The programme is built around human nutrition, food-related behaviour and consumership, as well as related research methods. Themes based on Sustainable Development Goals - such as good health and wellbeing, zero hunger, equality, ecological and cultural sustainability– are embedded throughout the programme.
Why do we eat the way we do? What happens to food in our body? How does nutrition maintain our health? How do we study the way people use food? How does culture influence our food choices? How is food discussed in the media? How can we change food-related behaviour?
The goal of the Master’s programme is to enable you to:
Upon graduation, you are qualified to work in expert, teaching, research and managerial positions in the public sector, NGOs and companies, and as an independent entrepreneur. The education provides you with profound field-specific competence and skills in knowledge work, as well as a solid professional identity.
With a scope of 120 credits (ECTS), the Master’s Programme in Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour can be completed in two academic years. The programme includes two study lines – human nutrition and food-related behaviour – one of which you choose during the application process. More information about applicable studies for each study track is shown here.
The degree comprises:
The programme focuses on:
The multidisciplinary nature of the Master’s Programme provides numerous options for other studies. You can also choose studies at other Finnish or international universities.
The Master’s programme is multilingual, with teaching provided in Finnish and English. You can complete the degree in English, Finnish or Swedish.
The courses in the Master's Programme in Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour incorporate different methods of study, such as:
The diversity of learning methods enhances your development and application of critical thought, argumentation and problem-solving skills.
Check out courses offered in the HNFB programme in the online course catalogue for University of Helsinki students in the Studies service.
The University of Helsinki also offers Finnish courses for international students.
For the Master's Thesis (30 ECTS) you study and analyse a significant topic related to this Master’s programme. You can write the thesis in connection with a larger research project, in collaboration with companies and public institutions, or independently. It takes about 6 months of full-time work to complete the thesis.
During the semester when you start to plan you Master’s thesis, you also start the Master’s thesis seminar (5 ECTS). This is an obligatory seminar for all students. In this seminar, you will get guidance from the teachers, and also peer support and comments from other students who are at the same stage in the HNFB programme. We aim at true multidisciplinarity and therefore all students in this seminar are in one group, regardless of the topic of their thesis.
The advanced literature examination (5 ECTS) takes place in the end of the programme. The examination is separate for the two study tracks. The examination may include reading scientific journals, mainly review articles, and/or very advanced text books. The idea of the examination is to bring you back to all relevant issues of this Master’s programme and it will also make you realize how much you have learned.
As a graduate from the Master’s Programme in Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour, you can apply for doctoral education at the University of Helsinki and other universities in and outside Finland.
Suitable doctoral programmes offered by the University of Helsinki include:
What is it like to study in the Master’s Programme in Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour (HNFB)? What kind of career opportunities does the programme open? How is life in Helsinki?
In this article, Kenia Fita Capdevila and Isabell Schreck talk about their studies in the programme
In this article, Ansung Kim talks about her studies in the programme together with university lecturer Riitta Freese.
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In the Human Nutrition study track the students deepen their knowledge in nutrition science.
• Previous studies in nutrition science (for example in nutritional physiology, public health nutrition) are a prerequisite for enrollment.
Nutrition science is a multidisciplinary field that has its foundations in human biology. For that reason, the applicant should ideally have completed university-level studies also from the following fields:
• sciences (chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology);
• human biology (cell biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology);
• food science (food chemistry, food technology).
Examples of applicable BSc degrees are those in Human Nutrition or Dietetics, Food Sciences (provided that the studies including human biology and nutrition) or other Life Sciences (provided that the studies include human biology, and nutrition). Applicants with Bachelor´s degree from other fields may be applicable if they have completed (additional) university-level studies on relevant fields.
Read more: How to apply
In the Food-Related Behaviour study track the students will extend their social or behavioral scientific expertise to questions related with food and eating.
In order to apply for the Food-Related Behaviour study track, the applicant's earlier studies should be from the social or behavioural sciences. The most applicable fields include sociology, social psychology, psychology, anthropology, home economics, consumer economics, and consumption studies. It is a further benefit if the earlier university studies include also nutrition or food-related courses. In addition, the applicant should have completed courses in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods in social or behavioural sciences.
Read more: How to apply