Diploma in Nutritional Therapy
This comprehensive practitioner training diploma provides practical and interactive lectures alongside structured home study, cooking demonstrations and 250 hours of clinical practice supervised by some of the most respected Nutritional Therapists from Ireland and the UK. Our syllabus is written to cover the UK Nutritional Therapy Councils core curriculum for Nutritional Therapy and aims to uphold the UK’s National Occupational Standards for the industry. Students and graduates may register with The Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), Ireland’s only independent registering body for Nutritional Therapists, and the Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (FNTP) in the UK.
- Industry Recognised Practitioner Training Programme
- Certificate in Dietary Counselling at the end of Year 1
- Start seeing clients and earning an income
- ITEC accredited interim awards
- ITEC Diploma in Diet and Nutrition for Complementary Therapists
- ITEC Diploma in Anatomy & Physiology
- Student and graduate registration with the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI) and the Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (FNTP), UK
- Graduates are eligible to apply for direct entry onto the MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert in Personalised Nutrition taught at CNELM (Wokingham, UK). This course is validated by Middlesex University for attendance, part attendance or 100% distance learning. Eligibility is subject to grades and a letter of reference from IHS
About this Course
The IHS Diploma in Nutritional Therapy is based on the principles and practice of functional medicine, an evidence based, patient centred approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and preventing the underlying causes of chronic disease. This allows graduates of our programme to understand, utilise and educate others on the most up to date and relevant research in healthcare. The course includes study of medical sciences (anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology), applied nutritional science, functional medicine, research methods and practitioner development all of which are taught from basic to advanced level over the course of the programme.
ITEC accredited exit awards have been embedded into this course to allow students to begin practicing as a Dietary Counsellor from the end of year 1 onwards. This allows students to gain valuable experience in the industry whilst still working towards their Nutritional Therapy qualification.
This 3½ year part-time course includes 10 lecture and clinical practice weekends per year alongside structured home study.
Click here to view the Diploma in Nutritional Therapy course outline years 1 - 3
The programme has a strong practical orientation and integrates elements of theory and practice (academic subjects and clinical practice) from year 1 onwards. This provides opportunities for progressive, professional development where the student can reflect on, analyse and evaluate professional practice throughout the course. The Dietary Counselling interim award at the end of year 1, alongside more advanced clinical training in years 2 and 3, also offers the student opportunities for putting into practice theories and ideas generated in the taught elements of the course.
As the IHS diploma course is completely modular, students have the flexibility to design their own study programme. Therefore if you do not wish to complete the Certificate in Dietary Counselling during year 1, owing to time constraints or other commitments, you can defer some modules to year 2 and receive the certificate then, along with the ITEC diploma in Anatomy and Physiology.
Year 1 covers the evolution of and principles behind Nutritional Therapy and different healthcare models, and explores their use within a modern integrated healthcare system. Students are introduced to the specific healthcare issues associated with the Western diet and lifestyle and therefore the clients and disease states they are most likely to encounter upon graduation. It establishes the foundation of scientific knowledge essential to nutritional practice including anatomy and physiology and basic nutritional science, while the clinical practice weekend allows them to observe firsthand how they will be interacting with clients once graduated. Other skills developed during the first year include dietary analysis, body composition analysis and health coaching. For those wishing to receive their Certificate in Dietary Counselling an extra module exploring key societal issues surrounding nutrition and health including vulnerable groups of the population, food processing, food regulation and coaching skills may be completed.
Year 1 Interim Awards: IHS Certificate in Dietary Counselling (for those students completing the ‘Nutrition in Society’ module) and ITEC Diploma in Diet and Nutrition for Complementary Therapists
Year 2 builds on the student’s scientific knowledge by introducing pathophysiology (the study of disease states and how they affect the human body). It also consolidates nutritional knowledge obtained in year one by exploring nutritional therapeutics and the application of nutritional science and Functional Medicine principles. Further clinical practice allows students to more actively observe nutritional therapy consultations and encourages discussion and participation in role plays, activities, case studies and discussion.
Year 2 Interim Awards: IHS Certificate in Dietary Counselling (for those students not wishing to obtain this certificate in Year 1) and ITEC Diploma in Anatomy and Physiology
Year 3 consolidates all the theory learned so far in the course, and concentrates on giving students advanced skills in nutritional therapeutics. We call this our ‘experts’ year as we ensure students have access to a range of guest speakers who are considered experts in their particular fields, be this medicine, diagnostic testing or neutriceuticals. Research modules give students a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the need for evidence basis in healthcare and a module on practitioner development ensures students develop proficient skills in communicating with clients and understanding/reflecting upon the complexities of the patient/practitioner relationship (based on the principles of NLP and health and wellness coaching). They are then encouraged to utilise these new skills during their first supervised consultations and through taking leading roles in clinical based activities, role plays, discussions and case studies. Our innovative and dynamic entrepreneurship module ensures students learn key business skills from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Nutritional Therapy field and beyond. These include developing a business plan, marketing, advertising, presentation skills and the fundamentals of setting up in practice. Students graduate this module having already designed and developed key marketing literature so they are ready to go into practice.
Year 4 is five months in duration and requires the production of clinical case studies, a research project, reflective narratives and evaluations of the effectiveness of nutritional therapy in various clinical scenarios. All clinical practice during this module takes place in the IHS student clinics. This module provides students with intensive supervised clinical practice and tutorials in small groups designed to maximise their skills and bolster their confidence prior to graduation. During supervised cases they are expected to exhibit advanced therapeutic skills, knowledge and competence. The aim is to give students a comprehensive and thorough overview of contemporary professional practice. The success of our current graduates demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach.
This is a lifelong learning course and students are accepted on to this course through a combination of academic qualifications and relevant life experience.
(i) Normal minimum entry requirements
The minimum entry standard that an applicant should obtain in the Leaving Certificate is a Grade C3, or better, in two higher level papers, together with a Grade D3 at ordinary level or better in four other subjects. A pass in either Irish or English must be included. A pass in at least one science subject is advantageous. Overseas equivalents are also considered.
(ii) Prior Learning and Prior Experiential Learning
For entry to the programme applicants with Prior Learning and Experiential Prior Learning will be considered. Each non-standard applicant will be interviewed to determine their suitability for the course. The knowledge, skills and competencies identified are those corresponding to the knowledge, skills and competencies defined by Level 4 and Level 5 on the National Framework.
(iii) Fast Track Entry and Exemptions
Students who have previously completed a qualification in Anatomy & Physiology at Level 6 standard and above will be eligible for fast track into Year 2 of the diploma programme. Students who have obtained an un-accredited qualification in Nutritional Therapy will also be eligible for entry onto the diploma programme. These students will be assessed in terms of modules completed in prior studies and will complete all outstanding modules in the diploma programme.
How to Apply
Training is an investment in your future. As with any investment it is important to identify what you wish to gain and which course will be most suitable for your needs. The Institute staff will spend time speaking with you to ensure you have all the information you need to make the right decision. We recommend you attend one of our regular open evenings to find out more about the course structure, content and career opportunities.
All IHS courses require dedication and commitment to lecture attendance and home study. You will be required to attend an open evening/day or to be interviewed by appointment. Applications are judged and places are awarded on merit.
To enrol you will need to complete the application form, save it and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that a €500 deposit is required to hold your place on the first year of the diploma, which is deductible from your first year fees.
If you would like IHS to contact you please fill out our online contact form and a staff member will get in touch with you shortly.