UCO's new undergraduate course aims to lead the way for the next generation of nutrition professionals

The importance of nutrition in health and disease has been gaining exponential attention across the globe over the last decade with recent evidence suggesting that 1 in 5 preventable deaths can be directly attributed to poor diet (Afshin et al, 2019). Studies such as these, together with the continuing rise of non-communicable disease, indicate a global crisis and the urgent need for an integrative and progressive, nutrition-based approach to tackling disease. 

The BSc (Hons) Integrated Nutrition & Dietetics undergraduate degree programme at the University College of Osteopathy (UCO) is a new course that aims to create a cohesive and highly integrated new generation of nutrition professionals who have the knowledge, skills and capabilities to work within NHS and allopathic medicine-based care. They will also be able to work in the wider nutrition industry by confidently and effectively drawing on and critically assessing the value and implications of all safe and viable nutritional interventions, from all fields and areas of nutrition practice and research.

“Graduates of this degree will have the diverse tools, techniques and scientific understanding to make evidence-informed, clinically reasoned decisions to utilise any and all options for supporting service user health and nutritional requirements they deem safe and appropriate,” said Course Developer and Clinical Nutrition Scientist Sophie Tully.

Extensive clinical practice experience and training in advanced communication and behaviour change techniques will help ensure graduates are adept at facilitating real change in the face of an increasingly complex healthcare landscape and can provide advanced, patient-centred care.

A well-established provider to pave the way

The UCO has an exceptional track record for providing clinical professions-based education and pioneering education and research in the field of natural health. Its established teaching clinic and award-winning community clinics, together with the integrative and multi-disciplinary approach to clinical education established via the osteopathy courses, provides the perfect platform for adding new, cutting-edge healthcare professional training programmes.

Passionate and dedicated staff who are familiar with the challenges and complexities of braking with convention and championing new approaches to healthcare will provide a firm foundation for the success of this course.

Graham Sharman, Dean of Academic Development, said: “To achieve this innovative, ambitious and extremely exciting mission, the UCO has developed a unique, integrative and highly applied curriculum that teaches, establishes and builds on students’ understanding and practical skills with increasing complexity across the years.”

The UCO’s spiral curriculum structure ensures topics and skills are revisited, advanced and consolidated across modules, within each academic year and across the course. This also helps to ensure students develop an integrative mindset and approach to clinical practice, from year one.

A team of qualified and practicing nutrition and dietetics professionals, who are experts in their fields, will form the core teaching staff. Bringing together a diverse and eclectic range of experiences and insights from industry, academia, clinical and private practice, this will be leveraged to enrich students’ learning and educational experiences.

Charles Hunt, UCO's Vice-Chancellor, said: “Students of this course will be part of an exciting and innovative institution and programme and will have the opportunity to directly shape and drive change in the field of nutrition and dietetics.”

Find out more about the BSc (Hons) Integrated Nutrition & Dietetics course at the UCO.*

* Please note that while the UCO makes every effort to run courses as advertised, courses that are in development are subject to approval, and courses that are approved are subject to change or cancellation if enrolment targets are not met.


Ashkan Afshin, Patrick John Sur, Kairsten A. Fay et al., Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, The Lancet, Volume 393, Issue 10184, 2019, Pages 1958-1972, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30041-8

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