ProfCert Health Promotion for Nutrition Professionals

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 15)

In 2013, the Government set out ‘Future Health and Healthy Ireland: A framework for improved health and wellbeing (2013-2025). The aim of Healthy Ireland is to improve the health and wellbeing of the population with a focus on preventive measures and increasing healthy behaviours. Community dietitians and nutritionists working to promote health are uniquely place to develop strategies that support preventive services and healthy environments that empower individuals to make healthier choices.

This professional certificate is designed to enable those working in this area to refresh or acquire new learning and skills in the area of health promotion. We aim to guide you through the theoretical knowledge and research skills to design and implement interventions and to advocate for the provision of supportive environments for health.

Careers & Employability

Nutrition professionals working to promote health are uniquely place to develop strategies that support preventive services and health environments that empower individuals to make healthier choices. Governments, healthy agencies, food industry and employers have a renewed focus on strategies that improve the health of their respective populations. These roles require professionals who must be able to understand and apply the principles of public health and health promotion and be able to advocate for changes with key stakeholders. On successful completion of all components of this programme the student will be granted a UCD Professional Certificate (level 9). This will provide recipients with a comprehensive educational experience which they can apply directly in their professional practice.

Curricular information is subject to change

Part Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

  • The course is aimed at graduates from dietetics and nutrition disciplines who wish to upskill and become competent in this increasingly important and rapidly evolving area.
  • Applicants to the programme should hold an Irish level 8 qualification (Higher Diploma or Higher Degree with an award of 2.2 or above) or international equivalent from a recognised third level institution.
  • Applicants must supply transcripts of their primary degree or higher diploma and all supporting documentation overleaf at the time of application. This includes an up-to-date 2-page CV and a Personal Statement with their application.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTs 7.0 (no band less than 6.5 in each element), or equivalent.
  • All applicants are assessed on a case by case basis by the Programme Coordinator.
  • Places are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.


In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating these qualities may be considered as an alternative route. Evidence used to demonstrate these qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.




The foundation module will provide a solid underpinning in public health where the core principles and skills of epidemiology and the development of interventions and policies will be examined. In the next semester students will be introduce to the philosophy and practice of health promotion and how to integrate health promotion within their practice. They will also learn how to plan and develop appropriate strategies to promote health across a range of stakeholder groups.

View All Modules Here

  • PHPS 40270 Public Health Nutrition (5 credits)
    • This module builds on a foundation of nutritional science and applies the principles of epidemiology to measuring and describing health, food and nutritional problems. The module will give you a basic understanding of the core concepts of epidemiology and provide you with the skills to analyse current nutrition research and to evaluate nutrition programmes for improving public health.  Approaches to promote health and prevent adverse health outcomes will be considered in view of nutrient recommendations and food based dietary guidelines for optimal health and nutrition. The development of interventions and role of policies will be explored to understand how they can impact nutritional status and population health and wellbeing.
  • PHPS 40710 Promoting Consumer Nutrition (5 credits)
    • This module provides a basic understanding of the theory and practice that is essential to the effective promotion of nutrition and health messages. The module will consider the key factors that determine consumer food choice and will focus on psycho-social behaviour theories to understand concept of changing health and health behaviour. These concepts will provide a framework for effective nutrition communication strategies. Contextual approaches will be examined in addition to designing and employing media channels and resources that are appropriate for the target population.
  • PHPS 40300 Health Promotion (5 credits)
    • This module explores the theoretical and methodological issues that drive health promotion practice. Health Promotion may be defined as the process by which individuals are enabled to take control of their health. The module charts the development of health promotion over the last two decades, including landmark influences such as the Ottawa charter (WHO 1986). Theoretical and methodological issues are explored with up to date information on good practice in the field. Topics covered are basic concepts and principles of health and health promotion, needs assessment, planning and evaluation models, and ethics.

Fees include tuition and examination fees. The fee schedule for all programmes is shown on the UCD Fees website ( and refers to the fee for a single academic year. Further information regarding fees is available on the UCD Fees website.  

  • Applicants whose first language is not English and whose primary degree was obtained in a country where English is not the official language of instruction must provide proof of proficiency in English such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  • The original certificate of completion of an English language test must be submitted with the application.
  • For IELTs (International English Language Testing System – Academic): a minimum overall band score of 7.0 is required with a result not less than 6.5 in each of the individual sections.
  • For TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Internet Based Test: a minimum total score of 100 out of 120 is required, with a score not less than 22 in Reading and Listing, not less than 26 in Speaking and not less than 24 in the test of written English.
  • For the Paper Based Test: A minimum total score of 600 is required with a score not less than 5.0 in the test of Written English.
  • Test results must not be more than 2 years old.

You can apply using the UCD online application system. To apply, simply click on and follow the instructions. A non-refundable application fee applies. The application fee is paid online.