Course Description

Nutrition (QQI Level 5)

Nutrition (QQI Level 5) is a course run by The Open College, Dublin. It is a 'Distance Learning' course with a duration of 8 weeks. Nutrition (QQI Level 5) gives a Course Qualification of Level 5 Certificate, awarded by QQI. For more information about Nutrition (QQI Level 5) at The Open College, please review the details below.

The purpose of this QQI Level 5 Nutrition course is to provide you with the knowledge of the composition of food and how food affects an individual’s personal well-being.


Topics covered include:

  • Composition of Food
  • Nutrition and Health
  • Nutrition and Exercise
  • Food Labelling.

Unit Details


Unit 1 Composition of Food

Learners should be able to:

  • outline the main constituents of food
  • outline the functions of food, specifying the different classes of nutrients and the main functions of each type
  • list the energy values of the different food types
  • list the factors that affect the energy requirement of an individual
  • explain the following terms: basal metabolic rate (BMR), reference nutrient intake (RNI)
  • list the factors that can alter BMR
  • label a diagram of the human digestive system
  • list the functions of the digestive organs
  • outline the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients in the human body.


Learners should be able to:

  • distinguish between the following fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated
  • distinguish between essential and non-essential fatty acids
  • outline the role of each type of fat in relation to health
  • list food sources of essential fatty acids
  • list the main sources of fat in the Irish diet
  • list the effects of the deficiency and excess intake of fat
  • test foods for the presence of fat.


Learners should be able to:

  • classify carbohydrates into: monosaccharide, disaccharide, polysaccharide
  • distinguish between digestible and poorly digestible (non-starch polysaccharide NSP) carbohydrates
  • discuss the importance of fibre in the diet
  • list two sources of soluble fibre and two sources of insoluble fibre, and state possible health functions of each
  • list main sources of carbohydrates in the Irish diet
  • list effects of a low and a high carbohydrate diet
  • test foods for the presence of carbohydrates.


Learners should be able to:

  • distinguish between essential and non-essential amino acids
  • list the factors that affect the protein requirement of an individual
  • explain the significance of protein energy malnutrition (P.E.M.)
  • list the main sources of protein the Irish diet
  • list the effects of protein deficiency in a diet
  • test foods for the presence of proteins
  • compare the protein content of foods derived from plants and animals.


Learners should be able to:

  • outline the role of vitamins and minerals in maintaining good health
  • explain why certain groups of people are at high risk of suffering vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • list the functions, sources, deficiency symptoms and the effects of excessive intake of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, b-carotene, D,E, K)
  • list the functions, sources and deficiency symptoms of folic acid
  • list the functions, sources, deficiency symptoms and the effects of excessive intake of the water-soluble vitamins (B1 , B2 , B6 , B12, C)
  • list the functions, sources and deficiency symptoms of the minerals (Fe, Ca, I, P, Na, Zn)
  • list the trace elements that are required in the diet
  • source information on the reference nutrient intake (RNI) for vitamins and minerals
  • outline the factors that affect the absorption of minerals
  • explain how the vitamin and mineral content of food can be preserved
  • investigate the effects of preparation/cooking on the vitamin C content of food.


Unit 2 Nutrition and Health

Learners should be able to:

  • list the current dietary recommendations of the: NACNE report (National Advisory Committee on Nutrition Education) and Health Promotion Unit of the Department of Health
  • justify these current dietary recommendations
  • discuss the importance of a balanced diet in maintaining good health
  • discuss the role of the media in influencing peoples’ food choices e.g. BSE, butter vs. margarine, bottled water vs. tap water, high sugar foods
  • compare the nutritional properties of different types of milk
  • list the specific nutritional needs of: infants, children, adolescents, adults, the elderly
  • discuss the factors that influence the eating habits of: children, adolescents, the elderly,
  • discuss the causes, symptoms and effects of: anorexia nervosa, bulimia and obesity
  • evaluate, for a child and an adult: a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet in terms of meeting their dietary requirements
  • discuss the role of diet in coronary heart disease and hypertension
  • discuss the role of diet in dental health
  • discuss the possible links between diet and cancer
  • list the factors that lead to the development of osteoporosis
  • devise a suitable menu for the following groups: infants, school-going children, adolescents, pregnant women, vegetarians, vegans, athletes
  • outline the role of diet in the treatment of the following: diabetes mellitus, coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis, lactose intolerance, P.K.U.
  • list the different techniques for measuring the nutritional status of an individual
  • summarise the nutritional intake of an individual using the 24- hour recall method
  • compare the nutritional intake of an individual with the reference nutrient
  • intake (RNI).


Unit 3 Nutrition and Exercise

Learners should be able to:

  • explain the terms: nutritional status, glycogen loading, dehydration
  • explain the effect of diet and nutritional status on physical performance
  • explain how glycogen loading is achieved
  • list the possible causes and effects of dehydration
  • discuss the importance of high fluid intake at all times
  • justify the need of fluid and electrolyte replacement before, during and after training and competition.


Unit 4 Food Labelling

Learners should be able to:

  • specify the labelling of food products in accordance with EU regulations
  • interpret the nutrition labels on a variety of food products
  • explain the term “food additive”
  • list the main categories of food additives
  • distinguish between artificial and natural food additives
  • explain the term “additive induced hyperactivity”
  • explain the origin and significance of E numbers
  • source information on E numbers.


The Nutrition (QQI Level 5) course at The Open College is listed in's national courses finder.
Training ProviderThe Open College
Course LocationLeopardstown, Dublin
Location PostcodeDublin 18
Course TypeDistance Learning
Course QualificationLevel 5 Certificate
Awarding BodyQQI
Awarding Body DetailsQQI Level 5 component Certificate in Nutrition (5N2006)
Course Duration8 weeks
Course TimeThis QQI Nutrition 5N2006 course is completed through Distance Learning Course and there are no lectures to attend. Students can complete this course within 8 weeks which is ample time and can start it at any time of the year that is convenient. If students need to extend this period for any reason during or near the end of the course they can request an extension through the college.
Course Fee314.00
Entry RequirementsLeaving certificate, Level 4 certificate or equivalent in a relevant subject area (Healthcare/Childcare/Sports) and/or relevant practical experience (3 years minimum) – Please ask about our requirements surrounding Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for entry. Mature students (over 23 years) may be exempt from the above prerequisites. English Language Requirement: Students entering programmes leading to awards at Level 5 are expected to be able to: be proficient at reading, drafting, preparing and understanding information across a broad range of topics, including quantitative information. Learners undertaking this programme must have basic IT skills and access to the necessary equipment to enable them to undertake an online programme: computer, broadband, email, Microsoft and where applicable any other specialised software/equipment. As this programme is delivered through distance learning or eLearning, students must be capable of studying on their own initiative.
Carear PathWho should complete this course? People who wish to pursue a career in any of the complementary therapies. People who wish to pursue a career and work in the fields of natural health, nutrition and physical fitness.
Phone01 2061828
Course Code5N2006
For more information about The Open College, please visit our College page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

The Open College

Unit 9, Leopardstown Business Centre,, Ballyogan Road, Leopardstown, Leopardstown, Dublin, Ireland. Eircode: D18KX34

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