The Department of Applied Nutrition is playing a major role in B.Sc. Food Science & Nutrition Degree which is the only nutrition related undergraduate program offered by a state university. The Department contributes to the improvement of nutrition and health status of the population in Sri Lanka through the attainment of excellence in teaching, research, training and community work in food and nutrition field. Students who have an interest in specializing nutrition will follow a wider range of nutrition related course units in the second half of the degree programme. Medical Nutrition Therapy (dietetics) course units have been specifically designed for undergraduates with a strong interest in science and nutrition who wish to apply their scientific, clinical and management background to the prevention and management of diseases.
In order to provide various skills to be used in the field of nutrition, a number of laboratory and field practical course units have been incorporated in to the curriculum. In the final year, all students undertake a research project under the supervision of academic staff. Graduates of nutrition specialization may gain employment in research institutes and with major food companies concerned with food production and processing or as trainee-dieticians/nutritionists in hospitals. The Bachelor’s degree with specialization in Applied Nutrition is a well-accepted qualification for postgraduate studies both in local and foreign universities.
The research interests of the academic staff include mechanisms by which diet influences development of chronic diseases, nutritional management of diseases, functional foods, antioxidants, food composition, food security and macro and micronutrient deficiencies of vulnerable community groups.