UCC Postgraduate courses

Human Nutrition & Dietetics

Course Fact File
Duration2 Years Full-time
Teaching ModeFull-time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing Date2 February 2024
Non-EU Closing Date2 February 2024
Start Date9 September 2024

Course Outline

The MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics is an integrated postgraduate course that enables graduates with a BSc or MSc in Nutrition or equivalent degree to meet the standards of proficiency and professional competency so they are eligible to apply to the Dietitians Registration Board (CORU) for registration as a dietitian. The programme is delivered full-time over two calendar years.

The curriculum is based on standards set by the professional associations, the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI) guided by the Dietitians Registration Board (CORU) Criteria and Standards of Proficiency for Education and Training Programmes. The curriculum reflects current evidence-informed and research-based educational theory and dietetics practice. The course is delivered through lectures, workshops, practice education and problem-based learning tutorials.

Practice Education (clinical placement) comprises 1,000 hours of placement spread throughout the programme in Years 1 and 2 to facilitate the application of knowledge gained during the academic year. Practice Education is delivered through a partnership between the University, the Health Service Executive, and voluntary and private sector providers. Students will complete three compulsory placements in a variety of settings (hospitals, clinics, community settings) throughout Southern Ireland.

  • The CORU Dietitians Registration Board has approved the MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme at University College Cork.

Year 1 (60 credits)

Core Modules

  • DT6002 Nutritional Assessment in the Clinical Setting (5 credits)
  • DT6003 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (10 credits)
  • DT6004 Food Skills and Food Service Management (5 credits)
  • DT6006 Professional Practice and Interpersonal Skills (10 credits)
  • DT6007 Public Health Nutrition (5 credits)
  • DT6008 Medical Management of Disease (5 credits)
  • DT6009 Clinical Practice Placement 1 (5 credits)
  • DT6010 Applied Research for Dietetics (5 credits)
  • DT6014 Dietetics Through the Lifecycle (5 credits)

Elective Modules (Choose 5 credits)

  • EH6158 Health promotion I (5 credits)
  • NT6107 Integration and Regulation of Nutrient Metabolism (5 credits)*

*Module selection is subject to the agreement of the programme coordinator, however students who have not completed an undergraduate degree in Nutrition are required to take NT6107.

Year 2 (60 credits)

  • DT6011 Clinical Practice Placement 2 (5 credits)
  • DT6012 Clinical Practice Placement 3 (15 credits)*
  • DT6013 Research Dissertation in Dietetics (40 credits)*

*Students will be split into two groups. Group 1 will complete DT6012 followed by DT6013 and Group 2 will complete DT6013 first and then DT6012. Students who fail to achieve the pass standard for DT6011 at the Supplemental Examination Board will be assigned to Group 2.

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This programme is full-time over three semesters per year, over two calendar years. The course content will be delivered in modules of between 5-30 credits. Students enrol in modules to the value of 60 credits in Year 1 and 60 credits in Year 2, over a period of two calendar years. There will be 3 semesters per calendar year.

The first-year curriculum will consist of a 60-credit curriculum distributed over three semesters. The academic curriculum will complement a clinical skills curriculum which will be delivered simultaneously. In addition, students will experience clinical work placements which will be assessed as part of the clinical education for this programme.

Our students attend lectures daily with some time dedicated to independent learning, during semesters 1 & 2. Students will complete 28 weeks of clinical placements between Years 1 and 2. Students need to engage in at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice to meet the professional requirements of the Dietitians Registration Board. Students will need to complete a research project of limited scope, relevant to the clinical profession of Dietetics in Year 2.

Clinical Placements will take place in the hospitals and adjacent community health organisation of the South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG). Students may need to incur the costs of travel to hospitals in Cork City as well as hospitals of the SSWHG, when necessary; and incur the costs of accommodation during those placements. Students are generally allocated on a paired basis to placement sites. The Practice Education Coordinator will liaise with each student regarding the most appropriate setting for them. While every effort is made to accommodate a student’s preference this may not always be possible or appropriate.


Assessment will be by continuous assessment and formal exams. This will consist of tutorial performance, small presentations, class tests, essays, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), and work placement assessments.

Who teaches this course

Staff of the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, HSE/Dietetic staff from Regional and National hospitals. Experts from UCC, within the College of Medicine & Health, allowing the opportunity for Interprofessional teaching as well as overseas guest Clinical Specialists.

Why Choose This Course

UCC has a well-established suite of food-related BSc programmes, including a strong programme in Nutritional Sciences.

The School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork has a longstanding national and international reputation for the provision of quality education in Food Science and Technology as well as in Nutritional Sciences. The School has state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, including a Food Processing Hall and a dedicated human dietary studies/clinical facility for nutrition research.

Our academic staff members are among the most highly cited scientists in their respective fields and contribute to the development of policies that improve public health, safeguard food safety and promote innovation and sustainability for the modern food industry. The School of Food and Nutritional Sciences is recognised for high-quality, collaborative research in several aspects of human nutrition including vitamin D and health, maternal and infant health, diet and cancer, health effects of phytochemicals, bioactive ingredients, nutritional surveillance, and nutrition transitions.

The School has well-established research and education links with the Departments of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at both Cork University Hospital and Mercy University Hospital. The proposed programme will build on these existing collaborations as we continually develop clinical research and educational excellence in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at University College Cork. The proposed programme primarily includes advanced modules in clinical nutrition and dietetics, using novel methods in teaching and learning, such as enquiry-based learning, projects and self-directed learning, to promote the development of professional skills in addition to academic learning outcomes. The programme will be offered in partnership with experienced academics and practitioners committed to helping students to develop the necessary skills to become effective evidence-based dietetic practitioners.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Clinical education is an integral and invaluable component of the programme. It is strongly embedded within the course structure. Preceding campus-based studies provides the skills and knowledge which students require in order to be prepared for their placements.

The course offers a balance of university and practice-based experiences with students completing over 1000 hours of placement in sites around the South/South West Hospital Group (SSWHG) and other acute hospitals in the South/South West region of Ireland.

Skills and Careers Information

What can I do after I graduate with an MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics?

By studying this course you have the opportunity to become a highly skilled, evidenced based clinician, who can use a range of resources and evidence to deliver safe and appropriate dietetic advice in clinical, community and other settings. During the course you build on a wide base of transferable clinical skills which may enable you to specialise in a specific area of Dietetics following successful graduation. 

Occupations associated with an MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics

Dietitians are employed in a variety of locations, providing opportunities in areas such as:

  • Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics (hospital and community dietetics)
  • Food Industry 
  • Public Health Nutrition (government health, promotion agencies)
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Private Practice 
  • Education 
  • Research (nutrition and medical research-public and private sectors)
  • Working overseas

Opportunities to work in research in Dietetics are expanding and students may use their masters as a stepping stone to doctorial study in the UK or overseas, or teaching in higher education.


  1. Candidates will hold a minimum Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8 or equivalent) or a postgraduate degree (Level 9 NFQ or equivalent). Applicants must have successfully completed human physiology and biochemistry modules (a minimum of 10 credits for each module are required) as part of the primary or postgraduate degree. Suitable degrees include nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, biology, food science, medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.
  2. Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement, indicating their reasons for applying and stating their suitability for the programme.
  3. Two references should be included with the online application, one of which should be academic and one professional (to be uploaded by the applicant when applying).
  4. Applicants will be shortlisted for interview on the basis of educational qualifications, CV, references and relevant work experience.
  5. All applicants accepted onto the programme will need to have evidence of appropriate vaccinations for working in hospital environments.

Garda Vetting
Students, or applicants in receipt of an offer on this programme will be subject to Garda Vetting as relevant. Students will be prohibited from engaging in a relevant work placement unless the vetting process has been cleared. View UCC's Student Garda Vetting Policy.

Fitness to Practise
This programme will be subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.


Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • Describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Upload your CV.
  • Upload two references, one academic and one professional.

The closing date for non-EU applications is 2 February 2024

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact