The Institute of Food Technology, Nutrition and Consumer Studies (IFTNCS) is an integral academic component of the school of Agriculture, Njala University. IFTNCS is unique in Sierra Leone and is principally involved in teaching, research, consultancy and outreach in Food, Human nutrition and Consumer sciences.
It is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research as indicated by the very positive feedback from an inter-disciplinary employment base. Our research themes often cut across different academic disciplines. Major areas of expertise include Food processing, Food safety, new product development, Nutrition assessment, Bio-fortification, Nutrition for special needs, Home economics, Catering and hospitality, and Consumer protection. Above all a great social scene can be found at the heart of our Institute.
To strengthen academic and/ or research capacity and to foster international educational cooperation, various link arrangements exist between the Institute and institutions in and out of Sierra Leone. The Institute has links with the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), Helen Keller International, FAO. The Institute also collaborates with international research institutions such as The Food Security Center, Hohenhein University, Stuttgart, Germany under the DAAD sponsored Staff exchange and capacity development. Currently our collaboration involves a PhD and two MSc candidates from our Institute. The Institute is currently involved with the Njala Vision 2025 and the Songhai Initiative.
IFTNCS offers the following academic programs:
- Higher Diploma – Food Technology & Nutrition
- BSc (Hons) Nutrition & Dietetics
- BSc (Hons) Home Economics & Community Development Studies
- BSc (Hons) Food Technology & Nutrition
- BSc (Hons) Clothing Construction & Design
- BSc Home Economics Education
- MSc Nutrition & Dietetics
- MSc Clothing & Textiles
- MPhil Nutrition & Dietetics
- MPhil Food Science
- MPhil Clothing & Textiles
- PhD Food Science
- PhD Nutrition & Dietetics
Overview of Academic Programs:
Higher Diploma – Food Technology & Nutrition
Food Technology and Nutrition is a fast-growing discipline devoted to the understanding of the relationships between food and human health. The food industry which is the largest industry in the world employs a significant number of food and nutritional scientists and safety officers. The Higher Diploma in Nutrition and Food Management curriculum prepares students to further continue their studies at degree level or to develop careers in the food and nutrition industries. The Higher Diploma is a three-year programme
Program Aims and Features
- Provides students an in-depth knowledge of basic sciences such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry and physiology, so as to enable them to pursue degree studies in a relevant field at both local and overseas universities;
- Lecturers are dedicated and experienced in teaching food and nutritional sciences;
- The curriculum emphasizes both the fundamental scientific knowledge of the theory and practice, as well as offers hands-on practical;
- Each student will carry out a food and nutrition related research project in the second semester of final year;
- Graduates may continue their studies at degree level or enter the food or nutrition industries, pursue careers such as nutrition assistants, patient care assistants, food quality officers, health promotion and food safety management.
Graduates will have a range of career opportunities in the food, nutrition and catering industries such as health and nutrition-related commercial companies, food manufacturing, food trading, restaurants, airline caterers or institutional food service companies, school meal caterers, sport and health institutions, government agencies and hospitals.
Bachelor of Science with honors in Nutrition and Dietetics
This program uses a harmonized curriculum with the West African Health Organization (WAHO). The Program adheres to the philosophy of Human Nutrition and Dietetics which is primarily intended to advance Nutrition and Dietetics knowledge and practice through learning, competence building, research, communication and community service as preventive and curative medical science.
It has been specifically designed for students with a strong interest in food, people, science and medicine, who wish to use their knowledge to help prevent and treat disease as registered dietitians.
Dietetics involves translating nutritional science and information about food into practical dietary advice. This may be aimed at the general public to promote health, or in a clinical environment to treat a wide range of medical disorders.
You will learn how food intake and dietary requirements can be altered by illness, and how to apply therapeutic diets to treat diseases. The course will give you the knowledge and skills to respond to the diverse needs of patients and families within a variety of settings.
The main goal of our Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Nutrition and Dietetics is to expand nutrition knowledge through learning, research and innovation, and produce graduates with sufficient knowledge, professional skills and competence in promoting optimal nutrition, good health and sustainable development.
All prospective candidates are admitted to the BSc Home Economics general programme and are invited to the BSc (Hons) NAD programme based on their sessional grape point average (SGPA). Only students with a grade point average of 3.6 and above will be legible to pursue the BSc (Hons) NAD programme.
Program Aims and Features
The program Aims and Features are to produce Nutrition and Dietetics graduates who are competent in:
• Determining the relationship between nutritional requirements and food
intake of the populace
• Determining energy intake, expenditure and body composition of
different population groups.
• Recognizing the importance of micronutrients in Human Nutrition
• The use of nutritional measurement tools
• Recognizing the effects of diets in clinical diseases.
• Knowledge of food and nutrition security and insecurity
• Development of nutrition policy and international nutrition
• Conducting food consumption survey
• Food analysis and evaluation of diets
• Understanding basis for common food standards, food laws and
The graduates of this program can practice in the following institution or organizations:
• Academic Institutions such as Universities, Polytechnics, Nursing Training
Colleges and allied health institutions
• Health Services, Hospitals, Polyclinics
• Private Health Institutions
• Research Institutions
• Food service industries
• Non- Governmental organizations (NGOs)
• International agencies
• Government ministries and parastatals
BSc (Hons) Home Economics & Community Development Studies
The vision of the Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Home Economics and Community Development Studies is to offer professional training for career paths which in turn can help improve the quality of life and wellbeing for individuals, families, communities and society. It will do this by focusing on responsible resource management and behavior change strategies with an emphasis on food, nutrition, health, family functioning, housing, interiors, textiles, fashion, and personal finance and consumer affairs. You can make a positive difference in transforming communities and gain a professional qualification in Community Development Work. Besides, you will also have the opportunity to gain high level skills to work effectively in communities, to empower those without a voice in a society, to bring about social change, build capacity and improve the quality of life in disadvantaged and marginalized communities.
Program Aims and Features
By the end of the training, the graduates will be able to:
- Demonstrate competencies in management and leadership for community development.
- Promote the welfare of individuals, families and communities.
- Have a better understanding of various issues affecting individuals, families and communities.
- Apply analytical research skills crucial for improving the quality of life in individuals, families and communities.
- Engage in gainful employment for self-reliance.
- Pursue advanced studies in areas related to community development studies.
This professional qualification equips graduates with the skills to work in a wide range of positions within the community and voluntary sectors, as well as in the public sector. Graduates often find employment in top management positions in managing Community-based projects and organizations.
Bachelor of Science with honors in Food Technology and Nutrition
This course has been designed specifically in response to the increasing interest in human nutrition worldwide and especially by the food industry and public health bodies. This program primarily aims to contribute to government policy of achieving food and nutrition security in developing countries.
It will satisfy the growing need for graduates with an understanding of food production and manufacturing and, importantly, human nutrition. You’ll be introduced to food safety and quality, food sensory analysis, new product development, food processing and preservation, as well as applied and practical nutrition skills and clinical nutrition and dietetics.
The degree will provide you with an understanding of the relationships between food, nutrition and human health. It will give you the knowledge and skills to work in food product development, manufacture and retailing. You will become a food professional with the ability to respond to a marketplace which has an increasing interest in food and its impact on health.
Program Aims and Features
The hands-on teaching approach on the Food Technology and Nutrition and Human Nutrition courses provides you with subject-specific skills you will need in the workplace. You’ll also develop a host of transferrable skills that are in demand with employers.
A range of careers will be open to you when you graduate, including product development, technical and quality assurance, marketing, sales or management positions.
After the completion of the program, the graduates have a plethora of opportunities in the field of research and scientific industry. They can go about to become professors or teachers in many reputed universities and colleges. They have job scopes in the area of Nutrition, Fitness, Research, Branding and much more. They can become fitness experts, dieticians, nutritionists, Food Technologist and much more.
BSc with honors in Clothing Construction and Design
This program gives you the opportunity to experiment with a breadth of materials. From creating new and innovative fabric designs to thinking about the textiles all around us, you’ll be able to develop your aesthetic, commercial and professional awareness.
Yarns, fibres, materials, this course aims to get you thinking about textiles, techniques and processes, and thinking creatively about the possibilities that textiles open up. We’ll look at digital design, knitting, weaving, embroidery/stitching and printing/dying. You’ll have the opportunity to try out each technique, and understand how you can develop your practical approaches for the fashion and interior industries.
We’ll look at current and predicted global trends in fashion and interiors, and you might well have the chance to explore new technologies alongside the more traditional approaches. While you get a feel for the practical side of things we’ll aim to develop some key skills that will be useful for lots of careers. Like your creative, professional, intellectual and personal skills, all of which could help you become a contemporary textile practitioner, designer maker or commercial designer. Sustainability and design ethics are an important part of the course, both in theory and practice, and we'll give you the chance to learn how you can use your creativity to develop solutions to real-world problems.
Program Aims and Features
You’ll develop an understanding of how textiles and clothing affect our comfort and sense of well-being and how aspects of peoples’ identities such as age, gender and ability are linked to clothing behavior. The program also creates the opportunity for you to examine the creative, technical, historical, cultural, and applied aspects of clothing and textiles and interiors. It also encourages you to focus on issues of fashion sustainability related to the production and consumption of textiles and clothing. You will also have the golden opportunity to participate in an eight week Practicum Placement, thereby turning your classroom learning into real world experience.
The Bachelor of Science in Clothing and Textiles recipient is qualified to work in the whole textile chain, especially at the interfaces between technical and commercial staff, technical staff and designers as well as research and development staff and management.
An excellent knowledge in technologies, production and management processes is achieved so that the students become textile and clothing professionals who are well-prepared for the international business
Students on this programme acquire a comprehensive knowledge and insights into the field of textile and clothing technology and gain important management and leadership skills.
BSc Home Economics Education:
The goal of the Institute is to train high caliber of Home Economics teachers to provide quality Home Economics Education in pre-tertiary institutions.
The programme is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that would enable them effectively handle Home Economics subjects- Catering, Sewing, Basic Design and Technology, Food and Nutrition, Clothing and Textiles, Management in Living and Population and Family Life Education at the Junior and Senior High Schools and in Technical Institutions (Colleges of Education and Polytechnics)
The programme also provides students with deeper understanding of concepts and principles of Home Economics and equips them with analytical and practical skills, which enable them to improve the quality of life of their families, students and community members.
Programme aims amd futures
The aims and features of the BSc Home Economics Education programme are to:
- Produce an all-round graduate who is capable of teaching in the Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, Diploma Awarding, Vocational/ Technical and Polytechnic Institution in the country.
- Produce graduates who will be able to cope with the challenges of life and operate effectively in any society in which they find themselves.
- Provide opportunities for students to undertake purposeful outreach programs to help improve living conditions in different communities in Sierra Leone.
- Develop students’ competencies by promoting adequate understanding of the concepts of Home Economics and Vocational Skills to enable them teach effectively.
- Provide students with skills for conducting research and using their findings to solve problems of the individual, family and the society.
Internship & Teaching Practice
Internships are integral components of our academic programmes as they are intended to integrate classroom knowledge and theory with practical application and skills developed in community settings. They also bring a wealth of benefits to students, both while completing degree and when seeking a career path post-graduation.
All students go on internships at different stages of their academic programmes except for the BSc Home Economics Education students who go to different middle and high Schools For Teaching Practice.
Happy Lecturers + Happy Students = Happy Academic Family
The entry requirements for Higher Diploma, Undergraduate and postgraduate programme in the Institute are the same as those outlined under the school of Agriculture.