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Course overview

Dietitians use their knowledge of science and food to help advise people to live a healthier life.

Our integrated masters course is accredited by the British Dietetic Association and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council. This means you can become a registered dietitian when you graduate. 

  • You'll gain clinical experience through a number of practice placements. These can be in a variety of different settings including hospitals
  • Our teaching will develop your scientific understanding including nutrition, biochemistry and physiology
  • Practical sessions in our dietetics suite help to develop your communication skills
  • Our close links with local hospitals mean that your research project can relate directly to human health

Why choose this course?

  • Be taught by experienced registered dietitians
  • Connections with the major local hospital and community dietetic departments
  • Regular contact with specialist practising dietitians and a vital insight into your future career
  • Learn about education methods, communication skills, psychology and sociology
  • Develop your clinical skills through three practice placements in hospital and community dietetic departments
  • 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2020
  • Ranked 2nd in the Guardian University Guide 2021 for agriculture, forestry and food

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer AAB-ABB including two science-based subjects
Required subjects

Biology and/or chemistry A level.

Minimum grade 5 (B) in chemistry and grade 4 (C) in GCSE mathematics and English (or equivalent examination).

IB score 34-32 including 5 in two science subjects at Higher Level (must include at least one of biology or chemistry)

A levels

AAB-ABB, including at least two science-based subjects. Biology and/or chemistry essential.

Other science subject can be food technology/home economics, geography, IT, maths, physics, physical education or psychology.

Citizenship studies, critical thinking, general studies and leisure studies are not accepted.

GCSE's

All applicants must have a minimum grade 5 (B) in chemistry and grade 4 (C) in GCSE mathematics and English (or equivalent examination).

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Placements
  • Problem-based learning
  • Computer labs
  • Practical classes

How you will be assessed

You will receive a copy of our marking criteria which provides guidance on how we will assess your work. Your work will be marked on time and you will receive regular feedback.

Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained in your second and third years of study.

You must pass each year to progress. This typically means that you will need to achieve marks of at least 40% in each module. Full details on our marking criteria and structure will be provided at your induction.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Lab reports
  • Oral exam
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam

Contact time and study hours

Each year you will take 120 credits in core modules. As a guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. You will spend around half of your time in lectures, seminars and practicals. The remaining time will be independent study.

Core modules are typically taught by professors or associate professors. Specialist dietitians from practice may support teaching on some modules. You will have 26 weeks full-time practice placement throughout the course, around half of this takes place over the summer between years three and four.

Placements

You will complete three practice placements throughout the course. Our practice educator partners are located as far north as Sheffield and as far south as Northampton.

  • Placement A is normally two weeks, full time and takes place in the summer between years one and two
  • Placement B is usually 12 weeks, full time and takes place at the end of the third year in the summer
  • Placement C is usually 12 weeks long and occurs in the spring semester of year four

Modules

You will develop an understanding of the roles and skills required of a registered dietitian and study relevant science subjects including nutrition and biochemistry. To build on this knowledge there is a short clinical practice placement, this is normally three weeks full-time, over the summer.

Introduction to Dietetics

This 10 credit module will develop your knowledge of the nutrient composition of food.

You'll study:

  • the principles of healthy lifestyle guidance
  • develop the skills to apply this knowledge to different population groups
  • essential skills for dietetic practice
Introduction to Nutrition

Nutrients are vital to human and animal health, but how do they work? In this module, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the key concepts in the field of nutrition. Depending on your interests, you can study human or animal nutrition, or both. Understand how the food we eat influences our health. Explore how the food eaten by animals impacts on food production and the global food system.

You’ll study:

  • micronutrients, including vitamins and minerals
  • macronutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates and fats
  • metabolism, and how nutrients give us energy
  • the influence of nutrition in diseases such as cancer and diabetes
The Biosciences and Global Food Security

How can you use science to help improve global food security? This module introduces you to the issues of global food security and the complexity existing in different parts of our food generation system. Looking across the food supply chain, you’ll cover the evolution of crops, crop and animal production, and the food industry. Importantly, you’ll also look at sustainable nutrition because food security isn’t just about supply – it’s important that people are getting the right kind of food. You’ll learn about these issues through a mix of lectures and practical laboratory sessions. You’ll also develop professional skills to work safely in laboratory situations.

Biochemistry -The Building Blocks of Life

Have you ever wondered how some crops can resist diseases? This module provides you with the fundamentals for understanding biochemical processes in living organisms. You’ll be introduced to the basic structure, properties and functions of the four key biological macromolecules: nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. You’ll also look at the metabolic pathways occurring in cells, such as respiration, photosynthesis and the biosynthetic pathways for the key macromolecules. In addition to lectures, you’ll have practical laboratory sessions to learn how to use key biochemical techniques for the separation and analysis of macromolecules and measurement of the metabolic process.

Genes and Cells

Cells are the basic functional units of life, but how do they grow and develop? In this module, you’ll follow the lifecycle of cells. You'll focus on mitosis, meiosis, cell division and differentiation. We’ll put cells not just under the microscope, but use advanced laboratory technologies to explore the ultrastructure of cells. These are the parts of cells too small to be seen through ordinary laboratory equipment. You’ll then put this science to the test, to apply cellular biology to applied genetics.

You’ll study:

  • structures and ultrastructures of animal and plant cells
  • microscopic features of bacteria and viruses
  • gene replication, expression and inheritance
  • laboratory methods used to discover how cells work
Introductory Physiology

This 20 credit module introduces the major physiological systems which are essential for life in animals and humans: the nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, renal, and digestive systems. You’ll learn about the structures and functions of the major organs and the functions of individual cell types.

Topics covered will refer to genes, proteins and membranes, transport of molecules across membranes, nerve signalling and biorhythms. You’ll have weekly lectures and various practical classes.

Diet, Nutrition and Lifestyle

You’ll investigate food composition, nutritional requirements and recommended dietary intakes before looking at methods of measuring food intake. Basic psychology and sociology concepts will be introduced to help investigate social, economic and cultural factors that influence food choices. You'll then examine concepts of health and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Theories of health education and promotion and how these relate to influencing health behaviour will be covered. You’ll have weekly lectures (4 hours each) and workshops (4 hours each).

Dietetics Tutorial (Academic Development)

This module is designed to help you make the transition into university and guide you through the academic expectations of your Dietetics degree. The module is spread throughout the year and includes three generic sessions on ‘study skills and plagiarism’, ‘study opportunities’ and ‘career and personal development’, and a series of small group tutorials with an academic tutor to develop generic skills such as finding crucial information (library skills), oral presentation, data handling and presentation of results, preparation for examinations, and essay writing skills. 

Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Placement

This is a 2-week clinical placement taken in the summer vacation at the end of Year one.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.
Nutrition, Metabolism and Disease

The food we eat determines the functioning of our bodies. But how does metabolism influence whether this leads to health or disease?  You will explore the nutritional biochemistry of metabolism. Looking at healthy outcomes, and factors associated with chronic diseases. These include obesity and diabetes. You will investigate the fed, fasted and starved states. You’ll understand how the body uses macronutrients in different physiological and pathological situations.

You’ll study:

  • metabolism, nutrition and exercise in sporting performance
  • disorders of metabolism and the therapies used to treat them
  • cardiovascular disease risk factors
  • obesity and diabetes, from a metabolic perspective
Nutritional Regulation, Physiology and Endocrinology

Hormones carry signals between different parts of the body, but how do nutrients determine the interaction between hormones and health? In this module, you’ll carry out an in-depth study of the mammalian endocrine system. You'll look at this from cellular, molecular and anatomical perspectives. You'll explore the role that hormones play in controlling homeostasis and metabolism. We use the latest published nutritional research. You'll study appetite regulation and how endocrine systems determine what, how and when we eat.

You’ll study:

  • Nutritional energetics and energy expenditure
  • Appetite regulation by the endocrine system
  • Homeostasis in relation to the diet
Food Composition and Modifications for Dietetics

This module covers aspects of food provision for a variety of groups and settings in the UK, including menu planning, costing, recipe analysis and food labelling. You will become more familiar with the composition of foods, exchange systems and what happens to the nutritional value of foods during processes such as storage and cooking. As well as lectures you will have practical sessions using case studies where you will calculate nutritional requirements and adapt intakes to meet the nutritional needs of individuals. Other aspects such as institutional catering, food additives, labelling, health claims and new product development will be discussed. 

Medicine and Pathology

This module, delivered by the School of Medicine, will introduce you to the principles of disease aetiology and diagnosis and to consider the pathophysiological consequences of common diseases likely to be seen in clinical practice by qualified dietitians. You’ll also be introduced to history taking, clinical chemistry based assessments, nasogastric intubation and venepuncture, and will also practice the basic aspects of life support, and measurement of BP.

Communication Skills and Educational Methods

This module provides insight into formal and informal methods for both written and verbal communication. Educational and learning theories will be taught and you’ll be introduced to basic counselling skills and provided with the opportunity to practice such skills within a dietetics setting. You’ll have a maximum of 4 hours contact time per week to study for this module. 

Global Issues in Nutrition
Throughout this module your problem solving skills will be developed while enhancing your knowledge on key topics in nutrition for example: global food security, tackling the obesity epidemic, and positive impacts on consumer behaviour. Every two weeks you will receive a lecture from a different academic introducing the case study topic to be investigated. In groups you will gather relevant information from various research sources, synthesis data and present in appropriate formats. 
Fundamentals of Dietetics

This module aims to add to the knowledge you have already gained in year one, whilst developing the skills that are fundamental to dietetic practice. The module considers the dietetic care process and how this defines the actions, critical thinking and specialist skills that form the components of a dietetic intervention. Students will become more familiar with the variety of techniques that can be used to assess dietary intake and to measure anthropometry, and will consider the lifestyle and social factors that may pose barriers to healthy eating. Using case study based teaching, students will be able to apply their knowledge of dietetic assessment and adapt their recommendations to meet the needs of individuals. Other aspects such as genetics in healthcare and user and carer involvement will be discussed. You will study via weekly lectures and some seminars and workshops.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.
Nutrition and the Health of Populations

Good nutrition is needed to maintain health at any age. So how do nutritional requirements change as we get older? In this module, you’ll explore nutrition throughout the life course. You'll identify the nutritional needs of different age groups. Starting with pre-conception, to pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and into old age. You'll understand the role of optimal nutrition in preventing disease and promote healthy diets.

You’ll study:

  • developmental origins of health and disease
  • risk factors for nutritional disease at different stages of life
  • epidemiological methods used to identify public health challenges
  • nutrition in human physiological development across the life course
Clinical Pharmacology

This module is delivered at the School of Medicine by a pharmacist. You’ll be given an overview of clinical pharmacology, with particular emphasis on route of delivery of drug and principal aspects of pharmacokenetics, including factors influencing drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination. The use of drugs in the treatment of diseases for which there is a dietetic input to the management, and the possibility of drug-nutrient interactions in these, and other, patients will be covered. Activities consist of lectures, private study work on clinical case studies and a review and feedback session. 

Changing Behaviour, Promoting Health

Healthy diets are vital for healthy lives. But how do nutritionists change health behaviours to achieve optimal nutrition? In this module, you'll study the psychological origins of dietary behaviour. You will learn the behaviour change techniques nutritionists use to modify food choice. You'll look at how to promote healthy diets using community, legislative, persuasive and empowerment tools. You'll work as an intervention team to achieve improved dietary health. Working together, you'll design an evidence-based behaviour change programme.

You’ll study:

  • psychodynamic, behaviourist, cognitive and humanistic explanations of food choice
  • social influences on consumer behaviour and the social determinants of health
  • behaviour change techniques used in professional practice
  • health promotion tools used to achieve dietary health across populations
Principles and Practice of Dietetics

This module aims to link the underpinning science of nutrition developed over the first two years of the programme to the applied practice of dietetics. This will consider both the professional aspects of dietetics alongside the theory of the nutritional management of disease in individuals and populations. This will prepare you to start your 12-week practice placement.

Research Skills in Dietetics

This module covers the theoretical and practical aspects of commonly used research methods. It includes hands-on experience of statistical packages and laboratory skills, provides information on systematic reviews, practical and audit based projects, and an understanding of the ethical nature of research. This is preparatory study for your dietetics research project. You’ll have weekly lectures, laboratory and workshop sessions.

12-week Practice Placement

This 12-week long clinical practice placement falls over the summer between the 3rd and 4th years. This placement includes:

  • Observation
  • Developing skills in practice
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.
Dietetics Research Project

In this module you will carry out original research at the forefront of human nutrition and dietetics. You are supported by a member of our academic team.

The research project encourages critical thinking and involves both independent and teamwork. You'll work on a literature survey, and data handling, analysis and interpretation. 

We have close links with the University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and local dietetic departments. This means that your research project can directly relate to nutrition and human health.  Alternatively, you can so a laboratory-based project using the specialist facilities within the school. 


Recent research projects include:

  • compliance to dietary advice in diabetes mellitus Type 2
  • processed food intake in pre-school children
  • the relationship between breastfeeding and allergy: a systematic review of the literature 

Students producing the highest quality projects are encouraged to submit abstracts to the British Dietetic Association annual conference and present their work at the conference.

 

Advanced Dietetics (Clinical and Public Health) and Professional Issues

This module considers dietary management in specialist areas of advanced dietetic clinical practice and public health nutrition using individual student learning experiences and small group work. You will also cover the aspects of management, leadership and professionalism you will require in order to be suitably prepared prior to registration as a dietitian.

Advanced Dietetic Practice (includes 12-week practice placement)

Under the supervision of experienced registered dietitians, you’ll gain active experience in areas of health care that support subsequent application for dietetic registration. At the end of the 12-week placement you will have had the opportunity to work with clients and patients in the same way as a newly qualified dietitian. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies. If you do these would cost around £40.

Due to our commitment to sustainability, we don’t print lecture notes but these are available digitally. You will be given £5 worth of printer credits a year. You are welcome to buy more credits if you need them. It costs 4p to print one black and white page.

There may be options to undertake an optional international summer school in Malaysia and this would be self-funded.

Practice education placements are a compulsory part of this degree and one of these is across the summer vacation between the third and fourth year. This means that undertaking paid work during that summer is unlikely to be possible. Students will get different levels of support via the NHS Bursary depending on their personal circumstances but the costs have to be claimed back after the event with receipts. It is likely that there will be some extra costs due to requiring accommodation at the practice education location which may be on top of accommodation at the university base. Usually one lot of accommodation costs will be covered by the NHS Bursary.

 

Scholarships and bursaries

For information about fees and finance available for the Masters of Nutrition, visit MNutr student funding.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.

Careers

Most dietitians work within the NHS either in hospitals or within the community. A dietitian can choose to specialise in a range of areas such as paediatrics, obesity, renal or liver disease, diabetes and health promotion.

You could work in private practice, sports nutrition, journalism, education, food and drink industries, and consumer organisations.

Registration in dietetics in the UK is recognised in many countries overseas including Hong Kong.

Average starting salary and career progression

89.5% of undergraduates from the School of Biosciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £23,831.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Health and Care Professions Council

This course is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council.

The Association of UK Dietitians

Accreditation is a robust process providing assurance to the profession, students and the public that universities meet the standards of the professional body, the BDA.

The BDA holds responsibility for the curriculum which describes what is expected of a newly qualified dietitian and provides the framework for universities to deliver programmes that are responsive to the demands of dietetic employment.

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Disclaimer

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.