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Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
Become a nutritional counsellor - help and advise people on how to lose weight!

This is an excellent course to enrol in if you are interested in working with people in a counselling capacity where you need knowledge of general human nutrition, children's nutrition (including expectant mothers and infants), therapeutic nutrition, nutrition for weight loss and weight maintenance or even sports nutrition.

Counsellors provide guidance for clients and a support system, rather than working with the deeper levels of the psyche. Many people need guidance on nutrition for example during pregnancy or support during a weight loss program. Others may like to find out about how to support people throughout a disease when nutritional knowledge and emotional support go hand in hand.

Coeliac Disease is an example of a medical condition related to diet and nutrition which if not treated can result in patients who have a high probability of being diagnosed with infertility, autism, depression and migraine headaches where nutritional counselling would be beneficial to support people and help them cope with any such diagnosis.




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Train to be a nutritional counsellor - help and advise people managing their diet.

  • Learn Human Nutrition at Home - study online or by eLearning (USB memory stick).

  • Learn what food is healthy.

  • Start a business or find employment helping others manage their diet.

  • Tailor the course to your needs with the selection of Elective Modules. 

  • Graduates can apply to join the Association of Coaching and /or Complimentary Medicine Association (UK).

  • Pathways available to continue studies toward higher qualifications (including Associate Diploma in Food And Nutrition).

Graduates may find work in ...
This is an excellent course for people who wish to advance or change their career into counselling with a focus on nutrition, or for those already working in the health industry who wish to enhance their knowledge! 

Recent research in nutrition and health services indicates there is an increasing need for counsellors to have specialist knowledge in the area of nutrition, weight loss and children's nutrition whilst still maintaining professional counselling skills and practice. You should enrol in this course if you are genuinely seeking to develop counselling skills, understand counselling techniques and work with people who are focused on improving their health through nutrition. 

Health promotion in education is also another huge development area and requires people who know the facts about nutrition and also understand the importance of counselling.

Note: In some countries, and in some high-level jobs (e.g. hospital dietician), you may need a university degree or higher. This course is equivalent to less than 20% of such a qualification.



Course Duration: 900 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Content: Study 7 Core Modules (compulsory) and then choose 3 Elective Modules.

The Core and Elective Modules are shown below. Follow the links to the module pages for further information on each; lesson listings for each module are also shown at the end of this page.


Human Nutrition I BRE102
This 9 lesson module provides a broad introduction to the important elements of nutrition and how it affects human health. Students will learn about the digestive system and how it works. The module looks at the different food groups and the relevance of the different nutritional elements – fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water. Students will understand the basic daily intake requirements for a human and be able to determine specific dietary requirements for individuals. The module concludes with a lesson on disorders related to food and diet.

Human Nutrition II BRE202
Human Nutrition II builds and extends upon the lessons from Human Nutrition I. In this 8 lesson module, we look further at the dietary intake of individuals and consider how different elements affect the body and physical health, our mental, and emotional health (state of mind). The module also looks at how food is prepared and the effect this has on its properties and concludes with a lesson concerning when and what we eat. Students learned in Human Nutrition I how to determine dietary requirements and with this module will also gain a further depth of knowledge which also covers areas such as the different dietary needs for people of different ages, planning diets for different specific purposes, and producing 7-day diet plans.

Human Nutrition III BRE302
This 8 lesson module is concerned with health issues arising from diet. It looks at foods which can have a negative effect on certain people and diseases that occur as a result of an individual’s diet. Students will consider which foods are harmful to some, whilst offering nutritional benefits to others. They will also consider properties of different foods – some which may act as a stimulant, for example, and others which may have a positive medicinal effect. As well as looking at toxicity, the module also contains a lesson on detoxification and cleansing. Human Nutrition III is then completed with a lesson on consulting and giving advice to others.

Industry Project BIP000
An Industry Project is a requirement in some certificates, diplomas and other qualifications. The Industry Project is designed to foster networking, practical skills and industry awareness. There are various ways that the requirement can be satisfied and it can be completed from wherever you live in the world. The approach will differ dependent upon whether or not you have relevant experience within the industry relating to your studies. Your tutor will be on hand to assist and guide you with the options open to you, including completion of Workshop modules which through a Problem Based Learning approach will enable you to develop your capacity to identify, select and apply knowledge and skills to perform workplace tasks in an industry. The requirement for the Advanced Certificate In Nutritional Counselling is to complete a Workplace project lasting 100 hours.

Counselling Techniques BPS206
This is an 8 lesson module which seeks to develop the students understanding of different theories and approaches to counselling and therapy. An important part of understand approaches to therapy and counselling is the knowledge of research and theories in this area, and the modules includes studies on – Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy (Freud, Erikson, Jung, Adler), Humanistic/Existential Approaches (Gestalt therapy, Perls, Rogers), and Behavioural Therapy (including Ellis, and Beck). The module concludes with a lesson on solution-focused counselling, which looks at the strategies employed and pathways and solutions for clients.

Counselling Skills I BPS109
There are a number of different aspects which a counsellor needs to consider – they need to know what sort of questions to ask, they need to listen to the responses, but they also need to form some bond with those who they are counselling. This 8 lesson module looks at different types of counselling, considering the different theories and approaches that a counsellor may consider. The module considers how the counsellor may bond with their client, how the client should be made to feel at ease and the combination of elements which will contribute to this. Students will consider how to approach questioning – the types of question to ask and those that should be avoided, and whether they wish to develop discussion with open questions or use closed questions to determine a direction. With lessons that include interview techniques, therapies and how to conclude a counselling session, and case studies to provide context and practical examples, this is a useful module which will benefit people in many areas ranging from parenting, to the work place, to teaching, to volunteer work, and training.

Food Coaching - 10 lessons
A food coach can be the real difference though; helping their client to develop strategies and motivation to bring about real change in their eating habits, and consequently real change in their overall wellbeing. Over 10 lessons, this course develops your understanding of the scope and nature of food coaching. Learn about the practical, ethical and legal implications of establishing yourself as a food coach, to work as a responsible and effective practitioner.


Choose 2 Modules from the following electives:

Children's Nutrition BRE304
Sports Nutrition BRE303
Nutrition for Weight Loss BRE210
Therapeutic Nutrition BRE211
Professional Practice in Counselling BPS207
Counselling Skills II BPS110
Introduction to Psychology BPS101
Weight Loss Consultant BRE307

Everyone has a different ideal diet

Individuals vary greatly from one person to another in what they eat. Most families tend to have the same sort of diet for everyone in the family; but the ideal food needs of individual family members will vary from one family member to the next. Most of the time; these differences are not critical; but often, if you look closer at the health, well-being, and food needs of individuals; it is possible to identify issues which can, and probably should be attended to.


A Nutritional Counsellor can become involved with helping people by identifying nutritional issues and suggesting ways they might improve their lives by changing what or how they eat.



Some people are under medical supervision for their diets. These include people with malabsorptive conditions, hypertension, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and renal disease. Some people also have genetic disorders that require specific limitations to the diet. 

We know lots of general things about what most people don't eat enough of (e.g. fruit and vegetables) and what most people consume too much of (e.g. sugar); but an individual is not "most people".

As an effective nutritional advisor, it is important that assessment of nutritional status and needs is based on comprehensive information and knowledge of the specific needs of each individual. This may in some cases vary significantly from the general population.


As children enter school protein requirements are higher, and all vitamins and minerals are still in high demand as body tissues develop, expand and mature. Energy demand is high for the same reason, as well as for most children because they are very active. 

Dietary habits and preferences are established early. It is much easier to instil good habits in a toddler than in a teenager who is already accustomed to bad habits! Body image, acne and other issues are prevalent in children, obesity, hormonal changes, the onset on menstruation and puberty are all concerns. It is also important to watch for signs of anorexia and bulimia, laxative use, fad dieting and other eating problems. 


In health, this age group have very big appetites. Their nutritional requirements are at their highest. To meet these requirements well balanced meals of a high nutritional value must be provided. Obesity among school children and adolescents is nowadays one of the commonest forms of malnutrition. This may be due to a general decrease in physical activity, the energy intake exceeding expenditure compared to previous generations. Encouraging physical pursuits, rather than indoor sedentary hobbies is important. Again, the body image, weight, hormone and skin problems that generally appear in the pre-teen years are a concern in adolescents.

In later teen years binge drinking can result in serious deficits in vitamin C and B-complex, as well as many minerals. Alcohol consumption should be curbed in these vital developmental years. Many adolescents will have jobs, while also juggling, work, school and social commitments, and also disposable income. The combination makes foods they may otherwise not have had access to previously readily available and also promotes snacking on the run. In both school children and adolescents there is increasing evidence that may concentration, attention and behavioural issues are at least partially related to dietary problems.

Elderly People
With age comes a general decrease in muscle mass, resulting in lower basal metabolic rate. This means that elderly people do not require as much energy as younger people. Fibre requirements, along with fat and carbohydrate requirements remain very similar to adult requirements however. Nutrient dense food is required as appetite generally decreases. Micro nutrient deficiency is common. Factors such as illness, interaction of prescribed drugs with nutrients, dental problems and diseases or deterioration of the bowel, kidneys and liver can hamper nutrient absorption, metabolism, utilisation and excretion. The major concern for elderly people is institutionalisation. Institutionalised elderly people show greater rates of iron, potassium, vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin D deficiency, leaving them more susceptible to illness. Riboflavin and potassium deficiency are very common in those who still live independently.

Dietary problems tend to be related to lack of variety in the diet, and low income can mean a reliance on cheap, nutrient poor, calorie dense processed foods. Supplements may be out of reach for many elderly people. Consumption of organ meats and offal can be much higher than the general population, but should be limited, to a meal once every few weeks to avoid vitamin A toxicity.

Where this Can Lead

The things you learn in this course may well lead you to becoming a nutritional counsellor or advisor; but the opportunities to work with food, nutrition and helping people with their general health and well-being will be extended in many other areas as well.

Once you know and understand food and nutrition better, you will start to see business and employment opportunities in many areas, from growing, manufacturing, processing and supplying food; to all sorts of opportunities in health and fitness.

You may establish your own practice as a consultant, find employment in a health food shop or develop a business producing "healthier" food products. 

The world is changing rapidly, and new innovations are fast changing the jobs available; but one thing remains constant: people will always eat. As such there will always be work for people who understand food and nutrition.

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Lesson Listings for the Core Modules

Human Nutrition I
There are 9 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Introduction to Nutrition
Lesson 2. The Digestive System
Lesson 3. Absorption and Enzymes
Lesson 4. Energy Value and Foods
Lesson 5. Carbohydrates and Fats
Lesson 6. Proteins
Lesson 7. Vitamins and Minerals
Lesson 8. Water
Lesson 9. Nutrient Disorders

Human Nutrition II
There are 8 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Cooking and its effect on nutrition
Lesson 2. Food processing and its effect on nutrition 
Lesson 3. Recommended Daily Intake Of Nutrients
Lesson 4. Vitamins
Lesson 5. Minerals
Lesson 6. Planning A Balanced Diet
Lesson 7. Assessing Nutritional Status And Needs
Lesson 8. Timing Of Meals, And Needs For Special Groups

Human Nutrition III
There are 8 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Problems With Eating 
Lesson 2. Dental Problems 
Lesson 3. Fibre and Bowel Diseases 
Lesson 4. Different Ways of Eating 
Lesson 5. Food Toxicity A 
Lesson 6. Food Toxicity B 
Lesson 7. Detoxification/Body Cleansing 
Lesson 8. Consulting/Giving Advice

Industry Project
The project should last around 100 hours.  There are four options available to you to satisfy this requirement. Don’t worry if you are not sure at this stage, your tutor will be there to help you every step of the way. This includes evidence of work experience or other studies or workshops, a research project or completion of Workshop I.

Counselling Techniques
There are 8 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy l - Freud, Erikson, Jung 
Lesson 2. Psychoanalytical psychotherapy ll - Adler 
Lesson 3. Humanistic/Existential approaches I - Gestalt Therapy; Fritz Perls 
Lesson 4. Humanistic/Existential approaches II - Person-Centred Counselling; Carl Rogers 
Lesson 5. Rational behavioural therapy - Albert Ellis 
Lesson 6. Cognitive behavioural therapy - Aaron Beck 
Lesson 7. Behavioural therapy 
Lesson 8. Solution-focused counselling 

Counselling Skills I
There are 8 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Learning specific skills
Lesson 2. Listening and bonding
Lesson 3. Reflection
Lesson 4. Questioning
Lesson 5. Interview techniques
Lesson 6. Changing beliefs and normalising
Lesson 7. Finding solutions
Lesson 8. Ending the counselling

Food Coaching

Lesson 1. Introduction and the Healthy Diet
Lesson 2. Professional Standards for Food Coaching
Lesson 3. Specialist Diets -Chronic Conditions
Lesson 4. Specialist Diets - Overeating
Lesson 5. Specialist Diets -Poor Nutritional Diets
Lesson 6. Food Coaching with Children
Lesson 7. Food Coaching with Adults and Seniors
Lesson 8. Lifestyle Changes
Lesson 9. Moving on
Lesson 10.Managing your Food Coaching Service

Lesson Listings for the Elective Modules

Children’s Nutrition
There are 10 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Introduction to Child Nutrition
Lesson 2. Nutrition for Pre-Pregnancy 
Lesson 3. Nutrition in Pregnancy
Lesson 4. Nutrition in Infants
Lesson 5. Nutrition in Childhood
Lesson 6. Nutritional Concerns
Lesson 7. Healthy Eating Behaviour
Lesson 8. Issues in Child Nutrition
Lesson 9. Childhood Obesity
Lesson 10. Diet Plans

Sports Nutrition
There are 9 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Introduction, human and Sports Nutrition
Lesson 2. Energy
Lesson 3. Energy in the athlete’s body
Lesson 4. The Training Diet
Lesson 5. The Competition Diet
Lesson 6. Fluids
Lesson 7. The Athlete’s Body Composition
Lesson 8. Weight Management
Lesson 9. Training for Size and the use of Sports 

Nutrition for Weight Loss
There are 9 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Understanding Obesity
Lesson 2. Nutrition Basics
Lesson 3. Diets -Fads, Fiction and Fact
Lesson 4. Preventing Obesity
Lesson 5. Treating Obesity
Lesson 6. Modifying Eating Behaviour
Lesson 7. Restricting Calorie Intake
Lesson 8. Medical Conditions: Hormones, Drugs, Eating Disorders
Lesson 9. Planning a Diet

Therapeutic Nutrition
There are 9 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Introduction to Therapeutic Nutrition
Lesson 2. Allergies and Food Intolerance
Lesson 3. Diabetes
Lesson 4. Heart Disease, Hyperlipidemia and Arteriosclerosis
Lesson 5. Renal/Kidney Conditions
Lesson 6. Cancers
Lesson 7. Digestive Disorders and Diet 
Lesson 8. Other Metabolic Conditions 
Lesson 9. Strategic Diet planning for a medical condition

Professional Practice in Counselling
There are 7 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Understanding Counselling
Lesson 2. Ethics and Confidentiality
Lesson 3. Understanding the Self
Lesson 4. Personality 
Lesson 5. Emotions and Behaviours
Lesson 6. Supervision
Lesson 7. Referral Practice 

Counselling Skills II
There are 8 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. The Counselling Session
Lesson 2. Focus on the Present
Lesson 3. Telephone Counselling
Lesson 4. Dealing with Crises
Lesson 5. Problem-Solving Techniques I, Aggression
Lesson 6. Problem-Solving Techniques II, Depression
Lesson 7. Problem-Solving Techniques III, Grief and Loss
Lesson 8. Problem-Solving Techniques IV, Suicide

Introduction to Psychology
There are 7 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. The Nature and Scope of Psychology 
Lesson 2. Neurological Basis of Behaviour
Lesson 3. Environmental Effects on Behaviour
Lesson 4. Consciousness and Perception
Lesson 5. Personality
Lesson 6. Psychological Development
Lesson 7. Needs, Drives and Motivation

Weight Loss Consultant
There are 8 lessons in this module.
Lesson 1. Scope and Nature of Weight Loss 
Lesson 2. Managing Physical Activity 
Lesson 3. Managing the Diet 
Lesson 4. Managing the Psychology 
Lesson 5. Tools for the Consultant 
Lesson 6. Delivering Weight Loss Services 
Lesson 7. Conducting a Weight Loss Consultation 
Lesson 8. Establishing a Weight Loss Business 


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Check out our eBooks

Aerobic FitnessAerobic exercise is critical for maintaining every aspect of a persons wellbeing. This book shows you the exercise you need to do to keep your lungs, heart and circulatory system fit. Originally published as a printed book by Simon and Schuster. This new edition is improved and available as an ebook. It explains what aerobic fitness is and the exercises you can do to maintain an peak level of aerobic fitness. It is a valuable reference both for fitness professionals, and also for anyone just wanting to improve their own personal fitness.
Human NutritionBoth a text for students, or an informative read for anyone who wants to eat better. While covering the basics, the book approaches nutrition a little differently here to some other books, with sections covering ”Modifying diet according to Genetic Disposition or Lifestyle”, “How to find Reliable Information on Nutrition” and “Understanding how Diet relates to Different Parts of the Body” (including Urinary, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory System, the Brain, etc). This ebook was written to complement the ACS Nutrition I course, and provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to grasp a fundamental understanding of Human Nutrition.
Human BiologyFor any new student of human biology, being confronted with thousands of unfamiliar words can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to identify which words you need to learn first. This book presents words that have been carefully selected as the most important for new biology students to learn and understand. It also provides more information about each word than is often found in traditional dictionaries, giving students a more in-depth understanding of the word's meaning. The book is intended as an aid to all new students of human biology.
Nutritional TherapyDiscover how the way you eat can impact upon the affects of an illness. This book is unique, written by our health and nutritional scientists. Chapters cover: “Scope and Nature of Nutritional Therapy”, “How different factors Interact with Nutrition”, “Different Ways” and “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses for Different Health Issues” Thirty different conditions are covered from Mental Illness and Gastritis to Coeliac Disease and Osteoporosis.