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What is the BSc (Hons) in Nutrition & Exercise Science?

The BSc (Hons) in Nutrition & Exercise Science is a full-time, four-year, honours degree course of study that can be chosen within the Exercise Sciences Common Entry Route. The BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Exercise Science programme will give graduates the knowledge and skills to work individual athletes and teams to optimise nutritional intake. They will also have the knowledge and skills to assist the general population in following healthy eating guidelines and achieving a healthy body weight. The programme emphasises nutrition for maximizing an individual's health and sports performance, athlete specific nutrition, exercise physiology, sport specific supplements and their safety.

At the end of the programme, graduates will be able to:

  • Assess the specific nutritional needs of various athletic populations
  • Undertake a comprehensive dietary intake analysis
  • Assist athletic populations in altering dietary intake and dietary planning to optimise performance, during training and around competition
  • Assist the general population in following healthy eating guideline and achieving a health bodyweight
  • Advise on the use of supplements
  • Assist athletes, coaches and the general public in distinguishing fact from fiction with reference to the nutrition research literature.

Programme features


Staff in the Department have experience providing nutritional support to individuals, athletes and teams and conducting research in nutrition and sports nutrition. This includes staff

  • Acting as Tournament Nutritionist for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland in 2017
  • Providing nutritional support to an elite intercounty GAA team
  • Providing dietetic advice on RTÉ One’s Operation Transformation
  • Writing for the Irish Examiner on Childhood Nutrition


Laboratories and apparatus available for practical classes and research projects include human performance laboratories, access to a DEXA and bio-electrical impedance body composition analysers, resting metabolic rate gas analysis system, dietary analysis software, ActivPal physical activity motion sensors and Powerlab data acquisition systems.  Certain classes are delivered in the teaching and laboratory facilities of the SETU Arena


A 300-hour work placement offers supervised experience in a nutrition and exercise science environment. The Department has a network of placement opportunities or students may be able to organise their own. Examples include placements with

  • Registered sport and exercise nutritionists (SENr) assisting in providing dietary advice to athletes
  • Registered dietitians in hospitals or within a dietetic practise
  • Registered nutritionists assisting with advice in relation to nutrition for health
  • Nutrition analysis software company
  • Universities assisting postgraduate researchers with nutrition research
  • Nutrition Research Centre Ireland
  • Food companies within the nutrition branch of the company

Research and Project Work

Students in the programme have an opportunity to experience the full research process culminating in the completion of a dissertation on in the final year of the programme. Students will benefit from exposure to the nutrition and sports nutrition PhD research ongoing in the Department including:

  • Musculoskeletal health and body composition in jockeys
  • relative energy deficiency (REDS) in athletes and effects on health
  • bioactive foods and performance in athletes


Several REPS Ireland accreditations are built into this programme. After successfully completing year 2, students will be eligible for the Fitness Instruction, Group Fitness Instruction and Personal Training accreditations.

Year 1

Semester 1 Semester 2
Fitness and Movement Sport & Exercise Biomechanics 1
Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology Introduction to Exercise Psychology
Promoting Physical Activity Biochemistry & Cell Physiology
Research & Learning Strength & Conditioning
Human Physiology Data & Measurement
Introduction to Sport Psychology Business for the Exercise Professional

Year 2

Semester 3 Semester 4
Teaching for the Exercise Professional Exercise Physiology
Exercise Prescription for Program Design I Research Methods & Statistics
Nutrition 1 Nutrition 2
Motivational Interviewing Group Fitness Instruction
Physical Activity Interventions Exercise Prescription for Program Design II
Sport Psychology & Skill Acquisition Positive Psychology

Year 3

Semester 5 Semester 6
Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology Applied Sports Nutrition
Assessment for Nutritional Status Food Components & Health
Pathophysiology of Disease Food Technology and Safety
Sport and Exercise Nutrition Major Project in Nutrition and Exercise Science 1
Weight Management Nutrition for the Life Cycle
Choose 1:
*Exercise as Medicine 1
*Exercise Psychology in Practice

Year 4

Semester 7 Semester 8
Work Placement in Nutrition & Exercise Ergogenic Aids in Sport & Performance
Major Project in Nutrition and Exercise Science 2
Professional Practice and Social Media
Sports Nutrition for Special Populations
Advanced Sport & Exercise Physiology
Exercise as Medicine 2

Leaving Cert: Minimum entry requirements for the BSc (Hons) in Nutrition & Exercise Science:

2 subjects: H5
4 subjects: O6/H7
English or Irish: O6/H7
Mathematics: O6/H7

How to apply for the BSc (Hons) in Nutrition & Exercise Science:

The entry route for this programme is from BSc (Hons) in Exercise Sciences (Common Entry). Applicants who select degree option SE902 ESN (Nutrition and Exercise Science) are guaranteed a place in that programme, subject to meeting the entry requirements and points. Applicants who are undecided about their degree option should choose SE902 GEN.

At the end of semester 3, students must confirm their degree option and may change their selection up to that date.

Advanced and Equivalent Entry for the BSc (Hons) in Nutrition & Exercise Science:

See what our students and graduates have to say by watching these videos:

Graduates of the course may work in the following roles

  • Dietetics Assistant
  • Food and Nutrition Industry – Product Development
  • Supplements Industry
  • Nutrition Adviser to General Healthy Population
  • Nutrition Adviser to Athletes in Teams
  • Sports Scientist
  • Health Coach and Nutritionist
  • Weight Management Consultants  
  • Food Technologist
  • Fitness Instructor  
  • Personal Trainers  

Follow-on study for BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Exercise Science graduates

Graduates of this course can also continue to further postgraduate study in Dietetics, Nutrition, Sport and Exercise Nutrition, Public Health Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning (SETU).  

Opportunities also exist in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science to undertake research postgraduate degrees to doctoral level in Nutrition and Sports Nutrition

Career Opportunities for BSc (Hons) in Nutrition & Exercise Science graduates:

Click Here

Opportunities exist within the Department of Sport and Exercise Science for post graduate study through either taught Masters programmes or research degrees at Masters and Doctoral level. 


Stream Leader

Dr Lorna Doyle

Lecturer and Researcher in Nutrition and Sports Nutrition -

Email: [email protected]