As the number of people with diseases and disorders associated with physical inactivity and poor nutrition rises, the quality and safety of food, and the nutritional impact of what we eat on human health and development, has never been higher in the public awareness.
Sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition are associated with a wide range of health problems from obesity to cardiovascular disease and cancer, costing the NHS billions of pounds each year.
Both nationally and internationally, nutritionists are being called upon to work with individuals, groups and communities, the food industry, regulatory bodies and policy makers to promote healthy diets and develop a better scientific understanding of food, this course aims to enhance your understanding of the scientific basis of nutrition with an emphasis on human health and disease.
This multidisciplinary course draws on the expertise of academics from biological and analytical sciences, public health and dietetics to provide an integrated course, centred on human nutrition and healthy eating, food safety and regulatory processes, food analysis and public health.
This course is designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of the relationship between nutrition and human health.
You will have the opportunity to learn about the dietary requirements of individuals from pre-pregnancy to old age, the psychosocial factors affecting food choice in modern society and the science of behaviour change, as well as how good nutrition enhances wellbeing and can help manage or prevent disease.
Why choose this course?
Food and drink production is now the largest industry in Europe, but food has become much more than simply a biological necessity. Scientists are not only needed to ensure food remains nutritious, safe and of high quality, but also to further our understanding of the long-term health effects of changing dietary habits.
Capitalising on the expanding field of nutrition, this exciting degree explores the physiological, biochemical and psychosocial aspects of nutrition, as well as public health and health promotion, food science, legislation and food safety.
Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop your academic, practical and professional skills. You will be taught in a variety of settings, including laboratories and a purpose-built kitchen for nutritional testing sessions, so that you have the chance to develop the analytical and practical skills required by employers – working with accuracy and precision to obtain data and results.
You’ll have the chance to gain hands-on experience of a wide range of scientific techniques, such as sample extraction, purification and analysis. Assessments are designed to mimic real life scenarios, such as analysing nutrient intake from food dairy, developing dietary interventions and designing health promotion campaigns.
At Coventry University, our experienced teaching staff aim to bring 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 will be given the opportunity to undertake a short work placement or a professional work placement for one year either in the UK or abroad. We also offer sponsored summer studentships in a variety of related areas and projects in schools to enhance your employability (subject to application and availability).
Employment opportunities in food and nutrition are extensive and varied. The health and fitness industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy. Within the private and public sector, there is an increasing demand for skilled nutrition professionals to implement new initiatives to deliver on public health and activity targets in the fight against illness and obesity. There is also a large regulatory framework overseeing the food industry, with roles for food inspectors and analysts.
International experience opportunities
Coventry University is committed to developing global graduates. Throughout the course, we will explore international, national and local food and nutrition practices and policies. 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.
The University runs several specific schemes to allow students periods of overseas study or work experience, offering numerous grants to subsidised costs (subject to application); students in our department have been successful in securing places to study in Spain, France, Canada and the US. The School of Life Sciences also offers participation in a range of annual cultural exchange trips to Africa, Europe and the USA.
The need for nutritionists is growing with the increasing incidence of diet-related health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
Consequently, graduates from this course should be well equipped for a wide range of roles in the field of nutrition and health – from working on emergency relief projects in low income countries to devising health initiatives to target dietary intakes of specific groups, such as pregnant women, school children and the elderly.
Opportunities may exist within local authorities, charitable organisations, the NHS, parenting organisations, health promotion, and the food and leisure industries. You could also find yourself advising policy makers, regulatory bodies or working in education or the media.
You will be strongly encouraged to take a year out by applying for a work placement or completing a summer internship. Both activities allow you to demonstrate to potential employers that you can apply your skills and knowledge. The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ own Employability and Placements Unit can help you to find suitable work placements and give you advice on how to get the most out of them.
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.