Master of Science (Human Nutrition)

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Turn your passion into your profession with nutrition at Massey

Massey’s MSc (Human Nutrition) will give you the knowledge and experience you need to interpret and contribute to current issues in human nutrition.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure

What is it like?

Massey’s MSc (Human Nutrition) will give you in-depth knowledge and understanding of the latest issues in the field of human nutrition.

You’ll study nutrition principles in four core courses, then choose areas of interest for remaining courses, or a special topic, tailored to your requirements.

Develop your research skills

You’ll develop your scientific research skills to an advanced level with a high-quality, student-led research project under the supervision of experienced and dedicated staff. You’ll investigate the links between diet and health, and the factors affecting them, by evaluating the underlying research and nutritional mechanisms.

You choose how and where

Your research project can be completed in the nutrition research facilities on our campuses, in the community or in your workplace. Research projects may be part of existing research within the University, or designed specifically for your needs and interests. Your MSc (HumNutr) can have a particular focus, such as public health nutrition, sports nutrition or nutritional physiology.

Flexible study options to suit you

Study hours are flexible to fit in with your busy life, with some courses offered in block and some in distance mode. You can study full-time or part-time, combining study with your work and other commitments.

Teaching is a mixture of self-directed learning (supported by the Stream virtual classroom environment) and optional block courses. The block courses are video-linked and you can attend in Palmerston North or Auckland, regardless of where the course is hosted.

If you don’t have a science or nutrition background, you can take a conversion course, such as the graduate certificate or graduate diploma, to transition to postgraduate study. If you have postgraduate qualifications in nutrition or dietetics, you may be eligible to enrol in an MSc(HumNutr) by thesis or a PhD.

A good fit if you:

  • Have a passion for science and nutrition
  • Want to investigate relationships between food, nutrients, health and disease
  • Seek a thorough grounding in the principles, practice and research of nutrition
  • Wish to develop the critical skills to recognise nutrition fact from fiction
  • Want to apply nutrition principles to build a better world through related areas like public health or sport
Moniek Kindred
Master of Science, First Class Honours in Human Nutrition
Country Portfolio Manager at World Vision New Zealand

“Completing my master’s at Massey has been the most valuable years of my tertiary education…”

Completing my master’s at Massey has been the most valuable years of my tertiary education. I feel that during my master’s, I didn’t just learn knowledge, but I learned how to think for myself and with a critical mind.

I chose my career path because I knew I loved thinking about food and nutrition, but with a more social aspect. The cross between nutrition and development studies is perfect. I often find within the development field, coming in with a strong technical skill, such as nutrition, is a huge benefit while many of my colleagues are 'generalists'.

The highlight of my career was working as the Health and Nutrition Manager for World Vision in the Nepal Earthquake response. The work was so fast-paced and dynamic. The team I had the pleasure to work with was incredible. I got to trek into health facilities in extremely remote areas of Nepal with views people would pay thousands of dollars for.

I feel so fortunate to have my job. I get to travel to amazing countries, work cross-culturally with amazing colleagues and no day is the same. All the while, I know my job is contributing to the greater good to make the world a more just place to live.


With internationally marketable skills, you’ll be able to select from a wide range of career opportunities as a human nutrition postgraduate, including:

  • Health promotion/public health (such as District Health Boards, Ministry of Health, NZ Heart Foundation)
  • Sport and exercise nutrition (such as elite and recreational sports teams, fitness industry)
  • Research in universities and Crown Research Institutes (like AgResearch, Plant & Food Research)
  • Teaching in secondary and tertiary educational institutions
  • Consultancy in industry (for example, for food companies and industry), corporate health and wellness and in private practice
  • Government adviser on policy, education or nutrition
  • Media (writing publications, television, marketing)
  • International relief work
  • Medical nutritional companies (nutrition advisor, nutritional representative)

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after leaving study, most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings
  • Young masters graduates earn 86 per cent more than the national median
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives

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