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The module will investigate human nutrition requirements including the role of macronutrients and micronutrients as part of healthy balanced diets. There will be a review of the scientific evidence and trends in nutrient content of common foods. The role of key nutrition requirements for healthy lifestyles will be explained for nutritional related diseases. The overarching objective of this course is for graduates to be conversant with human dietary requirements, current food eating trends, and the critical need for balanced healthy diets

  • Human food dietary requirements for balanced nutrition  
  • Dietary behaviour, factors affecting food choice, e.g. social and cultural factors, food labelling 
  • Trends and developments to optimise health, non-nutrients, e.g. phytochemicals, prebiotics, functional foods, biofortification, GE food ingredients, personalised nutrition, nutrigenomics  
  • Human illnesses and diseases associated with poor nutrition (diabetes, colon cancer, obesity etc.) 
  • Food safety from a microbiological and toxicological perspective with an emphasis on organic food 
  • National policy and regulation on food safety relating to organic food production and sale

The module will be delivered in the second semester of each academic year with online lecture sessions each week. Course days will be held during the semester to visit agri-food businesses where production, processing or direct consumer sales are being carried out. Case study assessments will be held during the semester at spaced intervals and the final written exam will be held at the end of the semester.

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and comprehension of balanced nutrition requirements in the human diet. 
  • Assemble the relevant factors and give examples of influences affecting human dietary behaviour. 
  • Describe and evaluate the role of various non-nutrient ingredients in healthy human diets. 
  • Explain and illustrate the vital role of nutrition in the aetiology of dietary related human diseases. 
  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge, and categorize the application, of food safety measures in relation to production and processing with an emphasis on organic food. 
  • Appraise and critique contemporary published evidence and findings for developing human health and nutrition-related trends. 
  • Select, interpret, and summarize relevant research and health study information on food, health and nutrition from a variety of literature and scientific sources. 

Applicants must hold a National Framework of Qualification (NFQ) Level 8 honours degree in Agri-business and Rural Enterprise, Agriculture, Environmental and Land Science, or other Science-related discipline. Offers will be made based on the applicant’s Grade Point Average (GPA). Applicants who hold a Level 8 degree in a non-cognate area may be considered for entry under SETU Waterford’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) mechanism and equal weighting will be given for GPA qualifications (50%) and a selection interview (50%) to assess prospective candidate’s aptitude and experience relevant to the certificate programme.

Graduates with the Level 9 Certificate in Food, Health and Nutrition may wish to apply knowledge and skills learned in primary food production, provide support and technical advice to growers, producers, and processors or may opt to remain in a research, development and innovation environment. They may also use their applied knowledge and skills in public service for the development of supportive agri-food, nutrition and health policy.

Upon successful completion of other Level 9 Certificates the learner can graduate with a Certificate in Organic and Biological Production (30 credits), a Postgraduate Diploma in Organic and Biological Agriculture (60 credits), plus a dissertation for a MSc in Organic and Biological Agriculture (90 credits).


Course Leader

Mr John Geraghty

Lecturer in Land Sciences -

Call: +35351302264

Email: [email protected]