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Nutrition (Human Nutrition) BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time B400 2017
4 years full time including sandwich year B402 2017
4 years full time including foundation year B401 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017

Why choose this course?

If you are interested in nutrition and the role it can play in human development, this broad-based degree, accredited by the Association for Nutrition, is ideal. You will have the opportunity to specialise in areas of applied and clinical nutrition, such as the role of nutrition in health and disease.


Accreditation by the Association for Nutrition (the professional body for nutritionists) means our graduates can apply to become associate nutritionists without having to prove competence.


The National Student SurveyThis course scored 100% for student satisfaction in the 2016 National Student Survey. It ranked first for teaching quality and second for student experience out of 38 institutions offering ‘Food Science' programmes (The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016).

What you will study

Year 1 provides the basics for studying nutrition – biochemistry, physiology, human nutrition and basic food science, plus general scientific and laboratory skills.

Year 2 covers more advanced aspects of human biology, including biochemistry, pharmacology, immunology and microbiology. You will consider nutrition at different stages of life and in assessment of health, learning to obtain and interpret food and nutrient intake data. You will develop skills to prepare for Year 3's project.

Year 3 explores more-specialised and applied aspects, such as nutrition's role in health and disease. Options include Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Clinical Chemistry and Haematology, and Health and Exercise Physiology. Your independent nutrition research project will be in a subject of interest (eg public health and clinical nutrition).

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module introduces fundamental physiological concepts which underpin the co-ordinated functioning of the human body, including homeostasis, cellular communication and movement of molecules through body compartments. The module progresses through to the main physiological systems of the body to include the nervous, muscle, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and digestive systems.

    On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental physiological concepts.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the functioning of selected human physiological systems, and an appreciation of some of the experimental observations from which this knowledge is derived.
    • Write clear explanations of physiological mechanisms.
    • Understand how to perform simple physiological experiments and clearly and accurately record, analyse and interpret experimental data.
    • Demonstrate skills that will enhance employability.
  • This module introduces the study and practice of human nutrition which focuses primarily on macronutrients but will also include water and alcohol. The module deals with the concepts that underpin energy and nitrogen balance, the derivation and application of dietary reference values, the study of food composition and food science.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the concepts of energy, nitrogen and fluid balance and their major determinants.
    • Describe the structure, function, requirements and metabolic disposal of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, water, alcohol, fat and water soluble vitamins, trace elements and minerals.
    • Demonstrate understanding of the role of food science in the nature of foods and their ingredients.
    • Describe the origin, interpretation and application of food composition tables and dietary reference values.
    • To understand changing patterns of eating and attitudes to eating, food choices and availability, and the effects of cost and changes to retail and agricultural trends.
  • This module introduces basic chemistry from first principles with particular emphasis on application to biology and biochemistry. An introduction to the structure and function of the major classes of biological molecules is also covered.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate knowledge of atomic structure and bonding and how molecules interact with one another.
    • Understand basic chemical reactions including making and breaking of bonds.
    • Understand the conformations and stereochemistry of molecules.
    • Describe, recognise and understand the structural properties and functions of the major classes of biologically important molecules.
    • Summarise general aspects of energy metabolism.
    • Demonstrate the key communication skill of report writing and develop laboratory and independent learning skills.
  • This module provides a foundation in general scientific and laboratory skills. In addition, the module includes basic research skills such as practical skills in the laboratory, the principles of experimental design and the statistical analysis of data.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Manage their time to become effective independent learners.
    • Exhibit competence in basic numeracy and scientific calculations, and to statistically analyse and interpret data.
    • Use word processing and spreadsheet packages to present text, graphics and data competently.
    • Write succinct scientific reports with appropriate referencing.
    • Locate contemporary research publications both in text and electronic format.
    • Explain the theory behind biological experimental design, carry out basic laboratory procedures safely and accurately, and demonstrate the application of good laboratory practice.

Year 2

  • This module provides the knowledge of the structure and methods of analysis of proteins, with particular emphasis on enzymes. The module includes the study of the major catabolic and anabolic pathways and investigates how organisms obtain and use energy. These processes and their regulation in health and disease are considered at the molecular level which involves many proteins including enzymes.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the structure of proteins, including enzymes, and have a comprehensive knowledge of practical and graphical methods involved the investigation of enzyme activity.
    • Understand the principles of methods involved in the analysis of proteins.
    • Define free energy and describe the relationship of the chemiosmotic theory to mitochondrial electron transport.
    • Identify and describe the major pathways of carbohydrate, amino acid and lipid metabolism and comprehend the role of compartmentation, allosterism and covalent modification in metabolic regulation.
    • Develop practical skills involved in protein biochemistry and metabolism.
    • Manipulate and critically interpret data related to methods covered in this module.
  • This module applies basic nutrition (from first year of study), however, introduces dietary assessment methodology and its use depending on nutrients, groups and populations and the role of nutrition across the lifespan.

    On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

    • Understand the purpose of dietary assessment.
    • Describe, compare and contrast methods of dietary assessment and discuss their use in nutritional surveys and in the nutritional assessment of groups throughout the lifespan.
    • Identify nutritional needs and factors affecting nutritional needs during pregnancy, breastfeeding, infancy and childhood.
    • Review nutritional requirements and factors influencing nutrition during adolescence and adulthood.
    • Identify nutritional needs and factors affecting nutritional needs in the elderly and among people with dementia.
    • Interpret and evaluate nutrition research.
  • This module further develops the scientific and research skills to enable the study of research methods deployed in pharmacology and associated industries. The module introduces basic concepts of pharmacodynamics (how drugs take their effect at given targets) and drug disposition/pharmacokinetics (the effect the body has on administered drugs) whilst considering outcomes that lead to individual variability in drug response. The principles of toxicology, how drugs are discovered and developed; the role of the pharmaceutical sector/regulatory bodies in this process are also covered.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Appreciate the importance of experimental design in pharmacological research, and select, apply and interpret appropriate statistical tests for data analysis.
    • Locate, analyse and critically evaluate research papers, and demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues relating to biological and pharmacological research.
    • Present concise, analytical and objective scientific information relating to pharmacology in the form of essays, reports, scientific literature reviews, posters and/or oral presentations.
    • Reflect on your personal and academic skills, and to research potential employment opportunities in the pharmacological and related industries, demonstrating an awareness of the attributes and skills needed to achieve your aspirations.
    • Describe the general principles of pharmacology and toxicology, indicating the targets for drug and toxicant action, and the processes by which the body can affect the fate of such agents.
    • Discuss the factors leading to individual variability in drug / toxicant response altering therapy outcomes and adverse drug events.
    • Describe how pre-clinical and clinical evaluation of new drugs is conducted, including ethical considerations, and to be able to critically evaluate data from such studies.
  • This module aims to extend existing knowledge of the structure and function of microbiological agents in health and disease and the immunological responses raised as a consequence by the human body. Microbiological processes will be examined along with methods of controlling the organisms responsible in the laboratory environment as well as within a patient. The module also deals with the  different cells and organs of the immune system and how these function and interact to protect the body from infection. An introduction to molecular processes and signalling events that are important in communication between cells of the human immune system are studied.


Optional sandwich year

Year 3/4

  • This module develops the understanding of the concepts, theories and practice of health promotion, focusing on diet & physical activity in developing and developed countries. It will examine theories of motivation, behaviour and strategies of health promotion. The role, influence and impact of policies on population and client groups will be examined.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Discuss concepts, determinants and definitions of health and wellbeing in both developing and developed countries.
    • Critically discuss socioeconomic, cultural and political influences on health behaviour in relation to physical activity and/or nutrition (including breastfeeding and food production, supply and shortages in developing countries).
    • Evaluate health promotion models, theories, communication strategies and their application to promoting health in different population and client groups and settings.
    • Demonstrate understanding of the development, utility and evaluation of health promotion policies in different settings.
    • Outline the principles of prevention and treatment of malnutrition, including aid agency strategies, the role of the health worker, early nutritional intervention and crisis intervention.
    • To discuss the effects of factors that impact upon food security, and its relation to nutritional status and health outcomes including reference to the millennium development goals (MDGs).
  • This module considers the areas that have a significant impact on modern day food and nutrition including food legislation and safety, novel and functional foods, nutraceuticals and the interaction between nutrition and pharmacology. The module provides in-depth material on emerging and re-emerging topics such as malnutrition and food allergy as well as issues concerning nutrition and disease and the use of advanced body composition techniques and biochemical and biological analysis.

    On successful completion of the modules, you will be able to:

    • Critically review the inter-relationships between nutrient intake, nutritional status and drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion.
    • Critically examine the development and efficacy of novel foods, functional foods, dietary supplements and other nutraceuticals.
    • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of issues relating to the safety of food and food legislation.
    • Understand the development of selected disorders.
    • Discuss and critically evaluate the role of nutrition in the aetiology and management of selected disorders.
    • Discuss and critically evaluate the use of advanced body composition techniques and biochemical and biological analysis.
  • This capstone project module is designed to demonstrate skills developed throughout the course and show evidence of synthesis based on the skills, knowledge, understanding, application and integration of nutrition gained from taught modules.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Devise and write a concise plan of a proposed research project, paying due consideration to health and safety regulations and ethics, if required.
    • Undertake an investigation of the planned topic and compare the outcomes with the original proposal.
    • Write a structured and lucid report of the work carried out that is appropriately analytical and critical.
    • Evaluate and communicate complex information both orally and in writing.


  • Choose from the following:

    • Medical Microbiology and Immunology
    • This module evaluates the contribution of laboratory investigations to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in key areas such as renal disease, diabetes, anaemia, and haematological malignancies. The module also considers the role of the transfusion laboratory in the treatment of selected disorders.

      On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Identify and evaluate critically the diagnostically useful changes which occur in normal body chemistry in selected examples of disease/trauma.
      • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the regulation of haemopoesis and haemoglobin production, and the interrelationships of the processes involved.
      • Determine the classification and investigation of haematological malignancy.
      • Assess, select and apply the practical skills involved in the investigation of biochemical and haematological disease.
      • Interpret and evaluate the investigations that can aid the management of key examples of disease.
      • Evaluate the processes involved in the investigation of blood groups, and describe the techniques used in blood transfusion.
    • This module covers the acute and chronic physiological changes induced by exercise and an understanding of cardio-respiratory health as well as develop the application of exercise physiology to performance. The module considers the role of exercise and physical activity as a prescription therapy to clinical diseases and develops the scientific skills to monitor and assess health, fitness and performance.

      On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • To explain how different intensities and duration of physical activity/exercise affects the major physiological systems.
      • To identify and apply the key aspects of cardio-respiratory measurements to the proposed limitations and physiological adaptations to exercise and physical activity participation.
      • To evaluate the issues/implications/benefits of exercise participation in relation to unhealthy individuals and special populations with reference to professional guidelines.
      • To evaluate the need for, and methods of, screening patients prior to exercise testing and prescription.
      • To use practical equipment accurately and demonstrate awareness of, and the practical competencies in, screening and assessment.
      • To demonstrate key skills of creative thinking, problem solving, communication, numeracy, ICT, teamwork and develop independent skills.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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