UCC ACE Short courses

Sugar, Fat and Fad Diets: A No-Nonsense Introduction to Nutrition and Health

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Sugar, Fat and Fad Diets: A No-Nonsense Introduction to Nutrition and Health

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    Eight weeks, Tuesdays 7-9pm, from 28 January to 24 March

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    Cert of Attendance

  • Fees

    €200 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Friday 17 January 2020

  • Venue

    Western Gateway Building, Room G13, UCC

  • Start Date

    Tuesday 28 January 2020

Course Outline

This 8-week course will explore nutrition concepts that take centre stage in the media and become hot topics of conversation among those interested in food and health.

We will learn about fat, sugar, protein, vitamins and minerals as they relate to health. We will explore the scientific basis of some hot topics and alternative diets in nutrition (e.g. paleo diet, organic food, and the recent rise in orthorexia). We will also examine the link between nutrition and common Western diseases and discuss issues like overweight and obesity, food labelling and allergies. Practical activities will include studying food labels, calculating calorie requirements and learning how to accurately take height, weight and blood pressure measurements.
Underpinning all this is a grounded nutritional science perspective from experienced UCC tutors who look to the scientific evidence for answers. We hope this course will help participants separate nutritional fact from fiction, and give them the confidence to make healthy food choices in their own lives going forward.

As the course content is partly determined by the interests of the course participants, the series of lectures may change slightly from year to year. Typically, the 8 lectures comprise:

Week 1  Fat and sugar – friends or foes?

Week 2  The role of vitamins and minerals in health

Week 3  Nutritional needs from infancy to old age

Week 4  Western diseases: Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease and Type II Diabetes

Week 5  Physical activity and introduction to sports nutrition

Week 6 Obesity and overweight (including physical measurements)

Week 7  Food labelling and food allergies/intolerances

Week 8  Hot topics in nutrition (nutrition in the media)

Course Practicalities

Who teaches this course:

Dr Colette O Neill, Dr Laura Kehoe and Dr Emma O'Sullivan

Colette O'Neill has a strong background in nutritional sciences [BSc (Nutritional Sciences); PhD (Nutrition)]. She has completed her PhD in 2015 in the area of nutrition, healthy ageing and cardiovascular disease at the University of East Anglia, UK. She is currently carrying out research in the area of vitamin D at UCC.

Laura Kehoe possesses a strong background in nutrition [BSc (Nutritional Sciences); MSc (Nutrition) and is a Registered Associate Nutritionist. She is currently working with the National Dietary Surveys Research Group in UCC who in recent years, have completed a number of comprehensive national nutrition surveys. The information collected during these surveys are used to develop effective nutrition policies and health promotion campaigns throughout Ireland. 

Emma O’Sullivan has been working and studying in the area of nutrition for the last number of years having completed a BSc (Nutritional Sciences) in University College Cork and a PhD (Nutrition) in Ulster University in the area of nutrition and blood pressure during pregnancy. She has lectured in the area of nutritional assessment in Ulster University previously and is currently working with the National Dietary Surveys Research Group in UCC who in recent years, have completed a number of comprehensive nutrition surveys on the island of Ireland.

This short course consists of one class per week class (2 hours duration) taught over an 8 week period. Classes are lecture-based, with accompanying presentation slides. Open discussion is encouraged. Classes include practical activities where possible to encourage student participation and enhance the learning experience.


Short courses are non-assessed

Why Choose This Course

This course is taught by scientists who have specialised in nutrition. They will discuss current nutrition topics of interest in the context of the available scientific evidence. Participants on the course will gain a deeper understanding of the principles of nutrition, and how to apply these to everyday life to maintain or improve their health.


Students must be minimum eighteen years at course commencement

Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €200.

How Do I Apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 January 2020. Fees are listed in each course description. Students register and pay fees before course commencement as follows:

1. Register and pay online by clicking the Apply Now button below. Course commencement is subject to sufficient enrolment. In the event of a course not commencing applicants will be informed and their fees will be returned.

2. Payment may also be made by credit or debit card, cheque, postal order or bank draft made payable to UCC and these should be returned together with a completed application form to Short Courses, Adult Continuing Education, The Laurels, Western Road. Application forms are available from the office or they may be downloaded from the link below.

3. Students may also hand in completed application forms to the office at ACE between 9:15am and 5pm each day prior to the closing date. We regret we are unable to accept cash.

Application Form Jan 2020

Apply Now

Contact details for this course

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact