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PhD Nutrition Innovation Centre for food and HEalth (NICHE)

Ulster University

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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    Ulster University

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    3 years

Course summary

The Nutrition Innovation Centre for food and HEalth (NICHE) is a centre of excellence, set up to provide greater understanding of diet related health issues. NICHE is now amongst the largest university based nutrition research units in Europe and comprises 40 academic staff (academic, research, technical and support staff) and 35 postgraduate research students. Researchers in NICHE are located within the Centre for Molecular Biosciences (which focuses on degenerative diseases, especially their interaction with nutritional factors) as well as multidisciplinary research in more fundamental areas such as Cancer and Ageing, Biomedical Genomics, Stem Cells and Epigenetics and Systems Biology.

NICHE has attracted a research income of over £50 million in the past 30 years from national and international sources. It has been the top-ranked university centre for human nutrition in the UK since the mid-1990s, as evidenced by our high performance in all UK-wide research assessment exercises (RAE) to date.

NICHE resources include a state-of-the-art Human Intervention Studies Unit (HISU), which houses cutting-edge equipment and specialised facilities for metabolic studies, allowing highly controlled human studies to be performed. The emphasis on diet and chronic diseases of ageing led to the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Nutrition and Ageing (CENA) within NICHE. A bespoke Nutrition and Vascular Studies Laboratory enables significant strengths and capability in vascular health research offering significant potential to cater for the high levels of demand for clinical trials in this area. Additional facilities and infrastructure include a Mass Spectrometry Suite with Chromatography (HPLC, GC) and Mass Spectrometry equipment.

Equipment is also available for assessment of routine clinical assessments, including an iLab and Daytona RX clinical chemistry analysers and a Category II laboratory for blood sampling and analysis. Furthermore, NICHE has a reputation for the undertaking and monitoring of dietary assessment projects including previous international research in developing and third world countries as well as North/South collaborative projects in Ireland examining dietary intake and patterns in children and adults.

PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence. The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015), and while two thirds end up in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the range of skills acquired equips the remainder for employment in a wide range of contexts.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 15,500per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Ulster University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Ulster University, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland

Renowned for its warm welcome, Ulster recruits international students from over 100 countries across the globe and has over 200,000 alumni worldwide.
Ulster delivers a world-class UK university experience with the added benefit of being one of the UK's most affordable locations.
An international student experience team delivers a bespoke orientation programme and offers pastoral support to international students during their studies.

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    43rd out of 122 3

    13th out of 43 2

  • Entry standards

    / Max 209
    126 59%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    64 64%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.11 82%


  • Entry standards

    / Max 171
    128 67%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    80 80%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    4.29 86%



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