BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Food Science

Nutrition is the science that interprets the relationship between food and its nutritional composition to the functioning of the living organism. It includes study of the intake, digestion, absorption of food, production of energy, elimination of wastes and all the syntheses that are essential for growth, maintenance and reproduction across the life cycle.


Nutrition is the science that interprets the relationship between food and its nutritional composition to the functioning of the living organism. It includes study of the intake, digestion, absorption of food, production of energy, elimination of wastes and all the syntheses that are essential for growth, maintenance and reproduction across the life cycle.



Why QMU?

  • The course is taught by experienced food scientists with industry experience and registered nutritionists who are research active. Their applied research informs the teaching programme, keeping up to date with current thinking in the field.
  • Years One and Two are shared with our BSc/BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology, BSc/BSc (Hons) Human Biology and BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutrition, meaning you can change course any time up to the end of Year Two.


About the course

This flexible course enables graduates to enter a career in the food industry. There is a study abroad opportunity** and you may be able to carry out your honours project with one of our external partners, enabling you to gain further skills and experience.

Nutrition is the science that investigates the metabolic and physiological responses of the body to food and diet. Food science is the application of biological and physical sciences to study the nature of foods, the causes of deterioration, the principles underlying food processing and the improvement of foods for public consumption.

This is a multidisciplinary course focused on human nutrition and food science with a related emphasis on new product development and their nutritional impact. It is suitable if you are interested in following a career in the food industry or research.

In Years One and Two, you will gain a strong foundation in the core areas of the biological sciences. You will be introduced to fundamental principles and concepts in nutrition, food and associated disciplines and start to integrate your acquired knowledge from the different disciplines. You will study a range of modules that will allow you to start to develop core study skills, in addition to laboratory and investigative (information technology and research) skills.

In Year Three, you will focus on both nutrition and food science, studying a wide range of topics ranging from ingredient functionality, food analysis and nutrition across lifespan, to public health, demonstrating the multidisciplinary nature of the degree. You will continue to develop a range of skills, including evaluating scientific and lay literature and communication skills.

In Year Four, the majority of your time will be spent on your honours project which will involve you carrying out an individual research project at the University or an external partner (food company or public health organisation), allowing you to integrate and develop your skills and knowledge further in a particular area.

Modules focus on the current issues facing the food industry, including ‘free from’ formulation, healthier products, sustainability and food policy.




You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.



Year One modules

  • Introduction to Food and Nutrition
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology and Human Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Developmental Biology and Ageing
  • Microbiology
  • Key Investigative Skills 1
  • An Introduction to Health Psychology
  • Health and Welfare
  • Integrating Module 1

Year Two modules

  • Nutrition
  • Food Science
  • Human Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Systems Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Integrating Module 2
  • Professional Development
  • Key Investigative Skills 2

Year Three modules

  • Food Science
  • Food Analysis Laboratory
  • Applied Nutrition
  • Public Health Practice
  • Digestion and Satiety
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Dissertation (choice of topic)/ Epidemiology and Health/ Professional Module

Year Four modules

  • Product Development
  • Current Issues in Food Science
  • Food Business Development
  • Nutrition and Food Policy
  • Sustainable Consumption
  • Honours Project
  • Research Communication

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Sept 2018) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2019. Please check the website for any updates.



There are no formal placements, but a limited number of volunteering opportunities allow you to gain further experience and develop skills in particular areas of practice.


**Exchange opportunities

In Years Two or Three, you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/. This is subject to availability.




Opportunities exist for food scientists in a wide variety of areas within the food industry including: product development; food processing; food distribution; food quality management and food research. Graduates may also choose to study for a higher degree (MSc, MPhil or PhD).


Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: BBB

A Level: BB

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects: Chem or Biol and preferably one other science (may include Maths or Home Economics) at Higher/A Level or equivalent AND Chem, Biol Maths and Eng at S/Int2/N5/GCSE level

Mature/Access: See related Access courses. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications in biology and chemistry and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two - HNC in a related subject with B in the graded unit

Year Three -  HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

Other: You may be requested to be immunised against Hepatitis B






Associate student places

You can study this course as an associate student completing your first year at West Lothian College. For more information and entry requirements, see page 32.

Associate student places


Professional registration/ accreditation


Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

*subject to availability

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

 Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website


Course Overview

On campus
3/4 years
Start Date
September 2020
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

A Student Story - more at foot of page

Rebecca Kinghorn - BSc / BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Food Science "I’d say if you’re interested in Food and Science this definitely is the course for you, and a bonus to this course is that there are a wide range of job prospects and opportunities that come along with this degree." Read my story...