MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice overview
We have developed this course to enable you to give sound, professional and evidence-based nutritional advice to your clients once you have qualified.
MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice
Our MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice consists of 120 taught credits, and 60 dissertation credits. The taught course is modular with six modules, and each module is intertwined to gradually build your knowledge and clinical skills. As this is a practitioner training, the course is designed to ensure that at the end of the two years in class and clinic you will be a safe, confident and evidence-based nutrition practitioner. All the modules follow a personalised medicine approach - a structured and holistic approach to unravelling the multiple factors which cause chronic disease.
Our MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice is a weekend based course with the taught part of the course run over two years. The taught course starts in September and finishes in June. While classroom teaching finishes in June there are still compulsory clinic days in July. Clinic runs over the summer and you can choose to do extra days to further develop your skills. You also have clinical experience in our nutrition teaching clinic which runs on Mondays. Clinic days are allocated at the start of the academic year and you will attend six days in Year 1 and seven days in Year 2. In Year 2 you are also expected to complete two practitioner observation days. This is primarily about network building.
MSc Graduate Nicky Robinson - winner of the NCA Research Dissertation Prize 2017:
"I’ve always been passionate about natural health and nutrition, but my personal experience with the complexities of autoimmune disease led me to start researching ways to improve my health with diet, and I found it so fascinating that I decided to study nutritional therapy. I lived in Newcastle at the time so was delighted to find the NCA close by, and with an MSc level course which really appealed, I think it helps nutritional therapy to be taken more seriously. I loved studying with NCA, it was challenging and very hard work, especially as I was working full time in a different field, but I was hooked from the start. The clinic days were a highlight for me, putting the theory we’d been learning into practice with the benefit of supervision. I set up my part time private practice, Vitalise Nutrition, as soon as I completed the diploma in 2014. This really built my confidence, but definitely my greatest learning and sense of achievement came from doing my MSc dissertation ‘Nutritional Management of Adult Coeliac Disease: Is it Time for a New Approach? An Exploratory Study’. I was ecstatic to get a distinction and be awarded the research prize for this.
After finishing my studies in 2016 I continued to build my private practice alongside my business role, with the aim to move fully into nutritional therapy at some point - and that point came earlier this year when I was offered the role of Nutrition Lead at Penny Brohn UK, a wonderful integrative health charity supporting people affected by cancer, based near Bristol. My role incudes leading the nutritional therapy strategy and team, researching nutrition in the cancer situation, running courses and seeing clients in clinic. I can’t imagine a more interesting or rewarding job, and being part time I can continue with my private practice and collaborations with other health professionals.
If anyone is considering studying nutrition at the NCA I'd say go for it! If you’re passionate about the topic and prepared to put in the work you won’t look back."
Course attendance summary
|Year one||Year two||Year three (dissertation)|
Twelve weekends during term time.
Optional Saturday evening seminars.
Eleven weekends during term time.
One additional Saturday or Sunday for the end of year viva examination. Optional Saturday evening seminars.
Autonomous research and writing of dissertation, with support from personal MSc supervisor.
Six mandatory days attendance in teaching clinic.
Seven mandatory days attendance in teaching clinic.
Two practitioner observation visits.
As well as classroom learning and clinical practice there is also a substantial amount of home study. We recommend three hours of home study for every hour in class and clinic.
"I study during the day when my children are at school, and later in the evening after they have gone to bed. During the College year, studying must take priority over other activities so it is essential that you are committed, disciplined and enjoy it."
When you have completed the first two years of the course, you move on to the MSc dissertation. As well as adding greater weight to your qualification, you will be adding to our knowledge of nutrition science and practice and its benefits for all. Some of our students choose not to complete the MSc and instead exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Nutrition Science and Practice after the two years’ taught course. There is a detailed description of the MSc dissertation process later in this prospectus.
"Completing my MSc dissertation has been one of the biggest achievements of my life."
Qualification to practise
Upon successful completion of the taught component of the MSc in Nutrition Science and Practice you will be eligible to work as a nutrition practitioner and apply to join the professional register at the CHNC and the professional body BANT.
"Through the work I am doing with my current clients I find myself leaning towards specialising in hormone imbalances. In particular, I am seeing the impact of stress hormone imbalances on everything from fertility to poor sports performance and insulin resistance."
"This course is wonderful. I love the atmosphere in the College, a family feeling, warm and supportive, and College has been so helpful and understanding. I find nutrition science and practice a fascinating and wonderful subject, so I really do enjoy studying it, and being able to get a career that will be helpful to other people is wonderful. I do feel passionate about this!"
We offer Saturday evening tutorials which, although not compulsory, we strongly recommend that you attend. This is a chance to consolidate the learning which has taken place within the teaching sessions. These sessions are fun and interactive and popular with our students.
"The evening sessions have been fab and informal and I loved the discussions."
Part of your course is delivered by e-learning - a series of lectures and demonstrations that you access at home via your computer. Don’t worry if you have not accessed this kind of learning before, you will receive all the support and help you need to use our online resources confidently. Each session has a ‘live’ period of one to two weeks, during which you can complete the session at home, at a time that suits you, answering a series of questions that will demonstrate your attendance and your understanding of the material. The tutor will be online periodically during the ‘live’ period to provide feedback and answer questions. Once the ‘live’ period has finished, the session remains available to watch, for revision purposes, throughout the duration of the course.