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MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition

MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition provides a sound programme in human nutrition covering practical approaches, research methods and nutrition in the general population and in disease states.

afn accredited programme
This MSc is the only graduate training programme available in the Eating Disorders field and meets an important clinical and research need.
 

This course focuses on providing knowledge and skills in the classification, aetiology, epidemiology and risk for eating disorders, as well as the physical and psychiatric assessment and treatment of eating disordered patients of different ages, sex and ethnic group. It also concentrates on management and service development in the Eating Disorders field.

View prospectus and apply

What will I learn?

Full time

Students on the full-time programme must take modules to the value of 180 credits. The MSc programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits). 

Module TitleCredit ValueTerm
MEDC0034 Fundamentals of Nutrition and Metabolism151
MEDC0035 Disease and Disordered Eating152
MEDC0036 Therapeutic Aspects of Clinical Nutrition152
MEDC0037 Practical Nutrition Assessment151
MEDC0038 Malnutrition in the Community152
MEDC0039 Experimental Design and Research Methods151
MEDC0041 Eating Disorders: Clinical Science151
MEDC0042 Eating Disorders: Treatment152
MEDC0043 Research Project603

*Module Availability - Modules offered on the programme may not run in every academic year. If there are any modules which are integral to your study you should check whether they are running in the relevant academic year.

Part time

This course is also available part-time. Students on the part-time programme must take the above modules, totalling 180 credits, over two years. Part-time students complete their research project in the second year but are advised to complete background reading in their first year.

The module structure for part-time students is as follows:

Year one
Module TitleCredit ValueTerm
MEDC0034 Fundamentals of Nutrition and Metabolism151
MEDC0036 Therapeutic Aspects of Clinical Nutrition152
MEDC0041 Eating Disorders: Clinical Science151
MEDC0042 Eating Disorders: Treatment152
Year two
Module TitleCredit ValueTerm
MEDC0037 Practical Nutrition Assessment151
MEDC0039 Experimental Design and Research Methods151
MEDC0035 Disease and Disordered Eating152
MEDC0038 Malnutrition in the Community152
MEDC0043 Research Project603
*Module Availability - Modules offered on the programme may not run in every academic year. If there are any modules that are integral to your study you should check whether they are running in the relevant academic year.

 

Research Project

All students must complete an independent research project, normally with a supervisor from the Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre at UCLH or a NHS-funded research initiative run with conjunction with UCL. Some projects will be subject to ethical approval and CRB clearance, which should be discussed with your supervisor. Students should explore a research areas that interest them and make contact with the relevant departments to see if they can offer  an MSc project. Alternatively, students can explore research activities taking place across UCL via IRIS (http://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/) by using the search engine.

Short Courses

As well as postrgraduate qualifications in the field of Eating Disorders, we also offer three short courses. Please follow these links for more information on each course:

If a date is not showing for the above courses, please email divmed.postgrad@ucl.ac.uk to register your interest.

Who is this course for?

This course is, to the best of our knowledge, the only graduate programme in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition in the world.

We have, therefore, always attracted and welcomed a very diverse range of students, in terms of age, clinical experience, educational backgrounds, nationality, and future career plans.

Recently, there have been significant increases in the number of specialist services for eating disorders in the UK and internationally, with increasing numbers of professionals working in these services. New developments in research on the aetiology and treatment of eating disorders make this field a growing research area.

Some our students have already completed a clinical training and are working dietitians, nutritionists, psychologists or psychiatrists. They may either be already working in the field of eating disorders, or they may be keen to break into it. Either way, this degree offers them sound theoretical, scientific and clinical understanding and exposure to eating disorders and clinical nutrition.

The majority of our students are graduates in psychology, nutrition and biomedical science, who are keen to embark on a clinical training, or further research / academic careers. They recognise that their future career may, or may not, include work with people with eating disorders.

Their motivation for applying for this course is primarily strong interest in the subjects we offer; in addition, they are aware that our degree could strengthen, significantly, their applications for a PhD, or the clinical training programmes that they need to complete in order to become fully qualified clinical psychologists, dieticians etc.

Students should note that although our degree is very clinically focused, it is not a clinical training, and therefore successful graduation does not qualify you to work independently with patients with eating disorders.

 

What if I have an eating disorder?

We welcome applications from students who may have had personal experience of an eating disorder. However, it is important to be aware that some aspects of the course have the potential to be triggering. For this reason, based on student feedback and in consultation with professional bodies, including the British Dietetic Association, we advise that applicants should have been fully recovered from their eating disorder for at least two years before joining this course.

If you are unsure whether you are sufficiently recovered, then we would advise that you contact one of the Course Tutors, who are all clinicians actively working in the field.

What are you looking for in prospective students?

This course requires a medical degree or a UK bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject (biological science, biomedicine, biophysics, nutrition, chemistry, medicine), awarded with first or upper second-class honours. 

If you studied a science subject that is not strongly biological or chemical, you are advised to do some preparatory reading and study before you arrive. See our Basic Science for Non-Basic Scientists page for some advice on this.

If you did not study your degree in the UK, please see our International Equivalences page.

If English is not your first language, you'll also have to provide evidence of your language ability, see more on our English Language Requirements Page. This course requires "Standard". 

As this programme involves working with the public you will be subject to screening by UCL Occupational Health and through the Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to determine your suitability for the course.Following the requirements of the NHS trust, we will only consider applications from individuals who can demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Where can this course lead me in terms of careers and employability?

afn accredited programme
Patients suffering from eating disorders in the UK is increasing, creating the demand for professionals working in clinical services. This MSc is the only comprehensive graduate programme presently available which addresses this clinical need by providing fundamental nutrition education and an extensive course on eating disorders.

This degree will give graduates a clear advantage when applying for clinical and research positions in units in which children, adolescents or adults with eating disorders are assessed, treated and recruited into research programmes. It is particularly relevant for individuals wishing to apply for senior positions in these units, as well as graduates who aspire to studying for a doctorate in the eating disorders field. Surveys have shown that eating disorder services are continuing to develop in all parts of the country, providing substantial opportunities for employment in this burgeoning field.

This MSc is registered with the Association for Nutrition, a professional body that holds the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN), a competency-based register of nutritionists. Graduates of this programme will be eligible to apply for direct entry to the UKVRN as Registered Associate Nutritionists. As part of this accreditation, students must pass all core-competency modules. If a student fails a module, they will be able to graduate (in compliance with UCL policy) with an alternative MSc degree title, however this will not be accredited.

Potential applicants should be aware that whilst the MSc in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition provides AfN accreditation it does not qualify graduates to work with people with eating disorders independently.

Working clinically and independently with patients with eating disorders requires an additional clinical qualification such as dietetics, medicine, or clinical, or counselling, psychology.  

What careers can this course lead to?

The range of careers that this degree can lead to is as diverse as the make-up of its students.

This course therefore offers its graduates a significant advantage when applying for clinical or positions in eating disorders or clinical nutrition services, or departments where eating disorders or nutrition research is undertaken.

When starting work in these services or departments, graduates should feel confident that they have acquired a sound and up to date knowledge of some of the most important theoretical, scientific and clinical concepts and ideas that underpin the field of eating disorders and clinical nutrition. They should also have the skills and knowledge to remain up to date with future developments, and to potentially contribute to advancements in the field through clinical and scientific research and innovation.

All UCL students are supported by the UCL Careers Service, as well as the department's own specialist Careers Tutor. Find out how UCL students have benefited from London’s wealth of resources, networking potential, placements, internships and employment opportunities on our Graduate page.

Where does the course take place?

The course is taught on the UCL campus in Bloomsbury, the heart of London. We do not offer any online or distance courses at this time.

Who can I talk to if I have a question?

If you have any questions about MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition, please contact the Division of Medicine Postgraduate Admin team in the first instance: divmed.postgrad@ucl.ac.uk

Interested in Nutrition?

If you're interested in nutrition but not specifically eating disorders, you should consider our MSc Clinical and Public Health Nutrition or MSc Obesity and Clinical Nutrition