MSc (Human Nutrition and Dietetics)
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1. Course Overview
Now accepting applications for the 2024/25 academic year. Deadline for applications is 26th January 2024.
The MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics is an integrated postgraduate course which 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 of 1,000 hours in 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.
This programme is approved by CORU. Graduates from the programme are eligible to apply for registration with the Dietitians Registration Board.
2. 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 provision of quality education in Food Science and Technology and Nutritional Sciences. The School has state of the art teaching and research facilities, including a Food Processing Hall, a dedicated human dietary studies/clinical facility for nutrition research and is currently developing a custom-made dietetics teaching space which includes clinical facilities.
Our academic staff members are internationally 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 the Mercy University Hospital. The programme continues to build on these existing collaborations as we continually develop clinical research and educational excellence in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at University College Cork. The MSc 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 is offered in partnership by experienced academics and practitioners committed to helping students to develop the necessary skills to become an effective evidence-based dietetic practitioner.
3. Course Practicalities
This is a full-time 2-year MSc programme. The course content is 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 are 3 semesters per calendar year. This is no part-time option for this programme.
The first-year curriculum consists of a 60-credit curriculum distributed over three semesters and includes the first clinical placement (ie Practice Education Placement). A further 60-credits are completed in year 2 which includes one taught module, two further clinical placements and an MSc dissertation. Clinical placements are assessed as part of the clinical education for this programme.
Students attend lectures daily with some time dedicated to independent learning, during semesters 1 and 2. Students 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 need to complete a research project of limited scope, relevant to the clinical profession of Dietetics in year 2.
Clinical Placements 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 Tutors 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 is by continuous assessment and formal exams. This consists of tutorial performance, small presentations, class tests, essays, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE’s), and clinical 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 inter-professional teaching
- Overseas guest clinical specialists
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, evidence-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
- 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 steppingstone to doctorial study or teaching in higher education.
4. Course Outline
You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.
Year 1 - Students take 60 credits as follows:
- DT6002 Nutrition 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)
Students take 5 credits from the following:
- 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 co-ordinator, however students who have not completed an undergraduate degree in Nutrition are required to take NT6107.
Year 2 - Students take 60 credits as follows:
- DT6011 Clinical Practice Placement 2 (10 credits)
- DT6012 Clinical Practice Placement 3 (15 credits)*
- DT6013 Research Dissertation in Dietetics (30 credits)*
- DT6015 Advanced Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics (5 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.
Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any Modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.
Placement or Study Abroad Information
Clinical practice education is an integral and invaluable component of the programme. It is strongly embedded within the course structure. Preceding campus-based studies provide 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.
5. Applicant Profile & Application Requirements
To be able to apply for the MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics,
- 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).
- Candidates 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, occupational therapy.
- All applicants accepted onto the programme will need to have evidence of appropriate vaccinations for working in hospital environments.
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. Click here to view UCC's Student Garda Vetting Policy.
Fitness to Practise
This programme will be subject to the University's Fitness to Practise Policy. Full details may be found here.
English Language Requirements
Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.
For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland
Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here.
6. Fees and Costs
The EU fee for this course is €12,130 year 1; €12,130 year 2.
The non-EU fee for this course is €25,130 year 1; €25,130 year 2.
If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.
EU Student Fee Payment
Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.
International Student Fee Payment
Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.
How can I pay?
By Credit/Debit card online, or by credit transfer.
If you have any questions on fee payment, please email our Fees Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. How to Apply
Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. If you have any questions regarding the MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, please email email@example.com.
- Gather Supporting Documents
- Apply Online
Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.
- Transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
- Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement, indicating their reasons for applying and stating their suitability to the programme.
- 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).
- Supporting documentation – You will be asked to upload your module descriptors. You are required to do this for physiology and biochemistry credits only. You must include sufficient information on the modules you have taken that fulfil the requirement of 10 credits of physiology and 10 credits of biochemistry.
- Any supplementary items requested.
Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This includes the following material/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.
- Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
- Please upload your CV.
Please log into the online application portal for more details. Applicants will be shortlisted for interview on the basis of educational qualifications, CV, references and relevant work experience.
Once you have gathered your supporting documents, you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 non-refundable deposit for each application.
Application Processing Timeline
Our online application portal opens for applications on October 16th 2023.
Written Application Round
Applications are open until January 26th 2024.
In the case of successful written application, applicants will be contacted in February with an interview offer. Interviews are scheduled for March 2024.
Successful applicants will be offered a place shortly after interviews. Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.
Questions on how to apply?
Please use our web enquiry form to contact us, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Extension Policy and Form (for current students)
9. Overview of the MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics in UCC
10. Frequently Asked Questions
UCC Dietetics Open Day 2021