How does food affect human health, and the prevention and management of diseases?
Gain the knowledge that underpins the study of human nutrition and metabolism.
- Learn from scientists working at the University’s Rowett Institute, one of Europe’s most prestigious nutrition research centres.
- Access our unique expertise and find out first hand what’s happening in the world of nutrition right now.
Our online Human Nutrition and Metabolism course is designed for wide appeal. It’s an ideal refresher for graduates in nutrition. As a scientist, it will help you move towards a career in nutrition. And it’s CV-boosting professional development for the health professions, industry and government agencies.
What you’ll study
Poor nutrition is a public health problem facing both developed and developing nations today.
In this course, you’ll:
- learn to apply the scientific principles of nutrition to have a real, positive impact on public health
- focus on the basic biochemistry and physiology relevant to human nutrition, to understand how the body works and how it responds to the food we eat
- studying metabolism
- gain detailed knowledge of the digestion, absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, fat, alcohol, vitamins and minerals, as well as energy balance and metabolism.
Increasing your knowledge of what constitutes ‘healthy eating’ will give you the solid science to debunk popular myths, diet fads and misunderstandings commonly propagated today around the role of nutrition in maintaining health and preventing and managing disease.
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
Describe how the human body responds to the food and nutrients we eat.
Explain how methods of food production and preparation influence the nutritional quality of the diet.
Communicate the energy balance, energy expenditure and energy requirements of the human body.
Recognise strengths and weaknesses in research methods, enabling you to understand the science behind nutritional information.
Learn with the Rowett Institute
For over 100 years, the Rowett has played a major role in informing UK government health policy and establishing the link between diet and health.
How you’ll study
This distance learning Nutrition and Metabolism course is delivered part-time, 100% online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.
This course is taught at Masters level by experienced nutrition researchers and academics.
Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It holds all the materials, tools and support you’ll need in your studies. Take a look around MyAberdeen.
You can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and laptop, 24 hours a day. You’ll find a range of resources at your fingertips, including:
- podcasts of lectures
- study notes
- discussion boards with colleagues and tutors
- the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library.
Through the discussion boards, we’ll encourage you to question accepted wisdom and interact with your online colleagues to develop fresh ideas.
This course is assessed entirely online.
You’ll be assessed online using:
- weekly multiple-choice quizzes
- two class tests (each worth 50% of your mark).
You will receive feedback on all your assessments.
Your feedback will include detailed information about correct answers for quiz responses. Extensive feedback will be written or audio-recorded and highlight the areas that you need to focus on to improve your understanding.
The course totals approximately 150 hours of study and assessment time. That’s around 10 – 15 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 largely set your own study hours each week to cover the materials. MyAberdeen is available 24/7, so you can log in and study when it suits you.
Activities at fixed times
There may be some activities scheduled for fixed times. This could include coursework and assessments with deadlines, or online meetings with your tutor. Otherwise, you can access and work through the course at your convenience.
Our first-class support structure will ensure that you aren’t alone in your studies. You’ll have contact with your tutors throughout your course. This could be by email, MyAberdeen, online call, or phone. You can use social media and discussion boards to chat with your fellow students too.
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 course coordinator
Dr Fiona Campbell
Fiona is a principal investigator based at the Rowett Institute. She leads our MSc in Human Nutrition. Fiona’s research focuses on advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and how dietary AGEs contribute to conditions such as type 2 diabetes and dementia.View Fiona’s profile
Where this will take you
Towards a Masters
You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:
Masters in Applied Health Sciences
Fast-track your career in healthcare with our uniquely flexible MSc Applied Health Sciences. Study 100% online or combine with on-campus courses at our Foresterhill Health Campus. 10% discount for NHS staff.View MSc Applied Health Sciences
Masters in Clinical Nutrition
Join an online Nutrition degree accredited by the Association for Nutrition. Study the link between diet and health, and how issues of over and undernutrition affect populations today. 10% discount for NHS staff.View MSc Clinical Nutrition
Build your learning with more short courses
We have a range of online nutrition and healthcare courses you can use to build your skills.
Many carry credits you can build up into postgraduate qualifications, including Masters degrees:
Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.
Why study nutrition online with the University of Aberdeen?
Be part of a university leading the way in nutrition, women’s health, infection control and clinical scanning, transforming lives and medical practice around the world.
Learn from tutors and scientists at the forefront of nutrition studies, publishing research into gut health, metabolism and obesity.
NHS and alumni discounts
NHS staff get 10% off this online course. University of Aberdeen alumni get 20% off.
We welcome students from all over the world.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You do not need to provide proof of your qualifications.
But you do need to check the entry guidance above to understand the level of teaching delivered, to decide if this course is right for you.
If you do not have qualifications from the UK, check the equivalent teaching level for your country.
You do not need a visa to study online with us.
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 that you can use English well enough to study successfully.
Recommended level of English
This course uses our Postgraduate Higher level of English language proficiency.
These are our Postgraduate Higher requirements, and these are minimum scores.
IELTS Academic and IELTS Online (not IELTS Indicator or IELTS General Training)
- 6.5 overall
- 5.5 for listening and speaking
- 6.0 for reading and writing
TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Home Edition
- 90 overall
- 17 for listening
- 21 for reading
- 20 for speaking
- 21 for writing
- TOEFL DI code is 0818
Cambridge English: B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency
- 176 overall
- 162 for listening and speaking
- 169 for reading and writing
LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator (Written and Spoken)
- Overall High Pass
- 33 for listening, reading and speaking
- 38 for writing
PTE Academic (online test not accepted)
- 62 overall
- 59 for listening, reading, speaking and writing
For more information about language qualifications see our English Language Requirements page.
You will need access to:
A computer (PC, laptop or Mac) operating on either:
- Windows 10 or later
- macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or later.
Most teaching materials are smartphone- and tablet-friendly. But we recommend a proper laptop or desktop for completing assignments comfortably.
Reliable internet access
- a wired connection
- a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps so you can take part fully in live sessions.
Speakers or headphones
- We recommend a headset with built-in microphone and earphones if you’re likely to study in an environment with background noise.
- A webcam is optional, but you may like to use one for some interactive sessions.
We’ll give you access to Office365 applications. This means 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 specialist software, we’ll provide you with access to 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:
- 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.
This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.
The course is delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:
- a 2:2 (second-class) undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences or Life Sciences
- or relevant experience that supports this level of study.