Frequently Asked Questions

  • Experience – IINH has led the field in nutrition education and training since 2002. Richard Burton, our founder, has over four decades of experience in nutrition research, teaching and clinical work. Together, our team of primary tutors bring almost 100 years of experience in functional nutrition and teaching! 
  • Reputation – New learners each year are often referrals from former students. Before Covid forced all our courses online several overseas students moved to Ireland to study with us.
  • Innovation – The first ever Nutrition & Health Coaches (in the world?) graduated from IINH in summer 2011, armed with a brand-new, internationally recognised qualification (BTEC Advanced Diploma in Nutrition & Health Coaching). All our courses emphasise ‘nutrition in practice’ – learning to teach others why and how to make smarter, healthier food & lifestyle choices – and get them to stick! Unlike most nutrition courses, this practical focus is prioritised in all our programmes.
  • Accreditation – IINH is a registered Training Provider for:
    • PEARSON – Pearson is the largest accrediting body for education awards on the planet – including our new level 4 (=level 6 Ireland)  BTEC Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching.
    • Crossfield’s Institute – CI is an official UK awarding body and research institute for social innovation, focused on education, professional practice and leadership to facilitate transformative ways of life and working practices. CI accredits our level 6 programme in Nutritional Therapy: Crossfield’s Institute Diploma in Nutritional Science & Therapeutics. 
    • NTOI – Nutritional Therapists of Ireland is the country’s thriving and fast-growing professional body for Nutritional Therapy practitioners. 
    • Degree opportunities – IINH Nutritional Therapy graduates have progressed to MSc programmes in Nutritional Therapy, Nutritional Science, and Public Health Nutrition, among others, at UK and Irish Universities. CNELM, a UK college specialised in nutrition education ( offers to fast-track IINH graduates to a BSc Hons or Masters programme (awards by Middlesex University) with flexible study options.
  • The BTEC Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching award has launched careers for many successful coaches. But this course also serves as the founding year of the NT programme, which takes a further 2.5 years to complete, part-time. 
  • This means that our Nutritional Therapy students are already qualified as Nutrition & Health Coaches. Some NT students ‘earn as they learn’ –  coaching paying clients while they study for the higher award. 
  • Why are the two courses linked in this way? – Because to be a successful Nutritional Therapist you need to be good at Coaching! The practical skills learned as a Coach can make a decisive difference when assisting clients with complex conditions. 
  • Not sure if NT is the path for you? Doing the Coaching programme offers insights into Nutritional Therapy for those who may be unsure if they want to progress. Learning about nutrition, healthy eating and lifestyle habits in practice, and doing case study work with genuine volunteer clients, provides good insight into what NT is about. So during the Coaching course there is plenty of time to consider if you want to progress to NT – to combine the practical skills of a Nutrition & Health Coach with the deeper scientific understanding needed in Nutritional Therapy.
  • It is quite common for Coach graduates to take a study break and return to complete the NT programme later – usually the following year. 

You don’t need prior knowledge of the subjects taught, but level 2 base knowledge at Junior cert level/GCSE or equivalent is required.

You will need to be reasonably competent in spoken and written English and have basic computer skills. Students should be at least 18 years old at enrolment. 

No. Many of our students left school – long ago – without science subjects, and our courses are designed to accommodate them. So there’s no need for any prior science knowledge.

With certain types of prior learning it is possible to enter the Nutritional Therapy programme directly. However, the Nutrition & Health Coaching course is an integral part of the NT curriculum, and some practical elements are not taught elsewhere. Our Prior Learning Coordinator will deal with this question on an individual basis.

During pandemic restrictions all in-class teaching (attendance and blended learning options) has been replaced by online classes. We now use the Flipped Classroom’ approach – described under Q. ‘What is Flipped Classroom….’, below. Going forward, all courses will be delivered completely online. However, special classroom days will take place from time to time. These will include workshop-style sessions, e.g. Communication & Coaching Skills, or Understanding Food Labels, or lectures on topics outside the curriculum, such as Use of Herbs, or Introduction to Chinese Medicine. Classroom days will take place at Blackrock Education Centre, Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. A96 EW01 The Coaching course includes two cooking sessions – one near the start, the other at the end. IINH has a dedicated cooking school for demonstration classes – The Taste Health Kitchen. Until we can welcome students indoors again, these cooking sessions will be delivered live and online. NT students have a cooking session focused on special dietary issues during each year of study. The Taste Health Kitchen is situated close to Shankill, Co Dublin.
Suggested average study time for the Nutrition & Health Coaching programme is about 6-8 hours per week, plus the online tutorials. Much of this time will be spent in recommended reading / watching / listening. Written assignments and case studies form part of home study. Average recommended study time for the Nutritional Therapy programme is about 15 hours per week, plus the online tutorials.

Since the pandemic began, in-class teaching at IINH has been replaced by ‘Flipped Classroom’ learning.

The Flipped Classroom is a fast-growing trend in education – especially since early 2020. It reverses the traditional teaching familiar to us all, where new content is taught face-to-face in class and homework / assignments then completed independently at home. 

What makes Flipped Classroom so different and useful?

At IINH, our flipped classroom system is type of blended learning. New course materials are released on our learning platform (Brightspace) every 3 weeks or so. Students study this content at home and then bring any questions they have to the live Zoom tutorials, led by the relevant tutor. During these 2-hour sessions, they also discuss concepts and practise skills with others in breakout rooms.. Students can also access a moderated online forum to support their learning and interactions. Assignments are completed independently at home.

In the BTEC Coaching course there is no final exam – student assessment is based on a series of mostly practical assignments throughout the programme, including detailed case studies with four ‘real’ volunteer clients.  

In the NT course, assessment includes a variety of assignments, ranging from quizzes on the body systems to written assignments and presentations.

Learners at the later stages of the Nutritional Therapy course join the nutritional therapy clinic for their clinical practice sessions, which currently take place online.

Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (SCHC) is a 6-week, evidence-based, adaptation of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) programme.  MSC is the empirically supported program of Dr. Kristin Neff at UT Austin and Dr. Chris Germer at Harvard Medical School. 

This abbreviated MSC training programme was specifically designed for healthcare professionals and is very relevant to all Caregivers.  This training aims to improve wellbeing and personal resilience in professionals in the caring professions.  It aims to do this by teaching mindful self-compassion skills to deal with distressing emotional situations as they occur at work and at home.  

Here at IINH we teach the programme in 6 x 90-minute weekly sessions.

It is rare that a student is able to attend every single session! All tutorials are recorded and available the following day on the learning platform. They can be downloaded and followed on-screen or audio-only. All course materials can be downloaded 24/7, so there is no need to miss anything.

When a busy life makes it hard to complete assignments on time, extra time can be granted when requested from the course coordinator.

Usually just 2 or 3 books are recommended for purchase each year. These can sometimes be borrowed or bought second hand.

All required lecture materials are supplied by IINH at no extra cost. 

Please see our Course Fees and Payment Options for further details.

Fees may be paid in one payment, or by monthly instalments. See Course Fees and Payment Options for further information.

If for any reason you cannot complete the course in the stated time-frame, we will work with you and extend deadlines where possible to facilitate completion within the calendar year.

If you have to defer, you may re-enrol when the next course starts. All successfully completed work and payments will be carried forward to the next course.

The deferral option may only be availed of once and a re-enrolment charge of €350 will be applied.

Course fees include all you need to complete the programmes. This includes your registration with the awarding bodies and the official printed diploma:

  • BTEC Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching (UK L4)
  • Crossfield’s Institute Diploma in Nutrition Science & Therapeutics (UK L6)

There will be a €50 fee to attend an optional special classroom day. Cooking demonstration classes come at no extra cost.

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