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Food, Nutrition and Human Health

BSc (Hons)
BSc (Hons) Food, Nutrition and Human Health

Within this course you will learn the scientific study of nutrients and other substances in food, and how they affect our growth, health and disease. A nutritionist may apply their knowledge in a wide variety of careers such as public health nutrition, sports and exercise nutrition, food nutrition or nutrition science.

Nutritionists may develop and evaluate nutrition policies and campaigns to improve the population’s health; apply physiological, biochemical and nutritional principles to the management of diet and performance in athletes; deal with ingredients, allergens, policy and legislation when developing or reformulating food and drink products; or study metabolic and physiological responses of the human body to food and nutrients.

In fourth year, a 12-week placement and research project provides the opportunity to specialise in the areas that interest you most and enhance your employability.

RGU is ranked 1st in Scotland for Food Science (Complete University Guide 2021).

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

4 years
Year 1

You will be introduced to the properties and production of the main food commodities; energy intake and expenditure; protein, fat, carbohydrate, alcohol, vitamins and minerals; microbiology and food pathogens; methods of food analysis; and the international and cultural aspects of food and nutrition.

Year 2

You will learn about human anatomy and physiology, and how nutrients are metabolised in the body; how to assess an individual’s nutritional status; and the importance of nutrition through our lifespan (pregnancy, infancy, adolescence and adulthood). You will also learn about food science and management systems, and the importance of plant foods and phytochemicals for health.


You will study the relationship between nutrition and disease (cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus), and how diet can improve athletic performance. You will also create a health promotion campaign and recipe book, engage with a food company to develop a new food product, and learn how the interaction between our genes and diet affects our health.

Year 4

In your final year you will undertake a 12-week full-time placement to learn about the role of a Nutritionist within the workplace. You will work on an individual research project and study a topic of emerging importance: the role of the gut microbiome and diet in health and disease. 



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information
Activity Summary

The course is taught in two semesters each year, and each semester has a block of 12 weeks. Teaching consists of lectures, tutorials, workshops, and laboratory practical sessions in the Chemistry, Microbiology, Analytical Science, and food handling laboratories. In addition, there are visits and placements off-campus, and you will also undertake self-directed learning. 

Class sizes can vary from 20 or less (for BSc (Hons) Food, Nutrition and Human Health students only) to nearly 100 (for classes shared with students on other courses). Lectures and tutorials usually last for around an hour, and laboratory practical classes usually last for around three hours.

Year 4

  • Lectures, seminars, tutorials or workshops – 20 students per group, 55 hours
  • Project supervision – 20 students per group, 20 hours in semester 2
  • Placement/work-based learning – 20 students per group, 35 hours per week for 12 weeks
Independent Study

In addition to scheduled class time and practical classes, you are expected to read widely from the provided reading lists, conduct your own research and meet with your peers to undertake allocated group work, complete tutorial assignments, and work on assessments. Together, the scheduled teaching activities and independent study equates to approximately 40 hours-per-week.


Key staff members teaching on this course include Registered Nutritionists and Registered Dietitians, and Lecturers in nutritional biochemistry and physiology, and food quality and food safety. Staff may have a clinical and/or a research background, and some staff are active in research. 

Our lecturers have excellent links with the food industry, NHS, research institutes, and national and international agencies. These links are fully used to provide external speakers, study visits, projects and placements, which means that our course is aligned to employer needs.

Our staff feature in the annual Support and Teaching staff with Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) awards voted by the students and organised by RGU:Union.


Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 7 written exams, typically for 1.5 hours
  • 2 reports
  • 1 oral assessment
  • 1 practical skills assessment

Year 2

  • 4 written exams, typically for 2 hours
  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 3 reports
  • 2 oral assessments
  • 1 practical skills assessment

Year 3

  • 3 written exams, typically for 2.5 hours
  • 2 written assignments, including essays
  • 2 portfolios
  • 2 oral assessments

Year 4

  • 1 written assignment, including essay
  • 1 report
  • 1 dissertation
  • 2 oral assessments
  • 1 practical skills assessment
  • 1 graded placement

We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.



The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

The inclusion CENTRE


All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.



The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support


Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

University Library


A compulsory 12-week, full-time, unpaid placement is included in this course. It is carefully and collaboratively arranged by you and the university. We aim to match the placement with your career aspirations to ensure that you have the necessary work experience that employers are looking for within that field. You may work alongside a Nutritionist, Dietitian or Food Technologist in public health, sports nutrition, the food industry, a government agency or research.

Study Abroad

You may choose to undertake your Nutrition Placement in the UK or abroad.


Job Prospects

The nutrition sector has a wide variety of careers and is a constantly expanding field.

Is Food, Nutrition and Human Health a good career choice?

Previous Food, Nutrition and Human Health graduates of Robert Gordon University have gone on to pursue careers in the following industries:

  • Food industry (from primary production through product development to the retail chains) 
  • Public health nutrition and health promotion (e.g. NHS public health departments or freelance as consultants)
  • Government and non-government organisations Nutritionists also work in the rapidly expanding
  • Health and fitness industries to promote health and improve performance
  • Private sector - promoting the health and wellbeing of employees through health and lifestyle assessments and delivery of educational seminars
  • Nutrition research (lab-based and human)
  • Home economics teaching

Graduates may continue their careers by studying for MSc or PhD degrees in relevant subjects, such as Public Health or Sport and Exercise Nutrition.

This course meets the General Teaching Council requirements for a pre-requisite degree for Home Economics teaching.Find Your CAREER Path

Standard Entry Requirements
  • SQA Higher: BBCC to include Biology or Chemistry and one further science (Maths, Health and Food Technology, and Environmental Science counted). Biology, Chemistry, English and Maths are required at National 5 grade B or above if not held at Higher.
  • GCE A Level: CCC to include Biology or Chemistry and one further science (Maths, Food and Nutrition, and Environmental Science counted). Biology, Chemistry, English and Maths are required at GCSE grade 6/B or above if not held at A Level.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H3H3H3H3 to include Biology or Chemistry and one further science (Maths and Home Economics: Scientific & Social counted). Biology, Chemistry, English and Maths are required at grade O2 or above if not held at Higher.
  • IB Diploma: 26 to include Biology or Chemistry at Higher Level grade 4 and one further science at Higher Level (Maths counted). Biology, Chemistry, English and Maths required at Standard Level grade 4 if not held at Higher.
Minimum entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements for widening access applicants are:

  • SQA Higher: BCC/CCCC to include Biology or Chemistry and one further Science such as Maths, Home Economics, Health and Food Technology, Environmental Science. Biology, Chemistry, English and Maths are required at National 5 B if not held at Higher
Alternative Qualifications

We welcome applications from those with equivalent qualifications to those stated, including SVQs/NVQs, access programmes and overseas qualifications. Applications from students with non-standard qualifications or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Advanced Entry

Applicants who are interested in applying for advanced entry will be considered on an individual basis.

International Students 

International students who do not meet our direct entry requirements for this course can gain additional entry points through our International College at Robert Gordon University.


English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 6.0, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Pre-Sessional English Programme at RGU

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Scottish Students

  • £1,820 per academic year

EU Students

  • Fee to be confirmed

Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

International Students

  • £15,040 per academic year

Scottish/EU Students

  • £1,820 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

International Students

  • £15,040 per academic year
Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Accommodation and Living costs
  • Printing
  • £85 Specialist Clothing
  • £30 Induction fee (project expenses, travel to and from offsite visits, glassware breakages, and lab consumables)

Other Fees and Charges


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Student Funding

If you are a Scottish resident or EU national you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS)

Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:

Student Finance England

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance NI

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:



Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Team and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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