Earn qualifications in nutrition

Go beyond FutureLearn and earn graduate qualifications in nutrition.

We offer online short courses that can lead to a Masters degree and Registered Associate Nutritionist status.

Join our free online obesity and weight loss course.

Learn the facts and find out what’s going on at the forefront of research into obesity, weight loss and long-term weight management.

You’ll study with expert nutritionists and researchers from our Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health to explore:

  • the physiological and psychological factors that contribute to obesity
  • what’s important for weight stability
  • the latest dieting trends and approaches to achieving weight wellness.

You’ll also learn how to access, make sense of, and evaluate different types of research evidence.

Who can join this online obesity and weight loss course?

This distance-learning course is for anyone keen to learn more about the latest research into obesity, its causes, and prevention.

It’s ideal CPD and upskilling for:

  • healthcare and allied health professionals
  • personal trainers
  • physiotherapists
  • dietitians and nutritionists
  • health psychologists
  • anyone working in the food and drinks industry, especially those responsible for marketing and product development.

You do not need to have a background or experience in nutrition to join this course.

What you’ll study

Your course topics

The prevention of obesity

  • Is obesity a disease?
  • How do we measure obesity?
  • Is it all in the genes?
  • The science of food choice and behaviour

Weight loss diets

  • Popular diets and dieting myths
  • Clinical and patient perspectives

Non-nutritional aspects of weight loss

  • The role of physical activity and sleep
  • Alternative approaches in body weight management

Weight loss maintenance

  • Time of eating
  • Obesity – personal or state responsibility?
  • Post-weight-loss wellness

You’ll be given access to the latest obesity research and information on dieting trends.

And you’ll learn how to access and evaluate a range of research literature and evidence to support evidence-based learning.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to...

  • Summarise the major lifestyle contributors to obesity and weight gain in society.
  • Discuss the challenges in prevention and treatment of obesity.
  • Communicate the principles of nutrition and how they impact weight loss.
  • Evaluate the evidence base for nutrition guidelines.
  • Apply knowledge of the psychological and physiological bases of obesity and weight gain.
  • Evaluate how psychological and physiological factors can impact weight wellness.
  • Explain the barriers and enablers to post-weight-loss management and their impact on long-term weight management.
  • Reflect on and describe the strengths and limitations of weight loss methods and evaluate these with supporting evidence.

How you’ll study

Online learning

Our distance-learning obesity and weight loss course is a four-week course that you can start anytime. It’s delivered flexibly online via FutureLearn.

You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your study hours to suit you.

Your teaching

This course is taught at undergraduate level.

You’ll learn in FutureLearn’s online study platform, through a mix of:

  • bite-sized videos
  • audio
  • long- and short-form articles
  • practical activities.

In every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Your tutors

You’ll learn from a team of internationally recognised expert researchers, clinicians, allied health professionals and practitioners from the Rowett Institute and University of Aberdeen. They’ll share their evidence base and lived experiences for the prevention and treatment of obesity.

The Rowett Institute is one of Europe’s most prestigious nutrition research centres. Read about the Rowett.

Study hours

You’ll spend around five hours per week on this course.

Your teaching team

Professor Alex Johnstone

Alex is a registered UK nutritionist and consultant for the food sector. She currently leads an innovative Scottish Government-funded research programme, examining human appetite control, weight loss, and obesity, with a focus on the role of protein.

View Alex’s profile

Marta Lonnie

Marta is a PhD student and Teaching Fellow at the Rowett Institute. She’s been studying human nutrition for almost a decade. Marta’s actively researching the role of nutrition to support health.

View Marta’s latest blog post

Where this will take you

Earn a qualification in nutrition

If you’re keen to learn more and earn graduate qualifications in this area, check out our range of credit-bearing online nutrition courses:

Online short courses in nutrition

These flexible short courses help you earn university credits towards postgraduate qualifications in nutrition, including Masters qualifications.

View all online nutrition courses.

Masters degrees in nutrition


Upskilling for NHS, healthcare and allied healthcare workers.

In this course, you’ll develop skills to help you:

  • enhance your patient care
  • increase your awareness and understanding of issues around unconscious bias and the stigmatisation some patients may experience due to obesity and weight management issues.

In-demand skills for the food and drink sector.

For anyone working in, or keen to work in, the food and drinks industry, you’ll gain:

  • enhanced skills in evidence gathering and analysis
  • insights into the latest obesity research and dietary trends that can help inform new product development and sales and/or marketing approaches.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for CPD hours. Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Keep learning for free

Further your knowledge and add more skills to your CV with our suite of free online nutrition courses:

All are flexible four-week FutureLearn courses delivered by our expert Rowett Institute nutritionists.

Choose the University of Aberdeen for online nutrition science courses

Fits around full-time work

This course is designed to fit around work. With flexible hours and 24/7 study access.

Nutritional health pioneers

Study with the Rowett Institute. Governments and the food and drink industry have turned to us for research for decades.

Find out more about Rowett research

You’re in expert hands

We’ve been delivering online and distance learning for decades.

Apply for this course

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