Pathway information

Pathway Leads
Professor Gary Frost

Teaching Fellow
Rachel Gibson

Human Nutrition pathway handbook [download pdf]

It is possible for applicants to apply for this pathway with a view to continuing to a PhD studentship through acceptance on a 1&3 programme (1 year Masters, plus 3 years PhD). Continuation to a PhD would be conditional on meeting the college requirements for successful completion of the MRes, in addition to funding and supervision being established. If you wish to consider applying through this route, please contact the course administrator (Fiona Bibby) in the first instance. For all applications for the stand alone MRes programme e.g no joint MRes and Phd (1&3) application, please apply as advised on the application process page.

The pathway provides a structured approach to developing knowledge and skills that will enable students to develop their own clinical human nutrition research portfolio or assist in the management of an existing portfolio. The programme will provide greater insight into the academic; clinical and practical; and regulatory requirements of human nutrition research and will introduce the latest in cutting edge research. 

The pathway has been designed to focus on research and uses some clinical specialities as models to highlight this. While all students will be required to follow this curriculum, the opportunity to specialise in a clinical field will be provided through the research project.


Students who successfully complete the programme will have knowledge and understanding of

  • Current cutting edge techniques in human nutrition
  • Good Clinical Practice
  • The critical pathway for developing nutritional intervention and knowledge that will change clinical practice
  • Commonly employed investigational techniques
  • Clinical trial design
  • Common statistical techniques
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of the essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relevant to the student’s theme of subsequent research
  • Management and communication skills, including problem definition, project design, decision processes, teamwork, written and oral reports, scientific publications

Employment prospects

Graduates will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to pursue careers in clinical nutrition research in the NHS, Academia or Industry. There is an expectation that most students will go on to pursue PhD programmes and eventually establish academic careers. Completion of this programme will enable the individual to undertake a role based in human clinical research. We foresee the programme being a stepping stone to a PhD program of research, or to gaining a position in the food industry.

Entry requirements 

The programme is designed to cater for UK and international students with a first/undergraduate degree in Medicine or Life Sciences. An upper second class Honours is preferred.

Examples of past student projects 


  • The association between Potential renal acid load/ dietary protein intake and progression of chronic kidney disease in older people.
  • Investigating the Effects of Leguminous Plants and High Resistant Starch Peas on Glucose Homeostasis.
  • The effects of weight loss on plasma levels of anorectic gut hormones PYY and GLP-1 in overweight and moderately obese adults.
  • The effect of food products containing inulin-propionate ester on appetite regulation and energy expenditure.


  • Adipose Distribution, Obesity and Dietary Intervention.
  • Acute effects of increasing colonic propionate on appetite and energy homoeostasis.
  • Is BDNF having an impact on measures of health?
  • Pilot investigation for biomarkers of carbohydrate food consumption and Metabolism: a metabonomics approach.
  • Investigation of the relationship between dietary fibre intake and risk of cardiovascular disease: A Cohort Study from Airwave.
  • Global Iodine Nutrition Status in pregnant populations: are Universal Salt Iodization programmes serving requirements?
  • The Effects of Fibre Products - Propionate ester on Substrate Oxidation and Appetite Regulation.


  • A study to derive normative hand grip values for patients on haemodialysis.
  • Exploring postprandial breath hydrogen measurements as a predictor of PYY release in healthy elderly volunteers: a pilot study.
  • Influences of a low-calorie-diet on pancreatic and abdominal fat, and serum lipids in obese individuals undergoing bypass surgery.
  • Body composition and weight loss: Is lean body mass a predictor of weight loss in a dietary intervention study?
  • The effect of protein-enriched diet on body composition and appetite.
  • Assessment of the impact of FTO rs9939609, eating behaviour and post-­‚Äźbariatric surgery weight loss.
  • Evaluating the Effect of Inulin Supplementation on Pre-diabetic Subjects Using Nutrimetabonomics.
  • The impact of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels in a healthy population.
  • Risk Perception of Developing Diabetes In A Cohort of High Risk of Developing Diabetes.
  • The Impact of Body Composition on Exercise Capacity in Subjects with Normal Body Mass Index.


  • Validation of the Alternate Healthy Eating Index for Hyperlipidaemia Patients.
  • Investigating of evidence for gut barrier dysfunction and associated risk factors in children hospitalised with malnutrition in a Sub-Saharan African Population