“The NCA started out teaching acupuncture. Like most traditional medicines, Chinese medicine as always recognised that appropriate nutrition is an essential foundation of recovery from illness and crucial for the maintenance of good health. So we are very pleased to be able to offer a nutrition course which rings this recognition up to date by exploring the large body of modern research evidence and applying it in clinical practice.”
from our College Principal Richard Blackwell
We are very pleased this year to be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the start of the Masters course in nutrition at the NCA. What’s more, this celebration leads on from the thirtieth anniversary of the College itself. Both these anniversaries deserved to be marked in a special way, so in September 2018 we held a whole day of fascinating talks followed by a great party, to which all our staff, students and graduates were invited. It was great to see the nutrition course so well represented on the day, and an inspiring and enjoyable time was had by all.
The addition of the nutrition course has made a great contribution to the work of the College. We are focussed on teaching approaches to improving health that are really effective, and of course there is abundant evidence that good nutrition makes a great difference to people’s health. What is often missing is the capacity to sift through the masses of information from the research evidence base, to evaluate and understand it, and to use it to inform the best possible nutritional strategy for each individual. Our MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice aims to produce practitioners who are able to do this, and we know from talking with our graduates that they are making a substantial difference to the health and well-being of many people. They use their nutrition knowledge and skills to work individually with clients, and also to work with groups of people. Some of our graduates combine nutritional advice with other therapies or with fitness coaching, some are involved in public education through the media, some work in projects to improve people’s cooking skills as well as their nutritional understanding, some write books, or run nutritional supplement companies. Through these wide ranging activities our graduates are making a substantial difference to our communities, and enjoying rewarding working lives in the process.
Looking back, it is also interesting to reflect on how the course has evolved over ten years. Our students’ previous education and experience covers a range of subject areas, so we have developed our Access course to ensure you are well prepared for the MSc course. The availability since 2017 of postgraduate student loans for the MSc course was another key milestone. On the course itself we’ve been developing the ways we prepare you for undertaking your research dissertation. The subject matter constantly evolves too – I’m particularly fascinated by the developments in understanding the importance of the gut microbiome, and the work on the interaction of nutrition with our genetics.
Perhaps most important of all, we’ve increased the amount of time you spend in our nutrition teaching clinic, ensuring that your practitioner skills are firmly embedded and you go into practice with full confidence in yourself. All thisfills me with optimism about the next ten years and the further excellent graduates who will help so many people to improve their health in the future. I hope this prospectus inspires you to join them.