Dietitians must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) in order to practise. There are two ways to become registered:
See the HPC website for a list of approved undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The approved degree is a full-time course that lasts either three or four years, while the postgraduate course is two years long. Both routes include a mix of theory and practical training in a hospital or community setting. Applications for undergraduate degree courses should be made via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website.
To be accepted on to a postgraduate course, candidates must have a relevant life sciences degree that contains an adequate level of human physiology and biochemistry. Contact individual institutions to find out further details about their entry requirements.
Entry without an approved degree or postgraduate qualification is only available at the level of dietetic assistant. From here your employer may support you in studying for a degree to then become a dietitian.
An interest in and knowledge of the scientific aspects of food is only one part of dietetics. A desire to communicate healthy eating information to a wide range of audiences and promote healthy food choices is also important.
Candidates will also need to show evidence of the following:
Try to visit a dietetic unit at your local hospital before applying for a course in order to get an idea of what the work is like and whether it would suit you.
It is also useful to get some voluntary or paid work experience in a related hospital setting to indicate your interest and understanding of the area. This may help when applying for courses and later on for jobs.
NHS grants may be available for approved courses. Check NHS Student Bursaries for details. Bursary-funded places are limited so it is advisable to apply early. In Scotland, you should also contact the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) ; in Wales, NHS Wales Student Award Unit ; and in Northern Ireland, the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland (DELNI) , as well as the institution to which you are applying, to check what funding you could claim. Contact course providers for further information on funding.
Vacancies are currently available although candidates may need to be flexible with regards to location.
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