MSc in Food, Nutrition and Health


Master Degree of Science, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate (NFQ Level 9)

Qualification Points:

Certificate – 30 credits – equivalent to 6 X 5-credit modules
Diploma – 60 credits – equivalent to 12 X 5-credit modules
MSc Degree – 90 credits – equivalent to 18 X 5-credit modules

Duration: Minimum 1 year Graduate Certificate, 1.5 years Graduate Diploma), 2 years for Masters, maximum 4 years for all.
Start Date: Teacing term commences from Monday September 21st, 2020 Closing date for applications is Friday 4th September Please contact for more details on how to apply.
UCD Academic Expertise:

The MSc in Food, Nutrition and Health is offered, delivered and supported by academics in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and UCD Institute of Food and Health.

Fees: The fee charged is based on the number of modules taken in an academic year. Fees should be confirmed by visiting UCD fees webpage.
Contact us: You can contact us by email using the form at the end of this page or by phone as follows:

Contact Name: Karen Holland
Contact Number: +353 1 716 7192


The importance of the link between food and human health is becoming increasingly evident and graduates of the Masters in Food, Nutrition and Health course will be educated to a high level in the science of food as it pertains to human nutrition and health.

This programme will be delivered by staff members in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and UCD Institute of Food and Health. UCD is ranked in the top 10 European and top 25 International Universities in Food Science and Technology, based on research output.

The UCD Institute of Food and Health was established in 2008 and has an international reputation. The Institute brings together academic and research staff from across UCD in health-related aspects of food research, including food science, human and public health nutrition, food production, biosystems engineering, food law, consumer behaviour and food safety. The Institute aligns its research with national, international and industry agendas.

What will I study?

You will initially take modules to develop important underpinning knowledge and principles including the composition of foods; primary food production; food chemistry; food microbiology; physiology and metabolism; nutrition through the life cycle; food processing. As you progress through the course you will explore the application of this knowledge in the food, nutrition and health sectors, in modules such as food policy and regulation; food and health; sensory science; food products; nutrition research methods and nutrigenomics; nutrition communication; food quality assurance; food innovation; nutrition and disease; food marketing and business.
To access module descriptors please see below for the link to the Programme Handbook.

On successful completion of the course students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of food and nutritional science and related subjects and their role in human health and disease.
  2. Understand the nature of food, how it is produced, how it is affected by processing, why we eat, what happens to food when we eat it, and how food components can interact with the functioning of humans.
  3. Apply the knowledge and understanding of food science and formulation to diet and nutrition in order to address nutrition-related problems in different groups, cultures and societies.
  4. Formulate and apply the principles of scientific inquiry to plan and undertake research into the development of a food product.
  5. Synthesize and summarize information from a wide range of sources and draw reasoned conclusions with particular reference to the science of food, nutrition and health.
  6. Prepare logical arguments in support of/against particular controversial issues in food and nutritional sciences.
  7. Obtain and critically review information from a wide range of sources and construct and defend reasoned conclusions.

How will I study?

The Masters in Food, Nutrition and Health will be delivered through the UCD Online Learning Brightspace Platform and will consist of:

  • pre-prepared lecture material delivered online
  • videos and demonstrations by lecturers
  • interactive learning reinforcement quizzes
  • online assessed multiple choice quizzes
  • Interactive discussion boards
  • virtual classroom environments

For each 5 ECTS credit module earned students are expected to undertake about 125 hours of work, to include on-line activity and performing their own study. Students will be required to complete quizzes periodically so that we can monitor progress. Formative assessments will be used to help you develop and critically assess your own understanding of the material presented. All modules will have a high continuous assessment component.

The MSc Food, Nutrition and Health is delivered and assessed online. Therefore students do not need to attend UCD campus for classes or assessment. Many of our current students are based internationally.
Each module is assigned a Module tutor; students can make direct contact with the Module Tutor and Module Coordinator with any queries.

Career Opportunities

The course will provide you with the skills necessary to function in roles in the food industry, public health sector and food regulatory agencies. Within the food industry graduates will work in areas such as product innovation, technical sales, product quality enhancement with the distinct advantage of bringing a nutrition perspective to all aspects of the food industry including product development, marketing and sales.

Within public health and regulatory agencies graduates will work in the areas of nutrition and health promotion or food labelling regulation.

Graduates have progressed to work in Nutritionist roles and have successfully attained personal accreditation with the Association for Nutrition (AFN). 

Entry Requirements

The course is aimed at graduates from science-based disciplines with no previous or recent formal educational background in Food Science or Nutrition who wish to up-skill and become competent in this increasingly important and rapidly evolving area.

Applicants must hold a minimum of a Second Class Honours degree in a cognate subject (Science, Engineering or related discipline), or international equivalent. Applicants with other awards who hold substantial relevant work experience will also be considered.
Applicants who do not hold the requisite Science qualification (but who hold a Level 8 Honours degree or equivalent) have been admitted previously and are advised to submit an application for assessment by the Programme Coordinator to determine eligibility.

All applications are assessed on a case by case basis by the Programme Coordinator Dr Fiona Lalor.

Applicants are asked to provide a CV and Personal Statement with their application, along with Academic Transcripts (non UCD Graduates) and proof of English proficiency if required.
Details on minimum UCD English Language Requirements are outlined at:

Application are submitted through the Online Application system

Applicants who would like to take a stand-alone module may do so as an Occasional Student, and should contact the School of Agriculture and Food Science directly for further details on how to apply and cost per module.

Core Modules

‌To see a full list of modules for this course, please visit the graduate studies website here.

Course Structure

Click here to download:  Course Structure

Course Handbook

Graduate Testimonials

Gráinne Clarke (2019 Graduate)

I chose to complete my postgraduate studies at UCD as it is such a globally renowned, impressive and distinguished University. I completed the Masters degree in 2 years. While the course was challenging at times overall, I found it to be extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Lectures and coursework were efficiently delivered, interactive and extremely well-organised. Professors and tutors provided excellent support and encouragement throughout. While the course is delivered online there was always a sense of responsive care and courtesy from all academics with a robust support system in place.

I would recommend the Masters course to anyone that is considering pursuing a career in the food, nutrition or health industry. Potential students need to be fully committed and self-disciplined throughout the course and I would advise them to grasp and enjoy the experience and opportunity. I believe attaining this Masters has distinguished me to employers and businesses. Since graduating I have been continually to advance my professional development and I plan to apply to the Association for Nutrition for Registered Associate Nutritionist status.


Breda O'Mahony (2015 graduate)

"The primary reason I chose to study this Masters programme was to deepen my existing knowledge and I can genuinely say that completing my studies in the field of Food, Health and Nutrition Science has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made. This journey has allowed me to study with some of the leading academics in their field. Lectures and coursework were relevant, engaging and thought provoking thus enabling me to expand on areas such as subject knowledge and development of critical thinking skills with relevance to everyday life. Having a tutor for each module was advantageous, they were very helpful and responded very quickly to queries.

One of the main advantages attached to this programme is the whole area of its diversification - the depth and variety of modules offered an insight into varying perspectives thus enhancing my subject knowledge. The online platform enabled me to continue working whilst studying at a pace that suited my schedule. As a result, a great level of compatibility between my work and study life was achieved.

The completion of this programme has opened up a number of differing opportunities for me that perhaps would not have come otherwise."


Anita Kelly (2017 graduate)

"This course is highly relevant to those seeking to enhance their career, and to those want to learn the impact of nutrition on human health.

I found the course to be high-quality and challenging. The structure, content, materials and lecturer support are well-organised and well-delivered. The course is structured to enable the student to build on knowledge gained in previous modules, so learning is incremental. There is plenty of flexibility in terms of “optional” modules. The assignments are varied and engaging.

Online studying saves time commuting to campus, and is a very flexible way of learning. And despite the lack of a “classroom”, the course is interactive and participatory. The time flew by!"


Alexander Sinnott (2017 graduate)

"I have always had an interest in the science of food and nutrition and working within the food industry was always a long term goal for me. The MSc in Food, Nutrition and Health was the perfect course to allow me to develop the skills required to work in many functions within in the food industry.

The course offers a broad range of topics to study with modules available from public health to food processing and even food marketing. Although the course is online, there is a significant amount of support and interaction with both lecturers, tutors and fellow classmates at all times.

Through completion of the course, I have applied for and received multiple job offers from multinational food companies. Overall, I highly recommend the MSc Food, Nutrition & Health to anyone looking to pursue a career in the food industry."

Get in touch with our course team...