FdSc Nutritional Therapeutics

Course summary

The course has been staged to meet the varying needs of individuals and provides the foundation for persons studying for a professional qualification in Nutritional Therapeutics, who does not wish to train as a Nutritional Therapist, therefore the successful student, will graduate with a Foundation Degree in Nutritional Therapeutics, being a non-practitioner qualification. This is therefore attractive to both complete newcomers to healthcare and to individuals who have already trained in other complementary or conventional healthcare areas.

To meet the needs of those persons who wish to obtain the status of Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, the Foundation Degree can progress onto the Level 6 BSc / BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy Degree. The BSc (Hons) pathway provides further development of research and evaluation skills which can enhance practitioner expertise or lead to further career choices.

The course is supported through University of West London's Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard and PebblePad) which is available via the University's website, 24 hours a day from anywhere that has internet access.

The course builds a sound knowledge base in the theory and practice of Nutritional Therapy, underpinned by the concomitant development of basic medical sciences. The student engages in formative learning in anatomy and physiology and basic biochemistry, as well as the study of named diseases (pathology), as it relates to the field of practice. Students develop their practitioner skills through monitored cases supported by experienced nutritional therapists. It also encompasses work based observational/placement practice concepts and principles that will help to the student to develop various qualities and transferable skills necessary for future employment in the health sector.

For further information about this course, please contact nutrition@uwl.ac.uk.  

Course detail

The course of study consists of supported distance learning study modules, which comprise 120 credits at each level.

Level 4 (2 years) builds the essential foundation of information needed for an understanding of nutrition such as knowledge of macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, food composition and processing, basic dietary requirements and digestive processes.  Study skills are supported throughout this level and you are introduced to basic research skills. It also includes a work based observational placement to develop the skills required to pursue a wide range of employment possibilities within the health sector. The exit point for Level 4 will give you 120 credits in a non-clinical certificate. You will be awarded the Certificate in Higher Education in Nutritional Therapy.

Credit Level 5 (2 years) further develops the understanding of modern Nutritional Therapy practice and its current applications within Integrated Medicine. You are provided with an essential understanding of biochemical imbalances that are believed to contribute to the development of many prevalent disease states. Study of pharmacology and pathophysiology will allow you to understand named diseases and practice case studies are used to teach methods for data collection, interpretation and rationalisation for nutritional prescribing. It also includes the work based placement to further develop the employability skills required to pursue a wide range of career possibilities within the health sector.  The exit point for Level 5 will give you 120 credits non-clinical at Level 4 and 120 credits non-clinical at Level 5. Students will be awarded the FdSc in Higher Education in Nutritional Therapeutics.

Synopsis of the modules:

Level 4

Anatomy and Physiology
This module provides an introduction to the anatomy of the human body. It will also give an insight into the relationship between the structure and function of the individual at the system level and as a fully integrated organism. The theory is supported by a virtual practical activity.

Macronutrients at Work in the Body
This module introduces the concepts of energy intake, expenditure and balance; in relation to the intake of the macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. The module looks at the chemical properties of the macronutrients and their intake through the processes of digestion and absorption.

Micronutrients at Work in the Body
This module takes a detailed look at the micronutrients that are essential to life, and addresses the dietary sources, functions, requirements, signs of deficiency and toxicity, bioavailability and absorption of these nutrients.  The evidence for the therapeutic effects of vitamins and minerals are considered as viewed by conventional and naturopathic practitioners.

The Classification and Composition of Foods
This module details the classification and composition of different foods. The nutritional and therapeutic value of foods and their inclusion as part of a balanced diet is considered from both the conventional and naturopathic standpoint.

Intestinal Microflora in Health and Disease
This module studies the importance of the role of the microflora in health and the use of fermented foods, functional foods and supplements (prebiotics, probiotics and symbiotics) to alter the composition of the microflora. The specific requirements of vulnerable groups and those with special requirements in relation to health are discussed.

Nutrition in Action
This module looks at helping you to explore nutrition within a specific health workplace where you will undertake specific tasks to help develop and acquire skills and knowledge with the industry setting as part of a vocational training program.

Level 5

Metabolic Dysfunction in Disease
This module provides you with an essential understanding of biochemical imbalances that are widely experienced today and which are believed to contribute to the development of many prevalent disease states.  You will use a specific model of client care (the Functional Medicine Model) to gain an understanding of the ways in which nutrition and lifestyle inputs can contribute to biochemical balance and imbalance.

Pathophysiology of Named Conditions
This module investigates the aetiology of disease and associated risk factors for specific conditions. It examines both the conventional medical and the nutritional approach to the management of these conditions.

Clinical Data Collection and Case Interpretation
This module introduces you to clinical skills used in Nutritional Therapy.  Various data collection techniques will be compared. Dietary collection methods will be evaluated to determine the accuracy of dietary information gathered, and the reliability of each method in determining accurate nutritional intake.  The interpretation of the cases gathered by you will inform joint therapeutic aims of client and practitioner; and clinical decision making for the nutritional programme. This will be supported with scientific research to demonstrate evidence base support of findings.

Developing Nutritional Programmes
This module develops your clinical skills in Nutritional Therapy.  You will practice formulating individualised nutrition programmes.  The therapeutic aims determined from the interpretation will guide programme design, and you will prioritise clinical decisions to accommodate client 's lifestyle and needs.

Justification of the nutrition programme will be supported with scientific research to demonstrate evidence informed practice.

Case Progression Strategies
You will explore the use of a variety of advanced nutritional and non-nutritional interventions, and lifestyle advice to enhance health. It will investigate the consultation, critically reviewing the management of the needs of the client and manipulating the original management programme in order to ensure a steady rate of progression towards health.

Experiential Learning in Nutritional Therapeutics
This module looks at developing your employability skills. You will be required to secure a place within a health care setting as part of a vocational training program. To then undertake specific tasks to help develop generic skills that will enhance career development and employability and acquire skills and knowledge with the industry setting.

Entry requirements

80 UCAS tariff points, which would normally include at least two subject areas or equivalent qualifications at Level 3 plus GCSE Grade C or above in English language and mathematics.

Students without the above qualifications who have relevant work experience are invited to apply and all applicants for this course are required to attend an interview.

International entry criteria
International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 5.5 or above.

Contact our International Office to find out what international qualifications you need to get onto a course www.uwl.ac.uk/international.



Help with funding is available to a range of students, whether you are studying full or part-time, in your home country or overseas.

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees or a maintenance loan to support you during your studies. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants, disabled students and more. Find out more about applying for student loans and other funding options.

We also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help you. Current scholarships include:

  • Full Time Undergraduate Bursary: a £3,000 award for new undergraduate students.
  • Path to Success Scholarship: a £4,000 award for students on a four-year degree course with a foundation year. 

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility for the scholarships and bursaries listed above.

Please note that fees given are per academic year unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to change. Costs can increase each year.

How to apply


All applicants for this course are required to attend an interview.

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

You can apply to study this course using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

Your application will be dealt with by our Admissions team who will be in touch with you.

International students

Complete our online application form for international students or you can download the print version (Word, 186kb).

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

More about the application process for international students.

More about how to apply for undergraduate courses.

During the course

Teaching methods

This course is delivered as blended learning. At Levels 4 and 5 you study at a distance supported by the University's Virtual Learning environment (University of West London Online, Blackboard and PebblePad). This provides you with access to resources, learning materials, support, opportunities for collaborating with your fellow students; course announcements and developments; and administrative support.

NB: Access to a computer with internet access is essential. Access could be through your local library or workplace, or if practical you could attend one of our sites at Brentford or Ealing.

Learning materials

You will be provided with a range of distance learning materials. These include a Module Study Guide for each module, which will indicate essential texts, journals, and website addresses. You will also be provided with study text which deliver the core learning of each module, and contain learning material, learning activities, references, appendices and ongoing checkpoint activities (designed for self-assessment of progress).



This is a part-time distance learning degree programme and as such will require a minimum of 5 or 6 years to complete. Levels 4 and 5 each take two years each to complete. It takes a further year to complete the BSc and qualify as a practitioner. At this stage you are encouraged to progress to the Honors stage should you wish, which will take a further year to complete. At Levels 4 and 5, modules are assessed by both formative and summative assessments and online e-assessments. The formative assessments consist of ongoing self-assessment questions to check progress and online discussion to allow engagement with peers and module tutors. There are a variety of summative assessments across the modules. At Level 4 these include short-response questions, mini-essays, dietary analyses and extended pieces of written work. Most assessments at Level 5 are based on case history taking, interpretation and theoretical management of given case studies and voluntary patients. There is also a requirement to submit a folder of evidence for the work based learning modules for level 4 and 5.

Student support

You will have a named Module Leader for each module who will support you as you work through the materials, and provide guidance and advice as you prepare for the module assessments.The Course Leader is also there to help you plan your course of study, and achieve a satisfying, coherent learning experience. You will also be allocated a Personal Tutor who will provide pastoral support throughout the duration of the course.

You can also attend the Annual Nutrition Research Forum held at University of West London. These events provide an opportunity to meet with other students and practitioners, and attendance is free of charge to current students. Attendance is not an essential requirement but rather a choice for those who feel they would benefit from an opportunity to meet with the Nutritional Therapy Team and fellow students.

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Career and study progression

On successful completion of the course, you will be well-placed for a range of careers in Health and Wellbeing.

Study progression

On completion of this course you are able to progress to:
BSc / BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy (NTEC accredited).