Course at a glance


Living a Healthy lifestyle is considered the new craze especially in recent times, in this course we explore why a balanced diet with regular exercise are key to good health.

Diet and nutrition will be defined and better understood in this course, before we learn about what our bodies need, we also need to understand how we process food, how we get fat, build muscles, and have enough energy for our body’s need to walk, talk, pump our heart, breathe, blink our eyes, maintain our body and grow – basically to stay alive.

How people stay healthy and what foods are required in what amounts is discussed.

Lessons on this online diet and nutrition course will be learned through practical activities which can easily be done at home.

The course is divided into 10 units of study, you can read a detailed summary of each unit in the ‘Content’ section at the bottom of the page.

To help spread the cost of the course, you can opt to spread the course fees over an interest and credit check free instalment plan. To do this, select the option for instalment payment from the drop-down box above the ‘Enrol’ button.

Diet and Nutrition Short Course Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enter into our Diet and Nutrition Short Course Diploma (Level 3).

Short Course Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

200 hours in total. Or 20 hours per week over 10 weeks.


Written assessment at the end of each unit of study.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diet and Nutrition Short Course Diploma Course Content

Unit 1 – The Digestive system

This unit will look at:

  • How our body processes food and water using the digestive system, some foods like cellulose are not digested and what happens to this is as important to know as making use of food groups.
  • Exploring the digestive systems, so that, before we look at the specifics of diet and nutrition, we have an understanding of how the different areas of our digestive system work.
  • Why is the mouth as important as the intestine? It is important to know more about how food gets from our plates into our tissues and cells, and what foods are beneficial to our body.

Unit 2 – Dietary Nutrients

Unit 2 of the course covers:

  • The basics of good nutrition and the nutrients our body need.
  • The important dietary nutrients of carbohydrate, protein and fats and oils, vitamins, minerals and water are explained in more detail, so that we can understand the function of these nutrients in our body.
  • Understanding how to introduce good nutrition into our daily lives and teaches us concepts such as “Energy Balance”, “Body Mass Index” and “The Harris Benedict Equation”.
  • How can people stay healthy and what foods and in what amounts are needed to achieve this is discussed.

Unit 3 – Supplementary Nutrients

This unit looks at:

  • How we need vitamins and minerals in our diet from citric acid (vitamin C) to zinc, including the increasing trend to take herbs and natural supplements such as garlic or cod liver oil directly or as capsules.
  • How vitamins and minerals are absorbed and used by the body.
  • How vitamins and minerals do not directly provide us with energy and how consuming a lot of them does not automatically guarantee optimal health.
  • What happens if you take too many vitamins or minerals. It is important to know where they come from and what exactly they do in our body.

Unit 4 – The Role of Fluids

Unit 4 covers:

  • Why we need to drink water, liquids or food containing them and the best way of obtaining sufficient quantities.
  • How 60-70% of our body weight is made of water. Water is essential to life, e.g. it helps to maintains our body temperature and it helps get rid of waste, cushions our joints, and all of the internal body functions need water.
  • The role of electrolytes (mineral salts), and learn how to recognise and prevent dehydration.
  • We also explore some facts about alcohol and how our bodies metabolise it, as well as the effects of alcohol on our health.

Unit 5 – Weight Loss and Dieting

Within unit 5 you will look at:

  • How the main reason people want to control their weight is for better health, as well as wanting to improve appearance and confidence.
  • Why generally dieting does not work, unless it involves healthy eating with regular exercise.
  • The effects of weight loss on health, and highlights the risks of rapid weight loss methods.
  • The reasons why many people find it so difficult to lose weight and then maintain this loss.
  • Appetite control and metabolism and the effects of different diets, culminating in simple effective strategies we can use to lose weight and maintain this weight loss.
  • Simply strategies for gaining weight, without it turning into fat.

Unit 6 – Vegetarianism

Study of unit 6 looks at:

  • Surveys that suggest about one in twenty people in the United Kingdom are vegetarian; many people choose to eat meat rarely or occasionally.
  • The whole topic of vegetarianism, including some of the reasons people choose a vegetarian lifestyle.
  • Are there any health benefits of a vegetarian diet, or, indeed, are vegetarian diets always healthy?
  • The different variations of the vegetarian diet and what essential elements are limited is discussed, and some ideas for meals to suit needs and provide a fully balanced meal are therefore included.

Unit 7 – Young People

This unit will look at:

  • Children and young people’s nutritional needs depend on their life-style and the amount of energy they use.
  • Factors that effect young people’s nutritional needs.
  • How to help young people maintain a healthy diet.
  • The energy needs of young people, especially if they are very active, as well as their protein, carbohydrate and fluid needs is explored, specifically looking at how these may differ from the needs of adults.
  • The needs and diets of women planning to conceive (or pregnant women) is also studied to start this topic discussing the needs of the child from their earliest point of life.

Unit 8 – Groups with Special Dietary Needs

Unit 8 of the course covers:

  • The diet and nutrition of groups with special dietary needs, including women at different stages of their lives, including during pregnancy and the menopause, will have special focus here.
  • Other groups with special dietary needs include those diagnosed as having diabetes, heart disease, allergies and asthma.
  • The signs and symptoms associated with these diseases and what can be done to prevent or delay their onset will be considered.
  • The importance of all essential minerals and vitamins will be explored in this particular context.
  • How our body cannot make Iron and how to provide sufficient amounts and prevent anemia.

Unit 9 – Eating Disorders

This unit of study will look at:

  • The three main categories of eating disorder are anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating (some consider obesity to be a fourth type).
  • The identified eating disorders are explored in more depth, including the belief they are an outward expression of psychological conflict.
  • The distinct differences between the eating disorders (often termed disordered eating) and their effects.
  • Strategies to help counter these illnesses and improve body image will be discussed.

Unit 10 – Personal Dietary Plans

The final unit of the course will look at:

  • Evidence that most people do not understand how to maintain a healthy state.
  • How having a health plan is not just about maintaining body weight, but more about leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • Identifying the individual needs of people and how these can be devised methodically.
  • Designing a personal dietary plan.
  • What a dietary plan includes, suggestions and ideas for healthy, balanced meals, treats and advice on keeping food (calorie intake) and exercise (calorie expenditure) diaries, so that any goals and targets set may be successfully achieved within a given time frame.

Additional Recommended Text:


This Diet and Nutrition Short Course Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: