Human Nutrition as a science deals with the foods which the human organism requires the utilization and elimination of the waste products.  Dietetics, on the other hand, is the application of Nutrition and Dietetics is thus engaged in a broad multidisciplinary study bridging the gap between the areas of food science, applied medical science and management studies.


The programme, the first of its kind in the NigerianUniversity system, was established in 1961 as the Department of Home Economics in the Faculty of Agriculture. The first Head of Department of Home Economics was Madelieine W. Kirkland. The department then offers a programme for the B.Sc degree in Home Economics. All the students were expected to complete, in addition to 48 credit hours in General Studies, certain courses in the Natural Sciences, Sociology and Education. After completion of the second year of the programme then the students specialized in either Food and Nutrition or the Teaching of Home Economics or Textile and Clothing. In 1973/74 the decision was taken to broaden the scope of the Department to provide a nucleus for new academic initiatives in the areas of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics.  The name of the Department was consequently changed to the Department of Food and Home Sciences.   As a result the department offered three separate degree programmes in the following areas:

  • Home Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Food Science and Technology

In 1980 as a result of the quest to develop indigenous technology, there was a dire need to have a split of the Department of Food and Home Science.  The split actually took place and two separate departments were created:

  • Department of Home Science and Nutrition
  • Department of Food Science and Technology.

Since then the Department of Home Science and Nutrition has continued to offer two of the degree programmes at the undergraduate level, namely:

  • Home Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

In addition to these programmes the Department also embarked on postgraduate studies(M.Sc and PhD) programmes in Human Nutrition in 1981.

Recently,it was realized that graduates in Nutrition and Dietetics were experiencing problems with their professional body, the Nigerian Dietetics Association, and also were finding it difficult to convince employers that these students were qualified to practice Dietetics. This was because the word “Dietetics” was not reflected both in the name of the Department and the certificates.  The Department therefore applied for a change of name in order to solve the problem.  Senate in the year 2004 (February) approved the change of name, hence the new name, Department of Home Science, Nutrition and Dietetics.