Find out when our next nutritional therapy courses start as well as when our next introductory events will be held.


Latest news: Our 2019 MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice starts in September and the Nutrition Access course is available from 1st February. Our next introductory event is on Monday 4th March and if you are considering starting with us in 2019 we highly recommend that you book a place on this event and submit your application form as places are filling quickly.

MSc Dissertation

NCA MSc Graduate Sarah Kekus on her graduation day

Our MSc graduates are adding to the growing evidence base that is so crucial for the profession.

In year three you will produce a Masters research dissertation of 20,000 words. This is your chance to explore in depth a subject in which you are interested and add greater weight to your qualification. You will also be adding to the discipline as a whole by contributing to the evidence-based research that gives the profession greater credibility. Your dissertation phase takes one year.

What is involved in writing an MSc dissertation?

Your Masters research dissertation is a piece of research on a subject of your choice. This is your chance to become an expert in a particular topic. While you will mainly work from home you will have the support of your own personal MSc supervisor(s) and support from the whole MSc dissertation team in College and online. These sessions provide an opportunity to connect with the MSc dissertation team and other students, and to share ideas and thinking around your topic and methods.

In addition to the submission of the dissertation, you will also be required to prepare a poster which will provide a synopsis of your findings. We encourage and help you to present your poster at a professional event, so that your work may become more widely known. The topic of your dissertation is an area where you will have acquired significant expertise, on which you can build in your future career as a nutrition practitioner.

Our students contribute to the profession in their many varied research dissertations. Their subjects are wide-ranging and recent nutrition science and practice dissertations have included:

  • Whether it is possible to estimate vitamin D status in older people from a diet and lifestyle assessment
  • The perceived benefits of nutrition teaching for dancers
  • Whether dietary advice is given to men who have received a diagnosis of prostate cancer
  • An evaluation of a Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food project
  • An observational pilot study evaluating the relationship between B-vitamin intake, depression, anxiety and stress in adult office workers


Karen Charlesworth, NCA Research Director

Research Director Karen Charlesworth:

"Once you have started your dissertation, we offer a lot of peer-based support so that students from all our MSc courses, who are all at various stages of writing their dissertations, can come together and talk about their progress and experiences. By this stage most of our MSc students are in practice and on these calls we give our students moral support, business ideas, and a chance to share the work they are doing (or would like to do) in their research."

Help to fund your dissertation project

We have a specific fund to assist with covering costs of conducting research, such as costs of testing, that you may incur during your dissertation and you can apply to us for this assistance.

Publication of your dissertation

We feel that it is important that all your hard work is now recognised by your peers and the profession. You may decide that you want to publish your findings in a professional or peer- reviewed journal. Research Director Karen Charlesworth and her team will help and advise you to publish your dissertation. You can also apply to our research fund to help cover the cost of preparation for publication.


On completion of your MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice, you will have made a special contribution to the field of nutrition by expanding the current evidence base. Growing the evidence base for nutrition is essential to the future of our profession. Our MSc students are making an important contribution to ensuring that the public are well informed about the impact of nutrition. Having achieved an MSc, you will demonstrate to your colleagues, your potential clients and the wider population that you have special expertise in your area of research. You may ultimately wish to deepen your knowledge of this area in your wider practice or consider progressing further to a higher degree (PhD or professional doctorate).


Sarah Kekus Northern College of Acupuncture nutrition course graduate

MSc Graduate Sarah Kekus:

"I’ve now been running my wellness business, The Health Architect, for more than five years and the number of clients I work with has steadily grown. More and more clients are choosing to follow one of my specific support programmes with the most popular being my 6-week Gut Transformation and 12-week Total Rebalance, which combines nutrition and yoga. Earlier in 2017 I completed the IFM Applying Functional Medicine in Practice course which has strengthened my Functional Medicine approach to tackling chronic and multi- factoral health problems. In addition, I continue to teach a weekly programme of yoga classes and my first Health Architect Retreat to Puglia next year is already fully booked. I am therefore planning further retreats that give me the chance to combine my nutrition and yoga knowledge with my love of all things wellness related including mind/body awareness coaching and Ayurveda."

Website for nutrition course graduate Sarah Kekus