Human Nutrition MSc - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MSc Human Nutrition

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Human Nutrition
PGCert Human Nutrition

Professional recognition

Association for Nutrition (AfN)
Accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN) for the purpose of eligibility for Direct Entry Registration at Associate Level with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN).

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PCA61003 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)


Other internal and / or external reference points

This is an AfN accredited programme, and as such is designed around equipping students with the following 5 core competencies as laid out by AfN as the professional Statutory Regulatory Body (PSRB). Specifically: Core Competency 1- Science Knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis of nutrition. Understanding nutritional requirements from the molecular through to the population level - for either human or animal systems. Core Competency 2 - Food or Feed Chain Knowledge and understanding of the food or feed chain and its impact on food or feed choice. Integrating the food or feed supply with dietary intake - for either human or animal systems. Core Competency 3 - Social/Behavioural Knowledge and understanding of food or feed in a social or behavioural context, at all stages of the life course - for either human or animal systems. Core Competency 4 - Health/Wellbeing Understanding how to apply the scientific principles of nutrition for the promotion of health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and populations; recognising benefits and risks - for either human or animal systems. Core Competency 5 ¿ Professional Conduct Understanding of Professional Conduct and the AfN Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance, along with evidence of good character.

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences - School of Biosciences

Programme Leader

COLLINS Adam (Biosciences)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • MSc - Provide a fundamental understanding of nutritional science, which takes a critical and scholarly approach to relevant theory, practice, literature and latest research findings on the importance of nutrition in diet-health-disease relationships;
  • MSc - Provide new knowledge and understanding of the role of nutrition in both individual and community health;
  • MSc - Discuss the role of diet in the development of disease;
  • MSc - Evaluate the potential, efficacy and scope of nutritional methods in health and disease;
  • MSc - Examine current knowledge of the specific roles of individual macro- and micronutrient deficiencies and imbalances on short- and long-term disease risk;
  • MSc - Explore the concept of optimal nutrition in various special situations;
  • MSc - Develop an understanding of research methodology in the area of Human Nutrition.
  • MSc - Design, undertake, communicate and defend an original research project in nutrition.
  • MSc - Meet the required standards of competency for registered nutritionists as outlined by the Association for Nutrition
  • PG Dip - Understand the principles of basic and applied nutritional science and have detailed knowledge of selected areas relevant to Human Nutrition;
  • PG Dip - Take a critical and scholarly approach to theory, practice, literature and research findings within the subject;
  • PG Cert - Be able to appraise more critically the theory, practice, literature and research findings within certain areas of nutrition
  • PG Cert - Make more effective use of nutritional methods
  • PG Cert - Have detailed knowledge of selected areas of Human Nutrition research;
  • PG Cert - Understand something of the principles of basic and applied nutritional science;
  • PG Dip - Deal more competently with queries from individuals on issues of nutrition and health
  • PG Dip - Know how to go about evaluating the nutritional status of individuals and make more effective use of nutritional methods for improving health from a secure knowledge base;
  • PG Dip - Understand current consensus views on the dietary requirements of the various population groups for individual nutrients in health and disease;
  • PG Dip - Understand the nutritional adequacies of various dietary practices in terms of meeting nutritional requirements, maintaining health and preventing and treating disease;

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Understand the main principles of current human nutritional science, and the current challenges of this discipline KC PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Understand, apply and critically appraise methods and approaches used for the purposes of nutritional assessment KP PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Develop an in depth knowledge of Human metabolism in health and in the pathogenesis of disease, exploring the ambiguity and contradictory nature of current theories and evidence KC PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Understand the main principles of public health in relation to diet and nutrition, both nationally and internationally to be able to plan and critically evaluate health promotion activities related to nutrition KP PGCert, PGDip, MSc
To establish the underpinnings of nutrition as applied to exercise and sport, and the application of nutrition principles to exercise for health and/or sports performance. KP PGDip, MSc
To explore and contextualise the influence of nutrition at the molecular/genetic level; KC PGDip, MSc
To apply knowledge and evidence to establish the therapeutic use of nutrition in the management of health and disease KP PGDip, MSc
Find and critically evaluate scientific literature and other appropriate sources of material, and make judgements as to the consensus of evidence around a topic KCT PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Critically evaluate research design and the methods commonly used in nutrition research, demonstrate competence in commonly used nutrition research methodology to design plan and execute human nutrition research. KCP PGCert, PGDip, MSc
Use acquired knowledge and appropriate skills and resources to make professional judgements within the code of ethics and scope of practice of modern nutritionists. CPT PGDip, MSc
Design relevant experiments to test formulated hypotheses. Gather, analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data. Gather, analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data CP PGDip, MSc

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must pass a minimum of 15 credits from Semester 1 and achieve an overall pass mark (50%) across all Semester 1 modules to progress to the Original Research Project (MHUM009)

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Students must pass a minimum of 15 credits from Semester 1 and achieve an overall pass mark across all Semester 1 modules to progress to the Original Research Project (MHUM009)

This programme is aligned to the University of Surrey¿s Five Pillars of Curriculum Design and design, namely (in alphabetical order), Digital Capabilities, Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Resourcefulness & Resilience, and Sustainability. Specifically, these pillars are covered in this programme in the following ways:

Digital Capabilities: Throughout the programme students learn to navigate and utilise the Virtual Learning Environment @ Surrey (SurreyLearn) and other digital resources and online databases to aid their learning and undertake research. Students are also introduced to, and gain proficiency in, specific digital; tools, such as dietary analysis and statistical packages, building their skills to assess nutritional status, generate, analyse, and present data. Students are encouraged to use current media such as Whatsapp, Teams, Zoom, and utilising cloud/file sharing for communication and team working. Appropriate use of digital media and communication platforms is increasingly important for the modern nutritionist, and through use and discussion of these students gain an awareness of their roles, plus their limitations and misuse which can have wider impact (e.g., to digital well-being)

Employability: The programme is an AfN accredited programme, as such, the programme is already designed to equip students with all the core competencies required of registered nutritionists. Upon completion of the programme graduates are eligible to automatically enter onto the UK Voluntary register as Associate Registered Nutritionist (ANutr). Throughout the course students will be taught by, and exposed to, a variety of internal and external speakers exposing students to the variety of specific roles nutritionists have in the workplace. The tasks and assessments undertaken across the modules are specifically chosen to equip students with knowledge and skills that are key to the role of modern nutritionists. Key to this, and underpinning everything through this programme, students develop the ability to critically appraise evidence and the appropriate application of this knowledge to specific individuals, groups, or populations, in the development of new products, advancing research or creating new health interventions or enterprises.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: the programme is taught in an interactive and collaborative way, in a cohort that commonly represents a wealth of nationalities and backgrounds. Students are encouraged to engage with, and learn from, diverse perspectives through interaction and teamwork. Current evidence in nutritional science originates from cross-cultural studies, and differences between ethic groups are explored and appreciated as key to understanding the interrelationship between diet, nutrition, and health. Students also develop an understanding of inequalities in health and the underlying causes of inadequate nutrition worldwide (e.g., in MHUM004), with exploration of how the diversity of lived experience and culture can impact food choice. Invited speakers contribute to diverse global perspectives on nutrition, in addition to specific lectures on equality and diversity in nutrition practice.

Resourcefulness & Resilience: From early in the programme students are introduced to the expectations regarding teaching, learning and assessment to facilitate self-efficacy. Timetabling encourages agency in planning workloads, and preparations for sessions which employs aspects of ¿flipped learning¿. Formative and summative assessments are designed to ¿feed forward¿ to assessments within modules and to future modules in the programme. As a cohort, we encourage and foster collaborative learning, communication, and peer support. Throughout we build independent learning, critical thinking, dynamism, risk assessment and problem-solving attributes using in class activities and assessments (both formative and summative). The nature of the programme requires students to draw upon individual and collective resourcefulness. Within practical and professional elements of the programme, as a cohort you will also experience both the patient/participant and the nutritionist perspective. The importance of leadership, self-efficacy and resilience in the role of the nutritionist, and in rising to the challenges of the nutrition profession is emphasised across the programme.

Sustainability: From the very beginning of the programme students begin to consider the foundations of nutrition knowledge in the context of the UN Sustainable Goals. The sustainability of food biosystems includes provision of det that maintains health and prevents disease. Broader aspects relevant to sustainability, including food production, processing, distribution, retail and impact on global resources and the environment are topics that are addressed across the programme. Seminars and tutorials give students the opportunity to explore specific topical aspects of sustainability including the National Food Strategy, the EAT Lancet recommendations for ¿planetary health¿, sustainable development and factors affecting food security in the UK and globally.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.