Entrance Qualifications Affect the Performance of Nutrition Students at University: A Pilot Study

Richard Owusu-Apenten, Wen Li Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study assessed the effect of admissions qualifications on the subsequent academic performances of BSc nutrition students at a UK university. Entrance qualifications for three groups (Grp01, Grp02, Grp03) reading for a BSc(Hons) degree in, Dietetics, Food & Nutrition or Human Nutrition (n = 105) were determined from their UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) points. Academic performances were derived from coursework and examinations marks over four years (Year 1 to Year 4) for three nutrition-focussed courses. The results show that the average entrance qualifications for ‘Dietetics’ students (357 ± 72 points) was significantly higher than those for ‘Food & Nutrition’ (252 ± 49 points) and ‘Human Nutrition’ (277 ± 88 points) students. For the cohort as a whole, entrance qualifications were significantly correlated with academic performance in Year 1, Year 2, and Year 4 but not in Year 3 of study with effect sizes of 11.7%, 12.1%, 9.8% and 2.9%, respectively. The final degree mark for all courses differed by ~5% with 9.8% of variation in final marks explained by differences in entrance qualifications. It may be concluded that, entrance qualifications affect academic performances of nutrition students at university. However, the evidence suggests that student’s academic experiences at university had significant influences on their final degree scores. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of their relevance to teaching practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-91
JournalBioscience Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Dec 2012


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