University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Nutrition Science

Study in the area of Nutrition and Metabolism is taught by the School of Life and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard level.

About the major

Nutrition Science is a multidisciplinary area of study that covers the role of food and nutrients in health and disease, across the lifespan. You will explore the basics of biology and biochemistry before focusing on human nutrition. You will have opportunity to investigate nutrition and the effects of nutrients on health and disease from the molecular to the systems level. You will learn how we sense, digest, metabolise and store nutrients and a develop a wide range of laboratory and research skills, including working with big data sets, which will provide a strong foundation for a possible career as a nutrition scientist or a research pathway.

Requirements for completion

A major in Nutrition Science requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 18 credit points of 3000-level core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level selective units

A minor in Nutrition Science is available and articulates to this major.

Pathway through the major

The requirements for a major in Nutrition Science are spread out over three years of the degree (possibly four years if students are completing a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree).

A sample pathway for the Nutrition Science major (over three years of a degree) is listed below.

Sample pathway: Nutrition Science major (48 credit points)



Units of study


Semester 1

Core: CHEM1XX1 Chemistry 1A

Semester 2

Core: BIOL1XX7 From Molecules to Ecosystems


Semester 1

Core: BCMB2X01 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Semester 2

Core: BCMB2X02 Proteins in Cells


Semester 1

Core: NUTM3001 Introductory Nutrition and Metabolism

Core: AGEN3004 Food Processing and Value Adding

Semester 2

Core: NUTM3004 Metabolic Cybernetics

Semester 1 or 2

Selective: 3000-level units listed for major


Please Note. This sample progression is meant as an example only. Depending on unit prerequisites, students may be able to complete these units in a different sequence from that displayed in the table above.

For details of the core and selective units of study required for the major or minor please refer to the Nutrition Science section of the unit of study table, Table S, in this handbook.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced Coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, which must include a minimum of 24 credit points in a single subject area at 4000-level, including a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Space is provided for 12 credit points towards the second major (if not already completed). 24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Requirements for Honours in the area of Nutrition Science: completion of 36 credit points of project work and 12 credit points of coursework.

Honours units of study will be available in 2020.

Contact and further information


T +61 02 9351 4262

Level 3 West, The Hub, Room 3213
Charles Perkins Centre Education and Research Hub D17
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Dr Kim Bell-Anderson
T +61 2 9351 6267

Ms Wendy Stuart-Smith
T +61 2 8627 1726
Learning Outcomes

In the first two years of the major program, students will develop strong skills and knowledge around the biological and biochemical sciences, as well as being encouraged to broaden their knowledge across the discipline by selecting relevant elective units of study to complement their chosen major. At the same time, they will be able to complete cross-disciplinary units to strengthen their skills and knowledge beyond simply what happens once food has been eaten. Food safety, food science and processing would be encouraged, along with human physiology, which provides a systems level approach and framework for nutrition. Students will also develop skills in critical thinking, and discipline-specific laboratory/research skills and knowledge.

The Nutrition Science major at 3000-level will entail three bioscience, and one food science unit of study. In NUTM3001, students learn the basics of human nutrition and metabolism, from nutrient requirements, to how these are processed and utilised within the body, across the lifespan. They also look at how the body senses nutrients and touch on what happens when things go wrong.

The second unit, NUTM3004, allows the students to explore concepts of what happens when things go wrong. This CPC developed unit is highly project-based and multidisciplinary, usually considering big data sets. In the third core unit, students are provided an option within specific nutrition related units of study from molecular biosciences and physiology, and the fourth unit is an interdisciplinary one, from the Food Science area, aiming to broaden the student’s understanding of the impact of food production, technology and processing of food and the impact this has on the food that people eat.