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Master of Science (Human Nutrition)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

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 courses offered in block 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 block courses (usually two eight-hour block courses for core courses and two four-hour, half-day block courses for elective 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
Kai-Hong Tan
MSc (Human Nutrition)
Food Industry Nutritionist, Heart Foundation, Auckland

“I found the learning environment supportive and my supervisor was very inspiring…”

Kai-Hong Tan moved to New Zealand in 2000 after working as a trained dietitian in a Chinese hospital for 6 years.  She was eager to learn more about Western nutrition and dietetics as there was limited knowledge available in her homeland.

“I felt my professional knowledge needed to be refreshed, updated and advanced. That’s why I chose to pursue a Master of Science in Human Nutrition when I immigrated to NZ.”

The programme developed essential skills in research and public health nutrition which Kai-Hong needed to work in her current role as Food Industry Nutritionist for New Zealand’s Heart Foundation. “The knowledge and confidence I gained eased the transition from working in a clinical setting to public health nutrition.”

Kai-Hong found the programme thorough, giving her a comprehensive grounding in food science, human nutrition, food and diseases, food-related behaviour and nutrition research.  “I learned to critically evaluate scientific papers and articles - one of the most important skills in the industry.”

Today, Kai-Hong enjoys working on programmes to influence and support healthy food supply in New Zealand schools. An important aspect of her role is building positive working relationships with school food suppliers and distributors, schools and school health workers.

To communicate the key messages and drive success, Kai-Hong also develops supportive resources to assist food companies, food preparers and health workers which promote healthy foods to NZ schools and children. As well, she carries out regular monitoring and evaluations to assess the impact.

Massey’s Auckland campus is “beautiful, relaxed and very well equipped with all the new technology.” During her time at Massey, she also loved the added benefit of “free parking and no traffic” thanks to its more relaxed North Shore location. The small class sizes also meant Kai-Hong got to know all of her classmates. “I found the learning environment supportive and my supervisor was very inspiring.”


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

Contact us Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey