Human Nutrition – Bachelor of Science

If you are passionate about food and nutrition and want to learn more about the science behind how diet affects health, then Massey’s Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition) is for you.

Where you can study

Auckland campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Specialise in Human Nutrition for your Bachelor of Science at Massey

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 a wide range of knowledge. That could range from nutrient supply and metabolic processing to psychosocial and behavioural factors influencing diet. The Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition) is designed to give you a clear understanding of basic nutritional principles. You’ll also learn about the composition of food, human requirements for nutrients, and how the body processes food and nutrients.

The qualification also highlights the physiological changes that occur as a result of excesses or deficiencies of various nutrients in the diet. It also looks at 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.

Help ensure people 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 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 so you can work at promoting good nutritional practices to individuals, communities and industry. You’ll also gain an insight into how diet contributes to your own personal health and well-being.

First-class facilities and top lecturers

Massey has 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 a wide range of specialist research interests relevant to your study.

Further study

You could progress on to more specialised areas in the Master of Science, including our limited entry nutrition and dietetics qualification in Auckland.

A Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition is a good fit if you:

  • enjoy working with people
  • are fascinated by the relationships between food, nutrients, health and disease
  • are curious about what makes your body tick.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

The first-year structure is designed to provide you with a broad knowledge and skill set which will equip you to go on to more advanced courses in the second and third years.

You must pass at least 90 credits from the BSc Schedule A, including any compulsory courses, in your first 120 credits of study towards the Bachelor of Science.

Human Nutrition has similar first-year core courses to several other majors available in the Bachelor of Science, allowing students to change their major before their second year. Changing your major may incur an increase in completion time.

Suggested structure

100-level courses

Take these in any order:

  • 247113 Science and Sustainability for Science
  • 161111 Applied Statistics or 161122 Statistics
  • 124103 Biophysical Principles or 160101 Calculus or 160102 Algebra or 160104 Introductory Mathematics for Science or 160105 Methods of Mathematics
  • 214101 Human Bioscience: Normal Body Function.
  • 162101 Cell Biology

And take these in the order shown:

  • 123104 Chemistry for Biological Systems
  • 122102 Biochemistry

Recommended 100-level elective:

  • 151131 Introduction to Food and Nutrition
200-level courses in the major
  • 122202 The Dynamic Cell*
  • 151231 Food Chemistry for Nutrition
  • 151232 Nutrition and Metabolism
  • 194241 Physiological Control Systems*
Recommended 200-level elective:
  • 194242 Physiology of Mammalian Organ Systems*
300-level courses in the major
  • 151331 Maternal and Child Nutrition
  • 151333 Adult Nutrition and Positive Ageing
  • 151332 Nutrition for Sport and Performance
  • 151334 Nutrition Communication and Promotion.
Recommended 300-level elective:
  • 194350 Human Lifecycle Physiology*

* Prerequisites for progressing to a Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) includes second year biochemistry (122.202 The Dynamic Cell) and second year physiology (194.241 Physiological Control Systems and 194.242 Physiology of Mammalian Organ Systems). 194350 Human Lifecycle Physiology is strongly recommended.


Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any university undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that qualification will apply.

Some BSc minors that are particularly compatible with Human Nutrition include those shown below. Timetabling will prioritise these combinations to minimise clashes.

  • Exercise and Sport Science (Course: 234121).
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Psychology (Course: 175102).
A Human Nutrition minor (for students who are studying a different degree)

If you are not studying a Bachelor of Science (Human Nutrition) and wish to complete a Human Nutrition minor see the BSc regulations for the requirements of this minor.  

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Bachelor of Science

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Bachelor of Science core courses

Human Nutrition courses

200-level courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 122202 The Dynamic Cell 15 credits

Energy metabolism in higher eukaryotes from the perspective of life on earth and the necessary adaptation of living organisms from an anaerobic to aerobic environment. Carbohydrate, lipid and nitrogen metabolism in the context of health and disease. Integration and regulation of carbohydrate, lipid and amino acid metabolism. A lecture and problem-based tutorial course complemented by a hands-on project-based laboratory course.

Prerequisites: 122102 Restrictions: 122233

View full course details
Course code: 151231 Food Chemistry for Nutrition 15 credits

Chemical composition and physical properties of food. Modification of nutrient content of foods due to formulation, processing and preparation. Food regulation and food safety.

Prerequisites: 123101 or 123104

View full course details
Course code: 151232 Nutrition and Metabolism 15 credits

Physiological function and metabolic fate of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins and their involvement in meeting energy needs for maintenance, growth and performance. Nutritional and physiological functions of vitamins, minerals, water and electrolytes in humans. The pharmacological role of specific micronutrients. Physical and biochemical measurements of nutritional status of populations and individuals; including assessment of body composition and dietary intake.

Prerequisites: 122102 and (123101 or 123104) Restrictions: 151344

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Course code: 194241 Physiological Control Systems 15 credits

The principles of control systems involving nerves and hormones are examined. Control at the cellular, tissue, organ system and whole-body levels is explained with reference to the basis of cell excitability, basic functions of the nervous system, muscle contraction, actions of hormones, the immune system and the renal system.

Prerequisites: 194101 or 214101 or 117155 or 199103

View full course details

300-level courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 151331 Maternal and Child Nutrition 15 credits

Nutrient functions, requirements and partitioning during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence: determination of nutritional requirements; assessment of normal growth and body composition; evaluation of food and nutritional issues.

Prerequisites: 151232 Restrictions: 151345

View full course details
Course code: 151332 Nutrition for Sport and Performance 15 credits

Nutritional aspects of exercise physiology and metabolism. Nutritional principles for enhancing performance in recreational and elite athletes Food and nutrition for specific sporting codes and specific groups (e.g. children, adolescent athletes, female athletes, elite athletes). Assessment of nutritional status of athletes.

Prerequisites: 151232 or 234223

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Course code: 151333 Adult Nutrition and Positive Ageing 15 credits

Review of current literature and research on nutrient needs and factors affecting nutritional status of adults and the elderly. The role of nutrition in causing and preventing degenerative diseases. The nutritional, physiological, metabolic and sociological determinants of obesity.

Prerequisites: 151232

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Course code: 151334 Nutrition Communication and Promotion 15 credits

The impact of food policy, marketing and nutrition promotion on behavioural aspects of food choice. Nutrition communication and health promotion measures to influence nutritional status will be covered, including models of food choice. Examples will be drawn from health promotion initiatives in New Zealand, related to a range of socio-cultural groups. Food insecurity and food politics will also be included.

Prerequisites: 151232

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations. However, there is some expected background knowledge.

Expected high school preparation

Knowledge gained in the following NCEA subjects (or the equivalent in Cambridge International Examinations, International Baccalaureate, or similar) will give you the expected background knowledge to take this major.

  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Biology.
  • At least 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

The following pathways will get you prepared to study this major. If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Biology (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 162103 Introductory Biology.

If you have not studied NCEA Level 3 Chemistry (or equivalent) take the following course first:

  • 123103 Chemistry for Modern Sciences.

These courses are available in the summer semester and will count towards credits in your degree.

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

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.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Biological Sciences

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 450 universities in the world for biological sciences.

Learn more

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