UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


Obesity and Clinical Nutrition MSc

Obesity is a complex chronic disease causing, exacerbating, or complicating many other chronic conditions including cardiometabolic diseases and cancers.

woman checking scales
Obesity and Clinical Nutrition MSc Overview

Obesity is a complex illness which requires an understanding of multiple treatment modalities. In this unique and world-leading MSc, students will learn the latest techniques in the treatment of obesity which will incorporate the most up to date research in the area, new technologies and real-life treatment of this disease through clinical visits. 

Line up of modules - 12 month programme duration
Term 1:
MEDC0034 Fundamentals of Nutrition and Metabolism (15 credits)
MEDC0033 Disease-related Malnutrition (15 credits)
MEDC0037 Practical Nutritional Assessment (15 credits)
MEDC0039 Research Methods (15 credits) 
Term 2:
MEDC0035 Disease and Disordered Eating (15 credits)
MEDC0036 Therapeutic Aspects of Nutrition (15 credits)
MEDC0XXX Obesity and Weight Management (15 credits)
MEDC0XXX Obesity and Public Health Nutrition (15 credits)    
Term 3: Research Project (60 credits)
Relevant areas of Research that we will focus:
  • Weight management and Weight set point; reset biology of a previously obese patient that underwent treatment; Improve our understanding of weight regaining
  • Geriatric obesity and its association  with co-morbidities - body composition in people of older age 
  • Adolescent obesity ad community  nutrition approaches
  • Obesity in the cancer survivor population
  • Defining obesity away from BMI - Its role in reducing weight biases - obesity stigma 
Students will have the chance to be involved in current research projects and develop new ones. The will be able to shadow patients on clinical trials, engage with people with severe obesity and its complications, visit the clinics and observe obesity consultations, interact with community groups and discuss culturally relevant approaches to tackle this public health challenge.


The Obesity and Clinical Nutrition MSc will also follow the findings of the recent ASO position paper which has recognised the importance of minimising weight bias and stigma in order to treat this rapidly growing illness. 

Summary of obesity research using a drawing of the human body
  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975
  • In 2019, worldwide 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight. 
  • In 2017, 28.7% of adults in England are obese and a further 35.6% are overweight but not obese
  • Obesity levels have increased from 15% to 29% from 1993 to 2017 in England
  • 1 in 10 children is obese by age 5, rising to 1 in 5 by age 11 in 2017 in England

Sources: World Health Organisation, House of Commons Obesity statistics 2019

The Obesity Crisis in the UK

Hear from Professor Rachel Batterham, Head of the Centre for Obesity Research at UCL as she discusses the treatment of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and the subsequent studies conducted in conjunction with this research.

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The Social Stigma of Obesity

One important barrier that currently impedes optimal care delivery to obese patients is weight bias and stigma. Thus, this UCL Obesity and Clinical Nutrition MSc was developed to teach future health professionals about the unrecognized transmission of attitudes and beliefs relating to patient care and professional values in clinical training, and affect the way they learn to perceive obesity. Such an approach will affect the quality of clinical management of this chronic disease.

Woman being weighed by a doctor

Founded in 1967, the ASO or Association for the study of Obesity, has become the UK’s foremost charitable organisation dedicated to the understanding, prevention and treatment of obesity.  They have found extensive research highlighting the bias and stigma (including negative attitudes, prejudice or discrimination) people who are overweight or obese may experience. The available evidence also indicates that weight bias or stigma can be harmful to individuals’ wellbeing.

Click here to read its recent position paper on Weight Bias and Stigma.

A Uniquely Translational Approach

Through interactive experiential learning activities, the use of new technologies in learning and teaching and problem-based learning, our graduates will have several opportunities to provide clinically appropriate recommendations to patients with obesity regarding healthy lifestyle interventions, pharmacologic therapy, and weight- loss surgery.

2 patients sitting at a table consulting with a doctor

No other University is able to offer such a range of high calibre partners and experts, both scientific and clinical,  in the field of obesity. Students may have the opportunity for involvement with some of those partners. These include the UCLH Bariatric Centre for Weight Management and Metabolic Surgery, the NIHR Obesity policy research unit, the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care (Behavioural science unit) and the Bartlett Faculty.