Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Human Nutrition

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 370*
  • Course Code AU972 (was SG443)
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

The BSc Human Nutrition combines a number of scientific disciplines to provide a thorough understanding of the role of diet and nutrition in health and in the prevention of major diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. The course will give you a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between diet and health and you will learn how to apply this knowledge to individual and population health, as well as providing safe and nutritious food to the consumer.


This course blends the basic sciences, food science, physiology, biochemistry, psychology, and specialist nutrition modules in a unique and interesting way that gives students the knowledge, skills and training required to work as a nutritional or food scientist.   


In year one students will cover basic sciences including human biology and chemistry, along with modules on mathematics and information technology. Study of nutrition and the foundations of health promotion introduce students to the course’s core subject matter.


In year two students will study more detailed courses in Human Nutrition. This includes Explores Nutritional Biochemistry, Health Psychology, and Nutrition through the life stages and various modules related to the science of food. Students will also be given the opportunity to undertake the HSE Making Every Contact Count training programme as part of the Behavioural Interventions module. 


In year three, as the programme continues the emphasis is on a range of specialised nutrition subjects, including Advanced Nutrition, Public Health Nutrition, Sports and Exercise Nutrition, and Clinical Nutrition.


In the fourth-year students continue their studies in the area of clinical nutrition and are introduced to modules in global nutrition, molecular nutrition and current issues in food and nutrition. They also complete a research project and a four-month placement in the last semester to continue their development in an area related to food and nutrition. The work placement takes place in food-related industries, academia, health promotion, and public health agencies, in hospitals, and with sports nutritionists in Ireland or abroad.


This programme is accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN, AC289).


Students will gain invaluable experience and acquire or improve key transferable skills such as teamwork, decision-making, presentation and organisational skills, as well as building communications, management and initiative skills. You will also foster a deeper understanding of food and nutrition by applying the theory you have learned in college to practical situations.  


Many students go on to specialise in specific areas of nutrition by undertaking masters programmes and additional study in areas such as public health nutrition, health promotion, sports nutrition, and dietetics.  A number of our students undertake this course as a pathway to dietetics. Several graduates from this course have gained entry onto the MSc in Dietetics in the University of Limerick, Ulster University, or the University of Manchester in the UK.




Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU Sligo are available for download below:

Career Opportunities

The career paths available to graduates of our Nutrition course are quite broad. The course has been carefully designed to ensure that graduates attain a number of varied skills and competencies across a range of disciplines and sectors.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Microbiology, New Product Development within food industry. They have also gained employment with public health organisations and within the community setting working on lifestyle interventions.



Further Study

Graduates may go on to further study in areas such as public health, dietetics, human nutrition or postgraduate research degrees in related disciplines. A number of our students undertake this course as a pathway to dietetics. Several graduates from this course have gained entry onto the MSc in Dietetics in the University of Limerick, Ulster University, or the University of Manchester in the UK.

The Department of Health and Nutritional Science at ATU Sligo offers a masters programmes in Public Health Nutrition and Sports and Exercise Nutrition.  


“The course provided me with the opportunity of building a strong knowledge base and competency in food science and nutrition. This was through my exposure to nutrition and health related modules that are current and relevant and are being continuously adapted to meet the needs of both students and the industry. Theory is complimented with practical at all stages offering the unique opportunity to apply lecture material and receive feedback to support personal growth and development of skills necessary for entering the workforce in a fast-growing industry”.  

Christine Houlihan 

BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition 2019    

“During the four years of Human nutrition course I developed several skills that will be of benefit in the workplace. This course gave me the opportunity to complete a clinical research project on anorexia nervosa in Sligo university hospital, in addition I was able to obtain a clinical placement in my final semester and here the knowledge and skills that were developed during the course were put into practice, including the clinical nutrition, public health nutrition and advanced nutrition modules. These experiences were invaluable and enabled me to obtain a postgraduate place studying Dietetics. This course covers all areas of nutrition and food including industry, clinical and marketing aspects of nutrition preparing you for whatever area you choose to pursue in the future”. 

Ciara O’Meara 

BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition 2018 

Went on to complete MSc Dietetics in University of Limerick 

Currently employed as a community dietitian

Did you know?

We also offer this programme at Level 7 - Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition

Students from this level 8 course are eligible for direct entry as registered associate nutritionists with the Association for Nutrition on graduation.

A number of our students undertake this course as a pathway to dietetics. Several graduates from this course have gained entry onto the MSc in Dietetics in the University of Limerick, Ulster University, or the University of Manchester in the UK.

Students undertake a four-month placement that takes place in the last semester of year four. With the placement at the very end of the year, it often happens that students are retained by these companies to continue working. 

In year four students complete a research project. These vary from public health nutrition, clinical nutrition, and sports nutrition topics. In the past students have submitted papers on: 

  • Attitudes to meat consumption in omnivores, vegetarians and vegans
  • Behaviour change techniques to improve gluten-free diet adherence in people with coeliac disease
  • Nutritional design during cancer treatment to maximise therapeutic impact and minimise side effects
  • The role of nutrition in recovery from muscle damage in elite athletes
  • Challenges and opportunities of developing food products for the ageing population