Programmes - HKU SPACE Community College
Skip to main content
Mathematics & Science Mathematics & Science

Higher Diploma in Nutrition and Food Science

Programme Code: HD143 2975 5878

Application Code 報名編號 : HD 143

Programme Aims & Features

This programme equips students with skills and knowledge to pursue careers in the food, nutrition and catering industries. Topics that will be covered include nutritional requirements of individuals at various life stages, the science and technology of food and food safety management. Students will also develop basic cooking skills so that they may apply the knowledge of nutrition into food preparation. 

The curriculum covers a broad range of scientific disciplines such as chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, nutritional sciences, health and disease, food safety, food analysis and food quality assurance including nutritional requirements of individuals at different stages of life, science and technology of food, and effective food safety management practices. 

Students are taught by university academics, industry professionals, dietitians, and nutritionists who provide students with practical and up-to-date knowledge in the field.

The programme offers two themes, namely, Food and Nutritional Sciences and Food Science and Safety, each with its own unique feature. The Food and Nutrition Sciences theme focuses on the science of food and the nutritional aspects of metabolism and diseases, while the Food Science and Safety theme explores the chemistry of food and the scientific principles underlying food safety and quality issues. 

Additionally, the programme emphasizes a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Students receive hands-on practical experience through well-equipped laboratory sessions, which are supported by practicum opportunities and site visits to local and overseas institutions, nutrition and health care centers, and food companies. This real-world exposure benefits students by providing industry insights, developing professional networks and understanding the practical applications of their knowledge.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

On completion of the programme, students should be able to:

ILO1. Communicate ideas in a manner appropriate to the circumstance using English and Chinese languages (oral and written) in social and academic contexts; 
ILO2. Use information technology and/or quantitative/numerical skills to manage information and solve daily life problems; 

For Food and Nutritional Sciences Theme:
ILO3. Explain the knowledge of nutrition and related sciences, and relate the role of diet in maintenance of health and in prevention of disease; 
ILO4. Demonstrate basic cooking skills, perform good food hygiene practice and integrate the knowledge of nutrition into food preparation; 
ILO5. Interpret the fundamentals of food chemistry and interpret the techniques used in food production and foodservice and apply them to a practical setting; 
ILO6. Analyse the nutritional requirements and guidelines for the healthy individual at various life stages and perform nutrition assessment and menu planning;
ILO7. Evaluate the food safety issues by applying underlying principles of food spoilage, food preservation and processing operations in food safety management;
ILO8. Integrate knowledge acquired in the programme to the planning and evaluation of a project. 

For Food Science and Safety Theme:

ILO9. Explain the knowledge of nutrition and related sciences, and its application to human health; 
ILO10. Analyse the nutritional requirements and guidelines for the healthy individual at various life stages and perform menu planning; 
ILO11. Interpret the fundamentals of food chemistry and the analytical techniques to evaluate food safety issues; 
ILO12. Identify the major microorganisms and other substances in foods and work effectively in food laboratories by applying quality management systems; 
ILO13. Implement and manage food safety control systems and measures in technological processes by conducting appropriate inspection, sanitation and documentation practices; 
ILO14. Apply the scientific principles of food processing and analyse the safety aspects of raw materials and food products in relation to human health.

Note: Non-Chinese speaking students not taking Course 4 may only partially achieve ILO1 listed above.

Programme Information

  • Programme Duration: 24 months
  • Medium of Instruction: English, except for Chinese Language courses


Opportunities for Further Studies

Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes in Food and Nutritional Science, Food Safety and Technology, Nursing or health-related disciplines at both local and overseas universities.

Below are some examples*:

The University of Hong Kong
BSc (Major in Food and Nutritional Science)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong
BSc Biochemistry
BSc Community Health Practice
BSc Natural Science
BSc Public Health

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
BSc Biotechnology

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
BSc (Hons) Applied Biology with Biotechnology
BSc (Hons) Analytical Sciences for Testing and Certification
BSc (Hons) Food Safety and Technology

*The above list is not exhaustive and only shows some of the examples.

Overseas Universities

Ulster University (UK)
Full-time, final-year, BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition 
Full time, final year, BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition
Part time, final year BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition (at HKUSPACE)

Sheffield Hallam University (UK)
Full-time, final-year, BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition
Full-time, final-year, BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Diet and Wellbeing
Full time, BSc (Hons) Food Marketing and Product Development

Coventry University (UK)
Full time, Final year BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Health
Full time, BSc (Hons) Dietetics

Plymouth University (UK)
Full time BSc (Hons) Dietetics

Oxford Brookes University (UK)
Full time BSc (Hons) Nutrition Science

Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
Full time BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics

Newcastle University (Australia) 
Full time BSc (Hons) Dietetics

The University of Sydney (Australia)
Full time BSc Medical Science


HKU SPACE International College

Graduates are eligible to apply for admission to various degree programmes offered by the HKU SPACE International College, including Bachelor of Science (Honours) Food and Nutrition .


Career Prospects

Upon graduation, students have various options available to them. They can choose to enter the food or nutrition industries or pursue further studies at local or overseas universites. 
Potential career paths include roles such as nutrition assistants working in the health promotion field, food quality officers, and food safety management.


Special Entrance Requirements

In addition to the minimum entrance requirements, applicants are also required to have obtained Level 2 or above in one of the following HKDSE subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Combined Science, Integrated Science or Technology and Living (Food Science and Technology), or equivalent.




  • Basic Engineering Mathematics /Information Technology Fundamentals
  • Elementary Statistics
  • English for Academic Purposes I
  • English for Academic Purposes II
  • English for Nutritional Sciences
  • Introduction to Academic English
  • Practical Chinese



Year 1


  • Human Physiology and Anatomy
  • Basic Chemistry for Biological Sciences
  • Fundamentals in Biology
  • Introduction to Food and Nutrition
  • The Science and Technology of Food
  • Lifecycle Nutrition 


Year 2

  • Food Safety and Management
  • Biochemistry
  • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Food Chemistry

Theme : Food and Nutritional Sciences 

  • Diet, Health and Disease
  • Food Service Practice

Theme : Food Science and Safety

  • College Physics for Food Science
  • Food Microbiology

Experiential Learning Course

  • Project Work (Food and Nutritional Sciences Theme)
  • Laboratory Techniques in Food Sciences (Food Science and Safety Theme)

Courses offered in each semester are subject to student enrolment, timetabling and resources available. 

Graduate D. L
Graduate D. L
  • Higher Diploma in Nutrition and Food Management

As a fourth-year PhD student at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, I am pursuing my studies in the field of medical laboratory science within the Department of Health Technology and Informatics. My academic journey began upon my graduation from HDNFM in 2016. Building upon this foundation, I pursued a top-up bachelor’s degree in human nutrition at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Following this, I won a vice-chancellor's scholarship to pursue a PhD at Ulster University. However, due to personal reasons, I made the decision to relocate back to Hong Kong and start a new doctoral study at HK PolyU. As I approach the culmination of my research, I reflect on the significance of my time at HDHFM. Not only did it provide me with a solid educational grounding, but it also presented invaluable opportunities and scholarships for personal growth and the pursuit of ambitious goals. Joining the HDHFM program has proven to be a pivotal turning point in my academic journey, and I have no regrets about my decision to be a part of it.

Graduate E.H
Graduate E.H
  • Higher Diploma in Nutrition and Food Management

Currently, I hold the position of a full-time research assistant while also pursuing a part-time Master's in Philosophy (MPhil) degree at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK Poly U). As an applicant who was not under the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (non-JUPAS), I received valuable support and information from my teachers during my time studying the HD Nutrition and Food Management programme, which helped me secure offers from local UGC universities, namely, CUHK and HK PolyU. Ultimately, I chose to pursue my studies in the BSc Food Safety and Nutrition programme at HK PolyU, where I was able to transfer certain courses taken in the HD NFM, such as Physiology and Biochemistry. The HD NFM programme provided a solid foundation in nutritional sciences and prepared me for the challenges of university education. Additionally, the skills learnt during the programme, such as conducting diet record interviews and anthropometric measurements, have proved useful in my current job centered around nutrition research.

Graduate H. S
Graduate H. S
  • Higher Diploma in Nutrition and Food Management

I am now working as a community dietitian. After finishing my Higher Diploma in Food and Nutrition Management, I had the opportunity to further my studies at the University of Newcastle in Australia, where I enrolled in their Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics programme and became a registered dietitian.
One great advantage of the HD programme was its transition into university-level studies. The solid foundation in nutrition provided by the programme made it much easier for me to catch up with university courses. Another fantastic aspect of the HD programme was the support and guidance provided by our dedicated lecturers. Not only were they highly knowledgeable in the academic aspects of nutrition, but they also offered valuable advice regarding career paths and development opportunities. Their guidance helped me navigate my way in the nutrition field successfully.

Graduate W. L
Graduate W. L
  • Higher Diploma in Nutrition and Food Management

The Higher Diploma in Nutrition and Food Management programme has dedicated teaching staff and a well-structured academic curriculum which prepared me with a solid foundation in nutrition. This has enabled me to join the third year of the BSc in Food and Nutritional science at the University of Hong Kong.  After graduation I had the opportunity to further pursue my study in the Post graduate Diploma in Dietetics (Ulster University) at HKUSPACE and finally realized my dream to be a registered dietitian with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), UK.