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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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


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, who are developing the future Dietetic Profession and putting research into practice
  • Shared Inter-professional learning for all students within a highly supportive learning environment. Innovative student-led Peer Assisted Learning (PALS) programme in place.
  • Undertake placements in a range of clinical and community settings facilitated by experienced dynamic dietitians, including unique specialist placements in paediatrics and mental health.
  • Explore an emerging range of professional opportunities for dietitians beyond our traditional role, including freelance and private practice, the world of media and the commercial sector.
  • Undertake placements in each year of the course, gaining experience in many different dietetic specialities in a range of different settings.
  • Experience education in superb modern facilities which include a purpose built food preparation laboratory ideal for teaching dietetic practical skills.
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.

    • SOHP503 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 HCPC 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.

    • 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.

    • SOHP605 Project

      This module consolidates knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice and lifelong learning. The content will support the students to undertake research at undergraduate level, to discuss their findings in the context of the contemporary evidence base and to evaluate the implications of their activities on their future practice.

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

112 - 128


Normally 5 GCSEs grade C/4 or above to include Mathematics, English and Science. Preference is given to applicants who have obtained these grades on application. Please note the institution may consider equivalent numeracy and literacy qualifications.


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)

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.

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.

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, 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 30th June 2021 for September 2021 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) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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

Additional costs


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 8th overall, by the Complete University Guide 2019
  • > 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 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

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

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.


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

Fee waiver for Kuwait and Lebanon applicants

A £1500 fee waiver will be awarded to international applicants from Kuwait and Lebanon for their first year fees. We will consider entrants in 2018. 

To be considered, candidates must meet our entry requirements. These are detailed above in our entry requirements section.  

Please contact our admissions team for more information:

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