Advanced Certificate in Nutritional Science

Study nutritional science online and learn how nutrition affects the body. Learn about nutrient requirements, the digestive system, food allergies, nutritional disorders, dietary planning, and much more.

Course Code: VSC033
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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Take Steps to Become a Nutrition Expert 

Our nutrition courses are designed by specialists in the field to ensure our students develop knowledge of the links between diet and degenerative diseases, understand how nourishment (or lack of it) affects mental and physical performance, foetal development, and much more.    

Begin your journey working in the food industry, food provision, health care, education, consulting or public relations.


What really happens to the food you eat?

Study Nutritional Science with us and you will learn about how the body works to break down the foods you eat by looking at extensive biochemical processes such as metabolism.

Graduate Employment Possibilities

The food that people eat, and how it is eaten, may be influenced by a wide range of vocations, for example:

  • Health food shop sales staff

  • Food Supplement Suppliers (both factories that produce supplements and people who wholesale, or directly distribute supplements)

  • Primary producers

  • Food Retailers

  • Food Service Industries (Restaurant managers, cooks, etc)

  • Fitness professionals

  • Health & Wellbeing Professionals (eg. Doctors, Naturopaths, Massage therapists, Counsellors etc)

  • Nutritional Counsellors

  • Dieticians

  • Nutrition Scientists

The nutrition and food industries are changing all the time. Opportunities that exist when you commence study may be different to those when you graduate. The list above will provide an insight into where your career might take you; but in reality, the future holds opportunities that none of us have even dreamt of as yet.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Nutritional Science .
 Human Nutrition I BRE102
 Human Nutrition II BRE202
 Human Nutrition III BRE302
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Nutrition for Weight Loss BRE210
 Therapeutic Nutrition BRE211
 Children's Nutrition BRE304
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 18 modules.
 Biochemistry I (Animal and Human) BSC103
 Cell Biology BSC110
 Food Coaching VRE110
 Human Anatomy & Physiology (Human Biology 1A) BSC101
 Research Project I BGN102
 Self Sufficiency II ASS101
 Workshop I BGN103
 Biochemistry II (Plant & Animal) BSC203
 Bioenergetics (Human Biology IB) BSC201
 Food Preparation - Foundations of Cooking BRE212
 Microbiology BSC209
 Research Project II BGN201
 Biochemistry III (Animal Processes) BSC303
 Food Processing and Technology BSS301
 Gut Microbiome Management (Human) BSC311
 Sports Nutrition BRE303
 Statistics BSC304
 Weight Loss Consultant BRE307

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


What we eat has a huge impact on our health, and nutritional counsellors help advise and guide people to eat a balanced diet to maintain good health. If you are interested in food, nutrition and health, and enjoy communicating with people, this may be the career path for you.

Nutritional counsellors or nutritionists may educate others on health and the establishment of a well-balanced diet. Nutritional counselling and advice may help others identify their problems with food, and the physical consequences of not eating well.

Education about the nutritional values of food can be of particular benefit to a person with physical problems, and can complement the medical treatment that person is receiving from a medical practitioner.

Nutritional counsellors or nutritionists may work in conjunction with other professionals.

A nutritional counsellor’s role may include:

  • understanding nutritional science – the role and benefits of particular vitamins and minerals

  • interpreting nutrition science – explain what a client needs to take to address a nutritional issue

  • assessing people's nutritional needs

  • advising on nutrition and diet for general good health and well being or for special needs such as sport

  • implementing nutrition services and programs

  • teaching others about better health and well being.

Employment in the field of Nutrition is varied. You may work for yourself and counsel clients how to eat more healthily to have more personal wellbeing. You can work with clients or you can work as a nutritional journalist. These are just a couple of the many avenues that you can explore. Employment in this field can be part time, full time, casual or permanent.

Depending on where you are living, career opportunities can be quite different – of course, a larger city provides more opportunities in general. A background in Nutrition can be utilized in many different industries at a variety of levels.

Remuneration and advancement opportunities depend on where and how you are practicing in this field. If you are counselling in nutrition, the price for one half hour session may vary from not much more than the minimum wage to over four times that rate. This may depend greatly on whether you are working in your own practice and location, and your specialities.

Extra study in a specialised area will make your skills more competitive. After some time in the business, many nutritionists decide to specialise in fields such as weight loss, fertility, childhood – especially ADD and Autism, sports such as performance and weight lifting. Or you can simply become a specialist vegan nutrition counsellor, making sure that those people not eating meat, fish, or other animal products get the right amount of nourishment and vitamins. If you are working on your own, advancement will depend on you and what you want to add to your skills. If working for others, it will depend on what industry they are in and what they find beneficial.

Risks and challenges
The stress rating for a nutritional counsellor will again depend on the way one is practicing. Working for yourself can be much calmer than working for others, but having to pay the bills and finding clients on your own may be stressful. Some jobs put heavier demands on people than others. Some are very stressful; others very laid back. Working for others may be less stressful as there is less responsibility, but you may also feel the stress of having to work times that you cannot control. Mostly, the field of Nutrition is very rewarding and gives you much pleasure as you help others to better health.

Another risk worth considering is the possibility of providing advice which is either incorrect, has an adverse response for the client, or is perceived by the client to be incorrect. It is important to ensure you have appropriate insurance to cover you for situations like this.

How to become a Nutritional Counsellor
The nutrition industry is not government regulated in many countries, however high level jobs in big organisations (eg. Hospital Dietician) are usually filled by university trained nutritional scientists. . However, for your client’s (and your own) best interests, it is advisable that you undergo appropriate training. There are many excellent vocational training courses that deliver information from people working in the industry. There are also Bachelor degree and above courses that you can complete through University. Depending on your background, your personal attributes, and your passion for the industry, completing a two or three years of full time study for a diploma or degree may or may not be necessary.

It will be in your best interests if you can gain work experience, or work alongside a practicing nutritionist or similar while you are studying, so you can develop a sound understanding and gain valuable clinical experience.

Once you have finished your studies you will need to decide whether to go into practice by yourself, gain employment, or work under the umbrella of an existing health clinic, gym, or similar. Many people find that it is beneficial at first to try to gain employment or work with an existing team if possible, then move into self-employment. This, however, may or may not be possible. Many nutrition counsellors will work for themselves.

When planning on being self-employed, it is advised to gain at least basic business skills. You will also need to develop strong marketing and networking skills in order to build your business.

When you have started practicing, it is important that you keep up to date with changes in the field, and latest research. It is good to be a part of seminars on nutrition and health. Most nutritional supplement companies have seminars a few times a year to give the latest research on many different subjects. Also, universities and other schools sometimes hire specialists in the field for sharing the latest research and approaches to nutrition. You will also find academic Journals covering research innovations and latest studies in nutrition and dietetics.


Sample from One of the Modules - Biochemistry II

There are over eighty naturally occurring amino acids. Twenty of these are the molecules that form the basis of proteins, and due to that they are called standard amino acids. They are the ones found in vertebrate animals’ body. The rest of the amino acids, non-standard, are found in plants, bacteria and animal, where they may perform important roles as neurotransmitters (GABA), enzymes and other functions.


Below is the list of those amino acids, and between brackets, their name abbreviation:

Alanine (Ala)

Glycine (Gly)


Arginine (in children) (Arg)

Histidine (in children) (His)


Asparagine (Asn)

Isoleucine (Iso)


Aspartic Acid (Asp)

Leucine (Leu)


Cysteine (Cys)

Lysine (Lys)


Glutamic Acid (Glu)

Methionine (Met)


Glutamine (Gln)

Phenylalanine (Phe)

In the table above are shown in bold the so called essential amino acids, which human beings have to consume in their diet in order for their metabolism to function properly (in good health). The other amino acids can be synthesized from the former through specific biochemical pathways.

Amino acids link between each other by “peptide bonds”. When they form short chains they are called peptides, when they make up longer chain they are named polypeptides. The process is called “polymerization”. A peptide bond is the link that forms when an amino group (-NH2) links to a carboxylic group (-COOH) from another amino acid.

The Course

Our nutrition courses are designed by specialists in the field to ensure our students develop knowledge of the links between diet and degenerative diseases, understand how nourishment (or lack of it) affects mental and physical performance, foetal development and much more...

Achieve success with the help of our highly qualified tutors and academic staff who are thrilled to help people do well. Some possible career opportunities include working in the food industry, food provision, health care, education and public relations. You might opt for further study to go for a career in clinical nutrition, sports nutrition, community nutrition, public health or clinical studies. A research career and private practice are also possible with further study.

Studying Nutritional Science will teach you an understanding of nourishment of the body in scientific terms by looking at biochemical processes which occur in all living cells. Biochemistry is the chemistry of organisms and organic compounds. Metabolism is the process by which a body introduces into itself various energy‑rich materials from its environment (food or nutrients), and transforms these materials, with the release of energy, into other substances, some of which are retained by the body and some eliminated.


ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author.
BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics.
Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projects and has lectured to undergraduate university students. Has co authored two books on nutrition and several other books in health sciences.

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

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, Dip.Professional Education, Cert IV TESOL, Cert Food Hygiene.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Rajy Xavier

An Electrical Engineer with 12 years of experience in Engineering and Education. After completing masters in Telecommunication Engineering, she worked as an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering for 5 years. Then she has completed her masters in education with double major from Queensland University of Technology.

Jacinda Cole

Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams BSc (Hons), PgDip Eng, MSc, CEng MIET, CMgr FCMI

Andrew has extensive experience across the engineering and building services industries, with specialisms in refrigeration and energy management, with professional recognition as both a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Manager.

This experience includes working in consulting and leadership roles right through to being hands on to deliver projects and outcomes for large scale organisations and within startup and scale up environments.

He has adapted his experience to integrate with new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to allow for a data driven perspective to be applied to problem solving and is actively using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to solve real world problems.

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