Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition


2 locations available

Program Description

What is like?

Nutrition has become one of the key issues facing society. Knowledge about human nutrition and the application of this knowledge are essential elements in maintaining a healthy society.

Human nutrition is a progressive, multi-disciplinary science requiring knowledge ranging from nutrient supply and metabolic processing by the body to psychosocial and behavioural factors influencing diet. The human nutrition major is designed to give you a clear understanding of basic nutritional principles.

Areas covered in your Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition) include the composition of food, human requirements for nutrients, and how the body processes food and nutrients.

The programme also highlights the physiological changes that occur as a result of excesses or deficiencies of various nutrients in the diet, as well as the changes in nutritional needs from conception through birth, growth, adulthood, and ageing. You’ll gain an understanding of factors that influence food choice and awareness of practices to promote dietary change.


  • Food chemistry
  • Nutrition and metabolism
  • Maternal, child and adolescent nutrition
  • Food choice
  • Adult nutrition
  • Human lifecycle physiology
  • Sport/performance nutrition

Help ensure that New Zealanders - and people all over the world - are healthy

With Massey’s BSc (Human Nutrition) you’ll gain an integrated understanding of nutrition, biochemistry and physiology all related to the human body.

This will give you the basis of knowledge required for enhancing health and fitness in individuals of all ages, and in groups and communities. The major will provide training in practical skills such as dietary assessment and body composition assessment and general skills required for critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to work at promoting good nutritional practices to individuals, communities and industry. In addition to the professional skills you’ll gain, the programme provides an excellent general education in how diet contributes to optimal personal health and well-being.

A career that makes a difference

You will receive training in practical skills such as dietary assessment and body composition assessment, as well as transferable skills required for critical thinking, problem-solving and effective communication.

This will prepare you for a career where you can make a difference to individuals and your community, and contribute to improvements in the population’s health. Nutrition is increasingly relevant in today’s society and your skills will be in demand. The availability of suitably qualified human nutritionists contributes to the economic viability of New Zealand as a food-producing and exporting nation.

Nutritionists will also play increasingly important roles in the public health sector as the move towards health promotion continues.

As well as the professional skills you will gain, the BSc (Human Nutrition) gives you an excellent general education in how diet contributes to your own optimal personal health and wellbeing.

Only offered in the North Island

Massey University in Auckland and Palmerston North are the only places where you can study a specialised human nutrition major in the North Island.

First-class facilities; top lecturers

Benefit from a range of first-class facilities for study and research, including the only two Bod Pods in New Zealand and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) equipment for measuring bone density and body composition.

Your lecturers are highly qualified and have specialist research interests ranging from public health nutrition and nutrition through the lifecycle to cellular mechanisms and nutrient metabolism.

Choose when, where and what you study

You can choose from the full-time or part-time study and even take some first-year courses by distance learning, so you can combine your studies with work and other commitments. Nutrition courses can also be taken as electives or for personal interest.

Loads of flexibility

The human nutrition major can be taken as a double major by combining with other disciplines such as exercise and sport science, biochemistry, physiology or other biosciences so you have loads of choice. You can also take a minor in another subject to broaden your expertise. In your first year, you’ll take courses common to all these disciplines so you maintain a lot of flexibility. In your third year, courses for the major in human nutrition are highly specialised, but you’ll still be able to explore advanced study in other relevant areas.

Future pathways

Take your degree into a number of organisations or progress on to more specialised areas in the Master of Science, including our limited entry nutrition and dietetics programme in Auckland.

Entry requirements

All students must have a university entrance qualification; see Massey University undergraduate entry requirements. It is strongly recommended (but not compulsory) that students beginning their study of human nutrition should have a sound background in chemistry and biology to NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent). It will be assumed that students enrolled in the first year chemistry courses, 123.101 and 123.102, will have studied at least 20 credits from NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or an equivalent alternative) and have achieved at least 14. Mathematics is also desirable.

If you have some chemistry background, but not to NCEA Level 3 (or equivalent), we recommend that you take 123.103 Introductory Chemistry. This course will introduce you to basic chemical vocabulary and provides training in the important chemical principles. Similarly, if you have not done NCEA Level 3 biology you can take 162.103 Introductory Biology before beginning your programme. Before enrolling in these courses you will need a university entrance qualification or, if you enrol over the summer, you must achieve the university entrance requirements before the beginning of Semester One.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

For more than 80 years, Massey University has helped shape the lives and communities of people in New Zealand and around the world. Its forward-thinking spirit, research-led teaching, and cutting-edge ... Read More

For more than 80 years, Massey University has helped shape the lives and communities of people in New Zealand and around the world. Its forward-thinking spirit, research-led teaching, and cutting-edge discoveries make Massey New Zealand’s defining university. Read less
Auckland , Palmerston North , Wellington + 2 More Less