrient requirements, metabolic pathways related to nutrition, and function of nutrient digestion and absorption. It also evaluates the prevention and management of disease in the community setting, for example gastro intestinal disorders (i.e., celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome), food intolerances and allergies, obesity and metabolic disorders, cancer and heart disease.
  • Dissertation Project: This is a student-managed piece of work that is undertaken with guidance from academic supervisors. The unit encourages you to draw on prior learning and aims to develop your ability for independent study and project management. It seeks to expand your knowledge and/or practice in a complex professional context. A large and varied range of dissertation projects are offered, including both laboratory and clinically based.
  • Evidencing Professional Learning: A unique feature of the MSc programme is the work-based element embedded within the Evidencing Professional Learning unit. Typically student's will spend a minimum of 12 days engaging in professional practice activities in health care, community or the private sector. 

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MSc Nutrition and Behaviour.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Placement opportunities

This course offers a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable experience in the workplace.  One of your units, Evidencing Professional Learning, provides an opportunity for you to spend a minimum of 12 days engaging in professional practice activities in health care, community or the private sector. You'll have the option of completing your placement locally or nearer home. Placements are wide ranging and give you the opportunity to pursue your own areas of particular interest in nutrition and or behaviour.

Find out more about our placement experiences. What’s more, you can also choose to take your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Placements have included:

  • Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • SportBU Athletic Department Nutritional Support Services
  • PIMS (Positive Image, Motivation and Support) Service - Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust - Salisbury District Hospital
  • Tricuro
  • Sean Burgess Fitness - The Junction Sports and Leisure Centre
  • Diabetes Clinic/Services - Princess Elizabeth Hospital 
  • Nutrition Clinic at Dr Ali Abed Ali Centre for Plastic Surgery, Lebanon

Selection criteria

Background and experience

This course has been designed for students who have studied an undergraduate degree in life science, nutrition, healthcare and psychology related degrees. We are looking for applicants who have an interest in healthcare, public health promotion, nutrition and psychology.

Full entry requirements

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 (or equivalent) in a required subject in the clinical/life sciences, psychology, nursing or equivalent area. Health professionals with non-traditional academic backgrounds will also be considered. 

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.


This course will equip you with the academic and practical skills required for professional practice. The emphasis on core practical skills will give you extra marketability in the professional arena.

Upon completion of the course graduates can apply for Associate level status with the Association of Nutrition.  

Our graduates can go on to roles in public health, policy development, health promotion, food development, and further research such as doctoral studies. 

Career progression may lead to you becoming:

  • Nutrition psychologist
  • Nutrition consultant
  • Academic lecturer
  • Academic researcher.

Industries you could work in

  • NHS (hospital and community)
  • Private and independent health care sector (nursing homes and private hospitals)
  • Education
  • Academic research.

Further study

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Lab coat and glasses
  • Professional body accreditation of the course

AFN membership is not included in your tuition fee.

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: find our price guide 
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance), you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
18.01.17 Now accredited from the Asociation for Nutrition Key Information N/A
20.12.16 IELTS have changed from a minimum of 5.5 in each component to 6.0.

Full entry requirements

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 5.5 in each component or equivalent

05.12.16 Change in assessment for the unit Nutrition In The Prevention and Management of Disease Programme specification under course details  The unit has changed from being assessed by 100% coursework, to 50% coursework (2000 word essay) and 50% exam (2 hours).

Your lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the nutrition sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below. 

Dr Simon Dyall

Simon initially worked in the health and fitness industry before returning to academia at the University of Sussex to undertake a PhD in investigating the neuroprotective roles of omega-3 fatty acids. Since this time he has lectured and conducted research at a number of different institutions. In addition to being an elected member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) Simon is a member of numerous scientific societies and professional bodies and has been a reviewer for the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), BBSRC, MRC, US Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC) and other funders. He is on the Editorial Board of Lipids in Health and Disease and regularly reviews for many scientific journals. Simon's research interests include lipids, essential fatty acids, brain development, ageing and neuroprotection. 

Dr Jane Murphy 

Jane is an Associate Professor, Registered Nutritionist and Dietitian and Head of Education (Health Sciences) in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. Jane's research is committed to key nutritional problems faced by older people that impact on health and wellbeing especially the complex problems faced by people living with dementia.  She co-leads the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) and has led key research to understand nutrition and delivering dignity in dementia care funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing ( Jane has a seconded role as Clinical Lead for the Nutrition in Older People Programme – Wessex Academic Health Sciences Network to advise and support funded research and implementation projects working with NHS and across social care. She has secured European Commission funded research (Horizon 2020) to understand the contribution of local sustainable food systems to nutritional health and wellbeing that will identify new competencies for training in public health nutrition. Jane is committed to advancing the professional practice of nutritionists and has been an elected Council member and Trustee for the UK Association for Nutrition (AfN) that defines and advances standards of evidence-based practice across the field of nutrition and currently sits on the AfN course accreditation and certification committees.

Gill Glasgow

Gill's areas of interest involve the psychology of eating practice, food choice, and behavioural changes for improved health and wellbeing. More recently, Gill has extended her interests to include mindfulness based approaches for improved wellbeing in particularly its use and applications to eating behaviour. Alongside developing a personal practice, Gill is now enrolled in a PhD to explore the concept and mechanics of mindfulness in relation to healthy eating and pregnancy.

Dr Fotini Tsofliou

Educated in Greece Fotini's background has seen her work at a variety of institutions in the UK and Greece. Fotini's research interests concentrate on the effects of dietary and exercise interventions on appetite control in overweight/obesity as well as aging and nutrition.

Joanne Holmes

Joanne is an experienced Food Scientist and nutritionist and has worked with several large multinational organisations developing new food and beverage products for the European market. Joanne is also a company director and partner in 1000 cow dairy farm business supplying to an international focused farmer owned co-operative processor. Joanne's research is focused towards improving food, fluid and general nutrition delivery for elderly receiving social care in its broadest context. 

Dr Eirini Kelaiditi

Eirini is a Nutritionist and Dietician with clinical and research experience in the health care sector and academia in different institutions in Greece, the UK and France. She holds a MSc in Human Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Aberdeen and undertaken a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology at the University of East Anglia, exploring associations between diet, inflammation and skeletal muscle mass in women from the TwinsUK cohort. She is on the Editorial Board of the “” educational website and reviewer of scientific journals. Eirini’s research interests focus on the role of nutrition on the prevention and management of age-related debilitating conditions, such as frailty, sarcopenia, and cognition as well as dietary assessment in the older person.

Additional information

Simon Phelps

Career development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

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International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.