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Duration (approx) 500 hours
Qualification Proficiency Award

Supplement your skills with this specialist course in Human Nutrition

The Proficiency Award in Human Nutrition is awarded on successful completion of the following modules, including passing assignments and examinations.  It comprises:

  • Understand nutrition - a course for anyone working in the food, nutrition or health industriesHuman Nutrition I, II, & III.
  • An approved workplace project or work experience equal to 200 hours duration.

A comprehensive course for anyone working in the food, nutrition or health industries.

  • Advance your knowledge and your skills - improve your proficiency and move your career forward.

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Professional Development Course - build on your skills and improve your knowledge of Human Nutrition


  • Specialist course - improve your knowledge of human nutritionDevelop your skills and knowledge - an in-depth course for anyone working in food, nutrition or health industries.
  • Learn about the human body's reqiurements for nutrients - vitamins, minerals, proteins and so on.
  • Understand the digestive system, eating disorders and toxicity.
  • Assess and plan a balanced diet - learn about food combining principles, ways of eating and diet optimisation.
  • Study 3 Core Modules plus a Workplace Project.
  • Course Duration: 500 hours of self paced study.  Start at any time, study at your own pace - when and where you want. 
The Award consists of the following Core Modules; please click on the module title for further information:

Human Nutrition I BRE102 
Human Nutrition II BRE202
Human Nutrition III BRE302 
Workplace Project

A summary of the content of the modules is also provided, below.

Human Nutrition I BRE102
Emphasis is placed on understanding the body, the food we eat & it's affects, our mental, emotional health (state of mind), and physical health.

The 9 lessons in this module are as follows:

1. Introduction to Nutrition
  • Important factors in nutrition.
  • Ingredients and cooking methods.
  • Understanding eating.
  • Major food groups.
  • Food allergies and Intolerance introduction.

2. The Digestive System

  • The Alimentary Canal - Muscular Structures.
  • Accessory Digestive Organs.
  • Digestive Tract Linings.

3. Absorption and Enzymes

  • Physical and Mechanical breakdown.
  • Understanding biochemical breakdown.
  • Biological breakdown.
  • Digestive Hormones.
  • Digestive Enzymes.
  • Absorption - anatomical adaptations for absorption.
  • Absorption (general).
  • Detoxification mechanisms.
  • The Urinary System.
  • Physiology of the unrinary system.
  • Skin and sweat glands.

4. Energy Value of Foods

  • The science of nutrition.
  • Diet.
  • Energy Value in Foods.
  • Nutrients.
  • Energy Production.
  • Basal Metabolic Rate.

5. Carbohydrates and Fats

  • Types of Carbohydrates - Monosaccharides,Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides.
  • Carbohydrates in the diet.
  • Carbohydrates in the body.
  • Alcohol.
  • Fats and fat biochemistry.
  • Fats in the diet.
  • Fats in the body.

6. Proteins

  • Uses in the body.
  • Recommended protein intakes.
  • Grains.
  • Vegetables.
  • Nuts and Seeds.
  • Beef, Poultry and Fish (meat struture).
  • Meat Quality.
  • Eggs and Dairy.
  • Proteins in the diet.
  • Proteins in the body.

7. Vitamins and Minerals

  • The Recommended Daily Allowance.
  • The Dietary Reference Intake.
  • Summary of Vitamins.
  • Fat soluble vitamins.
  • Water soluble vitamins.
  • Common minerals.
  • Inorganic elements.
  • The Calcium Debate.

8. Water

  • Water in the body (function).
  • Water retention.
  • Water loss and chronic dehydration.

9. Nutrient Disorders

  • Selected digestive system disorders.
  • Vomiting.
  • Peptic ulcer.
  • Jaundice.
  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Haemorrhoids.
  • Cirrhosis.
  • Allegies.
  • Cholesterol, heart disease and atherosclerosis.
  • Bowel Cancer.
  • Problems with nutrition.

On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain the role of different food types in human health.
  • Explain the physiology of digestive processes.
  • Recommend appropriate intake of vitamins.
  • Recommend appropriate intake of minerals.
  • Recommend appropriate food intake to meet an individual's energy needs.
  • Recommend appropriate carbohydrate intake.
  • Recommend appropriate fat intake.
  • Recommend appropriate protein intake.
  • Recommend appropriate water intake in different situations.
  • Recognise signs and symptoms of the major nutrient disorders.

Human Nutrition II BRE202
There are 8 lessons in this module:

1. Cooking and it’s Effect on Food and Nutrition

  • The Nutritive Value of Food after Cooking.
  • Meat and Poultry.
  • Fish.
  • Plant Foods – fruits, vegetables, cereals, pulses.
  • How different methods of cooking and processing effects nutrients in food.
  • Baking.
  • Blanching.
  • Braising.
  • Grilling.
  • Poaching and Boiling.
  • Pressure Cooking.
  • Roasting.
  • Sautéing.
  • Steaming.
  • Preparing and Cooking Vegetables and nutrient loss management.
  • The benefits of cooked food.
  • Preserving the nutrition in food.
  • Key points for preserving different vitamins.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

2. Food Processing and Nutrition

  • Introduction.
  • Canning and pasteurisation.
  • Homogenisation and pasteurisation of milk.
  • Milling and grain processing.
  • Flours.
  • How processing affects dietary carbohydrate and fibre.
  • Effect of wet-heat treatments.
  • Why do simple carbohydrates leech when wet-heat treated.
  • Effect of food processing on starch and cellulose.
  • Fibre in processed flour.
  • Freezing.
  • Dehydration.
  • Effect of soils and fertilisers on food nutritive qualities.
  • Food additives.
  • Preservatives – salting, pickling, curing, smoking etc.
  • Food allergies.
  • Flavouring agents.
  • Additives to enhance colour and appearance.
  • Sweetening agents.
  • Emulsifying agents and stabilisers.
  • Anti caking agents and humectants.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

3. Recommended Daily Intakes of Nutrients

  • Recommended daily intake.
  • Adequate intake.
  • Tolerable Upper limits.
  • Estimated average requirement.
  • Macronutrient intakes.
  • RDI for Energy and Protein.
  • Fats.
  • AI for Fluids or water.
  • AI and TUL for dietary fibre.
  • Requirements for vitamins.
  • Requirements for Minerals.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

4. Vitamins

  • Hypervitaminosis and hypovitaminosis.
  • Fat soluble vitamins.
  • Vitamin A – role, sources, deficiency, toxicity, etc.
  • Vitamin D – overview, sources, deficiency, toxicity, etc.
  • Vitamin E.
  • Vitamin K.
  • Fat soluble vitamins.
  • Vitamin C.
  • B group vitamins.
  • Water soluble vitamins.
  • Vitamins and the liver.
  • Vitamins and the bowel.
  • Vitamins, cancer and chronic diseases.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

5. Minerals

  • Calcium – role of, deficiency, toxicity, calcium sources, etc.
  • Iodine.
  • Iron.
  • Magnesium.
  • Phosphorus.
  • Potassium.
  • Sodium.
  • Other trace elements – chromium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium,
  • Zinc.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

6. Planning a Balanced Diet

  • Introduction.
  • Menu Planning.
  • Case Study – A day’s diet at a residential school.
  • Plate waste.
  • Assessing plate waste.
  • Using a food pyramid.
  • Steps for approaching diet planning.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

7. Assessing Nutritional Status and Needs

  • Information.
  • Infants and young children.
  • Adolescents.
  • Expectant mothers Post partum and nursing mothers.
  • Elderly people.
  • Migrants.
  • Vegetarian - Diet considerations: protein, amino acids, iron Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, etc.
  • Vegan diets and children.
  • Weight change and snacking.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

8. Timing Meals and Needs of Special Groups

  • Introduction.
  • Diet formulation.
  • Obesity.
  • Coronary heart disease.
  • Dietary risk factors.
  • Blood cholesterol.
  • Blood pressure.
  • Dental cavities.
  • Dietary fibre and bowel disease.
  • Diet therapy.
  • Low energy diet.
  • Diabetes.
  • Gastric diets.
  • Gluten free diets.
  • Low salt, low sodium diets.
  • Low fat diets.
  • Diets to lower cholesterol.
  • Set task.
  • Assignment.

On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Determine appropriate food preparation for different foods, in relation to food value for human health.
  • Explain the characteristics of food processing techniques and their implications for human health.
  • Recommend daily food intakes for people with differing nutritional needs.
  • Manage dietary intake of more significant vitamins including B and C complex vitamins for good health.
  • Manage dietary requirements of significant minerals including calcium & iron for good health.
  • Plan in detail, an appropriate seven day diet plan, for an "average" adult.
  • Determine dietary needs of different individuals.
  • Plan diets to achieve different, specific purposes.
  • Plan diets for specific needs for people at different stages of life.

Human Nutrition III BRE302

There are 8 lessons in this course:

1. Nutrient Imbalance and Disease

  • Food risk factors.
  • What disease is impacted by what nutrient issues.
  • Important nutrients often lacking in some diets.
  • Iodine.
  • Potassium.
  • Magnesium.
  • Calcium.
  • Iron.
  • Fats, lipids and cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol.
  • Fats - saturated, monosaturated, polyunsaturated.
  • Low salt or low sodium diets.
  • Sugars - components of different sweeteners.
  • Heart disease and diet.
  • Fats and heart disease.
  • Triglycerides and heart disease.
  • Heart affects of Cholesterol, sugar, salt, alcohol, carbohydrates, fish, etc.
  • Obesity and insulin.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Cancer.
  • Protein- energy malnutrition (PEM).
  • PEM in hospitalised people.
  • PEM types - primary, secondary, kwashiorkor, marasmus.
  • Diagnosis of PEM.
  • Treating PEM.
  • Prognosis for PEM partients.
  • PEM prevention.
  • Health problems and solutions.
  • Special considerations for pregnant and nursing women.
  • Special Project - a problem based learning project where you will investigate the relationship between nutrition an a particular disease (e.g. Celiac disease, Osteoporosis or Diabetes).

2. Dental Problems

  • Tooth structure.
  • Anatomy of teeth.
  • Nutrition and dental health.
  • Fluoride intake.
  • Who needs fluoride.
  • Foods that supply fluoride.
  • Calcium intake.
  • The decay process.
  • Preventing plaque.
  • Nursing bottle syndrome.
  • Preventing dental problems.
  • Reasons to prevent tooth decay.
  • Causes of tooth decay.
  • Dental hygiene.
  • Homemade toothpastes and mouth washes.

3. Fibre and Diseases of the Bowel

  • Understanding fibre.
  • How fibre works in the body.
  • Fibre in food - soluble and insoluble.
  • Health and dietary fibre.
  • Resistant starch.
  • How the digestive system works.
  • Conditions linked to low fibre diets.
  • Fibre and managing blood cholesterol.
  • Fibre and diabetes.
  • Fibre and weight control.
  • Increase your fibre.
  • Bowel checks.

4. Different ways of Eating

  • How we eat is important.
  • Compatibility of ingredients.
  • Vegetarian, vegan and alternate diets.
  • Health considerations with not eating animal products.
  • Sourcing organic, vegetarian and vegan foods.
  • Alternative diets for young children.
  • Diet during pregnancy.

5. Food Toxicities and Sensitivities

  • Allergies and sensitivities.
  • Differences between sensitivity, allergy, anaphylaxis and intolerance.
  • Allergies - common allergens, likely symptoms.
  • Natural toxins in foods.
  • Increase in rates of allergies.
  • Inheritance of allergies and intolerances.
  • Food allergy symptoms.
  • Anaphylaxis - causes, symptoms, treatment.
  • Causes of common food allergies and food intolerances.
  • Diagnosing and dealing with food sensitivities.
  • Avoiding the food.
  • Preventing food allergy in children.
  • Food laws and labels.
  • Special medical considerations.

6. Food Toxicity and Poisoning

  • Causes of food poisoning.
  • Bacterial food poisoning causes, types of bacteria, prevention.
  • Bacillus cerus poisoning.
  • Campylobacter.
  • Campylobacter jejuni.
  • Clostridium perfringens.
  • Clostridium botulinum.
  • Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.
  • Listeria spp.
  • Salmonella spp.
  • Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
  • Yersinia enterocolitica.
  • Treating bacterial poisoning.
  • Contamination from cooking - aluminium, copper, cooking source, wood preservatives.
  • Contamination from food processing, e.g. cleaning chemicals.
  • Effects of food preparation on nutrition - problems caused by cooking.
  • Food production and processing issues.
  • Milling and refining.
  • Additives, colourings, flavourings.
  • Deteriorating food.
  • Microorganisms.
  • Enzymes.
  • Mechanical deterioration.
  • Ripening fruit.
  • Low temperature damage.
  • Hygiene practices.

7. Detoxification or Body Cleansing

  • Introduction.
  • Methods of detoxification.
  • Water and juice fasting.
  • Weekend mono diet.
  • Chelation therapy.
  • Fasting.
  • Side effects of fasting.
  • Water therapies.
  • Cathartics -laxatives, purgatives.
  • Acidophilus.
  • Herbal treatments - alfalfa, aloe vera, cranberry juice, echinacea, chamomile, parsley, etc.
  • Massage - lymphatic drainage, swedish massage.
  • Bowel Movements and urination.
  • Cautions.

8. Consulting and Giving Advice on Diet

  • Legalities.
  • Insurance.
  • Professional bodies.
  • Holistic approach.
  • Ethics.
  • The consultation.
  • Compliance.
  • Setting a nutritional program.

On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:

  • Explain different food related health problems.
  • Determine the effect which different physical methods of food intake, can have upon health, including time and order of eating, and chewing.
  • Manage food sensitivity problems.
  • Implement procedures to avoid food poisoning.
  • List food related factors which can have a negative influence on health.
  • Distinguish between characteristics of the diets of two healthy people with diets of two unhealthy people, studied by the learner.
  • Differentiate between dietary and other affects, on the health of a specific individual.
  • Explain the significance of cholesterol to health of a specific demographic group.
  • Explain the significance of diet to cancer in a specified demographic group.
  • Compare differences in physiological responses to different patterns of eating, including: The order in which different types of food are eaten; The time of day when different
    types of food are eaten; The degree to which different types of foods are chewed; The speed of swallowing; The amount of time between eating different food types.
  • Explain food combining principles, in a diet designed to optimise food combining principles.
  • Plan a dietary timetable which optimises the ability of a typical person on a specified budget, to digest and assimilate food.
  • Formulate a nutritionally balanced vegetarian diet.
  • Formulate a diet compatible with a person's level of physical activity.
  • Manage fibre in the diet.
  • Manage diet to optimise dental health.
  • Recommend a safe method of detoxification.
  • Recommend a nutritional program to a client in a proper and responsible manner.


This can be satisfied in various ways.  Options include:

Work Experience (Which must be approved by an ACS Academic Officer).
Attending Industry Meetings such as seminars, conferences, trade shows, committee meetings etc.



You can start the course at any time.

It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

To complete the course - There is an assignment at the end of each lesson. So if there are ten lessons in a course, there will be ten assignments.

At the end of each module, there is also an examination which you can take at a time and location to suit you.

To pass the course you are required to pass all assignments and exams.

Each of the modules mentioned can also be studied as a standalone course if you prefer.





Register to Study - Go to “It’s Easy to Enrol” box at the top of the page and you can enrol now.


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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

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Meet some of our academics

Barbara Seguel B.Sc. M.Sc.Agricultural science graduate, biologist, marine scientist, aquaculturist and educator. Barbara has worked on farms, in ecotourism, education and publishing. She is widely travelled, having been educated in both California and Chile; and having worked in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Lyn Quirk M.Ed.,Dip.Med.,Dip.SportsOver 35 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy

Check out our eBooks

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.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.
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.