CI Level 5 (UK) Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle – Evaluating their Role in Chronic Disease Development

The course explores how different healthcare models approach chronic disease prevention and management, including the biomedical and functional medicine methods

Starting dates


September 2020


September 2020

About the course

The aim of this course is to critically evaluate different theories on how and why nutrition and lifestyle choices influence the development of chronic disease, with a particular emphasis on the Functional Medicine model.

By 2020, worldwide deaths from chronic disease are projected to exceed 50 million and total twice the number of deaths from infectious disease. This phenomenon is not isolated to developed countries, with the World Health Organisation projecting that by the same year 7 out of every 10 deaths in developing countries will be attributable to chronic disease. A growing body of scientific research indicates that these diseases may result from interactions between genes, diet, lifestyle and the environment.

This unique course, CI Level 5 (UK) Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle: Evaluating their Role in Chronic Disease Development, is certified by Crossfields Institute to UK level 5 (Irish level 6/7). Its aim is to critically evaluate different theories on how and why nutrition and lifestyle choices influence the development of chronic disease, with a particular emphasis on the Functional Medicine model.

The course begins with a review of chronic disease prevalence and explores how different healthcare models currently approach chronic disease prevention and management. It also evaluates current research methods, with a focus on their strengths and limitations when researching in the area of chronic disease.

In order to comprehend how chronic disease may develop, it is necessary to understand how the body functions in its optimal state. Students will undertake units in nutritional biochemistry and integrative physiology, with an emphasis on how different bodily systems work together to support metabolic homeostasis.

This will be followed by an exploration of how potential disordered physiology may arise as outlined in the Functional Medicine model with particular focus on the role of nutrition and lifestyle factors. Finally, students will apply learning from all previous units to critically evaluate the role of nutrition and lifestyle factors in the development of key chronic diseases, including Metabolic Syndrome, Autoimmune conditions and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Why choose the CI Level 5 (UK) Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle – Evaluating their Role in Chronic Disease Development?

  • Develop an understanding of the latest healthcare models. This course develops understanding of the key 21st century healthcare models, including the Functional Medicine model. Functional Medicine is an evidence based, patient centred approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and preventing the underlying causes of chronic disease.
  • Constantly updated material. All units have a unit leader responsible for them. The role of the unit leader is to continually update the material delivered in lectures, student notes and online, set and mark assignments and to answer student queries on the unit forums. This keeps IHS material up to date using evidence based research and the very latest theories in healthcare.
  • Comprehensive and well structured study material supplied. Including presentation slides, case studies, video clips, quizzes, short answer questions and opportunities to reflect on your knowledge – all designed to make the learning experience as interactive as possible
  • Dynamic and interactive lecture weekends (in-class students only). Designed to suit all learning types and engage students in the learning process. Lecture weekends include a mixture of formal lectures, group discussion, group exercises, role play and case studies
  • Expert lecturers. Lecturers for the Diploma in Nutrition & Lifestyle and Chronic Disease Development include individuals with PhDs in Biochemistry, Degrees in Nutritional Therapy, Master Degrees in Chemistry, and Functional Medicine practitioners and education experts.
  • Flexible study options. Students can study in-class, solely online or a combination of the two (blended learning)

What will I study?

Chronic Disease and Healthcare Models

  • Epidemiology of chronic disease
  • Diet and lifestyle habits among populations of varying chronic disease prevalence
  • Exploration of different healthcare models and their approach to health and disease prevention
  • Concept of health and wellbeing

Contemporary Research Methods in Healthcare

  • Exploring scientific methods that underpin nutritional and biomedical research
  • Critical analysis of what constitutes effective and informative research

Integrative Physiology and Nutritional Biochemistry

  • The chemical level of organisation
  • The cellular level of organisation
  • The tissue level of organisation
  • Homeostasis; concept and the importance of its maintaining
  • Specific biochemical processes in the human body that relate to macronutrients and micronutrients

Integrative Physiology

  • Communication and transport systems
  • Assimilation and elimination
  • Protection, repair and survival systems

Metabolic Homeostasis

  • Metabolism of macronutrients at a chemical level
  • Metabolism during the pre and post absorptive states
  • Endocrine and neuro regulation of metabolism
  • New advances in understanding the role of gut microbiota in regulating metabolism

Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors in the Development of Disordered Physiology

  • Aetiology, pathogenesis and differential symptoms of a wide range of clinical imbalances outlined in the Functional Medicine model
  • Analysis of the possible nutrition and lifestyle factors that may contribute to specific clinical imbalances
  • Exploration of the interconnectedness of specific clinical imbalances within different systems

Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors in the Development of Named Chronic Conditions

  • Exploration of the pathology of metabolic syndrome, autoimmunity and chronic fatigue syndrome (includes new paradigms and emerging research)
  • Critique of the Biomedical and Functional Medicine models approach to understanding chronic disease development
  • Evaluating how nutrition and lifestyle contributes to chronic disease from a Functional Medicine perspective

How is this course structured?

Choose from any of the following options depending on your current lifestyle and study preferences:

  • In-class (Dublin). Starting in September and with 6 lecture weekends, this is the most popular way of completing the Diploma in Nutrition, Lifestyle and Chronic Disease Development.
  • Online. Studying online gives the flexibility to study wherever you are. You are assigned a Nutritional Therapist personal tutor to mentor you through the course as well as online forums and tutorials to give you the support you need to successfully graduate.

As of September 2019, online students may attend as many lecture weekends as they wish, for no extra cost.

Entry requirements

This is a lifelong learning course and students are accepted on to this course through a combination of academic qualifications and relevant life experience.

Normal minimum entry requirements

The minimum academic entry requirement for this course is a qualification at UK level 4 (Irish level 6) or international equivalent. If this is not a nutrition based qualification, another nutrition/nutrition coaching award will be required, which will be assessed on an individual basis.

Computer Skills Required

Basic computer skills including word processing, internet browsing and use of email.

All applicants will be interviewed to determine their suitability for the course

Course fees

In class