GMIT offers new honours degree in Public Health Nutrition (GA791)

Course meets the Association for Nutrition (AfN) accreditation standards


Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

GMIT’s School of Science and Computing is pleased to offer a brand new honours degree in Public Health Nutrition, the first such course to be offered in the west of Ireland, commencing in the Galway campus in September (2017).

The new four-year science degree prepares graduates to work in the growth area of public health nutrition and health promotion, and the primary prevention of nutrition-related illness in the population.

Designed by Dr Lisa Ryan, Head of the GMIT Dept of Natural Sciences who holds a first class honours degree in Nutritional Science and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry and is widely published in this area, the course is timely in view of the demand for graduates of this discipline. “With the increased number of the population suffering from, or at risk of developing, lifestyle-related chronic diseases, more individuals require assistance with nutritional management.  As a result, there is an urgent need for suitably qualified individuals to work in the health sectors.  Public health nutrition has been gaining popularity as an area of study to meet this growing demand.” Dr Ryan says.

“Public Health Nutritionists develop, implement and evaluate nutrition policies and programmes, generating the evidence base and applying scientific knowledge to ensure understanding of the impact of food and diet on health and wellbeing of people and communities, and improving the diet, nutrition and health of people and communities.”

There is considerable confusion around the qualifications of nutritionists in Ireland. This course has been designed to meet the Association for Nutrition (AfN) accreditation standards to ensure that students meet the required competencies to become a registered nutritionist.

Dr Lisa Ryan has been an active member of the Association for Nutrition since its inception and sits on the Accreditation Panel. This body is responsible for ensuring that the name ‘nutritionist’ becomes protected and is not confused with many of the online ‘pseudo-nutrition’ courses that have become popular in recent years. 

“Career opportunities in this field are developing rapidly for graduates. Specific job opportunities have included health improvement, addressing inequalities in nutrition and health, nutrition advocacy, the prevention of non-communicable diseases, developing/commissioning and implementing policies and programmes, monitoring, evaluation and assessment of diet in groups/communities, education and generating research evidence linking food/nutrients and health across a range of employers.

Students enrolling on to the first year of the Public Health Nutrition programme will be eligible to transfer into the Sport and Exercise Science programme (also in GMIT) upon successful completion of the first year and provided that places are available.

Graduates will be eligible to pursue research MSc/PhD programmes in Nutrition and related areas as well as taught master’s programmes in cognate areas.  The School of Science and Computing intends to develop in-house taught master’s programmes for Public Health Nutrition graduates.

Apply for this course through the CAO Change of Mind option and/or contact Dr Lisa Ryan, who lectures on this course, directly, on tel. 353 91 742556; e:

For full details on all course modules and other information, see: