Nutrition and Dietetics in Nigeria: How to Study It

Nutrition and dietetics have to do with the science of foods and nutrition as it relates to health and disease. Nutritionists and dieticians apply this knowledge into practical information to help people live healthier lives by consuming the right kind of food. Nutrition and dietetics cover the core biomedical sciences of physiology and biochemistry with the professional practice of communication and ethics. Students of this course are trained to have adequate knowledge, professional skills and competence so as to promote sustainable development in the sector of health and nutrition.

Nutrition and Dietetics in Nigeria

Nutrition and Dietetics is a pure science course and not suitable for commercial or art students.

Students of Nutrition and Dietetics have the opportunity of studying a broad multidisciplinary study that offers a blend of applied medical science, food science, research, and management.

You must be a science student for you to study Nutrition and Dietetics in Nigeria institutions. The course is highly competitive; this means that each year there is a huge number of applicants to the course in every Nigerian institution. Therefore, it is very important that you meet the requirements for admission and exceed it. This post covers all aspects related to Nutrition and Dietetics such as:

O level / WAEC requirements for admission

JAMB UTME subject combination

Direct Entry requirements

Career opportunities for graduates of Nutrition and Dietetics

O level / WAEC requirements for Nutrition and Dietetics

Candidates who wish to study Nutrition and Dietetics in any Nigerian university must have a minimum of five credit passes in SSCE/NECO/GCE/NABTEB or any other equivalent examination. The credit passes must include the following subjects:

  • English Language
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is a body responsible for the organization of the United Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) which is required for admission into the institutions in Nigeria when not applying via direct entry.

Compulsory JAMB subjects combination for Nutrition and Dietetics are:

  • English language (This is compulsory)
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics

It is best you aim for a score of 200 or above in your JAMB UTME instead of 180, even if it is the cut-off mark. This is because Nutrition and Dietetics is highly competitive and those who have a high score will be given a higher priority. Therefore, to be on a safe side, aim for a score above 200 so you will not be denied admission.

Direct entry-level requirement for Nutrition and Dietetics

Candidates who wish to apply for the course via direct entry must have any of the following qualifications:

  • ‘A’ level passes in two of the following subjects: Agricultural science, Chemistry, Biology (Botany and/or Zoology), Physics or Mathematics
  • ND, NCE, HND in any of the following: Nutrition and Dietetics, Home Economics, Agricultural Science or Food Science. This is in addition to fulfilling the UTME requirements
  • Certificate in Nursing /NCE in relevant subjects. Candidate must also satisfy the UTME entry requirements
  • Certificate of Registered Nurse of Nigeria
  • NCE or ND with upper credit in Nutrition and Dietetics, Food Science, Home Economics from an accredited institution

All candidates via direct entry must fulfill the UTME requirements so as to be admitted into a 200/300 level.

What faculty houses Nutrition and Dietetics in Nigerian institutions?

According to JAMB, Nutrition and Dietetics are under the Faculty/School/College of Medicine, Pharmaceutical and Health Science. However, in some other institutions, the course could be under the faculty of Agriculture.

Graduates of Nutrition and Dietetics degree course are trained to be able to effectively deliver quality preventative nutritional practice and solutions within a wide range of health settings such as health education, health promotion, and public health.

The degree also provides several opportunities for graduates to study in some other health or education-related specializations such as:

  • Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Home Science, Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Animal Nutrition and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology
  • Biotechnology

 Below is a list of universities that offers Nutrition and Dietetics in Nigeria:

  • Bells University of Technology
  • Imo State University (imsu)
  • Nasarawa State University
  • Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta
  • University of Nigeria Nsukka
  • Wesley University
  • Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike
  • Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo
  • Bowen University, Iwo
  • Bayero University, Kano
  • Wesley University of Science & Technology

Colleges of Education and Polytechnics that offer Nutrition and Dietetics include:

  • Shehu Idris College Of Health Sciences And Technology
  • Hassan Usman Katsina Poly, Katsina
  • Fed. Polytechnic, Ede
  • Anambra State College Of Agriculture
  • Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri
  • Yaba College Of Tech, Yaba
  • Kaduna Polytechnic
  • Kaduna Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo
  • Fed. Polytechnic, Bauchi
  • Imo State Polytechnic, Owerri
  • Fed. Polytechnic, Bida
  • Fed. Polytechnic, Ilaro

Career opportunities for Graduates of Nutrition and Dietetics

A graduate of Nutrition and Dietetics may specialize to become any of the following:

Consultant Dietician

Research Dietician

Clinic Dietician and Nutritionist

Therapeutic Dietician

Industrial Nutritionist

Public Health Nutritionist

Nutrition Educator

Quality Control officers

Nutrition officer at the local, state or Federal Ministry of Health nutrition

Instructors, Teachers and Lecturers at Medical schools, Teachers colleges, University of Agricultures, School of Nursing, School of Health Technology and Women’s Development Centres

Sales representatives at Food and Pharmaceutical companies in order to educate the public and promote the sales of healthy food

Nutrition Program officer or research fellow at International organizations such as UNICEF, Federal Institute Industrial Research Organization (FIIRO)

Graduates of Nutrition and Dietician can also be employed at Government institutions such as (NAFDAC), the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control or the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), (NDLEA) National Drug Law Enforcement Agency

The Customs and Excise Duty also employs the services of Nutritionists to control and supervise the importation of banned food products into the Nigerian market

Graduates of the course can also be employed in the field of food and nutrition to be officers in health institutions, corporate organizations or hospitality businesses such as hotels.

Graduates of Nutrition and Dietetics can also function in other areas of interest and apply the knowledge and skills gained in school to perform well in any given role.