Course summary

This online nutrition course will introduce you to fundamental aspects of the subject, such as essentials of a diet, food intake and control, digestion and absorption, macronutrients, micronutrients, dietary requirements and nutrition in health and disease.

Nutrition as a science has evolved from many disciplines including, physiology, cell science, biochemistry and molecular biology. The multidisciplinary nature of the subject area makes it an exciting and dynamic field of study.

Who is this course for?

This online short course is a preparatory course for students who are looking to study further in the field of nutrition. It is in particular for students who are hoping to go onto the Global Public Health Nutrition MSc or Sport and Exercise Nutrition MSc but have minimal or no previous nutritional experience or qualifications.

The course may also be well-suited for those keen to further their knowledge in the field of nutrition. However, please note that this is a self-study course with many tasks to complete along the way.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • explain basic aspects of biochemistry and physiology relevant to the study of nutrition
  • outline the processes involved in digestion and absorption
  • describe the role of each of the macronutrients and selected micronutrients
  • explain dietary reference values
  • give examples of the influence of nutrition in health and disease

Course structure

This course should take approximately 150 hours to complete. Each unit is expected to take 12–14 hours' study time (96–112 hours total) and students should spend the rest of the module time preparing for the end-of-unit tests.

The?course?comprises?eight units, which cover:

  • Unit 1 – Essentials of a diet
  • Unit 2 – Macronutrients: carbohydrates
  • Unit 3 – Macronutrients: fats and proteins
  • Unit 4 – Food intake and control
  • Unit 5 – Micronutrients: vitamins
  • Unit 6?– Micronutrients: minerals
  • Unit 7?– Dietary requirements
  • Unit 8 – Nutrition, health and disease


After completing this course you will receive a certificate of completion from the University of Westminster.

We are in the process of applying for course accreditation for Essential of Nutrition with the Association for Nutrition.

    Course delivery

    Teaching methods

    Teaching during this course uses distance-learning methods. We will predominantly communicate with students using our virtual learning environment.

    Study materials will include:

    • lectures
    • mini research tasks
    • podcast activities
    • end-of-unit tests

    We hope to use the virtual learning environment to create an online community where students can communicate with others on course, help one another and contact the course leader. The course leader will facilitate discussions when appropriate.

    Our tutors

    The course material has been developed by members of the Food?Nutrition and Public Health Research Group?over a number of years.

    All staff in the division have many years of experience teaching in higher education and in the field of nutrition. They are active in research, consultancy, community work, international work and business development.

    The course leader for Essentials of Nutrition is Dr Rumy Begum. She is a full-time senior lecturer here at the University of Westminster and teaches on the undergraduate and postgraduate nutrition and exercise science pathways.


    Start date
    Mode of delivery
    Day and time
    Within a week of booking


    Flexible online course

    Day and time

    Approximately 150 hours


    One year of access