MSc Food, Nutrition & Health

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MSc Food, Nutrition and Health is aimed at graduates from a variety of disciplines who wish to develop their knowledge and understanding of food as it relates to human nutrition and health.

The programme is suitable for graduates with no formal educational background in food science or nutrition, who wish to up-skill and become competent and employable in this increasingly important and rapidly evolving field.

This programme is delivered and assessed entirely on- line. The minimum registration to the MSc is two years, however students have four years in which to complete the programme thereby affording flexibility. The flexible and online format of the programme enables the majority of students enrolling on the programme to combine studying while in employment.

Hosted by the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, the Food, Nutrition and Health programme 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.

Students will gain an understanding of 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. Upon completion of the MSc graduates will be able to apply this knowledge to address nutrition-related problems in different groups, cultures and societies.

Graduates will be educated to a high level in the science of food as it pertains to human nutrition and health.

Careers & Employability

There are excellent job prospects for graduates in Food, Nutrition and Health with graduates working in a range of roles across the food industry, public health and regulatory agencies. Graduates have the distinct advantage of bringing a nutrition or health perspective to their roles.

Within the food industry graduates will work in areas such as product innovation, technical sales, product quality enhancement, nutrition and health promotion or food labelling regulation.

Graduate Roles include: 

  • Product Innovation
  • Technical Sales
  • Production Quality Enhancement
  • Health Promotion
  • Food Regulation

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The programme is suitable for graduates with no formal educational background in food science or nutrition, who wish to up-skill and become competent and employable in this increasingly important and rapidly evolving field.

The MSc in Food Nutrition and Health aims to enable students to transform their careers, and develop intellectually and professionally, to achieve and demonstrate the skills, knowledge and expertise necessary to succeed in times of rapid global food nutrition and health change. It provides an academically challenging and professionally relevant, focused programme of study for students who wish to develop careers in Food Nutrition and Health. The programme will allow students to develop subject specific knowledge in core areas of Food, Nutrition and Health, develop fundamental skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis, provide opportunities to develop innate creative ability, act creatively, and develop capacity for independent research, analysis and ethical experimental design. Teamwork, collaboration and communication are integral components of the programmes.  The programme will provide opportunities to become connected with fellow students from a range of disciplines and cultures, and utilise the online nature of the course to strengthen connectedness, and design innovative and creative solutions to problems across the Food Nutrition and Health spectrum.

  • Be skilled in proposing and developing solutions to nutrition-related problems as they relate to human health and disease and communicate these to stakeholders, at a professional and appropriate level, utilizing information technology and a range of approaches
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of principles relating to scientific integrity and ethical issues in Food, Nutrition and Health
  • Demonstrate competence to acquire, organise, analyse, integrate and critically review information from a wide range of sources relating to issues in Food, Nutrition and Health and construct and defend reasoned conclusions
  • Demonstrate effective time management and organization skills
  • Have a working knowledge of the structures and theoretical tools that enable efficient team work, in order to generate innovative ideas and know-how to approach their subsequent selection for further development
  • Integrate and apply knowledge of key principles underlying Food, Nutrition and Health
  • Think independently, show initiative, evaluate and select appropriate and reasoned approaches to solve problems
  • Use the principles of scientific inquiry, to research a particular Food, Nutrition and Health issue that merits a detailed research investigation

View All Modules Here

The Masters in Food, Nutrition and Health is delivered through the UCD online learning platform (Brightspace) 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.

MSc Food, Nutrition & Health (X436) Part Time
EU/NONEU    fee per credit - € 125.1

***Fees are subject to change

The total cost of this master’s is based on 90 credits at the current per credit fee listed above. (Per credit fee x 90)

 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. Email:

NOTE: These fees are correct at time of publication and are for guidance only. Fees are subject to change. Official fees are as per UCD Fees website.

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 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 Director.

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.

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. Email:

Gráinne Clarke (Graduate) 

I chose to complete my postgraduate studies at UCD as it is such a globally renowned, impressive and distinguished University. I completed the Master’s 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 Master’s 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 Master’s 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 (Graduate)

"The primary reason I chose to study this Master's 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 (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 (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."

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Food, Nutrition & Health PT (X436)
2 Years
Part Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised