Level 6 Diploma in Nutritional Therapy (SRQ)

Develop the knowledge, skills and confidence required to work successfully with clients to recommend individualised nutrition, supplement and lifestyle changes 

Starting dates


May 2020


September 2020

About the course

This comprehensive 3½ year practitioner training diploma begins in year 1 at UK level 4 (Irish level 6) and builds to UK level 6 (Irish level 8) – equivalent in level to a UK degree programme. It systematically develops the knowledge, skills, competencies and confidence required to work successfully as a Nutritional Therapist.

The course provides practical and interactive lectures (in-class students) alongside structured home study and over 250 hours of clinical practice (including 70 live hours) supervised by some of the most respected Nutritional Therapists in the industry. Our syllabus is written to cover the UK Nutritional Therapy Council’s core curriculum for Nutritional Therapy and aims to uphold the UK’s National Occupational Standards for the industry. Students and graduates may register with the Nutritional Therapists of Ireland (NTOI), Ireland’s registering body for Nutritional Therapists, and the Complementary Medical Association (CMA) & Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (FNTP) in both the UK and Ireland.

“Studying with IHS was a great experience. The lecturers were very experienced and knowledgeable and the supporting staff were extremely helpful and accommodating. The course content was excellent, evidence-based and very relevant. I feel that I was very prepared to deal with clients after this course, both from a scientific/nutrition point and by understanding clients’ motivations and barriers. I feel that IHS holds the high standards that should be expected of Nutritional Therapists and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this Institute for anyone considering a career in nutrition.”

Ciara Wright, PhD, BSc, Dip NT IHS, Nutritional Therapy Diploma Graduate, currently Director and Senior Nutritionist at Glenville Nutrition Ireland

The IHS Diploma in Nutritional Therapy is based upon 2 key, evidence based and well respected healthcare models – Functional Medicine and Health & Wellness Coaching. Functional Medicine is a patient centred approach to healthcare that focuses on identifying and preventing the underlying cause of chronic disease. Health & Wellness Coaching offers the most effective tools for improving client compliance, assessing and developing readiness for change and helping client’s overcome barriers to change.

During clinical practice, we develop key skills in a systematic and logical fashion from year 1 onwards so that students are confident and competent before they see clients in our supervised student clinics in year 4. Our approach involves a variety of tried and tested education methods proven to be the best practice for developing communication and clinical practice skills. These include in-class exercises and role play, structured at-home exercises, reflective practice, video/paper based consultation analysis, live clinical observation and supervised client consultations.

The overall aim of the programme is to equip students with the knowledge, understanding and competencies required to provide comprehensive nutritional advice to individuals and groups in a range of healthcare settings. IHS develop confident, safe and effective practitioners of Nutritional Therapy who have a specific expertise and a specialised knowledge base, competent to work either individually or in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.

Why choose the Level 6 Diploma in Nutritional Therapy (SRQ)?

  • Study with the best. IHS are commonly recognised within the industry as providing the highest quality Nutritional Therapy education.
  • Academically certified to level 6 (equivalent to level 7/8 in Ireland). By Crossfields Institute (CI), an awarding organisation and education charity, based in England, specialising in the design, delivery and award of holistic and integrative qualifications in sectors including health and social care and child development. The Institute is regulated by Ofqual (the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) which regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
  • Flexible learning options. Study in-class, online or a mixture of the two (blended learning). Online students can start at one of 3 points through the year – October, January or June. Online students can attend as many lecture weekends as they wish. Please note that years 2, 3 and 4 only run from September onwards.
  • Earn whilst you lean. Qualify as a nutrition and lifestyle coach after year 1 with the CI Level 4 (UK) Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching (VRQ)
  • Over 250 hours of clinical practice (including 70 live hours). We begin our clinical practice for students in Year 1, which ensures that they are very familiar and competent with the practice of Nutritional Therapy by the time they take patients in Year 4
  • Our focus on Functional Medicine and Health and Wellness Coaching. Functional Medicine is an integral part of the course – we teach the approach (imbalance by imbalance), discuss the IFM protocols in detail, use the IFM paperwork for interpreting cases and planning an approach. We have organised Functional Medicine conferences with guest lecturers including Michael Ash, Dr Liz Lipski and Dr Kara Fitzgerald. All clinical practice is underpinned by the principles and practice of Health and Wellness Coaching
  • Expert academic team – Lecturers, unit leaders and personal tutors for the IHS Nutritional Therapy Diploma include leading Nutritional Therapists, certified health and wellness coaches, qualified 3rd level educationalists, MSc and PhD level scientists, food lovers and a chef  – giving our students access to a wealth of knowledge and experience from their first day of study. In class students will be taught by at least four different lecturers per year to benefit from as much of their knowledge as possible.
  • Our comprehensive and well structured study material. Including presentation slides (with audio), case studies, video clips, quizzes, short answer questions and chances to reflect on your knowledge – all designed to make the learning experience as interactive as possible – IHS students do not simply sit in class, taking notes!
  • Constantly updated material. All units have a unit leader responsible for them. Their role 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.
  • Dynamic and interactive optional lecture weekends. Designed to suit all learning types and engage students in the learning process. These include a mixture of formal lectures, group discussion, group exercises, role play and case studies
  • The IHS commitment to pastoral care and student support. IHS have a dedicated student support officer to help struggling students or those with specific learning difficulties. We ensure that all students have access to both staff and peer support whilst studying with IHS
  • Apply for direct entry onto the MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert in Personalised Nutrition taught at CNELM (Wokingham, UK) upon graduation. This course is validated by Middlesex University for attendance, part attendance or 100% distance learning
  • Try us for free! Sign up for a free trial to experience our study material

What will I study?

Year 1 is the CI Level 4 (UK) Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching (VRQ), a unique, Ofqual regulated course where food is examined from farm to fork. We explore exactly how food is grown, processed and thus nutritionally depleted and the cumulative effect this has on health. Students are then taught how to analyse a client’s individual needs and instructed how food, nutrients and supplements can be used to counteract the health problems associated with modern lifestyles and promote optimum health.

You will:

  • Explore Macronutrients, Micronutrients and food groups and their impact on the body
  • Evaluate current popular dietary trends and their impact on health
  • Learn how to analyse nutritional needs
  • Explore effective weight management
  • Study how to develop effective and personalised meal and lifestyle plans
  • Understand how to support different body systems with nutrition and lifestyle
  • Explore the specific nutritional needs of particular groups on society
  • Be taught professional communication skills (based on the Health Coaching model)
  • Gain the knowledge and skills to launch and run a successful nutrition and lifestyle business

Year 1 Interim Award: CI Level 4 (UK) Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching (VRQ)

Year 2: The objective of this year is to critically evaluate different theories and approaches on how and why nutrition and lifestyle choices influence the development of chronic disease, with a particular emphasis on the Functional Medicine model.

You will:

  • Critically evaluate research on the interplay between genetics, nutrition and lifestyle in chronic disease development
  • Explore how nutrition and lifestyle may impact individuals in different ways, resulting in diverse disease outcomes
  • Review chronic disease prevalence and explore how different healthcare models currently approach chronic disease prevention and management
  • Study nutritional biochemistry and physiology from a uniquely integrative perspective, with an emphasis on how different bodily systems work together to support metabolic homeostasis
  • Explore how potential physiological imbalances may arise from a Functional Medicine perspective
  • Evaluate the role of nutrition and lifestyle factors in the development of key chronic diseases, including Metabolic Syndrome, Autoimmune conditions and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Year 3: The objective of this year is to critically evaluate the role of nutrition and lifestyle in the management of chronic disease. It will focus specifically on personalised nutrition and lifestyle interventions and explore the Functional Medicine model as a means of applying these principles to practice.

You will:

  • Examine evidence based strategies for managing chronic disease, with a specific focus on Functional Medicine interventions
  • Explore the use of therapeutic diets, such as mediterranean, palaeolithic, vegan and vegetarian diets, intermittent fasting, low GL, elimination and ketogenic diets
  • Study the use of therapeutic and functional foods to develop understanding on how these foods are defined, regulated and utilised by the general public and within the healthcare arena
  • Investigate food supplements with a focus on regulation, quality, use by the general public and healthcare professionals and controversies surrounding their use
  • Explore the use of lifestyle interventions in the prevention and management of chronic disease with a focus on physical and psychological interventions and the research behind their use
  • Evaluate the use of nutrition and lifestyle interventions for addressing physiological imbalances identified by the Functional Medicine model, using Functional Model principles, practices and paperwork
  • Study the role of personalised nutrition and lifestyle interventions in the management of key chronic diseases, including Metabolic Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Year 4 is eight months in duration and requires the production of clinical case studies, reflective narratives and evaluations of the effectiveness of nutritional therapy in various clinical scenarios. All clinical practice during this module takes place in the IHS student clinics. This module provides students with intensive supervised clinical practice and tutorials in small groups designed to maximise their skills and bolster their confidence prior to graduation. During supervised cases they are expected to exhibit advanced therapeutic skills, knowledge and competence. The aim is to give students a comprehensive and thorough overview of contemporary professional practice. The success of our current graduates demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach.

How is this course structured?

The IHS Diploma in Nutritional Therapy can be completed with optional lecture weekends or 100% online.

The first 3 years of this 3½ year part-time course includes approximately 6 optional lecture weekends per year alongside structured home study. The 4th year (6 months in total) is solely focused on ensuring graduates are competent and confident in clinical practice. It comprises of 6 clinical practice weekends with live clients which students attend in small groups (3 or 4 students) with an experienced Nutritional Therapy practitioner as a clinic mentor or online, via supervised client consultations. Each student must pass a number of supervised clinical practice cases in order to graduate.

Please note that in class places are strictly limited.

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 4 grade Cs (preferably including a science subject) at Leaving Certificate. A pass in either Irish or English must be included. Overseas equivalents are also considered.

Prior Learning and Prior Experiential Learning

For entry to the programme applicants with Prior Learning and Experiential Prior Learning will be considered. The knowledge, skills and competencies identified are those corresponding to the knowledge, skills and competencies defined by Level 4 and Level 5 on the National Framework.

Fast Track Entry and Exemptions

Students with a nutrition coaching qualification from elsewhere may be able to fast track into year 2 of the IHS Diploma in Nutritional Therapy (a bridging module may be required to be undertaken if this qualification is below UK level 4 – Irish level 6). Also, students who have obtained other nutrition qualifications or have undertaken some study in the field may be eligible for fast track entry onto the IHS diploma programme. These students will be assessed in terms of modules completed in prior studies and will complete all outstanding modules in the diploma programme.

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

Course fees

With Lecture Weekends

Year 1  €3495* (10 monthly payments total)

Year 1 €3295* (1 or 2 payments - save €200)

Years 2 & 3 €4095 per year (10 monthly payments)

Years 2 & 3 €3895 per year (1 or 2 payments - save €200)

Year 4  €1895 (6 months intensive clinical practice)


Year 1 €3495* (10 monthly payments total)

Year 1 €3295* (1 or 2 payments - save €200)

Years 2 & 3 €4095 per year (10 monthly payments)

Years 2 & 3 €3895 per year (1 or 2 payments - save €200)

Year 4 €1895 (6 months intensive clinical practice)

* not including Nutritics dietary analysis software – special discounted rate for IHS students