Nutrition Sciences Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Nutrition Science?

Nutrition Science is the study of food, eating, dietary concerns and health issues surrounding food and medicine. It is a broad field that covers aspects of chemistry, biology and the social sciences with many areas to specialise in. These areas include food and wellness, community nutrition, exercise science, and nutrition education. Nutrition science also includes the study of behaviours and social factors related to food choices.

Dieticians and nutritionists are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease. They advise people on what to eat to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Nutrition Sciences courses in the following subject areas:

  • Nutrition – The purpose of this course is to provide you with the knowledge of the composition of food and how food affects an individual’s personal well-being.
  • Nutrition Coaching – Get what you’ll need to be a confident nutrition coach specifically in the areas of body composition, fat loss, muscle gain, improving overall health and wellness.
  • MSc in Nutrition and Sensory Science – A study of the role of Nutrition and Sensory Science.
  • The Key to Nutrition and Wellness – Learn more about nutrition and overall wellness.
  • Diet and Nutrition Diploma – A study of diet and nutrition, healthy eating and how food is processed by the body.
  • Nutrition and Weight Management – An in-depth study of Nutrition and Weight Management.
  • Nutritional Specialist Diploma – Discover the underlying basics for good health, nutritional counselling, sports medicine and other natural health careers.
  • Food, Health and Nutrition Bundle – An overview of the impact food and nutrition has on your overall health.
  • Specialised Nutrition Training With Nursing Care – Learn the fundamental and practical skills involved in a career as a Nursing Assistant.
  • Principles of Sports Nutrition – This programme is aimed at anyone currently coaching a sports team or an athlete who wants to develop a basic knowledge of current relevant sports nutrition guidelines.
  • MSc in Public Health Nutrition – A study of the knowledge, skills and competencies specific to the practice of Public Health Nutrition.

Studying Nutrition Sciences in college

There are many Nutrition Sciences courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

Work experience will help you to decide which area of nutrition you want to concentrate on, you could also consider work experience or volunteering in the industry, in healthcare or with a research body. Experience of working in the community with a food bank, for example, could be helpful and you may find relevant opportunities with charities and not-for-profit organisations.

You could also get some work in a related food area such as food technology, product development or food safety and then move into a nutrition role.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future

Career options

After completing a course in Nutrition Sciences you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of Nutrition and the chemistry and biology of food.

There are different types of nutritionist work and you will usually have to choose to specialise in one or two of the following areas: sports and exercise nutrition, public health nutrition, nutrition science, food science/industry, animal nutrition and healthcare or medical.

Nutritionists are employed by a range of public and private sector organisations in areas such as food policy development, specific food issues or areas, public health, food industry, government, research, sports, weight management and weight loss, specific client groups, international aid like emergency relief or development projects in low-income countries.

Research work can be based in laboratory, community, clinical or classroom conditions. Freelance and consultancy work is an option in both the public and private sectors once you’ve gained experience.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, Monday to Friday, although you may need to be flexible and work some evenings or at weekends. If working on a freelance basis, you’ll typically work flexible hours that will regularly include evenings and weekends.

If you work in the community, you may need to travel within the local area to children’s centres, nurseries and schools, GP surgeries and community centres. If you are working as a sports nutritionist, you may need to travel to accompany sports professionals on training camps and tournaments.

Related jobs include:

  • Nutritional therapist
  • Nutritionist
  • Nutrition Scientist
  • Food Scientist
  • Nutrition Analyst
  • Dietician
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Animal nutritionist
  • Community education officer
  • Food technologist
  • Health improvement practitioner
  • International aid/development worker
  • Medical sales representative
  • Naturopath
  • Catering manager
  • Chef
  • Health service manager
  • Herbalist
  • Personal trainer

Further study

After completing a course in Nutrition Sciences you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as animal nutrition, global/international nutrition, food science or sports nutrition.


Why is Nutritional Science important?
Nutritional science has a major impact on public health by identifying and allowing for education on optimal nutrient intake. A healthy diet throughout life promotes normal growth, development and ageing, helps to maintain healthy body weight, and reduces the risk of chronic disease leading to overall health and well-being.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Nutritional Science?

Skills that could be useful for a career in Nutrition include an aptitude for science, passion, enthusiasm and empathy, the ability to encourage and motivate others, proficiency in data research, evaluation and reporting.

Skills that employers across all industries look for in candidates include: effective team working skills, the capability to multitask and work independently, time management skills and good communication skills including verbal, presentation and written.

Where can I study Nutrition Sciences?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Dark chocolate is made from the roasted beans of the cacao tree and has many health benefits. From improving bad cholesterol to lowering blood pressure, helping to reduce stress and improving vision, it’s definitely worth eating a square or two a day.
  • Nutritionally, nectarines are a high source of Vitamin C and A, and are abundant in antioxidants. They aid in weight loss, help regulate blood pressure levels and overall good health. They also help improve immunity and heart health.
  • Calorie for calorie, there is more protein in broccoli than steak. And it doesn’t come with all those saturated and Trans fats or cholesterol, so you can get all the protein you need with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease with this healthy food.
  • Drinking enough water every day can help you lose weight, helps reduce heart disease and cancer and helps flush toxins out of your body. Keeping your body hydrated can also help reduce cavities and tooth decay.
  • In the early 1800s, tomatoes were believed to have medicinal qualities. A doctor in Ohio in the 1830s claimed that tomatoes could treat diarrhoea and indigestion, publishing recipes for a kind of tomato ketchup that he soon turned into a concentrated pill.

Mariza Halliday

Languages, Linguistics and Cultures
Paramedic Studies Courses


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