We are currently reviewing our curriculum as part of a university-wide process. As a result, we are unable to publish module information for this course at this time. The information below provides an overview of what you’ll study and our approach to teaching and assessment. We will update this page as soon as the changes are confirmed. Read more in our terms and conditions.
This content was last updated on 3 April 2023.
At the start of the course, you’ll gain solid foundations in food and nutrition, exploring their relationship to health, including where food is sourced from and how that fits within a ‘sustainable’ global food system framework. You’ll also cover aspects key to providing a safe and healthy diet, including food preservation and sensory evaluation.
Throughout the course, you’ll build on these foundations, understanding how nutrients in food are used in the body and how individuals’ nutritional requirements change across various stages of life, with consideration to how these relate to specific groups of people. You'll explore how and why people make choices relating to what they eat and drink and how this knowledge can be applied in public health promotion and nutritional education.
You'll also study how nutrition impacts specific health conditions and key considerations around what is needed to ensure everyone has access to a healthy and sustainable diet, via national-level approaches to improving food products and policy. By the final year of your programme, you'll explore more specific and specialised areas of current thinking in nutrition, food and public health, reflecting on how these can be applied to solve real-world local and global nutritional challenges.
Each year of this course is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules, which provide essential foundational subject-specific knowledge and skills. You’ll also have the opportunity to study optional modules and tailor your degree to suit your interests or career aspirations.
Optional modules may typically include the following:
- Traditional Alcoholic Beverages
- Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
- Food Composition
- New Food Product Development and Quality Control
- Sensory Science
- Food Biotechnology
- Sport and Exercise Nutrition
- Food Systems and Sustainability
- Sustainable Food Consumption
- Leadership and Enterprise
In addition to subject-specific modules, we also offer a range of skills development modules that’ll give you an insight into possible careers, the variety of professional roles that our nutrition graduates go into and how to enhance your employability. This continuous professional development – combined with the technical knowledge you’ll develop through teaching and research activities – will not only ensure you have an extensive skill set and knowledge in food science, but the confidence to apply them in the workplace once you graduate.
Discovery modules are available in the first three years of your degree, as long as you’re taking enough credits of your own subject for that year.
Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.
You'll develop a grounding in the foundational concepts in the field of nutrition. You'll explore different themes, including food sourcing and production within a sustainable food system, key food nutrients, food preparation, preservation methods and food safety (including the role of food microbiology), the science behind sensory aspects of food and drink and key concepts in human nutrition. You’ll also be introduced to statistical analysis methods for food and nutrition data.
Throughout the year, you’ll have opportunities to develop your laboratory and experimentation skills through laboratory work as well as transferable skills that are crucial for your success throughout your programme. Consequently, the portfolio of core modules in your first year will allow you to gain insight into the origins of food (including consumption trends and behaviour, and socio-economic, political and sustainability issues), the role of food as a carrier of essential nutrients with specific roles in the body and appreciate how food and its constituent components affect health, which will set the foundation for your studies in subsequent years.
In your second year, you'll deepen your nutrition knowledge. Learning will focus on understanding the scientific basis of nutritional recommendations and the impact of nutrition on health, for different population groups at different life stages, e.g., pregnancy, childhood, older age. You'll delve deeper into the integration between human physiology and nutrition, nutrient metabolism and explore how the metabolic demand for nutrients varies during the life course. You'll also be introduced to the concepts and methodologies such as molecular nutrition and nutritional biochemistry (including key biochemical pathways, epigenetics and the gut microbiome) which allow scientists to study food choices and how dietary patterns may be linked to health and disease. The relationship between nutrition and physical activity will also be explored in the context of the global obesity problem. You'll also investigate at how and why people make food choices, barriers to dietary change and what strategies can be employed to promote healthier dietary behaviours.
This year will provide a core programme of research and career skills training, which will build on key skills explored in year 1, including use of specialist software, careers and employability and professional aspects of nutrition roles in industry and public health settings.
Year 3 will further develop your critical analysis skills of the scientific literature and explore more specific and specialised areas of current thinking in nutrition. By working on food product projects alongside your peers, you'll further appreciate the role of nutritionists, industry, government and consumers in food product development. Your team project based on new product development (NPD), will explore the role of food science and nutritionists in developing and marketing new healthy food ranges for food manufacturers. You’ll apply your knowledge and skills to designing new foods, from concept, through formulation and processing, to sensory evaluation, packaging and marketing. The project ends with a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch to industry and nutritional experts.
Examples of products marketed to our very own ‘Dragon’s Den’ by our previous students can be found here.
You'll also explore nutrition policy, including the challenges and opportunities for nutrition policy for a more sustainable and equitable food system. You'll also look at some clinically related aspects of nutrition and the concept of personalised nutrition, as well as the role of diet in specific diseases, e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer. Lastly, you'll dive deeper into the skills and competencies needed as a nutrition professional, including ethics, professionalism and enterprise.
A major part of this integrated Masters degree is your final year project work. Here, you'll undertake a real-life, independent capstone research study, together with experienced academics. The experience will develop your research skills, including practicalities of doing research, from conception of a topic to delivering your findings. You’ll define aims and objectives, planning and working through different elements of your research and effectively presenting your findings and conclusions. You'll also develop transferable skills such as problem solving, communication and professional competencies which are all transferable into your future career when you graduate.
You’ll be given a choice of topics to investigate.
Examples of the range of previous research projects include:
- Effectiveness of probiotic therapies on body weight and BMI: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials
- Nanostructures of monolinolein as a delivery system for omega-3 fatty acid
- Perceptual differences in portion sizes using the Delboeuf illusion & colour contrast
- Systematic Review: Childhood obesity prevention during the first 24 months of life
- Exploring consumer and industry perspectives around “may contain” labelling on vegan-suitable products
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.
Learning and teaching
Nutrition is a wide subject encompassing areas such as biochemistry, food science, human behaviour, statistics and epidemiology. You're therefore encouraged to learn about the different aspects of nutrition science in innovative ways, all of which supports the development of your knowledge, skills and confidence.
You'll benefit from a wide range of active learning activities and innovative teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, small group tutorials, case-based learning, problem-based learning, and practical lab work. All learning is undertaken alongside peers and other students from within the School of Food Science and Nutrition and potentially other students within the University of Leeds.
Independent study is also an important part of this course and will develop your research and analytical skills in order to think and work independently.
You’ll explore this subject with academics, researchers and experienced external practitioners who work in industry, policy, or health care. Teaching staff at the School of Food Science and Nutrition include lecturers and professors who are all experienced at producing globally recognised, cutting-edge research across a range of different areas of nutrition, health and food. You may also be taught by industry and health care professionals with years of experience, e.g., practising dietitians, as well as trained postgraduate researchers too.
You’ll be assigned an academic personal tutor to guide you through your studies, and help you progress, throughout your degree.
Our problem-based learning approach, laboratory classes and project-based work allows you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real-life work situations. This ensures that, as a student, you’re actively engaged in teaching and learning and working collaboratively with your coursemates to build a sense of community where you feel valued. This approach will also equip you with in-depth knowledge, key practical skills and transferable skills that will help you secure a graduate job.
Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course. The course provides you with opportunities via skills development modules which will also give you an insight into the range of nutrition-related career roles and professions.
This degree supports your learning using problem-solving approaches and teamwork to foster high-level thinking and skills which will be key at all stages of your degree and future career.
Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to excellent teaching and laboratory facilities, supplemented by extensive computing equipment installed with the latest professional nutritional and statistical analysis software packages, used to evaluate nutritional and experimental data, dietary intakes and nutritional composition of recipes. Other specialist facilities include high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC) analytical equipment used for nutrient analysis. Our purpose-built energy balance laboratory gives you access to equipment for the measurement of human body composition (BodPod), resting energy expenditure (using a state-of-the-art metabolic system - Cosmed Quark RMR) and exercise-induced energy expenditure (measured during cycle ergometry using a breath-by-breath metabolic cart - Cosmed Quark). This facility also includes a research kitchen and experimental cubicles that allow the measurement of appetite and food intake in which the volume/composition of foods can be manipulated.
Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
A variety of traditional and authentic assessment approaches are used to support your learning and progression through the course and measure attainment of the learning outcomes. Assessments have a range of formats to develop your skills such as report writing, effective oral and visual presentation and communication (including digital skills), problem-solving and the necessary practical skills such as laboratory and experimental methods, including conducting human-based studies and trials. These reflect the real-world needs and challenges encountered in the workplace.
The course supports and encourages you to think critically and provides opportunities for you to receive formative feedback and to reflect on performance to help you progress and learn.
Our assessments are designed to accommodate the various learning styles and embed equitable and inclusive practices to ensure a supportive and fair assessment framework is presented. In your final year you'll synthesise learning and knowledge skills through the design and development of a new food product, working in a multidisciplinary team alongside your peers.
In addition, you'll have the opportunity to select your own research area to critically analyse and review. In your final year, every student will undertake an independent 60-credit research project, where you'll have the opportunity to work on a cutting-edge research topic that interests you, within the field of nutrition.