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Online course

The Science of Nutrition

Explore the science behind what you eat with this free online course.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

The Science of Nutrition

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Why join the course?

Are we really what we eat? And how do we know what is in our food?

This free online course will look to answer some of these questions, by looking at the science behind nutrition, covering aspects of biology, chemistry and physics. You’ll look at the components of food that are given on food labels and consider how these are processed by the body.

There will be some human biology, focusing on the digestive system, including the liver, and the bloodstream, which carries the processed food components to all parts of the body. You will also find out how much energy different sorts of foods supply.

You will have the opportunity to carry out some experiments to find out a little more about the role that acid plays in digestion and how enzymes work, as well as working out how much energy is contained in a single peanut.

Finally, you’ll consider some of the advice that is given about what constitutes a healthy diet and how overconsumption has led to an obesity epidemic in many countries of the world.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Demonstrate and understand how food is processed and then used in the body.
  • Describe and know about food allergies and intolerances.
  • Apply knowledge to understand healthy eating advice and identify how it varies in different countries.
  • Interpret and understand the basic components of food.
  • Discuss and be able to make sense of food labels and peform basic calculations of energy in food.
  • Describe and understand possible reasons for the current obesity epidemic.
  • Be able to conduct simple experiments using easily available materials.

Who is the course for?

This course is intended for anyone with a general interest in science or nutrition and does not require any prior experience of studying this subject.

Who will you learn with?

Audrey Brown

I'm an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, with wide interests across science and particular expertise in supporting students who are taking their first steps in science subjects.

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

Supporters

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $54 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.