Course Structure

About the program

The Diploma program is offered by Distance Learning on a part-time basis and takes two years to complete. The number of places on each intake will be limited.

The Diploma consists of two parts:

  • Part 1 Foundations of Sports Nutrition February-November
  • Part 2 Practical Sports Nutrition February-November

Delivery of the program involves a variety of teaching methods, including lectures in electronic format, web-based materials, paper-based reading, on-line “chat room” and other Internet based activities and residential meetings.

Each part of the program consists of lectures in electronic format, supported by directed private study, and includes formal assessment elements.

Program Delivery and Structure

Lectures consist of computer-based presentations with audio and video, and incorporate self-assessment and interactive elements where appropriate.

Lecture material is supplemented by a program of directed study, including review papers and original research publications.

Students are provided with a comprehensive portfolio of reading material in electronic format. Core course textbooks and a subscription to the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism are provided to all students as part of the registration fee.

Each course includes regular assignments and a formal examination to be completed by students.

In addition to the coursework contained in these modules, students are offered the opportunity to participate in an annual residential meeting.

A large group of international experts in the study and practice of sports nutrition will be involved in the development and delivery of material, and will be made accessible via online chats and the residential workshop.

Upon successful completion of all compulsory elements of the program, including coursework, assignments and examinations, students are eligible to graduate with an IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition.

Individual parts of the Diploma program may form the basis of continuing education studies for those who do not wish to follow the whole program or to qualify for the award of the IOC Diploma.

Part 1 Foundations of Sports Nutrition

This course provides a broad coverage of the key areas of sports nutrition. It deals primarily with general principles, but draws on examples from various sports to illustrate the nutritional goals of athletes in training and competition and highlights some of the dietary strategies that can be employed to meet those goals.

  • Overview lecture: Overview of Sports Nutrition (RJ Maughan)
  • Module 1: Energy balance and body composition - Module tutor: RJ Maughan
  • Module 2: Protein needs for exercise; eating for muscle gain - Module tutor: SM Shirreffs
  • Module 3: Post-exercise recovery for training and competition - Module Tutor: RJ Maughan
  • Module 4: Nutrition for competition preparation – Module Tutor: RJ Maughan
  • Module 5: Fluid and fuel intake during competition and training – Module Tutor: SM Shirreffs
  • Module 6: Weight loss and disordered eating – Module Tutor: RJ Maughan
  • Module 7: Vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and the athlete’s health - Module tutor: SM Shirreffs
  • Module 8: Dietary supplements and ergogenic aids - Module tutor: RJ Maughan
  • Module 9: Design and conduct of experiments. - Module tutor: RJ Maughan
  • Module 10: Special studies module: current controversies in sports nutrition - Module tutor: RJ Maughan

Part 2 Practical Sports Nutrition

The following core modules provides a broad coverage of practical issues in sports nutrition. As well as looking at nutrition goals and the dietary strategies that can meet those goals, this course reviews nutrition knowledge of athletes, beliefs and behaviours of athletes, and deals with implementation of change and achieving goals in the practical world of sport.

  • Module 1: Practical Sports Nutrition - Module tutor: LM Burke
  • Module 2: Sport-specific strategies to enhance performance: endurance and endurance trained sports - Module tutor: LM Burke
  • Module 3: Sport-specific strategies to enhance performance: intermittent sports - Module tutor: LM Burke
  • Module 4: Sport-specific strategies to enhance performance: strength and power sports - Module tutor: LM Burke
  • Module 5: Sport-specific strategies to enhance performance: winter sports - Module tutor: LM Burke
  • Module 6: Sport-specific strategies to enhance performance: weight-restricted and weight-conscious sports - Module tutor: LM Burke
  • Module 7: Nutrition, physical activity and health - Module tutor: SM Shirreffs
  • Module 8: Special populations - Module tutor: SM Shirreffs
  • Module 9: Nutritional needs in special environments: cold, heat and altitude - Module tutor: SM Shirreffs
  • Module 10: Special studies module: analysis and presentation of a sport-specific case study.
  • Module tutor: LM Burke

Annual Residential Meeting

An annual residential meeting will be held and students will have the opportunity to attend one meeting during each year of study. Attendance at these meetings is encouraged but is not a requirement for successful completion of the Program. The annual meeting allows you:

  • To meet fellow students and tutors
  • Take part in an international conference