Nutrition and Health BSc | Coventry University

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Nutrition and Health BSc (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich


Coventry University


September 2018



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


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.

See the facilities available in our brand new Alison Gingell Building

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Our Facilities

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Strength and Conditioning Suite

Our multi-purpose strength and conditioning suite is equipped with multiple Olympic liftiing platforms, a 20m gait analysis track, an anti-gravity treadmill and even a 3D motion capture system!


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The Alison Gingell building contains a state-of-the-art SuperLab, capable of holding up to 270 people at once. The lab's facilities include equipment for microscopy, DNA analysis and forensic testing.


Hospital Wards

Hospital Wards

We have two fully-equipped mock hospital wards, each containing 4 beds. The wards are built to NHS standards and contain moveable beds, first aid equipment and patient monitoring tools.

Course information

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.



The first year introduces you to the basic scientific principles of nutrition, human physiology and biochemistry. Topics will include nutrient requirements, the sources, functions and metabolism of nutrients, as well as methods of assessing dietary intake, measuring body composition and understanding dietary guidelines.

We will have the opportunity to explore topics in public health with the aim of developing a thorough understanding of health promotion and the role of nutrition in preventing disease. You will discover the basic principles of food science and food production.


  • Introduction to Nutrition

  • Skills in Biomolecular Sciences 1 and 2

  • Physiology and Biochemistry for Nutrition

  • Introduction to Food Production

  • Introduction to Public Health


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


This process is continued throughout the second year, building on your knowledge of the science of nutrition. The health promotion theme continues and students will be introduced to the social and psychological influences on dietary behaviour as well as theories of behaviour change. Topics include nutrition throughout the life course (pre-pregnancy to old age), food microbiology, food safety and legislation, the role of nutrition in preventing disease.

You should also start to develop your research skills by carrying out a ‘mini-project’ where you will have the opportunity to design your own laboratory investigation. This might include, for example, measurement of specific nutrient content of food items with different storage temperatures or cooking methods, sensory evaluation of the threshold of sweetness, saltiness or bitterness for a specified population etc.


  • Nutrition across the Lifespan

  • Food Microbiology

  • Nutrition and Health

  • Public Health Protection and Policy

  • Psychology of food and behaviour change

  • Contemporary skills for Food and Nutrition


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


After your second year, you can choose to take an optional sandwich year, studying abroad or on professional placement.


  • Professional Experience Sandwich Year

  • Study Abroad

  • Post Placement Perspectives


Then, in your final year, you can continue to expand your knowledge of public health nutrition and health promotion and start to apply your knowledge to case studies based on real-life and current issues in nutrition and public health promotion. For example, we have previously considered the effectiveness of weight loss diets, food allergies and intolerance. Depending on the options you choose, you may also learn about sport nutrition or design and produce a novel food product.

All students carry out an independent research project under supervision with a broad options such as evaluation of nutrient intake between different groups (e.g. ethnical groups, vegetarians and non-vegetarians, smokers or non-smokers etc.), association of specific nutrient intake with body fat composition, comparison of the cost of ‘reduced’ or ‘free from’ products etc.


  • Public Health Nutrition

  • Research Design for the Biomolecular Sciences

  • Independent Project in Biomolecular Science

  • Integrated Topics in Nutrition, Food and Public Health

  • Optional modules (2 from the following):

    • Sports Nutrition 
    • Public Health Promotion 
    • Product Design


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

In more detail...

  • Free access to specialist computer software for assessing the nutritional adequacy of dietary intake, such as Food Composition Table and Dietplan.
  • Strong network of professional agencies and potential employers – including food processors and manufacturers in addition to analytical food testing laboratories as well as local government agencies.
  • Based in multimillion pound state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building which provides facilities for teaching and research, featuring access to state of the art laboratories and analytical equipment.
  • Well-established academic and practical support systems for students, includes weekly ‘drop-in’ surgery sessions for students to talk to staff about academic material, general study skills and personal problems.
  • Staff research expertise and high quality publications in the disciplines of: biochemistry, cell biology, genomic and molecular biology, microbiology, pharmacology, food chemistry and analysis, nutrition and physiology.
  • Gain hands-on experience of a wide range of laboratory techniques such as methods for proximate analysis, texture and rheometry testing alongside more traditional analysis of volatile and non-volatile food materials using GC-MS and HPLC as examples.
  • Support applying for short and long-term placements in laboratory and industrial settings to gain the experience employers desire. Past students have undertaken one year placements in the food industry with companies such as Greencore and Industrial Flavour and Fragrances Ltd.
  • Opportunity to apply for registration as an Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) with the Association for Nutrition (AfN) by submitting a portfolio of evidence after graduation (please see the Association for Nutrition website for up-to-date information about the application process and fees).

Your main study themes are:

  • Nutrition: Encompasses the science of nutrition and the use of dietary strategies to improve health and prevent illness. We cover nutrient metabolism – digestion, absorption, storage and utilisation of macro and micronutrients – and biological influences on dietary intake, body composition, diet and weight management.

  • Food quality, safety and Regulation: Contamination and infection, quality control of processes, legislative and regulatory systems.

  • Public health: Examines patterns of nutrition-related disease and disease prevention, public health policies and health promotion initiatives.

  • Disease development and prevention: Explores the underlying biological mechanisms involved in a range of diet-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.

  • Psychosocial Influences on diet and Health: Covers some of the psychological and social influences on dietary intake and health behaviour. You will also examine a range of behaviour change theories.

The BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Health is available as a three or four-year course, with the latter incorporating a work placement or study year in a related field.

A variety of teaching methods includes lectures, seminars, tutorials, group work and practical skills sessions in the maintenance and improvement of food quality and safety, for example, food identification laboratory sessions and taste and texture analysis workshops. These will be taught in our analytical laboratories and in a laboratory kitchen, where you can work with a range of ingredients and use food processing equipment that reflects facilities found in industry, such as pressure cookers used to make heat sterilised products or equipment for freeze drying food materials. We also incorporate the use of specific nutrition based software, such as Dietplan.

A series of workshops will be offered during the first year of study with the aim of developing your scientific writing, research and laboratory skills. In laboratory sessions, you will have the opportunity to learn key experimental techniques and develop essential experimental, data handling, reporting and broader scientific skills, such as literature researching, information technology, bioinformatics, data processing and the use of statistics.

Where possible, coursework uses applied tasks that mimic the skills needed in jobs to help ensure you are attractive to future employers, such as collection and interpretation of nutritional data to assess the nutrient intakes from food diary, or critically appraising evidence to inform the public of the current nutrition and health topics. We also offer the opportunity for industry visits and fieldtrips, which have previously included subsidised daytrips to venues such as the Food Bank, Food and Drink manufactory, Nutrition and Food Research Centre and the Student Career Launch Pad organised by the Institute of Food Science and Technology (additional costs may apply). 

Throughout the course, you will receive insight from researchers and current practitioners who will bring you the latest issues on a wide range of nutritional and health topics, such as pre- and probiotics and health benefits, good food at affordable prices, nutritional supplements, Coeliac Disease and the gluten free diet or weight loss diet. We will also discuss current global issues and trends in food and nutrition, such as food security, sustainability and diseases.

If you choose the sandwich option, you will be able to spend a year studying abroad or on professional placement either in the UK or overseas, which has led to past placements at International Food and Fragrances Ltd and Greencore UK. In your final year, you will take the ‘Post Placement Perspectives’ module, which allows you to critically analyse, appraise and reflect on your own individual experiences in the workplace.

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and include: examinations, individual written coursework (including essays, problem-solving tasks, case studies and laboratory reports), oral presentations, your project proposal and dissertation. Where possible assessments are designed to mimic ‘real life’ skills, such as case studies, carrying out a food safety inspection or designing a public health intervention.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Coursework, tests, essays: 50%
  • Presentations and posters: 18%
  • Practical or project work: 15%
  • Formal examinations: 10%
  • Group work: 7%

50% assessed by coursework, tests, essays

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The Scientific basis of nutrition including nutrient metabolism, biological influences on dietary intake, assessing dietary intake, body composition, diet and weight management.
  • Public health policies and health promotion initiatives. Patterns of nutrition-related disease and disease prevention.
  • The underlying biological mechanisms involved in a range of diet-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.
  • Psychological and social influences on dietary intake and health behaviour. Behaviour change theories.
  • Food production, labelling, marketing and advertising.
  • The role of the food industry in influencing food choice and product development.
  • Contamination and infection, quality control of processes, legislative and regulatory systems.
  • Health and safety in the laboratory.
  • A variety of research methods and how to critically appraise research articles.


On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an analytical approach to problem solving by having the ability to recognise and analyse novel problems and plan strategies for their solution.
  • Assess the adequacy of dietary intake in relation to the current dietary guidelines using a range of tools.
  • Assess body composition using a variety of techniques, including skinfold measurements, bioelectrical impedance, BOD POD.
  • Work safely in the laboratory, adhering to health and safety guidelines and demonstrating good laboratory skills and competencies.
  • Critically assess literature, evaluate and interpret information from a variety of sources, taking account of diversity, integrity and ethical considerations.
  • Produce well-structured and logical arguments, demonstrate numerical and data manipulation skills and appropriate statistical interpretations.
  • Communicate effectively using appropriate language and means of delivery.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 18 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 6 hours of workshops/online tutorials each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 6 hours of workshops or seminars each week
  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 18 hours of self-directed study each week e.g. revising.

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.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2018

£13,700 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

As well as covering UK field trips, key materials and laser print, the fees for this course also include:

  • Laboratory coat and safety spectacles provided for use
  • Free copy of SPSS statistics software
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (formally CRB Disclosure) for those undertaking placements with children

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Refundable deposit for turning point handset
  • Any optional field trips or visits

Career prospects

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.


By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. We encourage you to read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University. A copy of the 18/19 Contract can be found here.