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What role does diet play in the development of chronic diseases?

Learn to use the research methods and tools of clinical nutrition as you study the role diet plays in preventing and treating chronic illnesses.

Explore the latest evidence linking specific dietary components with the onset and development of disease. Examine the nutrient-gene interactions involved in disease development.

You’ll learn how clinical nutrition research informs public health policy in the UK and around the world. We’ll help you develop the skills to assess scientific evidence in this area and to advocate responsibly for better health through diet and nutrition.

This online short course is open to anyone with a background or interest in food and nutritional science.

What will I study?

You’ll study the role of nutrition in disease, covering:

  • how the disease process affects metabolism
  • nutrient-gene interactions involved in disease development
  • how diseases change the nutrient requirements of the body
  • specific nutritional deficiencies in acute and chronic illness
  • metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gut health and cancer.

You’ll learn to use clinical nutrition tools so that you can investigate the role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

You’ll gain the skills to identify, understand and evaluate scientific evidence relating to diet and health.

Clinical nutrition and public health

Clinical nutrition evidence is vital to the development of public health policy frameworks, education and regulation.

You’ll explore:

  • the role of evidence-based health in maintaining and driving public health agendas
  • theories and application of a range of methods for behaviour change to improve health
  • theories of nutrition health education and nutrition health promotion
  • assessing the impact of nutrition and food policies at global, national and local levels.

Professional practice

This course unit explores the legal context of nutrition practice. You’ll develop the communication skills to advocate for better health through diet and nutrition, but also learn about your responsibilities and accountability in doing so. You’ll cover:

  • current UK and European legislation, national guidelines, local policies and protocols
  • clinical and corporate governance in relation to nutrition.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand…

  • The importance of nutrition in the maintenance of health and prevention of disease.
  • The role of diet in disease incidence and metabolic links between them.
  • The role of nutrition in metabolically compromised individuals.
  • How nutrient-gene interactions affect health and disease.
  • Research tools widely used in clinical nutrition research.
  • The importance of the nutrition research in maintaining and driving public health agendas.
  • The role and impact of nutrition and food policy, nutrition education and health promotion at a global, national and local levels.
  • The legal context of nutrition practice, including current UK legislation and guidelines for providing information to the public.

Why study Nutrition online with Aberdeen?

How will I study?

This 11-week short course is delivered entirely online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Part of our Masters in Clinical Nutrition, this course is taught at Masters level by experienced nutrition researchers and academics.

Your teaching is delivered through MyAberdeen, our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Also available as an app, you can access your learning materials on computer, smartphone and mobile device 24/7.

This course features a range of resources, including:

  • videos
  • podcasts of lectures
  • slide shows
  • study notes
  • reading materials
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • online discussion boards with colleagues and tutors.

Where will this take me?

You’ll earn 15 credits at Masters level (SCQF Level 11) with this course. You can use these credits towards our:

Masters in Clinical Nutrition (180 credits), or a:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Nutrition (60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition (120 credits).

All are available to study online, part-time.

Find out more about credits.

Further learning

We offer a wide range of specialist online short courses:

Many are part of existing Masters degrees and can be used to build up credits towards postgraduate qualifications.

Looking to study a full degree?


Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Your course coordinator

Am I ready?

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

This is an advanced nutrition course delivered at Masters level. At this level, you’d usually have at least:

  • a 2:2 (second-class) degree
  • or relevant experience that supports this level of study.

If you have not completed any nutrition courses in the past, we recommend starting with an introductory nutrition course first. Fundamentals of Human Nutrition and Metabolism is an ideal place to start.

Apply for this course

Start date
13 January 2020