So, you want to study a Bachelor of Science. Great choice! You’ve come across the Food Science/Nutrition specialisation. Another great choice!
The first question to ask yourself is whether you want to pick the Food Science pathway or the Nutrition pathway. I truly recommend fully basing your decision on your interests, and what your (current) career plans are (but please don’t worry if you are unsure!) One pathway isn’t better or more reputable than the other, and they both lead to quite different job opportunities within the food and health industries.
If food chemistry and composition makes your mouth water, the Food Science pathway might be a good fit for you. On the other hand, the Nutrition pathway may be perfect if you have a passion for medical science, human biology, population health in terms of diet.
Regardless of your choice, having an interest in food is essential…although if you’re scratching your head at what to study at university, this degree might spark some new interests within you!
What do I learn?
No matter which pathway you choose, you will get a sweet taste of both during your first and second year in the core courses FOODSCI100 and FOODSCI200. These papers are roughly a 50/50 split between Food Science and Nutrition – a beautiful marriage between these two closely interacting disciplines.
The great thing is that this paper complements so nicely with other papers you study at the same time. I suggest trying to form these connections between papers when you are studying – not only because it’s nice when the content is familiar and means you don’t have to ‘double-up’ on your study, but more importantly, this is when you are hit with those Einstein-like ‘a-ha!’ lightbulb moments and understand a little more about how the world works!
The seven other courses you take each year are dependent on your chosen pathway. These are mostly prescribed courses, particularly for the Nutrition pathway where you don’t choose any papers until your second year. This can be a good thing, especially if you struggle making decisions like I do!
Looking at the Food Science degree planner, it’s slightly more flexible…so if you desire freedom in your degree, keep this in mind!
Where can this degree take me?
Once you graduate, you can certainly leave uni and enter the workforce! Alternatively you can come back to complete post-graduate study. In particular, nutrition graduates can apply for a Master of Health Sciences, a competitive-entry two-year programme ultimately enabling them to become a Registered Dietician, which is my ultimate goal!
That sounds great, but I’m still in high school, what can I do to prepare?
It is recommended you study biology, chemistry and statistics while in high school, but if you can’t take all of these, don’t worry! A lot of the content is new to everyone so you won’t be behind when you begin.
If you are considering this degree and have any questions about what I study, my challenges and difficulties, or if you’re sitting at crossroads between the two pathways, please leave a message! I would love to help you out and encourage you if you are interested, as I think this degree is so interesting and highly rewarding.
As a first step, I recommend checking out the University’s degree planner for food science or nutrition, where you can find out more about what you will be studying. You can access it here: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/study/study-options/find-a-study-option/food-science.htm
Best of luck for your decision and your journey!