Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Food and Nutritional Sciences

Food served in a hall of residence

A food and nutritional sciences degree from the University is accredited by the Association for Nutrition and offers you the chance to study nutrition alongside animal and plant production, food science and food safety, as well as biochemistry and physiology. 

The skills you’ll develop during your degree will give you the skills to apply for a variety of jobs.


What skills will I gain during my degree?

You will develop your understanding of the science around nutrients and their effects as well as the social factors which influence nutrition.

A nutrition degree covers food production, food science, physiology, behaviour, psychosocial issues and legislation.

It also develops your skills in:

  • scientific research and taking an evidence based approach
  • scientific writing
  • behaviour change and motivation
  • interpreting data
  • laboratory techniques
  • giving presentations
  • working as part of a team
  • report writing

From your degree you will be developing skills such as communication, working effectively with others, digital competency and reflection – skills that are highly valued by employers.

Biosciences Core Graduate Competencies

You will also develop 12 competencies which have been  divided into these four headings:

  • Fundamental skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Personal aspiration and development
  • Professional responsibility

Explore the Biosciences Core Graduate Competencies

It is also worth thinking about the skills you are developing outside of your degree such as part-time work, work experience, voluntary or student society involvement. These will be very useful for future job applications.


How can I develop my skills and experience during my degree?

Explore a Year in Industry 

Some larger food companies do offer summer internships that may be of interest to nutrition students, such as Nestlé and Marks and Spencer. These internships often aren’t as specific as being ‘nutrition internships’ but can be related to your degree and give you a great experience of working in a large corporate food business. For these types of internships you will find that applications will close in November or December for an internship to start the following June, so do plan to apply early. 

Get a summer internship

Summer internships are also a great way to gain experience, whether in science or non-science based roles. Search for roles:

My Career - internships from companies targeting Nottingham students

Nottingham Internship Scheme

Sources of vacancies for internships

Gain experience in the NHS

If you would like to gain experience working in the NHS, you can approach your local hospital. 

While you are living in Nottingham you can apply for work experience placements in the East Midlands. 

Unfortunately the hospitals do not have nutrition-specific opportunities, but experience of working with patients on various wards (for example, gastroenterology) could give you valuable experience of working in a hospital environment.  

Work experience in the East Midlands - Health Education England

Explore summer research placements

If you have enjoyed the research elements of your degree so far, you might like to build further research and laboratory experience. This is particularly valuable if you are considering undertaking PhD after graduation. 

Summer research placements through the School of Biosciences depend on the research being conducted, but it is worth approaching the academic staff working in the area of research that you are interested in as there may be an opportunity for you to work on a research project over the summer. 

The Nutrition Society - Summer Studentships 2019

Royal Society of Biology Studentships 

Explore volunteering opportunities

Volunteering is an excellent way to gain experience of working with different community groups or caring for others. You can also find experience working with food and cooking via Food Banks and community cafés. 

Students’ Union Volunteer Centre 

You might be particularly interested in Tasty Tuesdays, Nottingham CityCare and Nottingham Education and Health Support 


Check out volunteering through the SU with City Care, Tasty Tuesdays and Nottingham Education and Health Support

Other volunteering opportunities  

Nottingham CVS - volunteering at a cafe or food bank

Do-it volunteering opportunities 

Gain experience in teaching and education 

You might be considering using your food and nutritional sciences degree to teach the next generation, or you might be interested in working as a Nutritionist for a contract catering company providing healthy school meals. Either way gaining experience in schools will be valuable. 

There is information on how to gain teaching-related work experience here

Types of Jobs - Teaching 

Graduate Prospects - volunteering in schools 

Get into Teaching 

Join the Nottingham Advantage Award

Another way to develop skills relevant to your career goals is to participate in Nottingham Advantage Award modules. There are many to choose from, including modules that give you the opportunities to work with community groups and local businesses. You might be particularly interested in the Nottingham Consultancy Challenge, Teach First – Leadership and Public Speaking programme or the STEM Outreach Scheme. 

Nottingham Advantage Award - find out more and explore the modules on offer


What are the range of careers I could enter? Includes podcast

Food and nutritional sciences students move into a wide variety of jobs after graduation.

Jobs that are directly related to your degree include:

  • Food technologist
  • Health promotion specialist
  • Nutritional therapist
  • Nutritionist

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Teaching
  • Science communications
  • Personal trainer
  • Catering manager
  • Dietitian*
  • Health service manager
  • Product/process development scientist
*Students interested in becoming a dietitian will need to study for a Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters in Dietetics that meets the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration requirements.

It’s worth bearing in mind that 70% of careers are not degree specific, so you could look into a range of careers open to all graduates, particularly as job openings for nutritionists are limited.  Roles open to graduates from all subjects include: management, finance, and banking, marketing, retail, public relations, consultancy, sales, recruitment and business in a wide range of sectors.

Examples of employers who have recruited our nutrition and food science graduates

  • Slimming World
  • Weight Management Centre
  • British Sugar
  • Mondelez International
  • Pitcher & Piano

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Teaching
  • Science communications
  • Personal trainer
  • Catering manager
  • Dietitian*
  • Health service manager
  • Product/process development scientist

Understanding the food sector

In this podcast Dr. Emma Weston from the University of Nottingham gives:

  • an overview of the sector
  • an insight into the wide range of roles on offer and the degree disciplines recruited from


Girl with headphone using mobile phone


What are my further study options?

Examples of further study are: 

  • MSc Nutrition and Exercise Science 
  • MRes in Biosciences
  • PGCE secondary science with Qualified Teacher Status 

Search for further courses and find out about funding


Explore more...


Keep up to date with industry news

Knowing about the latest developments is important for a couple of reasons: firstly it may spark off your interest in a particular part of the sector and secondly, employers often ask questions about the factors that may be affecting their company at an interview as a way of gauging your interest in their business. 

The Nutrition Society news

NHS food and diet news

The latest from BBC diet and nutrition 


Careers and Employability Service

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