Structure and content

The scope of the Master’s Programme in Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour is 120 credits (ECTS) that can be completed in two academic years.

The programme has two study tracks: Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour. You choose one of the two when applying. The curricula of the study tracks differ to some extent.

The core modules of the HNFB studies cover three thematic areas: Nutritional Physiology and Molecular Nutrition, Public Health Nutrition and Food-related Behaviour in a Changing Society.

Programme structure

The scope of the studies in Human Nutrition and Food-related Behaviour programme is 120 ECTS credits. The programme comprises:

  • 75 credits of advanced studies, including the Master’s thesis (30 credits)
  • 45 credits of other studies, which can include studies from your own degree programme or other degree programmes, a practical training period or international studies
  • Career orientation and career planning
  • A personal study plan

The programme has two study tracks, Human Nutrition and Food-Related Behaviour, one of which you choose during the application process. Each student is enrolled on one of the study tracks. The curricula of the study tracks differ to some extent, for example the core modules. Some courses and seminars are obligatory for all students in the HNFB programme.

Study structure of the HNFB Master’s programme:

You can find the detailed structure of the programme on the Instructions for students website. Make sure to select the correct degree programme in the drop-down menu.

Thematic areas of the core modules

The core modules of the HNFB studies cover three thematic areas and you have to include at least one of them in your studies depending on your study track.

The Human Nutrition track provides two core modules that focus on the biological and public health aspects of the discipline:

  • Nutritional physiology and molecular nutrition: The impact of nutrition and other lifestyle factors on human physiology and health, as well as the underlying mechanisms at the level of molecular biology
  • Public health nutrition: Insight into the nutritional factors affecting the health of a country’s population and population groups and the use of this insight to promote health, as well as nutritional questions related to food services and the food industry

The Food-Related Behaviour track provides one core module that focuses on the social and behavioural aspects of food and eating:

  • Food-related behaviour in a changing society: The ways in which food choices are linked to individual, cultural and social factors, the construction of identity, the consumption society, as well as food and health policies
Core module: Nu­tri­tional Physiology and Mo­lecu­lar Nu­tri­tion

Knowledge of the mechanisms by which diet affects cellular processes is fundamental in the understanding of diet-health interactions. Furthermore, insight into the research settings and methods is needed if one wants to understand and evaluate scientific evidence. Nutritional Physiology and Molecular Nutrition focuses on the biological aspects of nutrients, other food constituents, diets and eating as well as the experimental study designs in nutrition science.

The courses provide the student with an extensive theoretical background on the metabolism of nutrients and their role in the regulation of physiological functions as well as in disease pathophysiology. The diet and gene interactions, including gene regulation by nutrients and diet and epigenetics, are covered. The student will gain an understanding of the core study designs and methods in experimental nutrition research. 


  • Advanced nutritional physiology
  • Pathobiology of chronic diseases
  • Experimental nutrition research

More information about the courses.

Core module: Pub­lic Health Nu­tri­tion

By studying public health nutrition, the student will learn about interactions between diet and health from a population-based view. The topics include determinants of food intake, that is, how food habits and dietary intakes relate to different sociodemographic factors like sex, age, educational background, income and place of residence. Further, the students get new insights on how food consumption and dietary intakes can be studied in large populations and how they are related to population health. Some courses have more applied topics, such as how to change dietary behaviour of a population and how to plan diets in food services, for example, for a large kitchen providing meals for schools.

The studies comprise advanced epidemiological methods and statistics. Learning will be facilitated by using real data and statistical training. Methodological considerations in nutritional epidemiological studies and critical interpretation of results are emphasized. When participating in the courses of health promotion, the student will also have a possibility to jump into real project work and plan a health-promotion project as group work. Global issues, particularly with a focus on chronic diseases in developing countries, are also considered in the studies.       


  • Nutrition and society
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Nutrition and food services
  • Food systems and nutrition in low- and middle-income countries

More information about the courses.

Core module: Food-re­lated Be­ha­viour in a Changing Society

Food-related Behaviour in a Changing Society addresses the ways in which food choices and eating patterns are linked to individual, cultural and social-psychological factors. It focuses on current phenomena related to eating, as well as on changes in society and the lives of individuals. Theories and both quantitative and qualitative methodologies from the social sciences are examined and applied.

Food-related Behaviour in a Changing Society develops and deepens the student's understanding of the role of food in a modern consumption society. It shows how food culture is related to the construction of identity and social movements. It studies the means of influencing food choices through policies, interventions and communication. Food-related Behaviour in a Changing Society is oriented towards students interested in the diversity of food and nutritional issues and ways explore and to influence them based on a social scientific approach.


  • Theoretical and methodological approaches in research on food-related behaviour
  • Behaviour change and intervention planning
  • Sustainable culinary culture

More information about the courses.