Course Overview

Students can take this course in the classroom and receive a QQI Level 5 Nutrition Award or take this course online and receive a Diploma in Nutrition from City Colleges.

This course provides up to date scientific research, a well-rounded view and base of knowledge to allow the student to identify what they require for their own personal health, that of their families and perhaps friends and to enhance their professional development. The study of nutrition is vast and extensive but we will nonetheless delve deep into this exciting world over the course of 10 weeks. Students will have the opportunity to become a member of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism upon completion of the course.

Learning Outcomes

Learners will be able to:

1. Explore the functions of food, specifying the different classes of nutrients and their main functions.

2. Examine the energy values of the different food types and the factors that affect the energy requirement of an individual.

3. Examine basal metabolic rate (BMR) and reference nutrient intake (RNI) and the factors that can alter BMR.

4. Explore the functions of the digestive organs and the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients in the human body.

5. Examine the role of each type of fat (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated). and fatty acids in relation to health and the effects of the deficiency and excess intake of fat.

6. Investigate the main sources of fat, carbohydrates and protein in the Irish diet.

7. Examine the functions, sources, deficiency symptoms and the effects of excessive intake of the fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.

8. Distinguish between digestible and poorly digestible (non-starch polysaccharide NSP) carbohydrates.

9. Examine the functions, sources and deficiency symptoms of minerals, including Fe, Ca, I, P, Na, Zn.

10. Explore the importance of fibre in the diet and the sources of soluble and insoluble fibre and the potential health functions of each.

11. Examine the effects of a low and a high carbohydrate diet.

12. Distinguish between essential and non-essential amino acids.

13. Compare the protein content of foods derived from plants and animals.

14. Examine the role of vitamins and minerals in maintaining good health, the reference nutrient intake (RNI) for vitamins and minerals and the factors which affect absorption.

15. Investigate why certain groups of people are at high risk of suffering vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

16. Explore how the vitamin and mineral content of food can be preserved and the effects of preparation and cooking.

17. Explore the specific nutritional needs and the factors that influence the eating habits of infants, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

18. Explore how glycogen loading is achieved.

19. Examine the possible causes and effects of dehydration and the importance of maintaining fluid intake.

20. Specify the labelling of food products in accordance with EU regulations.

21. Examine the main categories of food additives, including E numbers, distinguishing between artificial and natural food additives, and the impact of additives on health.

22. Identify the trace elements that are required in the diet.

23. Test foods for the presence of fat, carbohydrates and proteins.

24. Examine the causes, symptoms and effects of Anorexia, Nervosa, Bulimia and Obesity.

25. Examine the role and impact of diet in a range of diseases and illnesses to include; coronary heart disease and hypertension, links between diet and types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and dental health.

26. Explore the role of diet in the treatment of a range of illnesses to include, including diabetes mellitus, coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis and lactose intolerance.

27. Examine the different techniques for measuring the nutritional status of an individual.

28. Devise a suitable menu for infants, school-going children, adolescents, the elderly, pregnant women, vegetarians, vegans and athletes.

29. Interpret the nutrition labels on a variety of food products.

30. Evaluate the current dietary recommendations of the Department of Health.

Course Award

Online – City Colleges Diploma in Nutrition

Classroom – QQI Level 5 Nutrition Minor Award


A pass grade on the written assignment will be required for awarding the Diploma.

Classroom – QQI Level 5 in Nutrition

Assignment 60%

Examination – Theory 40%

Online – Diploma in Nutrition

A Written Assignment of 2,500 words


Dr Werd Al-Najim

Responsible for delivering the programme and facilitating the workshops.

Dr Werd Al-Najim is a Consultant in Nutrition specialized in the treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science from Kingston University/UK and a PhD from Imperial College London/UK where she investigated novel treatments for obesity. She also holds a health coaching certificate from the Integrative Nutrition School/New York and a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy certificate from City Colleges/Dublin. Werd is involved in ground-breaking research in both London and Dublin and is currently co-leading a number of global clinical trials investigating effective methods for the treatment of obesity and obesity-related diseases. The focus of Werd’s research is developing personalized medical treatments for obesity and its complications.

Professor Carel le Roux (MBChB, MSC, FRCP, FRCPath, PhD) graduated from medical school in Pretoria South Africa, completed his Senior House Officer training at Barts and The London Hospital, his SpR training in metabolic medicine at the Hammersmith Hospitals and his PhD at Imperial College London. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in 2006, promoted to Reader in 2009 at Imperial and accepted a Chair as Head of Pathology at University College Dublin in 2011. He received the President of Ireland Young Researcher Award from Science Foundation Ireland, a Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute of Health Research in the UK and a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship amongst others.
A popular lecturer at undergraduate level, national and international conferences he has also supervised several MSc, MD and PhD students, many of whom have gone on to successful academic careers.

After establishing a successful independent research group, he published numerous high impact papers over the years that have influenced his field. In particular, his translational research on the understanding of the physiological role and pathological changes in appetite control has been widely acknowledged. He has also been able to take up a variety of editorial positions of peer-reviewed journals.

Working within the Diabetes Complications Research Centre and the Section of Surgery and Surgical Specialities the focus of his research is primarily concerned with increased mortality and morbidity associated with obesity and diabetes. A better mechanistic understanding of how the “gut talks to the brain” will allow safer and more effective treatments to be used in future. To this end, the role of gut hormones, bile acids and changes in food preference are areas of interest.


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live online
Live online training with real-time instructor-student interaction.
  • Live & fully online
  • Archived for review
January 2023
10 weeks, 1 evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30pm GMT
Study in a classroom environment one evening a week.
  • City centre location
  • Fully interactive
  • Limited class sizes
January 2023
10 weeks, 1 evening per week from 6.30 to 9.30pm GMT
on demand
A flexible online approach developed to allow you to learn at your own pace.
  • Fully Online
  • Pre-recorded
  • Suit your own schedule
10 weeks

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