Advanced Certificate in Nutritional Counselling

Learn both nutritional science and food coaching as a career foundation, or for professional development. For those working in health or food industries: broaden your knowledge to enhance your work possibilities.

Course CodeVRE014
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Learn to advise people on their Food and Nutritional Needs 

Recent research in nutrition and health services indicates there is an increasing need for counsellors to have specialist knowledge in the area of nutrition, weight loss and children's nutrition whilst still maintaining professional counselling skills and practice. 

Health promotion in education is also another huge development area and requires people who know the facts about nutrition and also understand the importance of counselling.

This course is suitable for:

  • People seeking to develop counselling skills to use in conjunction with nutritional advice.
  • People inspired to educate people about improving health through nutrition. 
  • Counsellors, fitness instructors, health professionals or life coaches looking to broaden and develop their skills.
  • People with a passion for wellbeing.


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Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Nutritional Counselling .
 Industry Project BIP000
 Food Coaching VRE110
 Human Nutrition 1 BRE102
 Human Nutrition II BRE202
 Human Nutrition III BRE302
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 4 of the following 12 modules.
 Counselling Skills I BPS109
 Introduction to Psychology BPS101
 Counselling Techniques BPS206
 Food Preparation - Foundations of Cooking BRE212
 Nutrition for Weight Loss BRE210
 Professional Practice in Counselling BPS207
 Therapeutic Nutrition BRE211
 Children's Nutrition BRE304
 Food Processing and Technology BSS301
 Life Coaching BPS305
 Sports Nutrition BRE303
 Weight Loss Consultant BRE307

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Nutritional Counselling is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Human Nutrition I

The nine lessons are as follows:

  1. Introduction to Nutrition
  2. The Digestive System
  3. Absorption & Enzymes
  4. Energy Value and Foods
  5. Carbohydrates and Fats
  6. Proteins
  7. Vitamins and Minerals
  8. Water
  9. Nutrient Disorders

Human Nutrition II

There are eight lessons is as outlined below:‑

  1. Cooking And Its Affect On Nutrition
  2. Food Processing And Its Affect On Nutrition
  3. Recommended Daily Intake Of Nutrients
  4. Vitamins
  5. Minerals
  6. Planning A Balanced Diet
  7. Assessing Nutritional Status And Needs
  8. Timing Of Meals, And Needs For Special Groups

Human Nutrition III

This course is divided into eight lessons as follows:.

  1. Problems With Eating
  2. Dental Problems
  3. Fibre and Bowel Diseases
  4. Different Ways of Eating
  5. Food Toxicity A
  6. Food Toxicity B
  7. Detoxification/Body Cleansing
  8. Consulting/Giving Advice

Life Coaching

This course is approved by the Association of Coaching in the UK and qualifies you yo join that professional body.

  1. Introduction: Nature & scope of life coaching
  2. Individual perceptions
  3. A well-balanced life
  4. Coaching processes
  5. Coaching skills
  6. Coaching & physical well-being
  7. Coaching & psychological well-being
  8. Coaching success
  9. Goal-setting
  10. Review and adjustment

Popular Electives

Children's Nutrition

There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:

  1. Introduction to Child Nutrition
  2. Nutrition for Pre-Pregnancy
  3. Nutrition in Pregnancy
  4. Nutrition in Infants
  5. Nutrition in Childhood
  6. Nutritional Concerns
  7. Healthy Eating Behaviours
  8. Issues in Child Nutrition
  9. Childhood Obesity
  10. Diet Plans

Sports Nutrition

There are 9 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction to Human and Sports Nutrition
  2. Energy
  3. Energy in the Athlete’s Body
  4. The Training Diet
  5. The Competition Diet
  6. Fluids
  7. The Athlete’s Body Composition
  8. Weight Management
  9. Training for Size and the Use of Sports Supplements

Nutrition for Weight Loss

There are nine lessons in this course as follows:

  1. Understanding Obesity -Causes, genetics, lifestyle, exercise, eating habits, affect of pregnancy, medical conditions, diseases, water, changes at different stages of life (adolescence, menopause, etc). Evaluation of Weight status & Body Composition
  2. Nutrition Basics: revision of the basics, discussion of food sources, organic/inorganic, not just what you eat but how and when you eat, healthy digestion...
  3. Diets - Fads, Fiction and Fact: A review of a range of popular approaches to Weight Control – Starvation, Ketogenic Diets, Dieting. Crash diets, supplements, cleansing/elimination diets, Low carb diets, sweeteners, fat substitutes; Dangers
  4. Preventing Obesity
  5. Treating Obesity
  6. Modifying Eating Behaviour
  7. Restricting Calorie Intake
  8. Medical Conditions: Hormones, Drugs, Eating Disorders
  9. Planning a Diet 


Introduction to Understanding Food and Nutrition

In the main, ingredients used in cooking are derived from living things. This includes meat, eggs, and dairy products derived from animals and vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts come from plants and mushrooms and the yeast derived from fungi. In the process of cooking we also utilise water and minerals such as salt.

Going back in time the food we originally consumed was obtained by hunting and gathering and then over time to basic farming and fishing processes. While today’s farming processes are more complicated utilising intensive farming and industrial processes.

The food we eat is composed of nutrients - proteins, carbohydrates and fats in addition to water and minerals. Cooking involves a manipulation of the chemical properties of these molecules. We shall now look at these nutrients in more detail but please note that nutritional information is covered in greater depth in other courses.


Protein serves a number of essential functions in the human body. It is needed to build and repair muscles, to make hair and skin, fight against infections and to carry oxygen in our blood. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids, and while our body can make some of them, there are eight amino acids that our body can't make.

These are called essential amino acids and the only way we can get them is through the food we eat. It is important to eat a variety of protein foods every day to make sure your body gets all of the essential amino acids. Protein itself is derived from edible animal material such as from muscle, offal (internal organs), milk and eggs.

These animal sources are all good sources of protein that have all eight essential amino acids. Protein is also found in smaller amounts in plant foods such as legumes (beans and peas) and in nuts and seeds. These plant sources can lack some of the essential amino acids and it is therefore important for vegetarians to eat a good variety of plant foods to ensure they get all the amino acids the body needs. Cooking denatures protein which means that it changes the structure of protein. In doing so the taste and acceptability of the product is increased e.g. a cooked egg tastes better than a raw egg and is more appealing.


Carbohydrates provide our bodies with the most efficient source of energy. Carbohydrates come in two forms - starches (also named complex carbohydrates) and sugars (simple sugars). Starches are found in foods such bread, rice, pasta, cereals and potatoes, while sugars are found in fruit and vegetables and also in foods such as sweets, soft drinks and cakes. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet and should make up 50% of our daily calorie intake. When planning meals we must therefore ensure adequate intakes. The majority should come from complex carbohydrates, preferably the wholemeal varieties, as well as a large intake of fruit and vegetables.


Fats are found in most foods, it is either present in foods from the beginning (such as in meat and cheese), or it's been added in cooking. Fat supplies essential nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids (EFAs) which are thought to have a positive effect on heart health and the immune system. Fat can itself be divided into two main groups - saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fat is generally solid at room temperature and can usually only be found in animal sources such as in butter, hard margarine, cheese, whole milk and anything that contains these ingredients like cakes, biscuits, chocolate and pastries Fat is an essential component of good cooking helping the ingredients in food, come together for texture, and flavour.

You Will also Learn about Counselling

The aim of counselling is to provide the client with a more satisfying experience of life. Everyone has different needs, so counselling can be concerned with many different aspects of a person’s life.

The role of the counsellor is to facilitate the person’s resolution of these issues, whilst respect their values, personal resources, culture and capacity for choice. Counselling can provide people with a regular time and space to talk about their problems and explore difficult feelings in a confidential and dependable environment.


Counsellors do not usually offer advice, but instead give insight into the client’s feelings and behaviour and help the client change their behaviour if necessary. They do this by listening to what the client has to say and commenting on it from a professional perspective. Counselling covers a wide spectrum from the highly trained counsellor to some one who uses counselling skills as part of their role, for example, a nurse or teacher.

Online and Telephone Counselling

In today's world, counselling increasingly involves interaction with client via telephone or online.
Telephone and online/email/chat counselling are not done face-to-face, but will have many things in common with face to face counselling.

Telephone and email support may be appropriate for situations when a client wants to –

  • Discuss ways of solving a problem.
  • Find the energy to address a problem.
  • Understand the psychological aspects of a situation better.
  • Discuss ways to modify the client’s behaviour.
  • Discuss ways to modify the behaviour of others in certain situations.
  • Generate new ideas or gain fresh perspectives.
  • Access specialist knowledge and guidance.
  • Build on progress already made in face to face sessions with a counsellor.

There are some situations that are not suitable for telephone or online counselling where the counsellor may suggest the client seeks an alternative form of assistance.


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Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di
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