How do you become a nutritionist? Start with a Food and Nutrition degree! Then you can start your career in this hugely popular industry.
Food and drink production is one of the largest industries, both nationally and internationally. As it continues to increase in size, scope, importance and public profile, so too does the need for scientists to oversee its regulation to ensure that food remains nutritious and safe and to promote healthy eating.
Focused on nutrition, health, food science and food safety, our course provides an opportunity to develop an understanding of the complex commercial nature of the food industry, as well as the interactions between food composition, metabolism, diet, health and behaviour. You’ll be taught by experts in food and biological sciences, nutrition and public health.
The course provides a sound scientific and technical knowledge of food and nutritional sciences. We will help to develop your understanding of the practical side of applied food science and nutrition, examining the nature of raw food materials across the food chain, their transformation into products and the effects of these processed products on our health and wellbeing.
You will have opportunity to gain a greater appreciation of current practices in food processing, preservation and packaging, together with your knowledge of emerging technologies in food and nutritional sciences, including biotechnology and nutrigenomics, in addition to your understanding of public health and the role of nutritional interventions in disease prevention and health promotion.
Why choose this course?
Employing 3.9 million people, the UK food industry contributes almost £90 billion to the economy (GOV.UK, 2011) and is always seeking competent food and nutritional scientists, who are well-equipped with practical skills and knowledge to ensure that food production remains safe, nutritious, of high quality and full of flavour.
There is a growing awareness by industry, regulators and the general public of the need for better scientific understanding right across the food chain from ‘farm to fork’. The consumer is demanding less salt, less sugar with better flavours and more global choice, but at cheaper prices. While governments and other agencies are seeking to alter dietary behaviour to combat public health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, nutrient deficiency and associated health problems.
At Coventry, our experienced teaching team brings a range of professional and research expertise into their teaching. Having worked as food scientists, public and environmental health professionals and nutritionists for both governmental and local councils as well as working in the food industry, they maintain links with major food retailers and manufacturers, such as International Food and Fragrances Ltd and Greencore to ensure you receive up-to-date information and help you begin to establish your professional networks.
You’ll gain hands-on experience of a wide range of techniques, such as sample extraction, purification and analysis, in our well-equipped laboratories, based in the new multimillion Alison Gingell Building. Specialist industry-standard facilities include: analytical equipment such as GC, GC-MS, ICP and HPLC in addition to access to kitchen facilities for nutritional testing and tasting sessions. This focus on practice-led teaching means you will have opportunity to develop the analytical and practical skills required by employers – working with accuracy and precision to obtain data and results relevant to the skills being taught.
Coventry has an excellent reputation for evidence-based scientific research. The lecturers on this degree have experience of research in food chemistry/biochemistry, food science and technology, analytical and instrumental analysis, food microbiology and gut microbiota, food quality, assurance and safety inspection, nutrition and dietetics, coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet, probiotics and immune function, medication and dietary adherence and Parkinson’s disease. Their research regularly informs your teaching by bringing real life examples and case studies into lecture discussions and tutorials and you also have the chance to take part in staff research projects during your final year. Former students have analysed different extraction methods of rosemary to extract maximum levels of antioxidants, created new flavours for testing with tofu and examined the texture and taste of freshly made bread.
International experience opportunities
Our sandwich degree option allows a full year work placement, which can be taken abroad, or you can undertake a study year abroad. A number of students in our department have been successful in securing places to study in Spain, France, Canada and the US.
This course attracts many international students, particularly from China and the EU, providing a diverse learning experience. This enhances the discussion of issues such as globalisation of foods and provides all students with a global perspective of developments in food, health and nutrition.
This degree aims to provide students who wish to work in any part of the food chain process, including the areas of food and nutritional sciences, with the knowledge and skills to evaluate and analyse food in respect of safety, quality and nutrition, and to be able to consider how to protect and promote health in our modern society.
The food industry encompasses a wide range of businesses, from some of the largest global multinational companies to a vast array of small to medium enterprises, involving manufacturing, processing, developing, importing and exporting. Food affects every person every day and, as such, there is a large regulatory framework overseeing the food industry. Graduates are needed across the food chain from raw material inspection, production and processing through to final product evaluation.
A wide range of potential career opportunities may include fields such as: food analysis and safety, nutritional design of food, public health promotion, quality assurance, food production, market research, media health journalism, biological and analytical research and postgraduate study. A large regulatory framework oversees the food industry, with roles for food inspectors and analysts within regulatory bodies.
You will be strongly encouraged to take a year out by applying for a work placement or completing a summer internship. Both of these activities allow you to demonstrate to potential employers that you can apply your skills and knowledge.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.