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Online course

The Science of Nutrition

Get an introduction to nutritional science. Explore the biology, chemistry and physics of food and how our bodies digest it.

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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Explore the nutritional science behind what you eat

Have you ever looked at a food label and wondered what kilocalories really mean? Would you like to know more about fat, protein or carbohydrates, and how our bodies process them?

This online nutrition course provides the answers. You’ll explore biology, finding out how our digestive system and bloodstream process and transport food. You’ll use physics to work out how much energy food contains. And through chemistry, you’ll discover the role that acid and enzymes play in digestion.

Finally, you’ll consider the science behind dietary advice and why we’re facing an obesity epidemic worldwide.

What topics will you cover?

  • Basic chemistry of protein, fat and carbohydrate components of food
  • Basic biology of the digestive system, how enzymes function and how products of digestion are used
  • Measurements of nutrients in prepared food and interpretation of food labels
  • Measurement of the energy available from food
  • Constituents of a healthy diet and analysis of dietary advice
  • The obesity epidemic and aspects of different diets throughout the world

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • 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 online nutrition course is open to anyone with an interest in nutrition or science – whether you want to know more about your own diet, or are working or aspiring to work as a nutritionist or nutritional scientist.

No previous experience is required.

What do people say about this course?

This is a nice beginner course to nutrition: some of the topics go into the chemistry of food, you're given a lot of extra material to explore, and some nice activities to make you think about your own diet.

Natrina
Class-Central Review

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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

Certificate of Achievement

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

Image certificate mobile

  • 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.

Upgrade


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