City scape

Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics

MSc Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 150)
Today's clinical nutrition and dietetics experts have an expanding field of career opportunities. For instance, the current rise in life-style related conditions and diseases has been identified by international and national government agencies and programmes as requiring nutritional interventions for their prevention and management. The expanding older population requires nutritional care to prevent and manage lifestyle-related conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, frailty, sarcopenia and osteoporosis. The creation of links between nutrition, health and community development provide opportunities for health promotion through nutrition interventions in many community settings, including pre-schools, schools, services for older people and those with disability and mental illness. Within the acute hospital setting, the effective management of chronic and acute medical and surgical conditions and the prevention and treatment of disease-related malnutrition are critical, wherein effective nutritional management is central to reducing the personal and economic costs associated with poor nutrition and health. The importance of nutrition to optimise sports performance is increasingly recognised with many career opportunities in this area.

The MSc in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics is a full-time programme, designed for graduates who wish to develop expertise in areas ranging from the promotion of nutrition and health throughout the lifespan through to the management of clinical nutrition in community, primary care and acute settings. Moreover, practitioners in medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and the other health and social care professions, as well as practitioners in sport and exercise science have a need for evidence-based expertise in nutrition, health promotion and clinical nutrition so that they can manage clients and patients in a manner that permits optimal client/patient outcomes.

At the end of the programme, students will have developed the integrated scientific, clinical, psychological, communication, multidisciplinary team working and professional proficiencies that underpin a career in clinical nutrition and dietetics. The MSc Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics aims to train graduates eligible to apply to the Dietitians Registration Board (CORU) for registration as a dietitian.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Vision and Values Statement
The MSc Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics programme aims to provide a postgraduate programme in clinical nutrition and dietetics that will develop competent practitioners in clinical nutrition and dietetics eligible to apply for CORU Dietitian Registration Board registration as Dietitians. Graduates of the programme will have a strong professional identity and understanding of their role in the wider healthcare context and their contribution as part of a multi-disciplinary team, and will demonstrate well-developed autonomous learning skills. The educational philosophy of the MSc Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics programme is to provide a stimulating and collaborative educational environment which will build on existing graduate knowledge, skills and attributes. Student learning will be facilitated through a student-centred approach, involving experiential practice placement learning so that graduates will have the opportunity to develop professional excellence. The curriculum introduces students to core theoretical and professional concepts in clinical nutrition and dietetics and these concepts are returned to at more advanced levels as the programme progresses allowing students to develop professional proficiency. The programme design is strongly influenced by the current and future needs of clinical nutrition and dietetics practice and by the provision of student-centred learning in an environment where research and scholarship stimulate high achievement and access to cutting edge knowledge.

Course Description
-This full time programme is designed to be completed over two academic years.
-Lectures will normally be held on Mondays - Fridays.
-Assessment strategies include continuous assessment, assignments, projects and examinations.
-Exit routes from this programme include a Graduate Certificate and a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition. Graduates availing of these exit routes will not be eligible to apply to the Dietitians Registration Board (CORU) for registration as a dietitian.
-UCD expects that students who register for its programmes are in a position to commit to attending and being available on scheduled programme and assessment dates.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a second class honours degree (2.1 or 2.2 in exceptional circumstances e.g. extensive prior clinical experience) or higher in science e.g. biochemistry, food science, human biology, human nutrition, nutritional science, pharmacology, physiology, in health sciences e.g. medicine, nursing or a health and social care profession or in sports performance science.

Prior qualifications should include evidence of study of human biochemistry and physiology or other relevant degree discipline from a recognised university.

Good communication skills are essential. Candidates may be interviewed.

Two references should be included with the online application, one of which should be an academic reference and one an employment-related reference.

Garda vetting is required, prior to undertaking practice placements.

All students must attend UCD Student Health Services for pre-entry screening and must be compliant with Irish Immunisation Guidelines. All costs associated with health screening and vaccination must be met by the student.

In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

Please note, the closing date for applications is June 30th.


2 years full-time

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Careers & Employability
Graduates with the MSc Clinical Nutrition Dietetics are well placed to gain employment in the following sectors and agencies:
-Clinical nutrition & dietetics (hospital and community dietetics)
-Public health nutrition, government health promotion agencies
-Clinical nutrition industry (product development, marketing, consumer information)
-Sports nutrition
-Teaching opportunities (second or third level)
-Academic, nutrition and medical research (public and private sectors)
-Private practice

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Kirsten Southard
Contact Number:353 (0) 1 716 34 62

Subjects taught

Modules include
Dietetics through the Lifecycle
Dietetics Professional Practice 1 & 2
Medicine for Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutrition and Communication
Clinical Nutrition
Health Promotion
Nutrition Epidemiology
Applied Nutrition Health Exercise & Sports Performance
Practice Placement
Advanced Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Principles of Management, Health Economics and Health Policy.

Application date

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:
MSc Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics (Jan) FT (X820)

2 Years

Full Time


Applicants apply using the UCD online application system. To apply, simply click on and follow the instructions. A non-refundable application fee applies. The application fee is paid online.

Course fee

Fees include tuition and examination fees. The fee schedule for all programmes is shown on the UCD Fees website ( and refers to the fee for a single academic year, including the fee schedule for non-EU nationals and the annual fee for the outgoing year.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!