Nutrition is a vital part of public and individual health and a nutrition degree gives you the skills and knowledge to help people make the right dietary choices
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Animal nutritionist
- Community education officer
- Food technologist
- Health improvement practitioner
- International aid/development worker
- Medical sales representative
- Nutritional therapist
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Catering manager
- Health service manager
- Personal trainer
- Product/process development scientist
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Work experience will help you to decide which area of nutrition you want to concentrate on, as well as giving you valuable experience and contacts. Some degrees offer a work placement for a year in areas such as food banks, healthcare, sports centres/teams or research bodies.
If your degree doesn't offer a placement, you can look for opportunities yourself. For public health or community education, any community work, whether nutrition-related or not, will help develop your skills.
Hospitals and NHS Trusts often offer work experience, as do large pharmaceutical, food and sport and fitness companies. Businesses value any commercial experience - especially food-related work, such as hospitality and catering.
Whatever your future ambitions, it'll be useful for your career if you can get some experience of working in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors as you could end up working across all three. You may also want to consider getting student membership with The Nutrition Society to keep up to date with news in the sector and network with peers.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Your employer will depend on the area in which you wish to work and could include the following:
- government or non-government aid agencies
- international charities
- local authorities, NHS or government departments (such as the Department for Health or the Department for International Development)
- multinational food manufacturer/retailer or manufacturer of animal feeds
- sport and leisure companies, sports clubs or sports professional associations
- university or research body
- voluntary organisations or not-for-profit community interest company.
There are also opportunities to work as a self-employed nutritionist.
Skills for your CV
A nutrition degree develops your knowledge of the science of nutrients and their effects, as well as the social factors which influence nutrition. It covers food science, food production and physiology, as well as legislation, psychosocial issues and behaviour.
It also develops your skills in:
- rigorous scientific research
- behaviour change and motivation
- understanding the business environment
- interpreting data
- laboratory techniques
- giving presentations.
You may choose to develop your interest or specialism with further study, either immediately after your degree or after working for a few years. A Masters in your chosen area, for example, public health, global health, sport or animal nutrition and feed, will help you become an expert in your field.
If your undergraduate degree wasn't accredited by the Association for Nutrition (AfN), you could choose to take an AfN-accredited Masters degree, which leads to eligibility to apply for direct entry to the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN).
If you want to move to become a dietitian, you can study a two-year postgraduate course (either a Postgraduate Diploma or a Masters in dietetics) to meet the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration requirements.
What do nutrition graduates do?
Popular occupations for nutrition graduates include other health professionals (31%), engineering professionals (7%), health associate professionals (3%) and therapy professionals (3%).
|Working and studying||10.5|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and customer service||9.6|
|Childcare, health and education||5|
Find out what other graduates are doing after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.