Graduate profile
Alan Flanagan, MSc Nutritional Medicine graduate

Alan Flanagan

"I took a step back from my law career in Dublin and I’m now a full-time PhD student at Surrey, further developing my capabilities as a nutrition researcher."

Course
Nutritional Medicine MSc
Graduation year
2018

Why I chose Surrey

I’ve always had a long personal interest in nutrition and became intrigued by the role of diet in influencing health across the population. As a barrister, I was particularly interested in the role of policy in shaping the interaction between diet and population health. I was keen to study nutrition from an evidence-based framework.

The MSc Nutritional Medicine course was recommended to me by a friend in Dublin and I was fortunate that another friend had started the course a year before I had. Their glowing reviews were good enough for me! However, the most attractive factor was the rigorous evidence-based approach to learning.

My course

The modular structure of the course was important to me as it meant I could still practise law while completing my studies. It gave me the time and scope to delve deeply into the area (depending on the module). The modules were always thorough, and the breadth of subjects covered often made it difficult to decide which to do – I was spoilt for choice.

The quality of the lecturers – both internal from Surrey and external from other academic institutions – was world-class. I always enjoyed the encouragement to participate in questions and found the teaching staff approachable and happy to engage in discussion outside of lectures.

The facilities were great to learn in, especially the Leggett Building. Lunch was provided every day, in addition to coffees, teas and snacks, which was a huge bonus!

"The quality of the lecturers – both internal from Surrey and external from other academic institutions – was world-class."

My career and development

I started the course out of personal interest, not really thinking beyond attaining the degree. But as time passed, I found myself more fascinated by research and decided that’s what I should do. So, I took a step back from my law career in Dublin and I’m now a full-time PhD student at Surrey, further developing my capabilities as a nutrition researcher.

Since then, I’ve launched my own online education hub called Alinea Nutrition, for students, as well as fitness, nutrition and medical professionals looking for impartial evidence-based knowledge, current evidence and application. I also share the latest nutrition research and findings on my Instagram @thenutritional_advocate, so be sure to check it out!

In addition, I work as Research Communication Officer for Sigma Nutrition, producing more educational resources on nutrition and health, like this recent podcast on vitamin D:

My advice

Make sure you know why you’re doing the course. It could be a means to an end or a steppingstone to something else but being clear on what you want to get out of it is important.

Find out more about our nutritional medicine course

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