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 disease which requires an understanding of multiple treatment modalities. In this unique and world-leading MSc, students will learn the latest techniques in the treatment and management 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)
MEDC0104 Obesity and Public Health Nutrition (15 credits)    
MEDC0105 Obesity and Weight Management (15 credits)

Term 3: 
MEDC0115 Research Project (Obesity and Public Health Nutrition) (60 credits)

Relevant areas of Research that we will focus:
  • Weight management and body weight regulation; reset biology of a patient living with obesity that underwent treatment; Improve our understanding of weight regain
  • Geriatric obesity and its association with co-morbidities - body composition in people of older age
  • Adolescent obesity ad community nutrition and dietary approaches
  • Obesity in the cancer survivor population
  • Defining obesity away from body mass index (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. They will be able to shadow patients on clinical trials, engage with people with severe obesity and its complications, visit patient clinics and observe obesity consultations, interact with community groups and discuss culturally relevant approaches to address obesity at a public health level.


The Obesity and Clinical Nutrition MSc follows the findings of the 2017 ASO position paper which has recognised the importance of minimising weight bias and stigma in order to effectively help people living with obesity. 

Summary of obesity research using a drawing of the human body
  • Worldwide the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
  • In 2019 worldwide, 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were afflicted by overweight.
  • In 2017, 28.7% of adults in England were reported to be living with obesity and a further 35.6% were living with overweight.
  • Obesity levels have increased from 15% to 29% from 1993 to 2017 in England.
  • In 2017 1 in 10 children were reported to be affected by obesity by the age of 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 patients living with obesity 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 living with obesity 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.

In March  2020, UCLH joined more than 100 medical and scientific organisations across the world agreeing to a pledge to end weight stigma and weight-bias discrimination. Click here to read the full paper in Nature Medicine and Pledge to Eradicate Weight Stigma. 

A Uniquely Translational Approach

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.