What can I do with my Dietetics degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a dietetics degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employees and graduates
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.


Knowledge and skills

Through evidence-informed theoretical study,  practical sessions and a variety of placement opportunities, you will gain the necessary skills, knowledge and experiences needed to succeed in the dietetic profession:

  • person-centred communication skills to engage with patients from a range of backgrounds in a sensitive and empathic way
  • assessment, planning and evaluation skills in a range of clinical contexts
  • clinical reasoning skills to support appropriate delivery of nutrition and dietetic care
  • ability to apply research-based evidence to professional practice
  • application of behavioural change strategies and techniques to support patients to make lifelong changes to their food choice and lifestyle
  • management, leadership and team working skills within multi-professional teams
  • the ability to reflect on your practice and learn from your experiences.

Career options

Studying Dietetics at the University will open a wide range of career choices, including opportunities in public sector healthcare, the commercial sector and self employment.

The NHS is the major employer of dietitians, with dietitians working in hospital settings, community and GP practices. There are opportunities to specialise in a variety of areas such as ITU, diabetes, renal, paediatrics, oncology, gastroenterology, mental health, learning disabilities, neurological disorders etc. There are also opportunities to practice in private healthcare, food industry, businesses, workplace, catering, public health, education sport and the media.

In the commercial sector, food and drink manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies employ dietitians in a variety of roles including product development, quality control, advising on labelling and regulatory affairs. You could be working for a company specialising in NHS prescription only products used in the management or treatment of a range of clinical conditions. 

Some graduates choose to focus on the health promotion aspects of their dietetic training. In the public sector this can involve working in partnership with NHS Trusts, councils and third sector organisations to deliver health promotion campaigns, community-based health programmes and advice to the public. National organisations such as Public Health England and the Food Safety Council offer opportunities to specialise in food safety, health promotion and protection as well as food policy. Commercial organisations also employ dietitians in health promotion related roles.

If you have an interest in research, you could pursue a career in dietetic or public health research. You could work in higher education institutions or in the health service as a clinical academic. Public health bodies also employ researchers, as do commercial organisations.

Some dietitians work in the media industry, for example writing for health publications, consulting on the content of food TV programmes, or in public relations where you could be using a range of media to build and manage the image and reputation of your clients.  A small number of dietitians enter the world of professional sport, supporting athletes in achieving their maximum performance potential.

There are many opportunities for self employment, it is not uncommon for graduates to work part-time in the NHS alongside freelance work in private practice or consultancy work within the commercial or media sectors. In most cases people move into self employment after some years of clinical experience as a registered dietitian. The University offers advice and support around self-employment and entrepreneurship through The Cube.

Researching your career options

Given the diversity of career options open to dietetics graduates, it is important to research and explore these fully so that you can make informed decisions about your future. 

The following websites provide helpful information on options with a dietetics degree:

Gaining work experience

Pre-entry experience or shadowing within the health and social care sector is an advantage.

If this is not possible, then employment or voluntary experience in a different setting will provide you with transferable skills that will enhance your application.

Employment opportunities

Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth Dietetics graduates told us they were doing 15 months after graduation. For some graduates, these jobs serve as ‘stepping stones’ to other roles by providing relevant workplace experience.

  • Acute Dietitian
  • Community Dietitian
  • Dietitian
  • Rotational Band 5 Dietitain
  • Specialist Dietitian

Employers

Our graduates are found in most NHS Trusts as well as the private healthcare sector. Click here for links to Trusts across the UK All NHS Authorities

  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Isle of Wight NHS Trust
  • NHS
  • Royal United Hospital, Bath
  • Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Swansea Bay
  • University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
  • Yeovil District Hospital


*Data is from the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18. Graduates were surveyed 15 months after graduating. Data displayed is for 18 UK-domiciled, first degree, full-time graduates who are working, studying or looking for work.

Further study

The University offers registered midwives the opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills through a range of specialist postgraduate programmes. These include:

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your particular situation.  

Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme;  

It is also worth investigating what further study options the University has to offer as you may find the perfect course for yourself in an institution you already know. There are also sometimes financial benefits of staying on such as a fee discount to Alumni, find out your funding options here

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access 24/7 online resources.

There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.

Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more

Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service; however, they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn alumni’s tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.

  • search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • click on ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.

Other advice and guidance

Work experience

BSc (Hons) Dietetics at Plymouth offers a variety of clinical placements in clinical and community settings alongside skills development activities at the University. Some students choose to supplement their studies with part-time work in the healthcare sector or elsewhere.

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union also offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities.

In addition to enhancing your dietetic skillset, a varied set of work experiences can open up new opportunities and bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.

Clubs and societies

Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion.  

You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to Dietetics or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.    

Tutor and academic support

Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.