Certificate in Nutritional Counselling VRE009

Learn about Human Nutrition

Develop a strong grounding in human nutrition, and in the basic skills needed to advise or counsel people in this area. It is ideal for those with existing qualifications in health.

  • Learn what food is healthy
  • Start a business or find employment helping others manage their diet
  • Recognised internationally through InternaqtioinalAccreditation and Recognition Council
  • Graduates qualify to join the Association of Coaching and /or Complimentary Medicine Association (UK)
  • Pathways available to continue studies toward higher qualifications (including Advanced Diplomas with HSA and degrees)

Graduates may find work in

    • health support and complimentary medicine
    • life coach or nutritional advisor
    • weight management, health and fitness
    • food service, processing and supply enterprises (everything from catering to health food shops)


This course is made up of 6 modules: four compulsory and two electives. Click on each module below for more details. 


Human Nutrition I

Human Nutrition II

Human Nutrition III

Food Coaching

Elective: Select two of the following.

Sports Nutrition

Children's Nutrition

Biochemistry l (Animals)

Anatomy and Physiology (Human)

Therapeutic Nutrition



Human Nutrition I (BRE102)

There are nine lessons in this course as follows:

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

What You Will Do In This Course

  • Distinguish between nutrition terms including: food, nutrition and diet.
  • Distinguish between characteristics of all major food groups, including chemistry and foods which are a good source.
  • Explain the significance of the major food groups, including: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Minerals, Vitamins.
  • Label on unlabelled illustrations, parts of the digestive system.
  • Explain the function of different parts of the digestive system.
  • Distinguish between digestion and absorption of food.
  • Explain the different layers of the digestive tract, including: mucosa, submucosa, muscularis, serosa.
  • Explain different physiological processes involved in absorption
  • Explain how different hormones control the digestive process, including: gastri, gastric inhibitory peptide, secretin, cholecystokinin.
  • Explain the action of three different digestive enzymes.
  • Describe how the intake of different types of food may affect metabolic rate.
  • List foods which are a common sources of carbohydrate.
  • Explain three factors which affect the bodies demand for carbohydrate.
  • List foods which are a common source of fats.
  • Distinguish between saturated and unsaturated fats in the diet of a specific person.
  • Develop a set of guidelines to determining appropriate fat intake, in accordance with an individuals specific requirements.
  • Explain the role of protein in the body, including examples of two physiological processes involving protein.
  • Explain the role of ten different minerals in the body.
  • Explain the role of water in the body, for five different physiological processes.
  • List factors which affect the bodies requirement for water.
  • Describe three different techniques used by health practitioners for determining food/nutrition disorders

Human Nutrition II (Bre202)

The content of each of the eight lessons is 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

What You Will Do In This Course

  • Explain reasons for cooking food.
  • Compare different methods of cooking food in terms of their effect on both health and nutrition.
  • Explain the effects on nutrition of cooking different types of foods, for different periods of time.
  • Distinguish between function, effects, and chemistry of different types of food additives, in food preparation, including: *Colours *Preservatives *Antioxidants *Vegetable gums *Flavourings *Thickeners *Anti caking agents *Bleaches *Emulsifiers *Humectants *Food acids *Mineral salts.
  • Explain how "freshness" of different specified foods impacts upon nutrient status of those foods.
  • Explain how physical treatment of different specified foods (eg. cutting or crushing) may affect the benefit of that food, including: *digestibility *keeping quality *nutrient status.
  • Explain freezing of food, in terms of the process, function and affects.
  • Analyse in a report the effects of food additives found in three different supermarket food items.
  • Explain problems that may result from food additives including: *allergic reactions *hyperactivity
  • Demonstrate five different food processing techniques, by independently preparing samples to a commercial standard.
  • Compare recommended dietary intake information from three different sources.
  • Explain how food requirements vary, in terms of components and quality, at different ages, including: *babies *children *teenagers *young adults *elderly people.
  • Explain nutrient disorders associated with three different significant vitamin imbalances, including vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and one other vitamin.
  • Evaluate two different people the learner is familiar with, with respect to vitamin intake, lifestyle and health status, to determine if vitamin B & C needs are being satisfied.
  • List food sources of calcium in order of richest to poorest source.
  • Distinguish nutrient disorders associated with calcium and iron imbalances, in terms of diagnosis and significance.
  • Evaluate the diets of two different people, with respect to mineral intake, lifestyle and health status, to determine if mineral requirements including calcium and iron needs, are being met.
  • Develop a questionnaire to analyse the dietary requirements of a person.
  • Recommend aspects of diet which could be improved for individuals analysed.

Human Nutrition III (BRE302)

The content of each lesson is outlined below:‑

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

What You Will Do In This Course

  • Prepare a questionnaire/form to monitor individuals’ eating and health over a period of time.
  • You will be required to submit the completed forms together with your analysis.
  • Explain the significance of diet to cancer in adults over the age of 40.
  • Explain the effect of the following five different foods on the teeth and gums: chocolate, white bread, a tossed salad without dressing, steak, chocolate milk shake.
  • Prepare a list of guidelines for healthy dental hygiene procedures, including both dietary and other practices.
  • Investigate the fibre content in the diet of four different people.
  • Explain possible implications of inadequate fibre in the diet, for the following three different demographic groups: teenagers, 13-15 years of age, adult office workers, 40-50 years of age, pregnant women.
  • Explain inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in the case of a pregnant 30 year old woman who suffers mild ulcerative colitis and does not suffer any signs of Crohns disease.

Life Coaching (BPS305)

The course is divided into ten lessons as follows:

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

What You Will Do In This Course

  • Identify principles that differentiate life coaching from other helping professions.
  • Do case studies to reflect on and/or observe the effects of different life-coaching approaches on improving a person’s quality of life.
  • Design and administer a questionnaire to research some effects of negative aspects of self-perception.
  • Discuss the importance of balancing a client’s limitations and encouraging the to step outside their comfort zones
  • Examine the relationship and interaction between a person's mental/psychological and physical health and wellbeing.
  • Consider how to deal with clients with special needs such as disabilities.
  • Identify the processes involved in life coaching and describe what each can contribute to a client's personal growth and development.
  • Discuss ways individuals might resist life changes and ways to facilitate change.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of assertiveness training.
  • Identify reasons that individuals are unable to make decisions.
  • Explain the importance of listening to the client and how to do it.
  • Consider factors that might make a life coach’s personal skill repertoire ineffectual.
  • Research factors that must be considered when setting out a life coaching plan to promote physical health, and psychological health.
  • Identify crucial information to be included in the development of a client’s plan.
  • Discuss ways to nurture a client's goal setting, planning and self-monitoring skills.
  • Explain how the life-coach can monitor the effectiveness of his/her program for a client.
  • Create and evaluate an action plan for a real person/client, including monitoring.

Sports Nutrition (BRE303)

The course is divided into 9 lessons as follows (students complete one assignment per lesson):

  1. Introduction to Human and Sports Nutrition. This lesson gives the student a basic grounding in human nutrition as it relates to sport. Topics include: dietary nutrients; recommended daily intake; the balanced diet; carbohydrates (including the glycemic index), fats and proteins.
  2. Energy. This lesson explains the concept of chemical energy and how it is produced in the human body. Topics include: Calories and Kilojoules; energy systems and adenosine triphosphate; and aerobic vs anaerobic respiration.
  3. Energy in the athlete’s body. This lesson examines how energy is utilised in the human body. Topics include: aerobic capacity; respiratory quotient; metabolism; stages of exercise; energy sources during exercise; and protein as an energy source.
  4. The training diet. Looks at the principles of a training diet and how to design an effective training diet. Topics include carbohydrates; proteins and the protein needs of athletes; fats; other nutrients (such as antioxidants); and meal timing
  5. The competition diet. In this lesson, the student will learn about the principles behind and how to design a diet for an athlete for the days leading up to, during and after a competition. Topics include carbohydrate loading and the carbohydrate needs of athletes; guidelines for pre competition eating; eating during competition; competition, fatigue and nutrition; and competition recovery requirements.
  6. Fluids. Explains the importance of fluids in an athlete’s diet. Topics include: the function of water in the human body; fluid needs in humans; water and solute regulation in the body; electrolytes; water and body temperature regulation; fluid intake before, during and after exercise; and intra venous fluid replacement.
  7. The athlete’s body composition. Teaches students about the body composition of an athlete, and methods of measuring body composition. Topics include: components of the human body; body composition assessment techniques; the importance of body composition to performance; and the body mass index.
  8. Weight Management. This lesson examines effective methods for weight reduction and body fat control where they are deemed necessary. Topics include: the mechanics of weight loss; why athletes may want to lose weight; “making weight” and “cutting up”; weight loss and physical performance; overweight people; weight change and low energy diets; tips for losing body fat; key characteristics of a safe weight reduction diet; and eating disorders.
  9. Training for Size and the use of Sports Supplements. Examines methods of increasing muscle mass and assesses the use of sports supplements. Topics include: how to gain weight; gaining muscle mass; evaluating the use of sports supplements; types of sports supplements; and supplements and drug testing.

What You Will Do In This Course

*Keep an accurate log of everything you or someone else eats for a three day period. Write down absolutely everything that you ingest (except water). Record the approximate quantities of each food consumed

*Interview an athlete, or person who regularly participates in sport. Find out what they change about their diet when they are in training as opposed to when they are resting. Do they see diet as an important part of their training program? Do they add or cut out certain food groups when they train? You will report on the set task in the assignment.

*Design a diet for an athlete (choose either male or female, and give their age) training for competition in a sport of particular interest to you. This diet is to be used while the athlete is doing their long term training for competition – not for the period leading up to competition. Outline what foods need to be eaten AND WHY. *Develop some meals that would be appropriate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

*Find an athlete who is accustomed to physical activity (this athlete can be you, but do not do any out of the ordinary exercise. Only perform this activity yourself if you are accustomed to physical activity). Weigh the subject before a typical training session. Then, directly after the training session weigh the subject again. Calculate the weight loss – convert this from grams to ml (1g = 1 ml). This weight loss is usually largely fluids. Then calculate the sweat rate of the athlete in different situations.

Children’s Nutrition BRE 304

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

What You Will Do In This Course

*Interview three parents (family or friends are OK) regarding the diets (what the children eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks) of their children. Make a day’s menu for each one of them according to the information they give you.

*Interview two pregnant women (family or friends) and question about their daily diet. Note what they have said and write how you would improve their diets.

*Research for information to make a tasty and healthy weaning mix for a six month old baby. Make your own weaning mix with the information you have gathered.

*Prepare a diet plan for an 11 year old for three days.

*Compare the nutrition panel for 3 different staple foods bought from the supermarkets (for example breakfast cereals, stir fry sauces or pasta sauces, fruit bars). Compare the added sugars to natural sugars

*Do a survey and find out What Australian children and adolescents are actually eating. Write a 200 word report on your survey. (You can conduct your survey by talking to children, adolescents and their parents, by reading articles in magazines and newspapers or by searching the internet)

Anatomy And Physiology Human (BSC101) (Human Biology 1A)

There are six lessons in this course:

  1. Cells and Tissues
  2. The Skeleton
  3. The Muscular System
  4. The Nervous System
  5. Digestion and Excretion
  6. Physiological Systems

What You Will Do In This Course

  • Prepare a summary explaining the function of the main types of human body tissues.
  • Explain, in your own words, 3 problems that can occur with different human tissues.
  • Explain cellular division (mitosis and meiosis) using your own illustrations.
  • Write an essay to explain problems that can occur with different bones.
  • Explain the purpose of different structural components of muscle tissue in a specified muscle.
  • Explain the function of a typical nerve cell, using illustrations.
  • Explain the function of the central nervous system, using illustrations
  • Describe two (2) physiological process which occur in a properly functioning excretory system.
  • Explain processes which occur in a properly functioning endocrine system.
  • Describe the anatomy of the lung.
  • List the parts of the respiratory system.
  • Define inspiration and expiration.
  • Write briefly about the trachea.
  • Explain 2 processes that occur in a properly functioning respiratory system.
  • Draw and label diagrams of the parts of respiratory system.


What Can I Do after I Graduate?

Most jobs in the food and nutrition industry are open to graduates; however, getting the job you want will require more than jusat a qualification.

Nutritional Scientists and Hospital Dieticians are at the top of the career tree; but a very small proportion of people who study nutrition will ever get jobs like this (and those that do, will often have much higher university qualifications, and significant and appropriate experience, before securing such a job).

Others work in health food shops or alongside complimentary medicine practitioners giving nutritional advice. Food companies will often employ people with nutritional expertise to work in product development, testing or marketing. Individuals operating as a life coach may sometimes specialize in providing nutritional advice. Health clubs may employ fitness leaders who have a capacity to advise both on fitness and nutrition.

This and related industries are continually evolving. A few decades ago, there was no such thing as a life coach. We don't really know what the future holdfs and where the jobs might be; but one thing is for sure: people will keep eating, and they will continue to need help to choose what they eat.

Note: In some countries, and in some high level jobs (eg. Hospital dietician), you may need a university degree or higher. This course is equivalent to less than 20% of such a qualification.

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. Other qualifications and certificates may be beneficial to secure positions at management or higher 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 in this Profession
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.



  • You will understand more about how food impacts the human body
  • You will appreciate differences between different people in how they respond to different foods
  • You will be more capable of advising people about what they eat
  • You will have a much better foundation for understanding and appreciating new research and development in the field of human nutrition.
  • You will have a raised awareness of opportunities for yourself; and become better connected with the food and nutrition industry.

Enrol Now!

Fee Information (CT)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $3,425.51  1 x $3,114.10
B 2 x $1,848.61  2 x $1,680.55
C 4 x $996.93  4 x $906.30

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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