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The MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme offered at the University of Limerick (UL) is a Graduate Entry Masters of Science programme delivered over two years full-time. This innovative evidence-based interfaculty programme is an opportunity for honours graduates to pursue studies that will lead to them becoming competent nutritionists and dietitians working across a diverse range of environments to include the clinical, community and public health settings, hospital and private practices, food service management and food industry.
The CORU Dietitians Registration Board has approved the MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme leading to the qualification title Masters of Science Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Applications will be accepted until Friday 24th June from North/South American applicants only.
The MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme offered at the University of Limerick (UL) is a Graduate Entry Masters of Science programme delivered over two years full-time. This innovative evidence-based interfaculty programme is an opportunity for honours graduates to pursue studies that will lead to them becoming competent nutritionists and dietitians working in a variety of settings. Broadly, graduates of the programme will build on a prior knowledge base of physiology and biochemistry and apply it to the role of food and nutrition in health and disease.
Students will undertake modules in the School of Allied Health (Faculty of Education and Health Sciences) and in the Department of Biological Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering). Students will undertake shared modules with other healthcare disciplines in the School of Allied Health through an interprofessional education model, thereby being exposed from the outset to an integrated multidisciplinary team approach to healthcare.
In addition to academic modules at UL, students on the MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme will complete 1000 hours of clinical, community and role-emerging placement over two years which includes a summer study period. Clinical placement modules will take place in a range of settings (tertiary and secondary hospitals, primary care, public health and food service establishments) and with patients of all ages. Placements may be based outside of Limerick.
The MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics aims to develop graduates who are able to:
- Establish therapeutic relationships with diverse populations through optimising the nutrition of communities and individuals, in a range of settings.
- Critique and apply evidence to patient assessment, diagnosis and nutritional management
- Be competent in the prescription, delivery and monitoring of nutrition and dietetic interventions, based on an evidence-based and clinically-reasoned approach for the effective management of people with a range of conditions.
- Employ the principles of client centred practice.
- Collaborate with clients, colleagues and communities.
- Engage in continuing professional development.
- Use an innovative and creative approach to meet evolving service developments and healthcare needs.
- Conduct research and appraise the scientific literature to inform an evidence-based approach to research and practice.
- Integrate the ethical, social and cultural dimensions of healthcare within clinical judgement.
Programme Learning Outcomes:
- Demonstrate mastery in the application of specialist knowledge in line with the required dietetic standards of proficiency as set out by the Dietitians Registration Board of CORU.
- Understand the associations between nutrition, health and disease to enable the integration and application to the practice of dietetics.
- Use an evidence-based framework to provide practical and holistic solutions to a range of changing and complex nutrition and dietetic issues in a range of settings.
- Apply critical thinking in the dietetic assessment and management of individuals, groups and communities.
- Exercise professional and ethical dietetic practice for individuals, groups and communities from diverse social and cultural backgrounds and in different environments.
The University of Limerick believes in the principles of social justice and aims to ensure that all applicants, students and staff are treated fairly and with dignity and respect in line with institutional policies
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Minimum of a second class honours primary degree (Level 8 National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) or a postgraduate degree (Level 9 National Qualifications Authority of Ireland). Applicants must have successfully completed units/modules in Biochemistry and Human Physiology (NFQ level 8 or higher) as part of the primary or postgraduate degree or other relevant degree from a recognised University. Applicants must demonstrate in their application where these prerequisite subjects have been met (i.e. in what modules and how many credits). Candidates may apply to this programme in the final semester of an undergraduate programme and must produce evidence that all requirements for postgraduate study are met by the end of June in the year that the programme commences.
Applicants must also satisfy the English Language Requirements* of the University. The University reserves the right to shortlist and interview applicants as deemed necessary. Successful completion of the Garda clearance process, Health Screening & Vaccinations Certification, Manual Handling and CPR certification are programme requirements for this degree programme. Health Screening/Vaccination Certificates will incur costs to the student.
Applications must include:
- Applicants must clearly state where the prerequisite subjects of Biochemistry and Human Physiology have been met (i.e. in what modules and how many credits) at (NFQ level 8 or higher) as part of the primary or postgraduate degree or other relevant degree from a recognised University. For Application pre-requisite form click here
- Qualification transcripts and certificates (to include transcripts of the prerequisite units biochemistry and human physiology)
- An up to date Curriculum Vitae
- One page personal statement
- 2 references (one academic and one employment related)
- A copy of your birth certificate (long document)
- If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
• English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
• English language competency certificate
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Due to limited places, applicants will be shortlisted according to academic merit, CV and Referee reports, prior experience and recent postgraduate studies where relevant. Applicants may be interviewed.
EU - €13,102 per annum*
Non- EU - €24,412 per annum*
*Please note year 2 fees are subject to change
Further information on fees and payment of fees is available from the Student Fees Office website. All fee related queries should be directed to the Student Fees Office (Phone: +353 61 213 007 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Graduates will be eligible to practice in Ireland and eligible for registration in other parts of the World. Graduates will be able to work across a diverse range of environments to include the clinical and public health settings, hospital and private practices, food service management and food industry. Graduates may be eligible to progress to further post-graduate research, leading to potential career options in research institutions and academia.
Sean O’Connell – graduate of the MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme 2020
I chose to study MSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics because of my interest in nutrition and the desire to work with people. I’m a Community Dietitian working in community hospitals.
I completed my undergrad at UL and I was keen to further my studies there. It’s a fantastic campus with lots of hands on learning opportunities.
The amount of placement we had really helped to set us up for the work environment. Tutors/lectures/course director were always very accessible and ready to help. This course felt much more personal than the previous courses I did.
It was a very practical course. Our lectures and tutorials and multidisciplinary modules set us up very well for placements and our placements set us up very well for work. I got to experience a lot of different aspects of dietetics on placements. There was always someone available to help while on placement if something wasn’t going how I expected to. Food Service placement really helped us to get an insight into the hospital catering systems.
We had opportunities to experience community and acute placements as well as food service. Experience of multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings which has been very important because of my current role in winter planning in Cork Community Dietetic services which is all MDT based.
If you have an interest in dietetics, definitely look into the course at UL and look up the modules and course outline. See if it’s something that interests you and, most importantly don’t be discouraged in pursing it as a career, the course equips you so well for the working world and really gives you the skills needed to leave feeling confident.
Clodagh Scannell, Community Dietitian Cork. I chose to study the MSc. Human Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Limerick because of UL’s well known reputation for employability. The university is also well known for excellent student-life and for its contribution to sporting teams which was of huge importance to me. The facilities in UL are state of the art and the brand-new library made studying even easier.
The small class size meant that every student was given equal attention and student-specific guidance. The lecturers were extremely helpful, approachable and always only a quick email away.
The Human Nutrition and dietetics MSc. at UL stands out as being new, upcoming and innovative. Some of the unique features of this course include multi-disciplinary modules with physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language students. This helped to prepare me not only for placement but also for my current job which involves a lot of MDT work. Over the course of the two years we also had guest lecturers come and speak to us when learning about particular clinical topics. This was invaluable in my learning as the guests were experts in their field of work and we were very fortunate to hear them speak. Some of our lectures were based in the University Hospital. This was extremely beneficial as it helped us to become accustomed to the everyday hustle and bustle of the hospital setting and also meant that we gained additional hospital experience outside of the formal placement setting.
The course was delivered across two years and included clinical placement and lecturers. Modules were assessed via assignments, exams and clinical placement so all student abilities were catered for.
Towards the end of this course we received talks from dietitians in different roles. This was great in helping us decide what career path we wanted to follow. Guidance was also given to us around interviews and I really feel this interview preparation helped me to secure the job I’m at today. The lecturers also had experiences themselves of working abroad and they were really able guide us around the process of moving away.
I would really recommend MSc. Human Nutrition and Dietetics at UL to anyone looking to become a dietitian. The second I entered the workforce I felt well prepared and confident in my ability to be the best dietitian I could be and to provide up to date evidence based advice to my clients. This was all thanks to the first class education I received at UL.
Iballa “After my undergraduate degree I decided dietetics was the career path for me. I applied to different colleges, but UL was definitely where I wanted to go. I had friends who were studying postgraduate courses at UL and when I visit them and saw the campus I knew I wanted to study my masters there. The college atmosphere and the facilities were amazing. After a long couple of months waiting to hear from different universities I received an offer for a place in the MSc Nutrition and Dietetics at UL. I started in September and I met my 14 classmates (who I now call friends) and all the lecturers. Since the start, the lecturers really made an effort to get to know us and share their passion for dietetics, which was palpable. We were also very lucky to have some shared modules with other allied health students (physiotherapist, speech and language therapist and occupational therapist) which really helped prepare us for working with them during our placements and as registered dietitians. I completed a total of 1000 hours of placement in acute and community settings. During our placements we had amazing support from our placement tutors who encouraged us to become better and better everyday. Overall, I think the course prepared me extremely well for my current role as a hospital dietitian.”
Helen "I chose to study the MSc Human Nutrition & Dietetics at the University of Limerick due to its excellent academic reputation, high graduate employment rate and world class facilities. Having completed my undergraduate studies in Dublin, I was also keen to experience University life in another city of Ireland.
The course itself is full of variety, and it exposes you to a wide range of experiences, thereby equipping you with the skillset necessary to become a dietitian. In addition, the small class size, excellent academic staff and ongoing student engagement means your individual learning needs are continuously met. Given the collaborative nature of the course, we had the opportunity to work closely alongside the lecturers and practice tutors, all of whom were very approachable, accessible and on hand to help.
Another interesting aspect of the course was that throughout the two year programme, we completed interdisciplinary modules alongside occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy students. This not only enabled us to meet and engage with students from other courses, but it also helped prepare us for the real-life scenarios in which we worked alongside other healthcare professionals in acute and community settings during our practical placements.
As part of the learning experience, we attended lectures from guest speakers including dietitians, doctors and health promotion workers. I found this extremely beneficial as it encouraged me to consider the areas of dietetics which were of greatest interest to me. Once the academic and practical aspects of the course had been completed, we also had the opportunity to speak to a range of dietitians working in various different roles, both within and outside of Ireland. In addition, we heard from past students and academic staff regarding job application advice and interview tips. The information I obtained from these talks was invaluable to me when seeking employment as a graduate dietitian.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience studying the MSc Human Nutrition & Dietetics at the University of Limerick. I highly recommend both this Master’s programme and the career of dietetics to anyone who is considering following this path."
- Why you chose to study at UL?
I chose to study the MSc. Human Nutrition and Dietetics because of my interest in nutrition and my desire to work within a multi-disciplinary team to help as many people as possible. I chose University of Limerick for a number of reasons including UL’s well known reputation, sporting facilities and smaller class size which allowed for individual specific attention and guidance throughout the two year course.
- What were programme highlights/what is unique about the UL programme?
On reflection, the time spent on food service, clinical and role emerging placements throughout the course was a real highlight and allowed me to gain exposure to a variety of different and memorable experiences. The role emerging aspect of placement was a unique opportunity to work within a disadvantaged community and improve both nutritional knowledge and practical skills of a teenage population.
- What learning activities/opportunities in particular relate to your current work?
The skills I developed throughout my time in UL such as communication, presentation, nutritional counselling, behaviour change and multi-disciplinary teamwork applied to my previous role with the UFC and to my current role with Munster Rugby. Aspects of body composition analysis and interpretation alongside calculating nutritional requirements are also key to my current practice.
- Anything else you would like to contribute to a potential applicant!
On completion of the MSc. Human Nutrition and Dietetics you will have a huge variety of career opportunities from a clinical, community, role emerging, corporate, educational, private and sporting perspective which is a massive positive. The lecturers at UL provide brilliant guidance and are always accessible to answer questions and point you in the right direction throughout the course and after you graduate.
Keela Spillane, "I chose to study at the University of Limerick due to its excellent world class academic and social facilities to both students and the local community, high graduate employment rate and friendly, helpful staff that support and encourage students to get the best out of their education. Having completed my undergraduate degree also at the University of Limerick, I was lucky to have called it my home for 4 years and I wanted to continue this for a further 2 years. I couldn’t have imagined myself studying anywhere else! I chose to study a MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics so I could combine my interests in food, health, healthy eating, disease prevention, biochemistry and performance nutrition. I want to be able to help others and educate them around nutrition helping them live a healthier and happy lifestyle.
For me, a key highlight from the course was the time spent on the various placements. As part of the MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetic programme you complete 1000 hours of clinical, community, food service and role-emerging placements. These placements broadened my knowledge in many areas of dietetics, allowing me to put the theory learned into real-life scenarios as well as equipping me with the skillset and competence to practice as a dietitian following graduation. The MSc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme at UL also has some unique features. While many of us may think placements may just occur in the acute and community settings, this programme also allows students to experience placement in role emerging areas. This includes working in areas such as health promotion, industry and disadvantaged communities and schools helping to increase knowledge in various aspects of nutrition relevant to the population group. Another interesting aspect of the programme, which has been hugely beneficial to my role as a dietitian in the acute setting, is the completion of interdisciplinary modules alongside the other healthcare professional programmes (speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy). These interdisciplinary modules were hugely beneficial as it allowed me to gain insight into the other professions but also prepared me for real-life working, working together as part of the multidisciplinary team.
Over the course of the programme, we had many guest lecturers who spoke about their experiences working in different clinical areas. This was a valuable learning opportunity which allowed me to gain insight into on area from the experts in the field. Also, some lectures and tutorials took place in the Clinical, Education and Research Centre (CERC) at the University Hospital of Limerick (UHL). This afforded us the opportunity to become more aware of the hospital environment and accustomed to the hospital setting outside of the formal placement times. Throughout the 2-year programme, I had ample opportunities to develop key skills such as communication, multidisciplinary teamwork, behaviour change, nutrition counselling, calculation of nutritional requirements and interpretation of dietary intakes, research of the evidence-base and dissemination of findings and presenting. These skills have been of utmost importance to my role as an acute dietitian where I deliver both an inpatient and outpatient service to those in the hospital providing nutrition counselling using the evidence-base.
I would highly recommend a career in dietetics and the MSc programme in UL. I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years on the programme and felt fully prepared and confident to practice as a dietitian when I finished the programme. The lecturers, tutors and staff on the programme offer continuous guidance, support and expertise knowledge and are always there to help you out. With a career in dietetics the opportunities are endless with career prospects in clinical, community, role-emerging, industry, research, education, private and sport settings."