School of Health Professions

BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Integrated Foundation Year

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. If your current qualifications don’t allow you direct entry to degree level, this course is for you.

Progression

Our integrated foundation course prepares you for the undergraduate degree in BSc (Hons) Dietetics. Students completing the BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Integrated Foundation Year course will normally progress to year 1 of BSc (Hons) Dietetics. 

Careers with this subject

Dietitians interpret the science of nutrition to improve health and treat diet related diseases and conditions. They educate and give practical and personal advice to patients, carers or colleagues. 
They advise and help to maintain nutritional status when individuals want to trial dietary interventions, such as exclusion diets, nutritional supplementation or dietary interventions, in a multitude of different areas. They use recognised methodologies to critically appraise all forms of evidence and research, to inform their advice. They help improve their patient’s quality of life.
Dietitians may work with the following physical disorders:
  • Neurological 
    Patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Dementia, Stroke, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Diverse patient groups 
    Dietitians work with a wide range of different people and age groups, from babies through to palliative or end of life care. You may also work with people with physical or learning disabilities.
  • Physical conditions
    Some of the conditions dietitians might see are patients with cancer, inherited metabolic disease, cystic fibrosis, constipation, renal nutrition, obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal conditions, HIV, fertility difficulties, heart disease, hypertension, those requiring parenteral or enteral nutrition, or people with weight management issues.
  • Dietary conditions 
    Dietitians work with people who may be malnourished, have allergies, consume vegetarian or vegan diets, or have coeliac disease.
  • Mental health conditions 
    Mental health conditions that dietitians might work with include patients with eating disorders or food attachment disorders.
  • Developmental conditions 
    Dietitians work with children or babies that may be suffering from a range of developmental conditions such as faltering growth or feeding difficulties. They work with these patient groups to ensure children hit key milestones, and progress into healthy adulthood.
Within the dietetics profession there are a multitude of job opportunities. You could work in the NHS, within the public or private sector. For example:
  • NHS hospitals
  • Public health, policy making and media
  • Communities
  • Sports nutrition
  • Food industry
  • Private practice
  • GP surgeries
  • Care and nursing homes
  • Education and academia
  • Research
  • Leadership roles
  • Voluntary roles.

Key features

  • Experience cutting-edge nutrition research with world-class academics, putting research into practice and developing the future dietetic profession.
  • Experience interprofessional learning throughout the programme.
  • Innovative student-led Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS) in place.
  • 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.
  • Train and practice your professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place
  • 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.
  • Taught by University lecturers on campus, you’ll be part of the University from day one
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 0

  • Our Integrated foundation course prepares you for the undergraduate degree in BSc (Hons) Dietetics. Taught by University lecturers on campus, you’ll be part of the University from day one. If your current qualifications don’t allow you direct entry to degree level, this course is for you. Students completing the BSc (Hons) Dietetics with Integrated Foundation Year course will normally progress to year 1 of BSc (Hons) Dietetics.

    Core modules

    • Infection, Immunity and Therapeutics (BHCS001)

      This module will provide an introduction to microbiology and the human immune system. Students will learn the fundamental biology relating to bacteria, helminths, viruses and fungi. And also develop an understanding of how our immune system has evolved to combat infection. The module will also explore methods to control microbial contamination and therapeutic strategies to prevent disease.

    • Current Developments in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (BHCS002)

      This module examines the role of science in addressing key contemporary issues in Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences. The module aims to take an integrative approach, aiming to develop in students both a critical appreciation of the ways in which issues in Human Biology can be approached and resolved, and to develop an understanding of the skills and attributes needed for effective study of such issues at undergraduate level.

    • Molecules to Cells (FMD001)

      This module introduces key concepts involved in cell regulation including genetic inheritance, metabolism and protein expression. The important role of enzymes in the control of biochemical pathways will be introduced, as will an introduction to cell signalling. Cellular organisation within different tissues will also be outlined, enabling students to recognise links between structure and function. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Introduction to Human Physiology (FMD002)

      This module will provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Using example systems, it will emphasise relationships between structure and function and examine homeostatic regulation in these systems. Students should develop sufficient theoretical and practical understanding to enable progression to relevant honours degree programmes.

    • Interdisciplinary Learning and Team Based Learning (Enquiry learning) (FMD004)

      This module is designed to enable learners to develop key skills required for working in multidisciplinary teams. Students will be encouraged to work with their colleagues to manage tasks and tailor learning according to their own particular discipline

    • Learning Skills for Health and Social Care Professions (SOHP001)

      This module is designed to enable learners to adapt to the learning environment of higher education by developing an independent, reflective and managed approach to learning and professional development.

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 with Integrated Foundation Year Programme Specification 24 25 7768

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

32 - 48

GCSE
Applicants need to achieve 5 GCSE passes (grade C/grade 4 or higher) which must include the following subjects:  
  • English (Consideration may be given to equivalent literacy qualifications)
  • Mathematics (Consideration may be given to Functional Skills Level 2 in Mathematics)
  • Science
Students not achieving mathematics GCSE at grade C/4 on application may be offered a free online mathematics support package and an examination equivalent to C grade GCSE to enable the achievement of appropriate entry requirements prior to commencing the programme. This examination is offered during the recruitment cycle to all eligible candidates. 
Plus suitable Level 3 qualifications or experience as outlined below: 
A level
Typical offer 32-48 points from a minimum of 2 A-levels including grade E in a Science subject. Excluding General Studies.
Applications from students with non-standard qualifications, including those without science qualifications at level 3, are welcomed and are assessed on an individual basis. This course is also suitable for those returning to study who can offer work or other related experience in place of formal qualifications and who have the equivalent of basic mathematical, English and science skills (i.e. the equivalent of a grade C/4 at GCSE level).
International Baccalaureate
24 overall to include 3 at Higher Level science subject. English and mathematics must be included.
BTEC
PPP in a science related subject.
T level
Accepted, a minimum of a Pass (D or E in the Core) = 72 points – preference pathways would be Health or Science. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.
Access
Pass an Access to HE Diploma (e.g science/combined studies/natural sciences/nursing).
Other qualifications and professional experience may be considered. Interview may be required, please refer to institution for individual consideration.
English language
We are aware of the various education systems throughout the world and make offers based on equivalent qualifications to those listed in our entry requirements. You should be able to possess the ability to study in the English language and be familiar with this in a scientific context. To that end, we ask for a minimum IELTS score of at least 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each section. English language requirements. 
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary. 
Extended requirements
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this 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.
  • Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.
Further information

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home N/A £9,250
International N/A £18,100
Part time (Home) N/A £770
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. More information about fees and funding.
NHS bursaries are available from stage 1 of BSc (Hons) Dietetics, for more information please see the BSc (Hons) Dietetics course page.

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 duration of that placement. 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 their 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, placements offer an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners 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 included in Faculty of Health additional costs

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.
The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2024 for entry in September 2024. 
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.

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.”
Rosanna Strickland, third year 
BSc (Hons) Dietetics

student

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

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.”
Jonathan Summers - student - Dietetics
Zoe Andrews BSc (Hons) Dietetics

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.
#WeCare2 and NHS Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust logos

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 to hear how the ketogenic diet has helped to control his epilepsy and inspired him to study BSc (Hons) 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.
Fruit at a farmers market

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 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 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.
Read more at Your Future Career
Helicopter ambulance paramedic

People