How to become a dietitian

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You'll need a degree or postgraduate qualification in dietetics or human nutrition, accredited by the British Dietetic Association.

You may be able to take a postgraduate course if you already have a degree with an acceptable level of human physiology and biochemistry.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology or chemistry
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

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Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a dietitian degree apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, preferably including biology, for a degree apprenticeship

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Work

You could work as a dietetic assistant and study part time for a degree to qualify as a dietitian.

Volunteering

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the health or care sector before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

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Registration

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join organisations like the British Dietetic Association for training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You'll find more advice about becoming a dietitian from the British Dietetic Association and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to read English
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In a hospital, you could:

  • specialise in an area like children's health, renal dietetics or cancer care
  • run clinics for people with diabetes or eating disorders, like anorexia or bulimia
  • work with catering services to create menus for patients with a range of dietary needs

In the community, you may:

  • raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating
  • run health promotion workshops
  • advise people who lack confidence, are experiencing mental ill health, or are on a low income

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, in the community, at a research facility or at a health centre.

Career path and progression

With experience you could become a team leader or department manager. 

You could also become self-employed.

You might take further training to use your skills in education, manufacturing, research, journalism, marketing, advertising or public relations.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a dietitian right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to HE Diploma (Health Science Professions)

  • Provider: RNN GROUP
  • Start date: 06 June 2021
  • Location: Rotherham

Access to HE Diploma (Social Science and Health)

  • Provider: UNIVERSITY COLLEGE BIRMINGHAM
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Birmingham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

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