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Help and advise people to lose weight - train to be a nutritional counsellor in the comfort of your own home

  • Learn Human Nutrition at Home -Online course, or distance education
  • Learn what food is healthy
  • Start a business or find employment helping others manage their diet
  • Recognised internationally through International Accreditation and Recognition Council
  • Graduates can apply to join the Association of Coaching and /or Complimentary Medicine Association (UK)
  • Pathways available to continue studies toward higher qualifications (including Advanced Diplomas with HSA and degrees)

Graduates may find work in ...

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

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.


This course is made up of 9 modules: 6 compulsory and 3 electives which you can choose to ensure the course is tailored to your needs or choice! (Click on each module below for more details)

6 Compulsory Modules include:

Human Nutrition I

Human Nutrition II

Human Nutrition III

Industry Project

Counselling Techniques

Counselling Skills I

Elective Modules

Choose 3 Modules from the following electives - click on the links to help you decide which one you want to study:

Children's Nutrition

Sports Nutrition

Nutrition for Weight Loss

Therapeutic Nutrition

Professional Practice in Counselling

Counselling Skills II

Introduction to Psychology

Weight Loss Consultant


More Detail on the Compulsory Modules


Human Nutrition I

The 9 lessons are as follows:

  1. Introduction to Nutrition
  2. The Digestive System
  3. Absorption & Enzymes
  4. Energy Value and Foods
  5. Carbohydrates and Fats
  6. Proteins
  7. Vitamins and Minerals
  8. Water
  9. Nutrient Disorders

Human Nutrition II

The content of each of the eight lessons is as outlined below:‑

1. Cooking and its effect on nutrition

2. Food processing and its effect on nutrition

3. Recommended Daily Intake Of Nutrients

4. Vitamins

5. Minerals

6. Planning A Balanced Diet

7. Assessing Nutritional Status And Needs

8. Timing Of Meals, And Needs For Special Groups

Human Nutrition III

This course is divided into eight lessons as follows:.

  1. Problems With Eating
  2. Dental Problems
  3. Fibre and Bowel Diseases
  4. Different Ways of Eating
  5. Food Toxicity A
  6. Food Toxicity B
  7. Detoxification/Body Cleansing
  8. Consulting/Giving Advice

Industry Project

The project should last around 200 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 eight lessons in the course. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment, which you submit to your tutor for marking. You can also contact your tutor with any queries during the course.

1.  Psychoanalytic psychotherapy l - Freud, Erikson, Jung

2.   Psychoanalytical psychotherapy ll - Adler

3. Humanistic/Existential approaches I - Gestalt Therapy; Fritz Perls

4.  Humanistic/Existential approaches II - Person-Centred Counselling; Carl Rogers

5.  Rational behavioural therapy - Albert Ellis

6. Cognitive behavioural therapy - Aaron Beck

7.  Behavioural therapy

8.  Solution-focused counselling

Counselling Skills I

The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

1. Learning specific skills

2. Listening and bonding

3. Reflection

4. Questioning

5. Interview techniques

6. Changing beliefs and normalising

7. Finding solutions

8. Ending the counselling



Children’s Nutrition

There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:

1. Introduction to Child Nutrition

2. Nutrition for Pre-Pregnancy 

3. Nutrition in Pregnancy

4. Nutrition in Infants

5. Nutrition in Childhood

6. Nutritional Concerns

7. Healthy Eating Behaviour

8. Issues in Child Nutrition

9. Childhood Obesity

10. Diet Plans

Sports Nutrition

There are nine lessons in total. At the end of each lesson there is an assignment, which you submit to your tutor for marking.

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

Nutrition for Weight Loss

There are nine lessons in this course as follows:

1. Understanding Obesity

2. Nutrition Basics

3. Diets -Fads, Fiction and Fact

4. Preventing Obesity

5. Treating Obesity

6. Modifying Eating Behaviour

7. Restricting Calorie Intake

8. Medical Conditions: Hormones, Drugs, Eating Disorders

9. Planning a Diet

Therapeutic Nutrition

There are 9 lessons in this course:

1. Introduction to Therapeutic Nutrition

2. Allergies and Food Intolerance

3. Diabetes

4. Heart Disease, Hyperlipidemia and Arteriosclerosis

5. Renal/Kidney Conditions

6. Cancers

7. Digestive Disorders and Diet

8. Other Metabolic Conditions

9. Strategic Diet planning for a medical condition

Professional Practice in Counselling

The course comprises seven lessons as detailed, below.

  1. Understanding Counselling - This looks at the client-counsellor relationship, effective counselling, counselling the counsellor, the values of the counsellor and multicultural counselling.
  2. Ethics and Confidentiality
  3. Understanding the Self - This lesson considers self-awareness, self-monitoring, self-concept, attribution theory, social perceptions, relationships, implicit personality theory, social exchange, love and intimacy.
  4. Personality - In this lesson, we consider what is a healthy personality, the trait approach, psychodynamic approach, the humanistic approach and the social learning and cognitive approaches.
  5. Emotions and Behaviours - Lesson 5 discusses what are emotions, emotions and counselling, effects on communication, aspects of emotion, emotional expression and counselling.
  6. Lesson 6. Supervision - This lesson looks at - why supervision?Working with others, quantity and effectiveness of supervision, personal counselling, dependency, types of supervision.
  7. Referral Practice - The lesson considers - counselling versus mental health issues, secondary care counsellors, abnormal psychology, anxiety, depression,schizophrenia and personality disorders.

Counselling Skills II

The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

  1. The Counselling Session:
    How Micro-Skills come together
  2. Focus on the Present:
    Present experiences; Feedback; Transference; Projection; Resistance
  3. Telephone Counselling:
    Visual v non-visual contact; Preparation; Initial contact; Use of micro-skills; Overall Process; Debriefing; Types of Problem Callers
  4. Dealing with Crises:
    What is a crisis? Types of crisis; Dangers of Crises; Counsellor’s Responses and Intervention; Post-Traumatic Stress
  5. Problem-Solving Techniques I, Aggression;
    Assisting the Client to Express Anger; Encouraging Change; Role-Play; Externalising Anger
  6. Problem-Solving Techniques II, Depression;
    Counselling Depression; Blocked Anger; Referral Practice; Chronic Depression; Setting Goals; Promoting Action
  7. Problem-Solving Techniques III, Grief and Loss;
    Loss of Relationships; Assisting the Grieving Client; Stages of Grief
  8. Problem-Solving Techniques IV, Suicide;
    Ethics; Reasons for Suicide; Perceived Risk; Counselling Strategies; Counselling Skills; Alternative Approach

Introduction to Psychology

The course comprises 7 lessons, as follows:

  1. The Nature and Scope of Psychology
  2. Neurological Basis of Behaviour
  3. Environmental Effects on Behaviour
  4. Consciousness and Perception
  5. Personality
  6. Psychological Development
  7. Needs, Drives and Motivation

Weight Loss Consultant

There are 8 lessons in this course:

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


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 (eg. fruit and vegetables) and what most people consume too much of (eg. 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.


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. Micronutrient 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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Help and advise people on how to lose weight! Become a nutritional counsellor.

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.

Meet some of our academics

Jade SciasciaBiologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.
Karen LeeNutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author. BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projects and has lectured to undergraduate university students. Has co authored two books on nutrition and several other books in health sciences.

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.