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Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Turn your passion into your profession with nutrition at Massey

If you are passionate about food and nutrition and want to learn more about the science of how what you eat affects health, then Massey’s BSc (Human Nutrition) is for you.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science parent structure.

What is it like?

Nutrition has become one of the key issues facing society. Knowledge about human nutrition and the application of this knowledge are essential elements in maintaining a healthy society.

Human nutrition is a progressive, multi-disciplinary science requiring knowledge ranging from nutrient supply and metabolic processing by the body to psychosocial and behavioural factors influencing diet. The human nutrition major is designed to give you a clear understanding of basic nutritional principles.

Areas covered in your Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition) include the composition of food, human requirements for nutrients, and how the body processes food and nutrients.

The programme also highlights the physiological changes that occur as a result of excesses or deficiencies of various nutrients in the diet, as well as the changes in nutritional needs from conception through birth, growth, adulthood, and ageing. You’ll gain an understanding of factors that influence food choice and awareness of practices to promote dietary change.


Some of the topics taught in human nutrition courses include:

  • Food chemistry
  • Nutrition and metabolism
  • Maternal, child and adolescent nutrition
  • Food choice
  • Adult nutrition
  • Human lifecycle physiology
  • Sport/performance nutrition

Help ensure that New Zealanders - and people all over the world - are healthy

With Massey’s BSc (Human Nutrition) you’ll gain an integrated understanding of nutrition, biochemistry and physiology all related to the human body.

This will give you the basis of knowledge required for enhancing health and fitness in individuals of all ages, and in groups and communities. The major will provide training in practical skills such as dietary assessment and body composition assessment and general skills required for critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. With this knowledge you’ll be able to work at promoting good nutritional practices to individuals, communities and industry. In addition to the professional skills you’ll gain, the programme provides an excellent general education in how diet contributes to optimal personal health and well-being.

A career that makes a difference

You will receive training in practical skills such as dietary assessment and body composition assessment, as well as transferable skills required for critical thinking, problem-solving and effective communication.

This will prepare you for a career where you can make a difference to individuals and your community, and contribute to improvements in the population’s health. Nutrition is increasingly relevant in today’s society and your skills will be in demand. The availability of suitably qualified human nutritionists contributes to the economic viability of New Zealand as a food-producing and exporting nation.

Nutritionists will also play increasingly important roles in the public health sector as the move towards health promotion continues.

As well as the professional skills you will gain, the BSc (Human Nutrition) gives you an excellent general education in how diet contributes to your own optimal personal health and wellbeing.

First-class facilities and top lecturers

Benefit from a range of first-class facilities for study and research, including the only two Bod Pods in New Zealand and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) equipment for measuring bone density and body composition.

Your lecturers are highly qualified and have specialist research interests ranging from public health nutrition and nutrition through the lifecycle to cellular mechanisms and nutrient metabolism.

Choose when, where and what you study

You can choose from full-time or part-time study and even take some first year courses by distance learning, so you can combine your studies with work and other commitments. Nutrition courses can also be taken as electives or for personal interest.

Loads of flexibility

The human nutrition major can be taken as a double major by combining with other disciplines such as exercise and sport science, biochemistry, physiology or other biosciences so you have loads of choice. You can also take a minor in another subject to broaden your expertise. In your first year, you’ll take courses common to all these disciplines so you maintain a lot of flexibility. In your third year, courses for the major in human nutrition are highly specialised, but you’ll still be able to explore advanced study in other relevant areas.

Future pathways

Take your degree into a number of organisations or progress on to more specialised areas in the Master of Science, including our limited entry nutrition and dietetics programme in Auckland.

A good fit if you:

  • Enjoy working with people
  • Are fascinated by the relationships between food, nutrients, health and disease
  • Are curious about what makes your body tick
Olivia Kitson
Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition and Exercise and Sport Science)
Les Mills, Group Fitness Instructor

“This degree will help me with my career as my ultimate goal is to become a sports dietitian…”

I chose to study sports and exercise science and human nutrition as a double major because I have always had a passion for food, nutrition, health, fitness and sports.

As a Les Mills group fitness instructor, I found the content involved in exercise and sports science very interesting and helpful to apply to my teaching and training.

During the course, I loved the practical element such as investigating the validity of various fitness tests and experiencing the physiological changes in response to changing environmental conditions.

In my final year, I really enjoyed the independence and challenge of conducting a study all the way from attaining ethical approval, writing a research proposal, recruiting participants, conducting the study and presenting the findings. This helped me gain many skills required for conducting research, writing reports and delivering presentations.

The outstanding facilities and excellent staff members at Massey enabled me to further develop these skills and fulfil my passion for sports and exercise.

This degree will help me with my career as my ultimate goal is to become a sports dietitian. After recently being accepted into a masters in dietetics for 2019, I hope to use my knowledge and skills from sports and exercise science to eventually specialise in sports and fitness.

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