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Study Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Otago

From health and wellbeing to elite performance

There is growing interest in the relationship between nutrition, physical activity and sporting performance, with two major areas of focus:

  • physical activity and health
  • sporting performance

The Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Nutrition is the only degree programme in New Zealand that combines nutrition and physical education. This degree will allow you to study the role nutrition plays in both health and sporting performance.

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Why study Sport and Exercise Nutrition?

This is the first qualification in New Zealand that focuses on sport and exercise nutrition, giving a thorough grounding in all aspects of human nutrition and relevant areas of exercise and sport science. The degree requires a second major or a minor from a list of approved options. These will give you a set of complementary skills, making your Sport and Exercise Nutrition degree even more relevant to today's working world.

Career opportunities

There is a growing need for individuals with a combined understanding of the principles of nutrition, health and physical activity. This means there are many career paths available, depending on the minor chosen to complement SPNU, and the individual's areas of interest.

Some examples include:

  • sports nutrition consultancy
  • roles in public health, physical activity and nutrition
  • research
  • product development
  • dietetics

Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Otago

What is Sport and Exercise Nutrition?

Sport and exercise nutrition is a rapidly expanding area requiring a combined knowledge of the roles of human nutrition and physical activity in health.

The Sport and Exercise Nutrition (SPNU) programme combines human nutrition, sports science and physical education. In addition, several minor programme options are available, broadening the career opportunities upon completion of your degree.

What will I learn about?

A broad understanding of the principles of nutrition and exercise science will be obtained from human nutrition and physical education papers in the first, second and third years.

First year

In your first year of study you will be required to take papers in nutrition, human body systems, biochemistry and chemistry.

Second year

In your second year, human nutrition and physical education become the mainstay of your study.

Third year

The third year sees further specialisation in the selection of human nutrition and physical education papers.

Teaching style

As well as lectures to learn the theory of human nutrition and sport and exercise science, there is a large practical component in both the physical education and human nutrition papers. Labs and practical sessions give you hands-on experience and regular tutorials provide excellent small group learning opportunities.

Background required

High school students are recommended to take biology, chemistry, maths and English in Year 12 and preferably chemistry in Year 13.


Sport and Exercise Nutrition as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, or BASc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), or Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degree

100-levelHUNT 141 Understanding Human Nutrition18

HUNT 245 Sport and Exercise Nutrition

One of:

Note: HUNT 141 is a prerequisite for HUNT 241-243 but can be taken as a co-requisite for HUNT 241; other prerequisites for HUNT 241 are BIOC 192, CHEM 191 and ((HUBS 191 and HUBS 192) or (HUBS 192 and PTWY 131*) or (ANAT101 and PHSL 101)).




HUNT 345 Applied Sports Nutrition

One of:

  • HUNT341 Nutrition and Behaviour Change Communication
  • HUNT342 Nutrition and Chronic Diseases
  • HUNT343 Community and Public Health Nutrition



Total 90

Note: This minor subject is not available for students majoring in Human Nutrition.

* PTWY 131 is only available to students enrolled in the Diploma in Science.

More information

Contact us

Department of Human Nutrition
Tel +64 3 479 7943

Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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