Nutritional therapy, or clinical nutrition, is a natural, evidence-based approach that supports the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care.
Become a certified nutritional therapist
At IINH, we approach Nutrition from a Personalised Nutrition perspective. In other words, from the premise that we are all biochemically unique and therefore respond to food in a unique way depending on a number of variables (eg our genes, age, life stage, environment and lifestyle). We also use the Functional Medicine model of healthcare which practically applies the principles of Personalised Nutrition.
We teach our Nutritional Therapy students to consider everyone to be unique and to recommend individualised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. We teach students to use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individuals’ symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health.
Nutritional Therapy is an evidence-based approach and our students are expected to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant information (including research and functional test results) to inform actions.
Our qualification is mapped to the Core Curriculum for Nutritional Therapy as developed by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission (NTEC).
What does a Nutritional Therapist do?
The Nutritional Therapist begins by conducting a comprehensive consultation and assessment of a person’s diet, lifestyle, and specific health concerns. Based on this information, the Nutritional Therapist and client discuss and agree on a customised nutrition and lifestyle plan that takes into account the individual’s unique needs and preferences. These recommendations can often be supported by findings from functional tests.
Nutritional therapists educate their clients on the principles of balanced nutrition and guide them in making healthier food choices. They may also provide advice on nutritional supplements when necessary. Furthermore, nutritional therapists monitor their clients’ progress, make necessary adjustments to the nutrition and lifestyle plans, and offer ongoing support and motivation. Overall, their role is to empower individuals to take charge of their health by optimising their nutrition and making sustainable lifestyle changes to improve their well-being.
Our Diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics is a UK level 6 (Ireland Level 7/8) and is externally accredited through Crossfields Institute. They approve and monitor the curriculum and assessment standards, and routinely audit students’ work. This way you can be assured that the content you are learning is up to date and of the highest standard. The course is also approved by the NTOI (Nutritional Therapists of Ireland) is the professional organisation representing qualified Nutritional Therapists in Ireland. Students and Graduates are eligible to apply for CMA Membership as they have demonstrated their commitment to excellence by choosing to train with IINH.
At IINH the journey to becoming a Nutritional Therapist begins with the BTEC Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching (9 months duration). Once this is completed, students can begin to practice as a Nutrition & Health Coach while moving into the Nutritional Therapy Diploma (3 year duration).
Next Course: January 3rd 2024
This interactive, part-time course is delivered fully online for all students. Occasional workshops and guest lectures etc (weekends only) will be held in the classroom and cooking school.
Course Duration: 3 years in addition of completion of Diploma in Nutrition & Health Coaching or equivalent.
1,650 notional learning hours. This includes lecture time, home study, tutorials, reading and assignments (approx. 15 hours per week).
Crossfields Institute Diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics. Nutritional Therapy graduates in the UK may register with the CNHC (voluntary regulator for complementary therapists) via external full portfolio route. (EFP) Please contact us to discuss further.
NTOI (Nutritional Therapists of Ireland) is the professional organisation representing qualified Nutritional Therapists in Ireland.
Level 6 in the UK system (= Level 7/8 Ireland). Same level as BSc Hons, but note that the NT award is not a degree. (See: BSc Hons in Nutritional Science)
(The level is assured by the awarding body, Crossfield’s Institute, in line with guidance from Ofqual and the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.)
Need more information?
Speak with our admissions team, with no obligation, by clicking the links below.
Irish Admissions Team
UK Admissions Team
What is the difference between a Nutrition & Health Coach and a Nutritional Therapist?
Nutritional Therapist Ciara Beaugé talks through the differences between a Nutrition & Health and a Nutritional Therapist.
View the information discussed in our ‘What’s The Difference Between a Nutrition & Health Coach and a Nutritional Therapist?‘ post
You may have found a Nutritional Therapy course that looks interesting – but it really makes sense to check what you will actually get at the end of all your hard work! In this blog post we outline some of the important factors you should consider when choosing the right course for you.
Course content is accessible on our learning platform 24/7, to enable you to fit your learning around your busy schedule. Content for modules is released in the form of handouts, podcasts and videos, ahead of the live learning sessions, so that you can review all of the content in your own time and come to the sessions with any questions you may have for our expert tutors.
This vocational qualification offers practical, hands-on learning, engaging case study work, and interactive experiences with real clients, so that you can feel confident as you set out as a newly qualified Nutritional Therapist.
Our Nutritional Therapy students undergo variety of assessments including:
- Online quizzes for A&P, Pathophysiology, Biochemistry, Epigenetics & Methylation
- Comprehensive Paper Case Study
- Critique and Literature review
- Written Assignments (eg Pharmacology, Magazine article, A&P Integration Essay)
- Presentations (group and individual)
- Clinical Practice (online) under Supervision
Crossfield’s Institute Diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics (DipNST).
- Recognised by Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI, the independent professional body representing Nutritional Therapy in Ireland.
- Nutritional Therapy graduates in UK may register with the CNHC (voluntary regulator for complementary therapists) via external full portfolio route (EFP). Please contact us to discuss further.
Nutritional Therapy Student clinic
As part of the Nutritional Therapy Clinical Practice module, students are required to complete 36 clinic observations and conduct 6 live consultations, all under close supervision.
36 clinic observations
For the 36 observations, students have the opportunity to watch pre-recorded videos featuring experienced Nutritional Therapists conducting real live initial consultations and follow-up sessions with clients. This allows observing students to witness the entire journey, from the client’s first consultation to the recommended diet and lifestyle changes and how these changes affect the client’s health concerns and symptoms over time. The experienced NTs also assess the effectiveness of nutritional therapeutic interventions and provide ongoing support during 1-2 follow-up consultations.
Moreover, students can attend live clinic days to observe their peers in action. During these sessions, they actively participate in designing client plans and can ask questions. These live clinics are closely supervised by experienced nutritional therapists affiliated with IINH.
Clinical Practice – 6 Live Consultations
As well as these two options to build up 36 observations for their portfolio, students also conduct 6 live consultations, all under close supervision. Real clients are assigned to students by our Student Clinic Supervisor. This hands-on experience with real clients allows students to apply the knowledge they’ve gained throughout their studies and develop their skills as competent practitioners. It empowers them to refine their unique approaches as practitioners, preparing them for a successful transition into their professional careers after graduation.
The Diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics is a Level 6 equivalent programme (UK undergraduate level) consisting of 8 units:
- Comprehensive knowledge of the structure and function of the major physiological systems of the body
- Digestive System
- Endocrine System
- Immune system
- Cardiovascular & Circulatory System
- Respiratory System
- Nervous System
- Bones & Joints
- Urinary System
- How the different systems are integrated into the body as a whole.
- How the different systems maintain homeostasis
- Comprehensive anatomical and physiological knowledge to communicate knowledgeably and confidently with other healthcare professionals.
- Understanding of the effect of genetic factors on cell metabolism and function.
- Understanding of the basic chemistry of the human body and the essential requirements for good health at the cellular level.
- The basic unit of life: the cell – The health of the cell underpins all aspects of our general health.
- Chemical processes and transformations in living organisms, molecular interactions, structural characteristics of molecules.
- Understanding of the substances essential to maintaining life at a molecular level and of the chemical mechanisms and pathways involved.
- Understanding of the structure and function of water, macronutrients and nucleic acids.
- How energy is produced at a cellular level and how macronutrients, with the aid of particular co-factors and co-enzymes, are metabolised into energy.
- Understanding of pathology and how pathology can affect the functionality and integrity of the different body systems, both directly and indirectly.
- Evaluating clinical signs and symptoms generated by the body’s response to internal and external influences.
- Identifying any clinical imbalances presented by a client to enable a complete assessment from a holistic point of view and therefore identify the most suitable nutritional interventions.
- Ability to identify any potential serious signs and symptoms (red flags as listed in the NTEC Core Curriculum) to refer to a medical practitioner.
- The origin of disease processes and how diseases develop at both a physiological and biochemical level.
- Clinical features and possible causes of the most encountered diseases and about differential diagnosis.
- Understanding the process of abnormal cell growth, tissue injury, inflammation and repair
- Understanding how microbiota can impact on health
- Use of assessment methods in clinical applications including functional testing, anthropometric testing and nutrigenetic testing
- The historical development of the profession, nutritional therapy principles and philosophy
- The concepts underpinning CAM, integrative and orthodox medicine and dietetics
- Understanding of the key principles and practices of nutritional therapeutics and how they may help combat pathology and disease in the different body systems.
- Founding principles of nutritional therapy and understanding of the principles of Functional Medicine (FM). FM operates with a client centred principle, in that the client, not the disease, is at the centre of any therapeutic interventions.
- How FM tools may be used to identify client needs and develop nutritional therapeutic treatment programmes.
- How nutritional therapy may support various clinical imbalances within body systems.
- Skill of using food as a therapy and exploring the impact of nutrients on the health of the major body systems.
- Identifying factors that can affect the nutritional status of an individual including nutrient bioavailability and impact of stress on nutrient status
- Sources, functions and interactions of micronutrients.
- Learning about the main categories of phytochemicals including their occurrence, physiological actions and potential toxicity
- Explore the evidence for the traditional and novel uses of nutrients and non-nutrient food bioactives.
- Understanding nutrient modulation of the functional status of an individual, including metabolic function, physiological function, biotransformation detoxification, behavioural function.
- How to develop a protocol for a nutritional therapeutic intervention
- Constructing menu plans which meet negotiated therapeutic goals, exploring use of transitional, alternative and functional foods, recipes and menu plans to increase compliance.
- Recommending nutraceuticals ethically, cost effectively and with regard to the environment and personal circumstances
- Suggesting suitable and appropriate lifestyle interventions that may support the client
- Conduct live consultations under close supervision allowing development of newly learnt skills as competent practitioners, drawing on the physiological, pathophysiological and nutritional knowledge gained throughout the program.
- Experience the consultation process first hand, initially through observing consultation sessions and then by conducting own consultations under experienced supervision.
- Use of Functional Medicine tools to gather client information, assess and evaluate client needs and build an in-depth assessment of their client.
- Gaining experience and competency to complete and continuously update Functional Medicine tools including symptoms burden analysis, timeline, matrix
- Design and evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional therapeutic interventions and provide effective on-going support to clients.
- Learning how to encourage the client to set goals, how to ask relevant questions, and how to seek advice or express concerns
- Ensuring client’s understanding of their role and responsibilities throughout the therapy process
- Opportunity to identify and develop own individual approach as practitioners.
- Discuss and share experiences with peers and explore the subtle complexities of working with real life cases in a supportive environment.
- Explore and utilise reflective practice methods that can be applied to support personal growth and development as a nutritional therapist.
Nutritional therapists frequently work with clients who are taking doctor-prescribed and/or over the counter (OTC) medications.
- Key concepts and principles of pharmacology, including how drugs interact with the human organism and with foods and nutraceuticals.
- Basic understanding of pharmacology and the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
- How commonly used drugs interact with the human organism, including possible side effects and contraindications.
- Understanding factors that affect variability of drug response
- How drugs interact with foods, nutraceuticals and other substances.
This unit does not enable learners to prescribe or administer pharmaceuticals in any way and is intended solely to deepen understanding relating to nutritional therapeutic practice.
- Knowledge and skills to develop the competencies needed to establish appropriate and effective professional and therapeutic relationships with clients.
- Reflective practice and how this can be used to develop skills as nutritional therapists.
- Explore and practice the skills required to establish, develop and manage therapeutic and professional relationships with clients.
- Identifying the practitioner’s responsibilities when working with the clients including time management, boundary setting, implied and informed consent and practitioner self-care
- Develop capacity for empathic and effective communication within the context of a professional relationship.
- Practice management; the legal, ethical, administrative and business requirements of practice, including privacy and data protection, which are essential when offering services to the public.
- Understanding requirements for practitioners to remain fit to practice including relevant codes of conduct, registering with a professional body and practising within scope of practice.
- Learning how to manage relationships with other professionals to support working with clients
It is important that nutritional therapists are research orientated and think critically about the field of nutritional science. As the profession is constantly evolving, nutritional therapists must keep up to date with the latest developments in their field.
- Principles and practices of research to better understand and evaluate publicly available research literature.
- Value and skill of researching information in practice.
- How to access, understand and evaluate the reliability of research data as it relates to clinical decision making.
- How to effectively reference work.
Crossfields Institute Diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics
(3 year programme, including Clinical Practice)
- Nutritional Therapy Year 1: €4,450 in full / €4,800 in instalments – Deposit €350 (non-refundable) followed by €890 x5
- Nutritional Therapy Year 2: €4,450 in full / €4,800 in instalments – First Payment €350 followed by €890 x5
- Nutritional Therapy Year 3: €3,000 in full / €3,350 in instalments – €670 x5
Click here for full information on fees and T&C’S
If you have completed the IINH Nutrition & Health Coaching Diploma, or an equivalent programme, and are interested in enrolling in our Nutritional Therapy Programme, register your interest below.