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Irish School of Herbal Medicine - Vitalist Nutrition and Iridology Diploma

Vitalist Nutrition and Iridology Diploma


The Diploma can be completed in two years and equips the graduate to practise as a professional Nutritionist and Iridologist using Iridology as the health assessment tool. Vitalist Nutrition is entirely plant based nutrition with a focus on living food, i.e. foods which are uncooked and eaten while they are as near to their wholesome state as possible. This kind of nutritional focus is optimum for healing and many phenomenal health results are being achieved through dietary change.

While the primary emphasis of this course is on vitalistic nutrition, natural healing protocols, nutritional herbalism and detoxification regimes are also covered. Iridology is taught as a natural non invasive diagnostic tool. It is used to suggest a particular diet and healing regime for each patient. This assessment tool points to the key areas of the emotional and physical health of a person that may need attention and suggests specific methods of treatment.

Most people who take part in this course are mature and often in full time employment, raising a family or both. With this in mind the academic content of the course is delivered entirely through on-line learning allowing for the face-to-face experiences of the student to be entirely dedicated to clinical training.



Clinical Training

Clinical training is by far the most important component of any professional training in medicine or natural healing. It allows the student to experience the reality of working in a clinical setting and to encounter a broad range of patient cases. In the course modules, and through clinical training students are also introduced to herbs allowing them on graduation to also recommend some health food store herbal products as part of the nutritional advice they might give their patients.

The college places great emphasis on clinical training and the course is essentially built around the apprenticeship model. Clinical training is provided by the college at its busy herbal clinic at the Old Rectory in Portlaoise and also in Maynooth University Conference and Accommodation Centre.

On completion of the first two years and 300 hours of clinical training students can be awarded a Diploma in Vitalistic Nutrition and Iridology. This allows them to join The Irish Institute of Iridologists and to practice as iridologists who give health advice based on lifestyle and dietary change.



Course Format

Course Format The Diploma in Iridology and Nutrition is part-time in terms of attendance. In terms of study however, it is equivalent in commitment to a full time course. The academic content of the course is entirely delivered on-line. The course is designed with the maximum use of on-line resources including: podcasts, videos and discussion forums. Students are assigned a personal tutor who is in charge of moderating student groups and online activities and is always available to deal with students queries. Because of the on-line nature of the course delivery, attendance at the school’s clinic is dedicated to the completion of the 300 clinical training hours required by the programme. Each academic year a student is required to attend an average of twelve days in the School’s clinic in Portlaoise and three weekends in Maynooth University Conference and Accommodation Centre.


  • First Year
    First Year

    Principles and Practice of Natural Healing TS101

    Herb Classification TS103

    Introduction to Natural Diagnostics TS104

    Natural Therapeutics TS105

    Vitalist Nutrition VN101

    History of Medicine TS102

    Botany PS101

    Human Sciences I HS101

    Human Sciences I HS102

    Herb Preparation TS106

  • Second Year
    Second Year

    Formula Making TS201

    Practitioner Research PR201

    Introduction to Pathophysiology HS201

    Mind-Body Paradigm TS202

    Emotional Iridology Applied I TS203

    Emotional Iridology Applied II TS204

    Therapeutic Relationships and Skills PDE201

    Advanced Herb Classifications I TS205

    Advanced Herb Classifications II TS206

    Advanced Vitalist Nutrition VN201

To view modules on mobile device please use horizontal view 



On successful completion of the course and examination students will receive a Diploma in Iridology and Nutrition from The Irish School of Herbal Medicine. The course is also recognised by The Irish Institute of Iridologists  Graduates will qualify for professional indemnity. Please note that this programme is the same as the first two years of the Herbal Medicine Licentiate and students can continue their studies to complete the herbal course in the following two years if they so wish.



Study fees are €2,850 per year. This includes full clinical training each year. An optional payment plan is available on request.


Start Date

February 2020


Application Procedure

To register for a place on the course applicants should first arrange an interview with the Course Director. Places are allocated based on this interview/discussion during which students can also have further questions answered. Please phone the College to make an appointment for same.


Application Form

To download and print Application Form click here. The form should be filled in and either scanned and emailed or posted to the College address. It is also possible to complete an application form when attending the interview at the College.





Questions and Answers

Here are some common answers 


How many days of clinical training must I attend yearly?

Clinical training is provided on weekdays at the School Clinic in the Old Rectory in Portlaoise. Available dates are released 3-4 months in advance. Students can choose to do one to five days at a time, depending on their work and/or family situation and the distance they have to travel. Students need to complete approximately twelve such days per year at the School's Clinic. The College also offers three pre-determined weekend dates in November, March and June each year. These take place at Maynooth University Conference Centre, South Campus.

I am not living in Ireland. Will it be possible for me to complete the programme?

Yes. Overseas students can complete the course by attending a block of clinical training days two to three times per year. These days would include two to three of the Maynooth University weekends and days immediately after or before at the School Clinic.

Are there any extra classes that are compulsory?

No. All of the academic material of the course is delivered online. However, from time to time the College hosts events which might be of interest to students but these are not compulsory.

What is the nature of the online learning?

Students belong to students groups each one of which has a group tutor. There are discussion forums to which students are expected to regularly contribute i.e. every second or third day at the least, and more if possible. These provide lively debate and act as a support for student learning. Your tutor is always available to answer any questions that you may have about the course structure, or any other matters.

How are my studies assessed?

Assessment is continous and students will submit an assignment every three weeks. These are usually essay in style but where possible include student project work like home preparation of remedies, and the uploading of photographs, audio or video to document the work. Students must complete ten case histories in Iridology by the end of second year.

What is the nature of the qualification I will be awarded at the end of the programme and what does it allow me to do?

The training at The Irish School of Herbal Medicine is practical and apprenticeship based. Our Diploma allows you to join The Irish Institute of Iridology, qualify for professional indemnity and practise as an Iridologist and Vitalistic Nutritionist

Can I use my qualification to practise abroad?

Each country has entirely different legislation regarding Iridology practice. Prospective applicants need to look into the exact legislation in any country in which they might wish to do so.


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