What you’ll study
Get an introduction to food choice and the far-reaching impact it can have on:
- the global environment
- local, national and global economy markers.
In this first week, you’ll:
- 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.
Explore 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 this second week, you’ll:
- 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.
Delve deep into the psychology of our eating behaviour.
In this third week, you’ll:
- 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).
Gather all your learning and put it into practice. We’ll share valuable tools you can put to use in your food sector role.
In this final week, you’ll:
- 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 you’ll study
This course is assessed entirely online via:
- four online true-false quizzes to test your comprehension each week
- a 250-word written assessment. In it, you’ll reflect on the current food sector and apply an evidence-based approach towards understanding how food choice impacts health, the environment and the economy.
The course totals approximately 50 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 12.5 hours per week.
This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes.
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 and Employability 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 can make your study life easier
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll feel part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Your teaching team
Where this will take you
Why study Nutrition online with the University of Aberdeen?
We welcome students from all over the world. You do not need a visa to study online with us.
This course has no formal entry requirements, so you do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
However, check the entry guidance above. It indicates the level of teaching delivered. If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
English language requirements
Teaching is delivered in English.
You do not have to provide proof of your English language skills to join this course. But we want to make sure you can use English well enough to study successfully. At this level of teaching, you would usually have:
Duolingo English Test (taken from July 2019)
- 115 overall
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- All skills – B2
IELTS Academic – 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
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
PTE Academic – 62 overall
- 51 for listening, reading and speaking
- 54 for writing
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, C2 Proficiency – 176 overall
- 162 for listening, reading and speaking
- 169 for writing
For information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on:
- Windows 8 or later
- Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra) or later.
All our teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. However, you’re likely to need a proper laptop or computer keyboard for completing assignments comfortably.
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 so that you’re never alone in your studies.
But learning online does mean 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 studying online, 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 Visa Debit, Visa Credit and Mastercard.
Ways to save
You may be able to get help funding this course via:
- Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
- discounts – if any discounts are available for this course, they’ll appear in the section below
- employer sponsorship – we accept full and partial fee payments from sponsors.
All our students are entitled to a University of Aberdeen student card. This gives you access to a range of student discounts around the city and online.