School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Dietetics

Healthy eating, nutrition and lifestyles are becoming key issues in today’s society. By focusing on the impact of food and nutrition on health, you'll use your knowledge and skills to make a difference to people’s lives. By combining theoretical modules with real life clinical placements you’ll gain all the skills you need for your future career.

You'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council on successful completion of the course. You’ll benefit from research informed teaching, and tailored facilities in our multi-million pound Peninsula Allied Health Centre. The course is accredited by the British Dietetic Association.

Thumb brainz20

Enhance your career in the healthcare professions

This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Careers with this subject

Advice from graduate Gemma Rice:

“The course at Plymouth offered a superb variety of learning experiences that I can now build on, the University lecturers where always willing to support my needs, and the friendly atmosphere around campus made the whole experience very rewarding.”

Read more from Gemma in her case study.

Key features

  • Experience 27 weeks of clinical placements.
  • On successful completion of the course, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.
  • Become independent practitioners with highly developed problem solving skills.
  • Explore themes and revisit them throughout the course, encouraging greater understanding and incremental skill progression.
  • An established course integrating theory and practice, and inter-professional learning throughout.
  • Work with a dietetics team who are actively engaged in diverse research.
  • Benefit from research informed teaching.
  • Benefit from tailored facilities in our multi-million pound Peninsula Allied Health Centre.
  • Accreditation from the British Dietetic Association.
  • To complement your formal learning we offer regular PALS sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment.

  • Term dates

    Our term dates are different from many other university courses, for details of the dates for the next academic session, please refer to the term dates page.

    Please note: In order to successfully complete your course and be eligible to apply for a professional registration you must complete a specified number of practice placement hours along with your theoretical study. This is a requirement of the HCPC. You will only be able to take personal holidays during the specified leave periods for your course. This includes induction week where it is vital you attend all sessions.

    Course details

    • Year 1
    • In your first year, you'll study psychosocial studies, biochemistry, physiology, food science, microbiology and human nutrition to underpin modules in dietetics and applied nutrition in subsequent years. Sharing teaching with other health professions during part of the year helps you to understand the need for multi-professional working. Spend two weeks in your first supervised placement.

      Core modules
      • DIET401 Human Nutrition and Food Studies

        This module will introduce students to food policy and regulation; exploring the scientific aspects of food quality and safety and their interrelationships with the food provisioning system and human nutrition. The module will also investigate dietary intake assessment and examine healthy eating throughout the life cycle.

      • DIET402 Human Nutrition and Psychosocial Care

        This module will introduce students to the science, application and consequences of food choice and lifestyle on human nutritional health. This includes exploration of the psychosocial concepts that impact on food choice, lifestyle and health behaviour.

      • DIET403 Nutritional Biochemistry

        This module provides an introduction to the chemistry, biochemistry and metabolic principles underpinning the science of human nutrition.

      • DIET404 Physiology and Genetics

        This module provides the background in physiology and genetics to enable the learner to develop and incorporate these concepts into modules in level 5. The module has been designed to include the majority of the material that is considered to be essential in providing a sound understanding of the biosciences that underpin dietetics.

      • DIET405 Nutritional Epidemiology / Public Health Nutrition

        The module introduces the principles of evidence based practice and the study of nutritional epidemiology. It provides an introduction to the relationship between diet and disease, combining nutritional knowledge with skills in evaluation of dietary assessment methodologies to investigate the determinants of health and disease in populations, then applying these epidemiological concepts in the context of public health.

      • DIET406 Placement A

        This 2 week placement introduces the student to the work of a dietitian in the clinical environment by observing working practices, including inter-professional working as part of the multi-disciplinary team. It also provides experience in undertaking practical exercises relating to the provision of food and dietary analysis.

      • SOHP401 Preparation for Practice

        This inter-professional module will introduce students to professional practice and the inherent standards expected of them. The characteristics and identity of allied health professionals, as evidence based practitioners, will underpin learning.

    • Year 2
    • In your second year, you'll work on an integrated and innovative series of problem-based learning exercises which will enable you to extend the depth and breadth of your knowledge in nutrition, dietetics and clinical sciences. You’ll undertake 12 weeks of supervised clinical practice to enable you to develop the confidence and personal skills required to work as a dietitian. We’ll introduce you to the concepts of professional studies in further shared learning with other health professions.

      Core modules
      • DIET501 Pathophysiology

        This module runs in parallel with the major modules in dietetic practice. The module is designed to provide basic knowledge on basic pathophysiology as well as to introduce the student to the basic concepts of epidemiology and medical diagnosis. The appropriate pathophysiology is encountered at the same time as the conditions are examined from a clinical and dietetic viewpoint.

      • DIET502 Dietetics 1 (CBL)

        This module will introduce students to an evidence based approach to dietary modification for health in different care groups with a wide diversity of ages and social conditions. It will address, in particular, the factors which affect and difficulties of implementing dietary change. Students will build confidence in using portfolios to record their learning.

      • DIET503 Dietetics in Practice 1

        This module will require students to put into practice the theory studied in Dietetics 1. Students will learn how to adapt meals and use special products to meet an individual's dietetic requirements. They will develop their communication, educational and motivational interviewing abilities. Students will build confidence in dietetic skills in preparation for their B placement.

      • DIET504 Metabolism and Pharmacology

        The metabolic element of this module explores the physiological and metabolic background to nutrition through the lifecycle. Basic nutritional metabolism will be studied to provide the basis to look at (in other modules) the role of metabolism in various conditions. The pharmacological element of this module introduces the student dietitian to the basic principles of pharmacology. The mode of action of drugs, the absorption, distribution, and metabolism of drugs, and the interaction between diet and drugs.

      • DIET505 Metabolism and Immunology

        This module explores the physiological and metabolic background to diet related diseases, the role of nutrition in immune function, and the influence of nutrients and exercise on the maintenance of optimal health.

      • DIET506 Placement B

        During this 12 week placement, students will begin to apply their theoretical knowledge in the workplace and develop the range of skills required to work as a dietitian. Including procedures for the assessment, intervention and monitoring of clients with a range of non-complex conditions in a variety of settings.

      • SOHP501 Project Studies

        This module develops knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. The content is designed to enable the students to understand different research designs, to evaluate the research literature and to prepare them to undertake research at undergraduate level. Meets all or part of HPC Standards of Proficiency: 2b.1, 3a.

    • Final year
    • In your final year, your 12-week supervised clinical practice will have a strong patient focus. Learn how to develop the management and leadership skills required to work in an inter-professional healthcare environment. Work on an in-depth research project in an area of personal interest related to dietetics or nutrition. Your final clinical placement will have an emphasis on the professional mastery and fitness for practice required for employment and registration as a dietitian with the HCPC.

      Core modules
      • DIET601 Dietetics 2 (CBL)

        This module will help students review their practical dietetic experiences and build on these through a questioning/problem solving approach. Students will justify approaches and consider the concept of evidenced-based practice in dietary therapy for chronic and complex conditions.

      • DIET602 Dietetics in Practice 2

        The module will require students to put into practice the theory studied in Dietetics 2. The major emphasis is on communication and educational skills; presentation and evaluation of different techniques used by dietitians for individuals and groups.

      • DIET603 Public Health Nutrition

        This module considers the role of Public Health Nutrition as a specialist area of Dietetic practice and consolidates learning for students on how to critically appraise the evidence base and practically apply nutrition interventions in the community.

      • DIET604 Placement C

        This 12 week placement builds on the practical skills and knowledge acquired in placement B with an increasing focus on clients with complex needs. Students become competent in translating theory into practice and in demonstrating the range of skills needed to work as a newly qualified dietitian.

      • SOHP601 Project

        Students will undertake and complete a short piece of research developed from the level 5 protocol which involves the collection and interpretation of a small amount of data. Findings will be presented in the format of a professional journal article and conference style presentation.

      • SOHP603 Business and Leadership

        Students undertaking this module will gain an appreciation of current legal, financial and ethical issues that impact on the successful management of practice in both the public and private sector. There will be a focus on effective use of marketing alongside an introduction to human resourcing. Leadership relevant to both the independent practitioner and management of service development will also be addressed.

    Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

    The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

    BSc (Hons) Dietetics programme specification

    The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

    Entry requirements

    UCAS tariff


    ABB at A level to include biology and another science (preferably chemistry – but will consider Maths, Physics, Psychologcy, Sociology, Geography, geology, Environmental science).  Excludes general studies.

    (Extended project will be counted if nutrition related subject – this will be considered at confirmation)

    5 GCSEs grade C or above to include mathematics, English and science. Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application. Please note the institution will also accept Functional Skills Level 2 (Numeracy) as an equivalent qualification to the GCSE Mathematics qualification.


    31 points overall to include High Level 5 in biology and another science (preferably chemistry). English accepted within - if Advanced Level = 4+ (A1) or 5 (A2/B) - if Standard Level = 5+ (A1) or 6 (A2/B) - if overseas and not studying English within IB – must have IELTS at 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all elements.

    Pass a named science based Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3, 30 at distinction level, preferably with 15 credits in biology and 15 credits in second science (preferably chemistry, but other credit weightings will be considered). A further 15 credits at Level 3 must be at merit level. Must have GCSE English and Mathematics grade C /4 or above.

    18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDD (DDM) must contain strong biology and second science module (preferably chemistry) components. Preferably studying an A Level alongside where possible.

    BTEC National Diploma modules

    If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules including their credit rating within your qualification at the time of application.

    Equivalent qualifications may be considered. Alternatively if you have any questions or concerns about meeting the entry requirements listed above we would encourage you to contact the Admissions Team on 01752 585858 or email, where a member of the team can offer

    For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

    Already have a science based degree? Ask us about direct entry into year two.

    We consider each individual application on its merits.

    Extended requirements

    • In addition to the above, evidence of academic study within the last five years is required.
    • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course
    • If English is not your first language and you do not have GCSE English grade C or above you will have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated below.
    • IELTS – 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all elements (if you need to improve your English language to get onto a degree course at Plymouth University, you can book a pre-sessional academic English course).
    • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.

    Further information

    Deferred entry

    Deferred entry is not physically possible for us (but we can waive your interview in the next cycle if you have already been interviewed successfully this cycle).

    Fees, costs and funding

    New Student 2017 2018
    Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
    International £12,250 £13,000
    Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
    Part time (International) To be confirmed To be confirmed
    Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

    Please be aware that there may be additional costs to undertaking your studies relating to printing of course materials, parking charges if you are studying at PAHC, and requirement for an initial outlay for travel and accommodation in respect of practice placement. If you have any questions regarding these costs please contact

    How to apply

    All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

    UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

    Apply for this course on the UCAS website.

    For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

    As from 2014-15 academic year, all NHS funded professional courses are required to select and interview their applicants using a ‘values based’ approach. As part of this process, your UCAS personal statement will now also require this additional information, which will demonstrate insight into your understanding of the importance of NHS values in your chosen professional discipline.

    You can learn more about the application process by visiting one of our open days that are held across the South West, or by downloading this PowerPoint presentation.

    New BSc (Hons) Dietetics £2,000 scholarship available

    We wanted to share with you the exciting news that a £2,000 scholarship will be awarded to one of our applicants, who makes Plymouth University their firm UCAS choice, and meets their agreed conditions for entry onto the programme.

    The award winner will be decided by a scholarship panel and will be based on academic performance in the first semester of the Dietetics programme.

    English Language Centre

    We offer a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills.

    These include pre-sessional academic English courses for undergraduates, taught postgraduates and research students along with insessional language classes, tutorials and activities to support students who have English as a second language.

    Find out how we can help you reach your potential.

    Jordyn Read - student profile

    I love the fast-track nature of the course, which enables me to graduate in three years instead of four and experience a dietetics placement during each year of study. This gives hands-on experience and consolidation of knowledge at each stage.
    Find out more about Jordyn Read


    Join in our conversation on Twitter:

    International students

    Thinking about coming to study in Plymouth? Find the answers to many of your questions here, as well as links to places where you can discover more.

    Find out more about studying in Plymouth

    Claire Davis – BSc (Hons) Dietetics graduate

    I look back on my time at Plymouth as a time of enjoyment and personal development. Although the course was very challenging, it enabled me to pursue a career I feel passionate about.

    Claire Davis reflects on her career since graduating and the value of the dietitian for patients going through intensive treatments.

    Discover more about Claire's experience

    Felicity Hares – BSc (Hons) Dietetics graduate

    I took three clinical placements which shaped me as a professional – shadowing dietitians in a variety of environments and building skills of reflection which have been essential throughout my career.

    Felicity tells us about her career in performance nutrition

    Gemma Rice – BSc (Hons) Dietetics graduate

    The course offered a superb variety of learning experiences that I can now build on, the University lecturers where always willing to support my needs, and the friendly atmosphere around campus made the whole experience very rewarding.
    Learn more about Gemma Rice

    Student insight: Emma Kewell

    The course provides great support and direction and studying dietetics provides you with a stable profession that is fundamental for today's society.

    Emma explains more


    Our facilities

    You'll not only receive a first class education taught by dedicated professionals but will experience education in superb modern facilities which include a purpose built food preparation laboratory ideal for teaching dietetic practical skills

    Dr Avril Collinson - Lecturer in Dietetics

    Dietetics is taught in our PAHC building

    Teaching and assessment

    In addition to the traditional learning and teaching methods of lectures, seminars and practicals, you’ll increasingly take responsibility for your own learning by participating in problem based learning. By focusing on case studies, you’ll learn how to unravel and explore all the relevant clinical and health sciences that underpin dietetic clinical decision making.

    Our assessment methods help you to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes required for registration as a dietitian, including practical skills assessment, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), workbooks, essays, presentations (including oral) and examinations in some modules.

    Opportunities for postgraduate study in dietetics

    The MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Dietetics will prepare you become an evidence-based practitioner, ready to manage and lead in dynamic settings.

    You’ll leave the programme with the advanced skills and knowledge to make a real and profound impact on patient care.

    Find out more about the MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Dietetics