Nutritional Medicine MSc

Delivered by leading experts at the cutting-edge of research and practice, this programme is the only evidence-based Masters degree course in Nutritional Medicine in the UK.

Why Surrey?

On our MSc Nutritional Medicine, you’ll gain a deep evidence-based understanding of the complex relationships between nutrition and diseases. You’ll learn to take a critical and scholarly approach to theory, practice, literature and research findings, resulting in a greater understanding of the range and potential of the nutritional management of disease.

Programme overview

Nutritional medicine includes clinical nutrition but is wider in scope, covering aspects of nutrition and health via the part that nutrition plays in health, disease, lifecycle and ageing. 

This programme attracts high-quality students from both within and outside the UK, and is appropriate for the in-service training of doctors (who receive little training in nutrition), dietitians, pharmacists and healthcare workers.

The modular, part-time programme is accessible to those in full-time employment, consisting of three-day taught periods at the University, preceded by preparatory study and followed by consolidation and assessment. During some modules, a special dinner is arranged on the theme of the topic studied.

Programme structure

To complete the MSc, students must complete nine taught modules and a research project which will normally be carried out at your place of work, for example, hospital, surgery, clinic or pharmacy. Literature-based projects are also acceptable if they include an additional element of complexity. The Postgraduate Diploma may be awarded on the satisfactory completion of eight modules. A Postgraduate Certificate may be awarded on the completion of four modules. Modules can be taken as standalone units for CPD. 

All students commence the programme with registration for four modules, to include the two compulsory modules. The programme has a number of "modular" start dates, enabling you to begin your study at a time that is convenient for you. For further details about the dates please contact the admissions team.

Module overview

The two compulsory  modules — Principles of Nutritional Science and Principles of Applied Nutrition and Epidemiology — have been planned to give an excellent foundation in nutritional science and applied nutrition that will benefit participants in their understanding of the other modules.

The remaining ten modules range broadly over the interface between nutrition and health, covering diseases widely recognised to have a nutritional component and those, such as mental illness, where such a link is less well-known.

Some modules address stages of life such as pregnancy and old age while others concentrate on classes of nutrients important to health. The gut, being the means whereby we receive our nutrients, has a module to itself. Nutrition in the hospital setting is covered in Clinical Nutrition and Nutritional Support. A research module is required for the MSc (except with special permission).

Compulsory modules
  • Principles of Nutritional Science
  • Principles of Applied Nutrition and Epidemiology
Optional modules
  • Antioxidants, Phytoprotectants and Disease
  • Obesity, Diabetes and Eating Disorders
  • Diet, the Gut, Food Allergy and Intolerance
  • Nutritional Aspects of Pregnancy, Infancy and Childhood
  • Nutrition and Ageing
  • Lipids and Essential Fatty Acids
  • Dietary Minerals in Health and Disease
  • Clinical Nutrition and Nutritional Support
  • Nutrition and Exercise for Health and Sports Performance
  • The Brain and Nervous System; Diet and Behaviour

Teaching and module delivery

Distance learning prior to attendance at the module

You will receive some preliminary material (that will require approximately 40 hours of study) around six weeks before you attend each module. This will generally be background material (for example, a core text and/or specially written material/journal article/s) aimed at ensuring that all students, whatever their previous learning experience, will have attained a certain basic knowledge of the subject and its terminology.

Teaching at the University

The three-day periods spent at the University consist mainly of formal lectures, but will also include interactive or participative sessions incorporating some of the following learning strategies: workshops, syndicated work, demonstrations, case studies, debates, and journal clubs. You will generally be given additional papers, reviews, notes or reading lists relating to the module lectures. Module 1 is four days long, to allow for registration and introductory sessions.

Distance learning following attendance at the module

In the two months following the module, you will be expected to study the material covered and to carry out further reading (including journal articles) to expand your understanding.

Research project module

A hypothesis will be examined by the collection of data, or by analysis of the literature within a novel framework.

Who is the programme for?

The programme is appropriate for GPs, gastroenterologists, dietitians, pharmacists, other clinicians and health professionals with a role in nutrition and health practice.

Programme objectives

The aim of the programme is to inform and educate those to whom the public turns for advice on nutritionally-related aspects of health and disease and those involved in the manufacture of foods and food supplements.

Additionally it aims to:

  • Provide a programme in nutritional medicine, defined as the science and practice of prevention and treatment of dysfunction and disease by nutritional means
  • Provide a high-level programme, based on a fundamental understanding of nutritional science, which takes a critical and scholarly approach to relevant theory, practice, literature and latest research findings on the importance of nutrition in diet–health–disease relationships
  • Provide new knowledge and understanding, for health professionals and other interested groups, of the role of nutrition in both individual and community health
  • Discuss the role of diet in the development of disease
  • Evaluate the potential, efficacy and scope of nutritional methods of disease prophylaxis and management
  • Examine current knowledge of the specific roles of individual macro- and micronutrient deficiencies and imbalances on short- and long-term disease risk
  • Explore the concept of optimal nutrition in various special situations
  • Evaluate the practice, efficacy and appropriateness of the use of dietary supplements
  • Develop an understanding of research methodology in the area of nutritional medicine
  • Supply a programme that would serve the need for training in those aspects of nutrition identified by the Royal Colleges

Special course dinners

On some modules, a special dinner is arranged on the theme of the module which is designed as a teaching exercise as well as a social event. Examples are:

  • Antioxidant and phytoprotectant dinner (Antioxidants, Phytoprotectants and Disease module)
  • Pre- and pro-biotic dinner (Diet, the Gut, Food Allergy and Intolerance module)
  • Fertility buffet (Nutritional Aspects of Pregnancy Infancy and Childhood module)
  • Healthy fats dinner (Lipids and Essential Fatty Acids module)
  • Trace elements dinner (Dietary Minerals in Health and Disease module)
  • Running buffet (Nutrition and Exercise for Health and Sports Performance module)
  • Brain food dinner (The Brain and Nervous System; Diet and Behaviour module)

Career opportunities

Recent graduates' roles include:

  • Principal Scientist, Leatherhead Food Research
  • Director, The Urban Kitchen
  • GP, Medical Practice
  • Chief Dietitian, Stoke Manderville Hospital

Professional recognition

Modules can be used for continuing professional development (CPD) as required by the General Medical Council.

The programme is considered suitable for further training of dietitians towards the Diploma of Advanced Dietetic Practice.

The programme is accredited by the Association for Nutrition, allowing MSc graduates to register as a nutritionist with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN).

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Professional development

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Barbara Fielding

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Part-time: 24-60 months

Start date:

Sep 2016, Jan 2017

Entry Requirements

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Part-time Sep 2016 £1,100* £1,100*
Part-time Jan 2017 £1,100*

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2016/2017 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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