Course structure

Course structure

Self Study

It’s important to understand that the Course is a demanding academic study programme. Apart from lectures, e-units,  seminars and workshops, you will be expected to devote time to self-study. This is an integral part of the course and entails reading, research, case studies and written and practical assignments. We suggest you commit yourself to at least 15 hours of self-study time each week.

Class Based Learning


Lectures, seminars and workshops are held once a month at weekends at Mary Ward House in a central London location, with seven hours of attendance from 9.30am to 5.30pm on both Saturdays and Sundays. In Years One and Two, you will attend 10 Lecture Weekends. In the final year, the academic calendar consists of nine Lecture Weekends, plus yourfinal assessment day. In addition in year three you will be required to attend 7 days in ION’s flagship teaching clinic in Richmond.


Clinical Training

In Year 1, the Clinical Analysis module introduces you to the tools we use to analyse a client’s diet and health and devise an individually tailored nutrition programme based on the Functional Medicine approach. The Clinical Practice module in Years 2 introduces you to the skills required to conduct one to one consultations. You will be working in small groups practising the skills using simulated client situations. In  year 3  these skills are transferred to ‘live’ consultations, centred on study days spent in the ION Teaching Clinic with real clients. You also spend a day working with actors who simulate a range of clinical personalities and conditions to give you a very broad range of experience. The clinical training at ION is of the highest standard, with students working in small, supportive groups with our experienced clinic tutors.  In year 3 youou will spend a total of more than 80 hours on clinical practice. In addition to the time spent in the Teaching Clinic, giving and observing consultations, a great deal of lecture and seminar time is devoted to various aspects of clinical training, using a range of tools and resources such as case studies, role-plays and DVDs. You can also book in to observe consultations by qualified practitioners at the Optimum Nutrition Clinicperating from ION in Richmond.

The Institute for Optimum Nutrition is an independent educational charity.
Registered company number 2724405, registered charity number 1013084