BSc (Hons) Nutrition with Optional Sandwich Placement/ Study Abroad BSc (Hons)
About the course
It is currently widely recognised that nutrition plays a pivotal role in the prevention of the development of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. The increasing concern about the rise of obesity and its complications has led to an increase interest in nutrition professionals. By obtaining a degree in Nutrition you will be able to play an important role in the public education and promotion of healthy eating, development of healthier food options and improvement of the population well-being.
The BSc(Hons) Nutrition is accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN) (Accreditation Number: 272). The course is designed to examine in detail the scientific basis between nutrition and disease prevention. You will be taught by experienced and enthusiastic registered nutritionists and dietitians and visiting lecturers from the health and food industry. The aim of the BSc (Hons) Nutrition course is to provide you with a wide range of nutrition knowledge, and to equip you with key transferable skills to enable you engage in the many different exciting career opportunities open to nutrition graduates and related with nutrition and health.
First Year - This year you will study science modules, which will provide you with the scientific fundamentals for nutrition. These will include topics in human physiology, biochemistry, metabolism, and cell biology. During this year, you will also study modules that explore the foundations of human nutrition, food science and safety. You will be introduced to the role of the nutritionist in the workplace and you will study behavioural sciences, which will provide you with the necessary communication skills required in a nutrition workplace. In the first year you will also gain basic laboratory and scientific skills.
Second Year - In your Second Year you will study modules that explore the relationship between nutrition and health and you will be introduced to research methods in nutrition. You will also study food science modules related to food industry and foodservice organisations. Along with core nutrition and food modules you will also explore biochemistry, metabolism and pathophysiology modules that will enhance your understanding of the impact of diet on different biological systems. You will further develop communication and critical thinking skills necessary for your professional career as a nutritionist.
Placement / Study abroad year - This is an optional year where you will have the opportunity to either study abroad or take a 12-month placement in a nutrition, health or food organisation. If you decide to study abroad there are exciting opportunities for you to expand your studies in another European or International University of your choice. If you opt for the placement year our Careers and Placements service will provide you with support with your placement job application, CV writing and interview skills.
Final Year - During your Final Year you will have the opportunity to actively engage in nutrition research through undertaking your research project. As part of this you will be given the opportunity to design your own project of interest and you will supervised by experienced researchers. You will also gain substantial work-based experience relevant to the role of a nutritionist as part of the new core ‘Work Experience in Nutrition’ module. Taught modules this year will give you the opportunity to explore and critically evaluate specialist and contemporary nutrition topics along with medical topics relevant to nutritionists and nutritional assessment methods. You will also have the opportunity to engage with current public health policies related to nutrition and explore the impact of nutrition on sports and performance related to athletes.
What do our students say?
"Studying Nutrition at the University of Hertfordshire provides a challenging yet thoroughly enjoyable experience. The course offers an in-depth approach to the subject and is inspiring on many levels with the variety of topics that are covered. Personal tutors offer indispensable help and the atmosphere is friendly, studious but still allowing time to enjoy the student experience to the full."
Danielle Mills, 1st year BSc(Hons) Nutrition
Why choose this course?
- Developed for those who are interested in a career as a nutritionist in public health units, governmental and non-governmental health organisations, food manufacturing and retail industries
- Opportunities to study a wide range of nutrition and food related topics such as nutrition and health, public health nutrition, nutrition research methods, sports nutrition, contemporary nutrition topics, food quality assurance and food service management
- We have a strong focus on developing skills for employment supported by work based modules. This is one of the few Nutrition courses that offer an 80-hour work placement as part of a core final year module. In addition we offer an optional 12-month work placement as part of a sandwich degree
- Most teaching in the second and final year of study is delivered in small friendly classes with opportunities for discussion and interaction
- Dedicated facilities and Diet Laboratories
- We award student prizes based on academic performance
- Opportunity to study in one of the most beautiful and greenest counties in UK with easy access to London and airports
- Active Nutrition and Dietetics Society (NADS)
- British Dietetic Association Research Symposiums
- British Nutrition Foundation Annual Lectures
- Attendance to Food Matters Live
Please call the clearing hotline number on 0300 303 6300
Calls to the Clearing and Adjustment hotline will be charged at your local rate and is often included in mobile inclusive minutes, depending on your personal tariff.
The BSc(Hons) Nutrition is accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN) (Accreditation Number: 272). Graduates from this course will be eligible to apply for direct entry to the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) as Associate Nutritionists. Please note that this course does not enable graduates to register with the Health & Care Professions Council or to work as a dietitian in the UK.
The continuing interest in the investigation between nutrition and health indicates an increase in career opportunities for nutrition graduates. Most of the major food manufacturers and retailers employ nutritionists for either improving the nutritional quality of existing products and/or developing new products with health enhancing properties. There are also opportunities in the foodservice industry (e.g. wholesalers and catering companies). In addition there are a variety of careers for nutritionists in the community and in governmental and non-governmental public health units. In these roles you will be able to develop and implement health policies and programmes and promote healthy eating to the public. Opportunities for nutritionists also arise in research, education and journalism. Once you gain some experience after you graduate you may consider setting up your own consultancy business and work as a freelancer.
Please note that students studying on the Nutrition course will not be able to transfer to the Dietetics course at any point throughout the course. However, they will be able to apply to the Dietetics course if they wish upon graduation
Throughout the course you will be taught by experienced and enthusiastic registered nutritionists and dietitians. At the beginning of the programme you will be allocated a personal tutor who will meet with you individually and provide support and academic guidance throughout your course.
Teaching is delivered over 3-5 days with 12-25 contact hours a week, depending on the year of study. In addition up to twenty additional hours a week of directed and self-directed study is required. Most of the modules are delivered via a combination of lectures, workshops, tutorials, practical sessions and organised visits to external nutrition and food organisations. The School of Life and Medical Sciences has well-equipped laboratory facilities including a Diet Lab specially equipped for food preparation and nutritional evaluation. Throughout your studies you will have access to some of the best study facilities in the UK. Advice and support will be available for accessing all the materials you need for your studies.
The course is assessed via a variety of assessment methods which aim to develop a wide range of skills and competencies required for a nutrition graduate. The assessment methods may include:
- written course work (case studies, essays, scenarios)
- lab reports
- poster and oral presentations
- viva voce (oral examinations)
- online collaborative work (e.g. blogs)
- group projects
- progress tests
- final year research project
This work is supported by the University intranet and virtual learning environment (Studynet) which provides a location for lecture notes, study guides, assessment details, example exam papers, and discussion forums. You will also have 24-hour access (during term-time) to the University’s outstanding learning resources centres.
Available student prizes
There are exciting opportunities to get a prize based on the best performance. Students registered on the BSc (Hons) Nutrition are eligible for prizes of up to £1,000 offered by Vitabiotics. These are awarded at the end of the academic year for students with the best performance in overall module grades and work placement module.
This course offers an optional 12-month work placement and a compulsory 80-hour work placement as part of a core final year module. Our students have managed to secure placements in local organisations providing meals in vulnerable people and promoting healthy eating and well-being to the general public. Some of our international students have chosen to secure placements in organisations that promote healthy eating in their home country.
This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme. Find out more about Study abroad opportunities
Foundations in human nutrition
This module introduces the science of nutrition and examines the inter-relationship between food, nutrients and health. Students’ learning is supported through a range of activities including: Lectures introduce topics, explain complex issues and provide a basis for class and group discussion and exercises. Practical classes examine the role of food commodities, sensory aspects of food and anthropometry in human nutrition. Student-led practicals explore the collection of energy intake and expenditure data. Workshops provide an opportunity for learning about searching scientific literature, referencing, the assessment of nutrient intake using food tables and nutrient analysis software, estimation of nutrient intake from diet histories and relative costs of foods. Studynet is used as an online hub for sharing module-related information and activities, e.g. formative quizzes, online discussion.
Food Science, Safety and Systems
This module includes 3 main topic areas; food science, food safety and food systems linking to nutrition and dietetic practice. The module introduces students to aspects of food processing, food additives, food fortification and effect on nutritional content of food. Students will learn about food safety in relation to food preparation and catering, food spoilage & preservation and food borne disease including micro-organisms associated with infection & disease. The module will also introduce students to food systems including catering systems and menu planning used within health, social care and public sector e.g. residential & nursing homes, prisons. Students will apply knowledge by using food composition data, dietary analysis software and via practical sessions e.g. food portions, microbiological food contamination
Introduction to Biochemistry and Metabolism
A module which introduces the student to some of the fundamentals of biochemistry and the principles of how energy is provided to enable a living organism to function. The material covers aspects of protein structure, including the structure and function of enzymes and also considers the methods used for determining kinetic parameters. The major catabolic and anabolic metabolic pathways such as glycolysis, the TCA cycle, oxidation of fatty acids, gluconeogenesis and fatty acid synthesis will be studied, including how they interrelate. In addition introductory aspects of the bioenergetics of energy provision via substrate and oxidative phosphorylation will be covered. Teaching of the topics within the module will be supported by examples of the application of biochemistry to principles underpinning the practice of nutrition/dietetics.
Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure and evolution; DNA structure, chromosome and gene organisation; transcription; translation and the role of ribosomes; protein processing and localisation in the cell; DNA replication; cell cycle, mitosis and cell division; differentiation and embryology; mutation; prokaryotic genetics to include basic structure of plasmids and bacteriophage; an introduction to the manipulation of DNA and recombinant DNA technology; eukaryotic genetics.
Professional Practice for Nutrition
This module provides students with an introduction to aspects of professional practice, which provides an underpinning to the rest of their studies and professional career. Topics include, amongst others, communication skills, team working, ethical practice within a code of professional conduct, the Association for Nutrition, continued professional development, and reflective practice. In addition to lecturers from the Nutrition and Dietetics Group, visiting lecturers with years of experience in the field, provide inspirational talks to enable students to understand the role of a Registered Nutritionist. The module content supports employability by the consideration and discussion of potential career opportunities. Students will gain the knowledge necessary to understand the importance of professionalism in evidence-based practice and the skills necessary to implement professional practice in their day-to-day experiences.
Human Physiology (Nutrition and Dietetics)
This module has been designed to give students an introduction to human physiology relating cell function and biochemistry to the function of the whole human body. The module aims to give students an introduction to haematology; a comprehensive understanding of the gastrointestinal tract (digestion & absorption); an understanding of the physiological functioning of respiratory, cardiovascular, renal systems together with their participation in homeostasis and how this may be disrupted in disease states; an understanding of the somatic and autonomic nervous system and endocrine system.
Behavioural Sciences 1
Behavioural Sciences 1 will examine the psychological links between the mind and body. It will focus on how we learn, how we communicate and how behaviour change can be initiated to improve nutritional health outcomes. We will consider health inequalities in relation to how and where people live and the effect it has on their health and wellbeing. Two major Health models will be considered, the biomedical and biopsychosocial and the impact their application has on health behaviour in particular nutritional health. Students will also study various psychological theories of learning i.e classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory and will understand the relevance in relation to promoting behaviour change and improving nutritional health. Students will learn about health promotion and public health strategies and will recognise how local and national health promotion campaigns are designed to encourage behaviour change within communities and nationally. Overall this module will enable students to become reflective healthcare practitioners within a multicultural society through the appreciation and understanding of the disciplines of psychology and sociology
Chemistry for Biologists
The philosophy of this module is to prepare students for their future studies in the biological sciences. The module introduces the chemical and physical principles that underlie biological processes. Students on this module will learn techniques for characterisation and separation of biological molecules, perform physicochemical calculations appropriate to biological systems and understand how the structure and reactivity of functional groups relates to their biological function. Students will gain experience of computer software packages to draw and understand the structures and shapes of molecules of relevance in biology.
Food Service Management
This module explores the organisation and administration of food service systems to increase student awareness of the full range of steps involved in managing a food service operations (procurement, food production, distribution, facilities and human resource management, financial management and budgeting) with emphasis on procedures for controlling food, labour and other variable costs.
Food Quality Assurance
This module introduces the methods for analysis of nutrients and food products and the operation of programmes for food evaluation and quality assurance. Students will gain hands on experience in quality evaluation of foods and the use of statistical methods and charts to monitor and control food quality..
Behavioural Sciences 2
Students will be supported in achieving the learning outcomes through a range of activities including: " Lectures which will be used to introduce topics, explain complex issues and provide a basis for class and group discussion and exercises. " Role play will be used to explore and practice behaviour change skills " Workshops will provide an opportunity for learning about presentation skills " Student-designed resources will be used to support learning about the production, effectiveness and evaluation of educational resources. " Studynet will be used as a hub for sharing module-related information and activities
Research Methods for Nutrition
The focus of this module is to develop a critical understanding of research principles, processes and methods and their application within the health setting. The module develops knowledge and understanding of qualitative and quantitative research techniques and facilitates the students' understanding of the philosophy behind evidence based practice.
Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
There will be a focus on topics where there is a nutritional aetiology or where nutritional or diet therapy has a role. The digestive system: neural and endocrine regulation and exocrine system; disorders of motility and secretion, including nausea and vomiting, malabsorption and inflammation. Drug treatment for example muscle relaxants. The nervous system: muscle contraction, cholinergic, antidepressants. Neurological conditions: Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease. The circulatory system: atherosclerosis and cardiac arrhythmias; cardiac output, blood flow and blood pressure; oedema, hypertension, shock and congestive heart failure; antiarrhythmic and antianginal agents; antihypertensive drugs; anticoagulants and antithrombolytic agents; cholesterol lowering agents. The endocrine system including pancreas, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands; relevant drug treatments for example insulin and oral diabetic agents. Relevant reproductive hormones for example those involved in polycystic ovary syndrome. The pathophysiology and pharmacology of cancer including chemotherapy.
Biochemistry and Metabolism 2
This module will focus on topics relevant nutrition/dietetic practice. The module will cover the metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis of carbohydrates and lipids, their importance and how they integrate with each other and with pathways of catabolism and, nitrogen metabolism and its relationship with nutrition, the regulation of metabolism via hormone signalling pathways and modification of enzymes including examples of key enzymes in carbohydrate and lipid regulation. This module will investigate the metabolic effects of common clinical conditions relating to nutrition. The module will also examine the nature of immunity and the cellular basis of the immune response.
Nutrition and Health 2
This module includes a detailed exploration of the relationship between diet and disease and focuses on the potential of macro- and micronutrients to modulate the risk of developing chronic and age-related disorders.
Nutrition Year Study Abroad
Learning and teaching methods may include taught courses, a research project, field studies or a mixture of these components. The Year Abroad will be for two academic semesters or their equivalent. The students will therefore follow a programme negotiated by the Associate Head of School or nominee and an equivalent representative of the host institution. Prior to commencement of the Year Abroad, the student, the programme officers from the University of Hertfordshire and from the host institution will agree a learning agreement and mode of attendance.
Nutrition Placement Year
The sandwich placement will provide students with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt in the taught years of the degree in a work-based situation. The employer will appoint a work-place supervisor, and the student will also have a University supervisor. Students will write a major report on their placement which is normally agreed with and then assessed by both the employer and university supervisor.
Work Experience in Nutrition
This module aims to provide opportunities for the student to transfer academic and vocational learning into a work-related setting, and vice versa to bring work-place skills and issues into the academic and vocational learning environment. Thus, the module should help to develop good evidence based working practices, and enhance associated knowledge and skills, with a view to improving both student employability and critical reflective practice.
Nutrition Medicine and Methods
The pathophysiology and pharmacology content will focus on topics where there is a nutritional aetiology or where nutritional or diet therapy has a role. Respiratory physiology: mechanics and regulation of breathing; oxygen and carbon monoxide transport; asthma; brochodilators, corticosteroids and respiratory stimulants; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Physiology of the renal system: kidney failure; diuretics; fluid and potassium imbalances. Hepatobiliary system: physiology and pathophysiology, aetiology and pharmacological treatment. Nutritional anaemias; anti-anaemic agents. Phytochemicals and nutraceuticals. Basis of drug-nutrient interaction. Nutrition intake methods including 24 hour recall; food frequency questionnaires; weighed intakes; biomarkers; food diaries; photographic method; chemical analysis; food tables. Body composition methodology including body compartments; densitometry; DXA; dilution techniques.
Students complete an investigative project during this double module which runs across the final year. Project ideas are offered to students during their second year and include a range of topics in nutrition science, clinical dietetics and public health nutrition. Some projects involve collaborative work or are part of larger studies whilst others are stand-alone investigations. All projects allow students to develop their research and project management skills as well as to demonstrate their independence and critical thinking. Each student is allocated a supervisor for one-to-one and small group support. Workshops include protocol writing, ethics, data analysis (statistical and qualitative), research writing and dissemination. A small number of taught sessions focus on hierarchies of evidence, systematic review and meta-analysis. On completion of the module, students are encouraged and supported in disseminating high quality original research findings at external research symposia or through peer review publication.
Contemporary Topics in Nutrition
This module covers the potential health benefits, mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetics and safety aspects of bioactive substances present in herbal products, functional foods, fruits, vegetables, grains and dietary supplements. It also discusses the effects of agricultural practices, food processing, cooking and metabolic processes in the body on bioactive substances in foods. The use of biotechnology to manipulate and enhance bioactive substances in foods and the nature of nutraceuticals is also discussed. Toxic substances in foods (such as mycotoxins and pesticides), their detection and regulatory aspects, are described. Toxicology related to food is considered: the human food chain, dose-response relationships, absorption of toxicants, distribution and storage of toxicants, biotransformation and elimination of toxicants, target organ toxicity, teratogenesis, mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, food allergy. Nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, nutri-gene interactions, personalised nutrition, application to practice, ethical and behavioural issues will be explored
Sport and Performance Nutrition
Sport and Performance Nutrition integrates the fields of applied biochemistry, exercise physiology, nutrition for performance and ergogenic aids. This module covers specific nutritional issues relevant to sport including dietary strategies for training, competition (both for the elite and recreational athlete) as well as the importance of nutrition and ergogenic aids specific to enhancing sport and exercise performance which will be demonstrated through practicals, workshops and lectures reviewing current literature. Students will also be provided with an opportunity to critically evaluate the effectiveness of the current supporting theories relevant to sports nutrition and other ergogenic aids. In part, this will be achieved through practical testing of these theories under laboratory controlled conditions.
Applied Public Health Nutrition 1
Public health nutrition cycle; nutritional epidemiology; public health nutrition strategies for intervention; intervening at population vs individual levels; dietary guidelines. The current Government policy and recent legislation that impacts on public health. Impact of demographic and socio-economic factors on healthcare needs. Evaluation of public health nutrition strategies.
Applied Public Health Nutrition 2
Nutritional needs of specific population groups; implementation of public health nutrition interventions nationally and internationally; the translation of public health nutrition policy into meaningful advice or guidance for people from a variety of different social, cultural, economic and educational backgrounds; evaluation of public health interventions; the ethical issues which impact on public health nutrition including socioeconomic and cultural influences.
Fees & funding
Full time: £9,000 for the 2016 academic year
Full time: £11,500 for the 2016 academic year
Additional course costs
Whilst studying this course there are a few items of equipment that you are required to purchase*
- Weighing scales: £30
- Lab coat and hat: £20
- Core Text: £various
You will also have some additional costs relating to field trips during your course of study.
*All prices are approximate. On confirming your place you will be provided with purchasing information.
Other financial support
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
Ready to apply now? Call the Clearing hotline on 0300 303 6300
Key course information
- Institution code H36
- UCAS codeB400 BSc (Hons) Nutrition
- Course codeHHNUT
- Course length
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield