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.

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This course is now closed for September 2021 entry

Join in 2022 or have you considered...

Careers with this subject

Understanding where your degree subject could take you is an important first step in career planning. Due to the transferrable nature of the skills you gain from your studies, you may discover that there is a much wider range of opportunities open to you within this profession that you may first appreciate. Find out more about where your degree could take you.

Key features

  • Experience cutting-edge nutrition research with world-class academics, putting research into practice and developing the future Dietetic Profession.
  • Experience inter-professional learning throughout the programme.
  • Experience practice placements in each year of the course, gaining experience in a range of different clinical and community settings, including unique specialist placements in paediatrics and mental health.
  • Innovative in house nutrition clinics, run alongside placements and academic study providing additional opportunities to attain competency in practice based learning.
  • Develop leadership roles for sustainability and explore an emerging range of professional opportunities for dietitians beyond our traditional role, including freelance and private practice, the world of media and social enterprise.
Please note: In order to successfully complete your course and be eligible to apply for a professional registration you must pass all practice based placement competencies 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

  • You will study psychosocial aspects of patient care, biochemistry, physiology, food science, 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. You will learn how to critically appraise evidence and be introduced to the importance of public health nutrition. You will spend two weeks in your first supervised placement.

    Core modules

    • Nutritional Biochemistry (DIET407)

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

    • Physiology and Genetics (DIET408)

      This module provides the background in physiology and genetics to enable the learner to develop and incorporate these concepts into modules at 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.

    • Human Nutrition, Food Studies and the Lifecycle (DIET409)

      To provide a foundation for the study of human nutrition, a global perspective of the food provisioning system and investigate relationships between food, diet and lifestyle. To investigate the theory and practical aspects of dietary intake assessment and evaluate nutritional requirements throughout stages of the life cycle.

    • Psychosocial Aspects of Patient Centred Care (DIET410)

      Students will explore the psychosocial aspects of patient centred care. An introduction to psychosocial aspects of care and impact on health and wellbeing. Students will study the concepts of patient centred care by exploring psychological and social aspects and how these impact on an individual's food choice, lifestyle and health behaviour.

    • Placement A (DIET411)

      Students will explore the psychosocial aspects of patient centred care. An introduction to psychosocial aspects of care and impact on health and wellbeing. Students will study the concepts of patient centred care by exploring psychological and social aspects and how these impact on an individual's food choice, lifestyle and health behaviour.

    • Nutritional Epidemiology & Public Health Nutrition (DIET412)

      The module will introduce the principles of evidence based practice and the study of nutritional epidemiology. It will provide 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. These epidemiological concepts will then be applied in the context of public health nutrition.

    • Preparation for Practice (SOHP401)

      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

  • You will work on an integrated and innovative series of problem-based learning exercises to extend the depth and breadth of your knowledge in nutrition, dietetics and clinical sciences. An understanding of immunology and pharmacology will be developed. You will undertake 12 weeks of supervised clinical practice to enable you to develop the confidence and personal skills required to work as a dietitian. We will introduce you to the concepts of professional studies, providing learning opportunities for problem solving with other healthcare professionals.

    Core modules

    • Pathophysiology (DIET501)

      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.

    • Dietetics 1 (DIET507)

    • Metabolism and Pharmacology (DIET508)

      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.

    • Metabolism and Immunology (DIET509)

      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.

    • Placement B (DIET510)

      During this 12 week placement, students will begin to apply their theoretical knowledge through blended, virtual and on-site placements 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.

    • Dietetics in Practice 1 (DIET511)

      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 nutritional requirements. They will develop their communication, educational and motivational interviewing abilities. Students will build confidence in core dietetic skills in preparation for their B placement.

  • Final year

  • You will develop skills to work with more complex patients. An understanding of the principles of sustainable leadership, digital marketing and effective management skills will be embedded. You will work on an in-depth research project in an area of personal interest related to dietetics or nutrition. Your final clinical placement will have a strong patient focus, emphasis being on professional mastery and fitness for practice required for employment and registration as a dietitian with the HCPC.

    • DIET606 Dietetics 2 (CBL)
    • DIET607 Dietetics in Practice 2
    • DIET611 Leaderhip Roles for Sustainability
    • DIET608 Placement C
    • DIET605 Research Design
    • DIET609 Dissertation

    Core modules

    • Project Design (DIET605)

      Students will explore methodology and methods relevant to the development of a research project and by the end of the module will formulate a research proposal. The module will explore defining and refining a research question, selecting and appraising methodology, ethical considerations, selecting and appraising data collection and analysis techniques.

    • Dietetics in Practice 2 (DIET607)

      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.

    • Placement C (DIET608)

      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.

    • Dissertation (DIET609)

      This module builds on DIET605, the 'Project Design' module. Students will investigate systematically and in-depth a topic of relevance to the field of nutrition and dietetics. They will present and discuss their findings in the context of the contemporary evidence base, and consider the implications of their findings on practice. A report will be prepared, suitable for publication. Through this module students will deepen their understanding of the process of research and link theory to practice in their chosen area.

    • Leadership Roles for Sustainability (DIET611)

      This module provides an understanding of sustainability leadership roles for Allied Health Professionals relevant to supporting their skills development for a changing healthcare future. Students will learn how to design, evaluate and communicate the impact of a more sustainable area of practice. They will use sustainability leadership techniques and appraise how these will impact more effective sustainable management of practice in both the public and private sector. There will be a focus on the use of quality improvement frameworks and effective use of digital marketing to promote best practice.

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 128

GCSEs

All applicants must have at least 5 GCSE (or equivalent) at grade C/4 or above and must include English, Maths and a Science. Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application. Please note the institution may consider equivalent numeracy and literacy qualifications

PLUS ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:

A Level
Typical offer of 112-128 points to include BB at A level from one of the following two subjects include Biology plus a second science, preferably Chemistry but will accept Maths/Physics/Psychology/Sociology/Geography/Geology/Environmental. Please contact the admissions team if you are not studying a second relevant subject.

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

IB
30-28 points must include Higher Level 5 in both Biology and 5 in a second Science: preferably Chemistry but will also consider, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Geography, Geology and Environmental science. Please contact the admissions team if you are not studying a second relevant subject.
English and Maths accepted within Higher Level = 4 Standard Level = 5
If overseas and not studying English within IB – MUST have IELTS

IELTS: 7.0 Overall with 6.5 in all elements
Pre-sessional will be available for applicants with a 6.5 overall and 6.5 in all elements, refer to International Admissions Team.

Access
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.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM -DDM- must contain strong biology and second science module (preferably chemistry) components. Please contact the admissions team if you are not studying a second relevant subject.

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 +44 1752 585858 or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk, where a member of the team can offer

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

Direct entry to year 2

If you have achieved certificated learning in addition to the entry criteria required for your programme of study, it may be possible to accredit this learning towards your chosen course. Full details on how to make an application are available on our open access MOODLE site (download details on how to access the site and submit your claim and supporting evidence). Your application will then be assessed and you will receive confirmation by email on the status of your claim.

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
  • English language requirements
  • We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

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).

International Application Deadline
Due to this programme requiring applicants to have an interview and meet non-academic conditions, the deadline for international applications is 30 June 2022 for September 2022 entry.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) N/A To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Additional costs

Placements

All students within the School of Health Professions will spend time in placements away from university. The South West is a largely rural region, which often requires students to travel longer and further distances than may be expected when universities are in largely urban areas. In many cases students will stay away from home for the period of that placement time. Some students on these courses are eligible for reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel costs. This support is part of the Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority. However, this should be investigated by the student to make sure this applies to your chosen course of study.

It is difficult to give a precise estimate of placement costs for each individual programme, due to the geographical spread of placements, and duration. However it is recommended you attend an Open Day to find out more about what placement costs can be anticipated or discuss placement with a member of our admissions teams.

Despite these costs, clinical placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced clinicians and are recognised as an essential part of students' development towards becoming a registered practitioner.

Further information

More details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Health additional costs.

Health students to receive annual £5,000 payment

The Government is issuing health students on courses from 2020 a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not have to pay back. A further £3,000 of funding a year is available for eligible students.

Find out about the national recruitment campaign for paramedics, radiographers, nurses and allied health professionals

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.
  • > Accredited by the British Dietetic Association
  • ) Our BSc (Hons) Dietetics course is ranked 12th out of 39 universities, by the Complete University Guide 2021
  • > Accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council

Direct entry into Year 2

Do you already have a science based degree? If so you may be eligible to enter directly into year two of our three year programme. Speak to us via admissions@plymouth.ac.uk to discuss your qualifications and eligibility.

Are you interested in studying dietetics?

A lot of people think dietitians just advise and support people with weight problems. That's a relatively small part of what they do.  

Academic lead, Dr Avril Collinson talks you through the key features of our BSc (Hons) Dietetics course. 

Watch the video to find out more about learning, placements and careers and see what's it's like to study at Plymouth.

A day in a life of a dietitian

Dietitians understand the science behind what we eat and use this to help people be as healthy as possible when they are ill and beyond.

Follow Monika Siemicka on a typical day

The moment I realised... I wanted to be a dietitian

Rosanna Strickland describes the moment she realised that studying to become a dietitian was the right choice for her.

“Having shadowed dietitians on my first placement, being trusted with the responsibility of providing dietetic advice to patients was exhilarating.”

Find out more about Rosanna's story

Jennifer Lei - BSc (Hons) Dietetics 3rd year student

"It wasn’t easy for me to make the decision to study abroad in a country that I had never been to before, but I am so glad and grateful that I was given this chance to study in University of Plymouth with the dietetics team. I felt so welcomed by the staff and students on the course, all the lecturers have been very supportive, and they are more than happy to listen to you and help you if you are struggling with something.

It was really an eye-opener for me when I went out on placement. There is something magical about applying the dietetics knowledge that I have learnt in real life. I feel that is my mission to help people who have diet or nutrition needs, which is what I am passionate about in life."

Jonathan Sumner - BSc (Hons) Dietetics 3rd year student

I chose to work as a dietitian as I am naturally a curious person and I love knowing about things that spark curiosity. One of the most confusing things in this world, which people almost talk about every day, is their diet. I wanted to know the evidence-based truth and inform others about nutrition and health. Whether it be a specific food, a nutrient, a medical condition, a supplement, or a trend, dietitians are the best people to go to for the unbiased evidence behind it.

Read more about Jonathan's time as a Dietetics student

Think about your future

 

Consider postgraduate study

We also offer postgraduate opportunities in dietetics.  Our masters programmes are designed for registered dietitians and 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 our programmes:

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.

@PlymDietNut

Join in our conversation on Twitter:


My Ketogenic Journey - Lee's story

A ketogenic diet (KD) is a very high fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate diet, used since the 1920’s to treat very difficult to manage epilepsy that is resistant to anti-epileptic medications. It is also the sole treatment for two complex metabolic disorders; Glucose Transporter Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome and Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency. In recent years so called “keto” diets are growing in popularity in the press and social media as a ‘one size fits all’ diet for everything from acne to weight loss. Being described as a miraculously enjoyable and easy diet, eating all the fat and protein you want while simply reducing carbohydrate intake.

When used appropriately as a medical treatment, a dietitian calculates and prescribes a bespoke KD regime for each patient. Working closely together to ensure the KD is palatable, well tolerated with minimal side effects and fine-tuned for effectiveness. These prescribed KDs may reach as high as 80-90% of calorie intake from fat. It is incredibly rewarding to support and empower patients to make the extensive dietary changes required and see the remarkable reduction in seizure frequency that can be achieved. So challenge those social media influencers and look deeper into the evidence supporting the ketogenic diet and its true uses!

Watch Lee’s story, a BSc (Hons) Dietetics student, to hear how the ketogenic diet has helped to control his epilepsy and inspired him to study dietetics at Plymouth.

“The ketogenic diet for epilepsy has had a positive impact on my health and quality of life. So much so, it has inspired me to study dietetics and I'm loving the journey so far. I look forward to my future and hope to have a positive impact on others too.”

Our research 

Nutrition is integral to life and health; it influences growth, development, maintenance of health, and can be used to treat disease. We are working to further understand the relationship between nutrition and health. 

Our Dietetics, Human Nutrition and Health research group encompasses all these aspects of nutritional research and collaborates across professions and with other institutes, promoting inter-disciplinary research between the area of nutrition.

Find out more about our nationally and internationally renowned research and expertise at the University of Plymouth – Dietetics, Human Nutrition and Health research group.


Researchers at Plymouth give an insight into the future of the dietetic profession

Over the decades the dietetics profession has moved from a profession that required a medical referral before acting, where the curriculum and standards for entry to the profession were poorly described, and where the impact of the profession was poorly understood, to a fully autonomous profession with rights to prescribe prescription only drugs. 

The current profession is well respected and enjoys a high profile within health and the wider community. The impact of nutrition interventions on health outcomes are growing in recognition. However healthcare is rapidly changing and the professions that deliver it need to adapt and change too.  

With this in mind the British Dietetic Association commissioned Professor Mary Hickson, Dr Avril Collinson and Dr Jenny Child from the University of Plymouth to scope the development of a new workforce strategy for the profession. The research included three phases: establishing the context in which we are working, discovering the profession and professional issues, and the vision for the future.

The third phase brought together 54 dietitians from diverse backgrounds who started to formulate the future strategy for dietetics based on an appreciative inquiry methodology. This generated five key themes: Professional identity; Strong foundations-creating structure and direction for the profession; Amplifying visibility and influence; Embracing advances in science and technology; Career advancement and emerging opportunities. 

The future for dietetics looks bright, embracing technology, exploring different ways of working and embracing new opportunities. 

Read the full research report


The skills you need to be an allied health professional

We recently worked with Your Future Career on the 2020 Careers in Science and Healthcare campaign. A printed publication is enclosed within every copy of The New Scientist newspaper and the content is also available online. The campaign featured exclusive content about the importance of the science and healthcare industries from key thought leaders and industry voices – including Professor Sara Demain, Head of School of Health Professions.

Read more at Your Future Career

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