Evening Course in Diet, Nutrition and Health


23rd June 2010

September-December 2010

This course has been specifically designed to cater to the needs of students with a strong interest in the field of nutrition, diet and health, but who do not have previous formal training in science or nutrition. The course will provide learners with a strong foundation knowledge of nutritional science and of the role of nutrition in health and disease. Initial focus will be on the exploration of physiological and biochemical systems (digestive system etc.) of specific importance to nutrition. The focus will then turn to the examination of nutrients and their functions within the body. The role of specific macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in health and disease will be studied in detail.  Foods and diets and their effect on health will then be investigated. This section will initially include lectures on dietary assessment and food processing. The impact of food storage and cooking will also be examined, along with ways to minimise the associated nutritional losses.  Its main focus however, will be on the principles of healthy eating for various population groups, and the rationale for these dietary guidelines.

Finally, the practical application of the nutritional knowledge gained during the course will be studied in the context of clinical nutrition and public health nutrition. Here, appropriate interventions for the treatment and prevention of common conditions like obesity, heart disease and cancer will be explored. This will include discussion of other lifestyle factors such as exercise and smoking, and their health implications.

By the end of the course, students will have a sound knowledge of the part played by nutrition, diet and lifestyle in health and disease. This will include a detailed knowledge of the role and mechanism by which specific nutrients, foods and diets influence well-being.

Apart from a balanced critical appreciation of nutritional information appearing in the mass media, they will be able to apply this knowledge in their own lifestyles and careers, and in advising others about diet and health.

The curriculum for this course is set out below.

Weeks 1 to 6

  • Nutritional Physiology and Biochemistry
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Energy
  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Cholesterol
  • Micronutrients I ? Vitamins
  • Micronutrients II ? Minerals
  • Dietary Reference Values
Weeks 6 to 12
  • Foods, Diets & their Effect on Health
  • Dietary Assessment
  • Foods and Food Processing
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Nutrition and Adolescence
  • Nutrition and Pregnancy
  • Nutrition and Lactation
  • The Food Pyramid
  • Vegetarian Diets
  • Nutrition and the Elderly
  • Anti-nutrients
  • Food Poisoning
  • Aspects of Clinical Nutrition
  • Aspects of Public Health Nutrition

Course Structure

The course will run for a total of 12 Tuesdays from 6.30-9.30pm, beginning on the 14th September 2010. It will conclude with a multiple choice examination of 1.5 hours duration on Tues 30th November, successful completion of which will entitle candidates to 5 ECTS credits.

Course Tutor

Dr. Daniel McCartney
B.Sc./Dip. (Hum. Nut. & Diet), M.Sc., Ph.D. is a lecturer and researcher in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at DIT, where his interests include molecular, clinical and public health nutrition.

Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate or equivalent. Relevant life or work experience may also be considered.


The fee for this course is €935.00 payable by credit card, Laser card, cheque, bank draft or money order made payable to DIT at enrolment.

Further Details

School Office,
School of Biological Sciences,
DIT Kevin Street,
Kevin St.,
Dublin 8.

Ph. (01) 402 4562

Web: http://www.dit.ie/faculties/science/schoolofbiologicalsciences/

An information session will be held on Tues 7th September from 5.45 - 6.30pm in DIT Kevin Street. The venue (room) for this information session will be posted in the front hall of DIT Kevin Street on the evening.

Registration may be completed afterwards from 6.30pm-7.15pm at the Registrations Office, 2nd Floor, DIT Kevin Street, or from 9.00pm-12.30pm or 2.00pm-5.00pm Monday to Friday at the same office.

Candidates are requested to bring the full fee to registration as the process cannot be completed without same.

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