My experience studying an online master’s in Public Health Nutrition


RGU student Chiara tells us more about why she chose to study MSc Public Health Nutrition at RGU and her experience studying online with the support of staff members.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Chiara, I’m from Italy and live on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Sicily. As a passionate environmentalist and food advocate, I participated in organising the local climate strikes in 2019, and I recently volunteered as a cooking mentor for the Bags of Taste organisation. 

What made you decide to study Public Health Nutrition at RGU?

During my BSc in Food Science and Technology and while volunteering, I realised the crucial impact of legislation in influencing individual consumption habits. What we eat is decisive in preventing degenerative diseases and for the health and balance of our ecosystems. That’s why I wanted to focus my MSc studies on understanding the role of nutrition in global public health agendas.

I chose RGU because of its international approach to the course. It focuses on policies and interventions spanning from Scotland to the EU and worldwide and on how to develop and evaluate them. It addresses the influence of food systems on climate change and food insecurity in developed and developing countries while providing all the tools required for a registered nutritionist. The course also provides a comprehensive understanding of all the necessary tools to assess nutritional status across the lifespan and to critically evaluate how dietary habits influence health and disease at a population level.

Furthermore, this course was the only one among those delivered online from other universities that ensured a consistent presence and support by the tutors, thanks to the weekly live online tutorials. In addition, the different assessment formats (from poster presentations to research proposals, flyers, etc.), including three oral exams, guaranteed a 360-degree level of assessment.

What was the highlight of your degree?

The unexpected and invaluable support from tutors, despite the course being online, was undoubtedly the highlight of my degree. I affectionately referred to my colleagues and tutors as “my academic family.”

The diverse delivery methods and organic structure of the course facilitated quick and effective retention of information, while learning to think critically gave me all the tools required to pursue a career as a nutrition researcher.

How do you think RGU has prepared you for your future career?

Despite starting with limited knowledge in the research field, the course gave me – in only one year – all the tools required to continue my studies as a PhD student. The abstract from my MSc thesis was recently presented at the latest Scottish Conference of the Nutrition Society; something I couldn’t have imagined a year ago.

Any tips for current and future Public Health Nutrition students at RGU?

Always ask for help! Tutors are incredibly supportive and open to dialogue. Personal Tutor meetings proved to be life-changing for me.

Additionally, always try to engage with all provided materials, no matter how daunting they may seem. The diverse formats, including slides, YouTube videos, quizzes and journal articles, offer a comprehensive understanding of the topics, enhancing learning with minimal effort.

I’m immensely grateful for the knowledge gained and the journey ahead, thanks to the RGU family!


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