This programme focuses on developing your skills in research, policy and practice in the combined fields of diet, physical activity and public health. The development of these skills is vital in addressing real issues of concern to policymakers and practitioners globally.

The programme will help you to critically examine key interactions at the interface of epidemiology, behaviour change and policy-relevant research in these connected fields. It will also help you develop important skills in designing and evaluating research and community interventions.

You will be taught by academics who are at the forefront of real-world research and whose knowledge is grounded in applied situations. You will learn to address questions such as 'What is the policy implication?', 'What research design will answer this question?', 'What intervention needs to happen?', and 'How will it be evaluated?'. This will be invaluable in roles where you may be required to pitch your future projects to policymakers, commissioners and funders. Skills gained in critical thinking, report writing, and evaluation will also be transferable to your future career.

This MSc was one of the first to recognise the need for specialisation in the three intertwined disciplines of nutrition, physical activity and public health to tackle non-communicable disease. It is designed for dieticians; physical activity, food and fitness specialists; and other health professionals. The programme will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the evidence around the role of nutrition and physical activity in public health; the factors that influence people's physical activity and eating behaviours; and how to develop and evaluate nutrition and physical activity interventions.

The programme is delivered over one year, allowing you to return to work, progress your career and start to bring your knowledge into practice in a short period of time. We also have a part-time option set over 2 years.

Graduates from other disciplines who want to work towards a career in this area are welcome to apply.

Take a look at these videos to find out more about our programme and hear from some of our students and staff.

Programme structure

All units are compulsory and there are no formal examinations. Work is assessed through written assignments, presentations, written reports, infographics, or research proposals. During the final term, you will complete an original research investigation and dissertation (8,000 to 10,000 words) in the form of an academic paper for a scientific journal on an approved public health-based topic, which will incorporate nutrition or physical activity or a combination of the two.

Part-time students will be given guidance about which units to complete in each year of study.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content of our MSc in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition, Food Science, Sports Science, Biology, Psychology, Kinesiology, Dietetics, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health/Policy, Health Sciences, Physiotherapy, Social Sciences, Architecture/Build environment, Biochemistry Microbiology, Preventive Medicine, Epidemiology, Food Hygiene and Safety.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies.

We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree. Specific module requirements may still apply.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant, relevant work experience (minimum 12 months) in the following sectors/areas: Dietician, Nurse, Doctor, Rehabilitation Therapist, Food Scientist, Public Health Clinician, Commissioner of Public Health Services, Policy Maker, Researcher or Analyst in relevant field, Wellbeing Advisor, Yoga Instructor, Physical Activity/Sports Coach and applicants who can demonstrate that they have supplemented their learning through on-line courses in the accepted subjects;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification (merit or above).

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level E.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£14,000 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£7,000 per year
Overseas: full-time
£27,100 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

This programme is designed for students who want to pursue careers in nutrition and physical activity-related research, public health policy, public health consultancy, or public health advocacy and legislation, or in implementing programmes that promote health.

Employers of our graduates include:

  • the public sector (including local authorities, county health departments, Public Health England and the National Health Service);
  • universities and academia;
  • charities and non-profit organisations (including Macmillan Cancer Support and public health agencies);
  • the private sector (including the food industry and corporate wellness organisations).

The programme also has a professional development focus and can enhance the practice and delivery of working professionals such as dieticians, physiotherapists, nurses, kinesiologists, physical trainers or teachers. Some of our graduates continue their studies towards a PhD degree.