Increasingly recognised as a vital part of public and individual health, nutrition graduates use their skills to help people and communities make the right eating choices
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Animal nutritionist
- Community education officer
- Food technologist
- Health promotion specialist
- 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. For public health or community education, any community work, whether nutrition-related or not, will help develop your skills.
To work in international aid, you'll need experience in a voluntary organisation (UK or overseas), for example the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) programme.
Hospitals and NHS Trusts often offer work experience, as do large pharmaceutical, food and sport and fitness companies. Businesses value any commercial experience - even better if this is food-related, such as hospitality and catering.
Whatever your future ambitions, it will 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.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
You could work for a multinational food manufacturer or retailer, or for a manufacturer of animal feeds. In international development, employers include government or non-government aid agencies and international charities. If you're looking for a career in sports nutrition, employers can include sport and leisure companies, sports clubs or sport professional associations.
In public health, typical employers include local authorities, government departments (such as the Department of Health or the Department for International Development) or the NHS. In community work, your employer is likely to be a voluntary organisation or a small not-for-profit community interest company.
For a career in research, you could work in a university, for a research body or for a large 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.
Some nutrition graduates choose to develop their interest or specialism with further study, either immediately after their 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).
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?
A large proportion of nutrition graduates are in employment in the UK six months after graduating, with a further one in five doing further study or combining work and study.
Popular occupations for these graduates include health or therapy professionals, which include nutritionists and dietitians.
|Working and studying||6.2|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||11.1|
|Technicians and other professionals||9.6|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||5.4|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.