Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional therapy, or clinical nutrition, is a natural, evidence-based approach that supports the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care.

What is Nutritional Therapy?

Nutritional Therapy, as the core component of Functional Medicine, is a holistic, person-centred approach that uses whole foods, phytonutrients, therapeutic food supplements and lifestyle changes to assist clients to restore and safeguard sound health.

What does a Nutritional Therapist do?

Following a comprehensive consultation, the Nutritional Therapist and client discuss and agree a programme of dietary and lifestyle recommendations based on the client’s unique needs and their personal preferences and circumstances. These recommendations can often be supported by findings from functional tests. Follow-up appointments to monitor progress and provide further advice and support take place over the following weeks or months.

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 move into the Nutritional Therapy programme (3 year duration). To learn more about the Nutrition & Health Coaching programme, take a look at our BTEC Diploma in Professional Nutrition & Health Coaching

What is the difference between a Nutrition & Health Coach and a Nutritional Therapist?

View the full post on What’s The Difference Between a Nutrition & Health Coach and a Nutritional Therapist?

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


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

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.


Completion of the IINH Nutrition and Health Coaching Diploma programme or equivalent*. Next course takes place 14th September 2023

* For those with prior learning from another college, please contact us to discuss further.

Time Commitment

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.

Crossfields Institute Approved Centre


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.)

Nutritional Therapy Webinar Recording

Nutritional Therapy Information Evening 2023


Our Nutritional Therapy students undergo continuous assessment with online tests, essays, case study reports and presentations, literature reviews and supervised clinical practice.


  • 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.

Course Outline

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, liver, endocrine system, immune system, cardiovascular and circulatory system, respiratory system, nervous system, bones and joints and urinary system.
  • How the different systems are integrated into the body as a whole.
  • 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. 
  • 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 on 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.  
  • Overview of common functional tests and their clinical applications.
  • 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. 
  • Sources, functions and interactions of micronutrients.
  • 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.
  • Design and evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional therapeutic interventions and provide effective on-going support to clients.
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

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.

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.

Please note, it is up to each applicant to find out what the legal requirement is for practising as a nutritional therapist in the country they plan to practice. 
Please note, applicants taking Bridging modules to the MSc in Personalised Nutrition at CNELM are recommended to find out whether an undergraduate degree in the field of nutrition is required in the country they are residing as some countries will require this. If this is the case you can progress via the BSc Hons Nutritional Science programme at CNELM. 
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