Placements with BSc (Hons) Dietetics

Placement learning is a hugely important part of the experience of training to become a dietitian.

Placement learning is an integral part of the experience of training to become a dietitian. 

Your placements are of 2, 12 and 12 weeks duration, in Years 1, 2 and 3 respectively. These will take place in the South West (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire). 

You'll gain experience in many different dietetic specialities in a range of different settings:

  • acute hospital wards and outpatients
  • GP surgeries/health centres
  • patients’ homes and nursing/residential homes)
Placements are available within acute hospital teams; both adult and paediatric dietetics, community and mental health teams.

For the short duration of your placements, you’ll probably need to relocate to get the most out of your experience. Students are invited to put forward their five preferred placement locations and the placement team will aim to allocate each student a preferred second or third year placement. 

Please note: additional travel / accommodation costs may be incurred during your placement. Advice on financial support available for health care students on placement can be obtained from the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Year 1

2 week placement.

You'll build confidence in communicating with patients and gain an awareness of the diverse role of the dietitian. There are also additional opportunities to undertake a voluntary placement with our local partners in charities, industry, care homes and public health partnerships. 

Year 2

12 week placement

You’ll plan, deliver, monitor and evaluate nutritional advice and dietetic treatment for patients. 

Year 3

12 week placement

You’ll become competent in translating theory into practice and demonstrate the range of skills needed to work as a newly qualified dietitian. You’ll work with a range of clinical specialities, such as paediatrics, diabetes, renal, oncology and gastroenterology.

How did our students find their placements?

<p>Tanisha Davies, BSc (Hons) Dietetics &amp; Unibuddy student<br></p>

Virtual Placement 'A'

I really enjoyed my virtual placement! To kick off the week, we had a session where we were able to communicate with a patient to build up our communication skills. We then had a catering considerations session where we discussed why someone may have a decreased appetite. I then shadowed a Huntington’s Disease clinic, where we learnt about the nutritional needs of this patient group and talked to an occupational therapist about their role as part of a multidisciplinary team. We also had a session with a dementia specialist dietitian and a speech and language therapist, and another where we discussed equality and diversity. As well as the live sessions, there were self-directed sessions, such as an ‘On the Wards’ activity. During this placement, I developed many of the skills needed to be a dietitian and can’t wait to carry on developing my skills with the rest of my placements.

– Tanisha Davies, second year student

Paediatric placement – Bristol Royal Hospital for Children 

I did a paediatric B placement with the Dietetic team at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. This provided an amazing opportunity to gain an insight into the varied role of paediatric dietitians within the acute setting. For example, I spent time with the renal team supporting children on dialysis, helped devise tube feeding regimens for children undergoing stem cell transplants and assisted in allergy and cystic fibrosis outpatient clinics. I loved how the supervising dietitians really helped to develop my confidence over the 12 weeks through gradually supporting me to be involved in more stages of the consultations. By the time I reached my consolidation weeks at the end of the placement I felt really prepared to manage my own small caseload and I really enjoyed the opportunity. 

– Zoe Andrews, third year student

<p>Zoe Andrews BSc (Hons) Dietetics</p>

Community placement – Royal United Hospital, Bath 

I really enjoyed working with the Community Dietetic Team at Royal United Hospital, Bath on my B placement. It highlighted the variety of conditions and patient groups that we'll be working with. Through the support of the supervising dietitians, I gained the confidence to take consultations in clinics, deliver patient talks and put into practice the techniques and theory taught in lectures. It was an amazing experience which has prepared me for going into my final placement and my future career as a dietitian. 

– Lisa Faulconbridge, third year student

Community placement – Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust  

I did a community B placement with the Dietetic Team at Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. I found the community setting really varied and interesting. I enjoyed both outpatient general clinics and home visits for patients with more complex needs. Spending a week following an expert type 1 diabetes programme gave a real insight into the challenges patients face day-to-day, dealing with chronic conditions. 

– Charlotte Merrill, third year student

Paediatric placement – Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

I did a paediatric B placement with the Dietetic Team at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children during which I gained insight into multiple areas of paediatrics including neurology, gastroenterology, oncology and renal dietetics. Outpatient clinics included patients with allergies (such as milk, egg, nuts, soya) faltering growth, fussy eating and also learning disabilities including autism and Down's syndrome. I was also lucky enough to shadow specialist areas such as cystic fibrosis and the neonatal intensive care units which was very interesting. I really appreciated how supportive the dietetic team were over the 12-week placement. Their support really helped me to develop my skills and increase my knowledge of paediatric dietetics as a student dietitian. 

– Cliona Carthy, third year student

My three clinical placements 

I've enjoyed a variety of experience on my three clinical placements. All of them were mainly hospital based, offering opportunities to work on a variety of wards and in various outpatient clinics. Additionally, my B and C placements offered opportunities to shadow community dietitians in a number of settings such as home visits, one-to-one clinics and group education. The clinical areas I have experienced include weight management, bariatric surgery, diabetes, paediatrics, renal, cardiovascular, stroke, oncology, gastroenterology, Cystic Fibrosis and ICU. I have really enjoyed putting theory into practice and have learned something from every dietitian I've worked with. The things I have loved most have been the variety of experience I've had on my placements, applying theory to practice and learning something new every day. It's sometimes challenging and tiring but it's never boring! 

– Maria Widger, third year student

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