Skip to main content
Courses / Postgraduate / Public Health Nutrition (MSc)

Public Health Nutrition (MSc)

Master of Science
1 year
Course Type
University Hospital Southampton and Highfield
Next course starts
September 2021

About this course

Develop the skills you need to help prevent nutrition-related disease around the world. This master's degree in public health nutrition focuses on both academic and real-world learning. You’ll be working with multi-disciplinary teams and practising tasks such as measuring children’s nutritional status and conducting dietary assessments.

This course is no longer taking applications for 2021 entry. Explore our range of related courses.

This MSc Public Health Nutrition degree will give you the skills for a career that makes a difference. Graduates of this degree have gone on to work for the government and public bodies both in the UK and abroad, including Public Health England, local government, and non-government organisations.

You’ll learn how to:

  • develop, plan and evaluate public health nutrition programmes
  • initiate health behaviour change using social media, community engagement and advocacy
  • apply quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques
  • use SPSS statistics software
  • manage undernutrition in humanitarian emergency settings

You can personalise this course to your interests through optional modules and your dissertation. In previous years students have worked closely with real-world partners on dissertation projects, including the Southampton and Portsmouth City Councils, and Age UK.

Public health nutrition is an interdisciplinary profession, and this is reflected in your learning. Your lecturers are academics from across the University, in Public Health, Health Geography, Demography and Social Science, who are actively involved in research or are working in the sector.

We are home to the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, which brings academic and clinical research together. This is the only such nutrition research centre in the UK.

We offer 4 other pathways on our Public Health Master's. If you decide that you’d like to change to a different public health specialism within the first 2 weeks of the semester you’ll be able to change your degree.

Your other Public Health MSc pathway options are:

  • Public Health - Discover our Public Health master's degree at the University of Southampton. Boost your career skills in global disease prevention & management.
  • Public Health Global Health - Discover our Public Health Global Health master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn the links between health, climate change, urbanisation and conflict.
  • Public Health Intelligence - Discover our Public Health Intelligence master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn how to collect and analyse public health intelligence research.
  • Public Health Management - Discover our Public Health Management master's degree at the University of Southampton. Learn to apply systems thinking to global and local health issues.

This course is also available as an intercalation degree for undergraduate medical students. Intercalation means that you'll take a year out of your undergraduate medicine degree to gain this extra award.

Flexible study

If you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:

  • a part-time master's - study the same course content over 2 or more years
  • a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) - you'll usually study for around 15 weeks and will not need to write a dissertation
  • a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) - you'll usually study for around 30 weeks and will not need to write a dissertation

You can also take a single module as part of continuing professional development (CPD). Explore modules that are available as CPD

Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.

Course lead

Dr Penelope Nestel joined the Faculty of Medicine in 2006 and is a Principal Teaching Fellow.

Before joining us she worked in international nutrition for over 25 years and was involved in research, managing large research portfolios. As well as programme implementation related to dietary diversity, micronutrient supplementation, food fortification and biofortification.

She has worked for Tulane University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the International Food Policy Research Institute.


“Our personal tutors and lecturers take a personal interest in us and provide support whenever it is needed. The facilities and teaching at Southampton are excellent.”
Alex Lister, 2019 graduate

Course locations

This course is based at University Hospital Southampton and Highfield.

Awarding body

This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.

Download the Course Description Document

The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.

Changes due to COVID-19

Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2021 to 2022. We're working hard to plan for a number of possible scenarios. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.

Find out more on our COVID advice page.

Back to top