What will I study?
Introduces you to food choice and the far-reaching impact it can have on:
- the global environment
- local, national and global economy markers.
In week one, you will:
- examine the effects of food choices made by individuals and food companies
- learn how greenhouse gas emissions are linked to food production methods
- discover the tools nutritionists use to assess the food intake of individuals and populations. You’ll learn to identify the pros and cons of each of these tools. This will help you choose the right tools for your own future research
- look at the relationship between diet and health
- learn to seek out and evaluate a range of data and evidence – systematic reviews, observational studies, clinical and academic papers, peer-reviewed research
- learn how to tackle meta-analysis and sort strong evidence from weak
- discuss how changes in the food choices of individuals and food companies can improve health and reduce the risk of non-communicable disease.
Explores the factors that influence our food choices, including:
- nutritional (energy density, fibre, macronutrients)
- non-nutritional (stress, portion size, eating frequency)
- social (media advertising, peer pressure, social class)
- environmental (choice editing, nudging)
- economic (in-store offers, fat tax, sugar levy)
In week two, you will:
- learn about appetite and energy balance
- see the role that calories and reward can play in influencing food choice and eating behaviour
- examine eating addiction
- learn methods you can use to track consumer food choice and eating behaviour, at the individual, group and population level
- look at snacking and whether it can play a role in healthy and unhealthy diets.
Delves deep into the psychology of our eating behaviour.
In week three, you will:
- discover the roles the conscious and subconscious play in our eating behaviour
- explore the difference between liking and wanting
- examine the psychological theories that health psychologists use to describe influences on our eating behaviour
- explore reflective and impulsive behaviour
- learn to identify eating habits
- find out how psychology-based influences impact our food choices (eg. restraint, disinhibition).
Gathers all your learning and puts it into practice, giving you valuable tools you can put to use in your food sector role.
In your final week, you will:
- explore behaviour change methods
- identify policy or in-store techniques to influence consumer purchase patterns
- discover how reformulation can make foods healthier
- learn to assess the evidence behind claims made in on-pack nutrition and health messages
- look at components of healthy and sustainable diets and how they might influence the future of food choice.
How will I study?
The course totals approximately 50 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 12.5 hours per week.
This is a rough guide, as you can set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can study flexibly at times that suit you.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your course coordinator via email and Twitter, where you can also chat with your fellow students.
We provide a wide range of services to support you in your studies and beyond:
- Careers service
- Disability support
- IT support
- Library support
- Student Support Service – help with finances, stress, wellbeing and non-academic issues
- Student Learning Service – study support, with advice sessions available via phone or Skype
- Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) – run by students for students
- Toolkit – clever apps and free training that make online study easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Why study nutrition online with Aberdeen?
Where will this take me?
Your teaching team
Professor Alex Johnstone, course coordinator
This course is designed to match the needs of those working in the food sector. You can learn from the experts in food and nutrition to develop your knowledge, skills and experiences in food choice and eating behaviour.
Am I ready?
We welcome students from all over the world. This course has no formal entry requirements, so you don’t need to provide proof of your qualifications.
However, we advise checking our International Entry Requirements to see equivalent qualifications from your country that match our entry guidance above.
English language requirements
This course is delivered in English.
You don’t have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure that you can use English well enough to study this course successfully. At this level of teaching, you would usually have:
IELTS – 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening, reading and speaking
- 6.0 for writing
TOEFL iBT – 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 18 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
PTE Academic – 62 overall
- 51 for listening, reading and speaking
- 54 for writing
Cambridge English Advanced and Proficiency – 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
- Integrated Skills in English III (ISEIII)
- A pass in all components with distinction
See our English Language Requirements page for more information about English language qualifications.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on:
- Windows 7 or later
- Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) or later, preferably Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra)
All our teaching materials are mobile-, smartphone- and tablet-friendly. However, you’re likely to need a proper keyboard for completing assignments.
Reliable internet access
With reasonable download speed: we broadly estimate at least 2Mbps so that you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- A headset with built-in microphone and earphones is useful if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam may be desirable for some interactive sessions.
We will give you access to Office365 applications. This means that you can use online versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and install these programs on up to five personal devices.
If your course requires any specialist software, then we’ll provide you with copies of this and a licence that lasts throughout your studies.
See our detailed IT requirements for more information.
When you study with us, you can expect a first-class support structure that means you are never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean that you have to motivate yourself and manage your own time.
Your most important commitment to your course will be time – the time to work through, reflect on and understand your teaching materials.
Before you start a course that involves a high degree of independent study, we recommend looking at the time you will be able to devote to your course each week:
- Be realistic
- Create a weekly schedule as a guide
If you have any questions about online study, get in touch with our friendly team. We’re here to help.
Your course fee needs to be paid in full before you start your course.
We accept payment via all major credit and debit cards except American Express.
Ways to save
There are several ways you may be able to get help funding your studies:
- Alumni discount – University of Aberdeen alumni receive 20% off our postgraduate taught short courses and degrees
- Employer sponsorship – we happily accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors
- Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card, giving you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.