BSc (Hons) Dietetics

About the course


Dietetics is the interpretation and communication of the science of nutrition to enable people to make informed and practical choices about food and lifestyle in both health and disease. Dietitians promote good health through appropriate nutrition. They work with individuals with special dietary needs, inform the general public about nutrition, evaluate and improve treatments and educate patients, doctors, nurses and other health professionals. The role of the dietitian is changing rapidly with increasing emphasis on working in the community as well as in hospitals. Dietitians also have a role in research, education, industry and the media where there is an increasing demand for good quality nutrition and dietetic education. Dietetic practice is based on a range of academic disciplines which are required to ensure that graduate dietitians have the level of skill required to deliver excellent nutritional advice and care.

"I found the dietetics course at Hertfordshire varied and well organised. Studynet, the University’s intranet is an excellent tool which the lecturers use to good effect to communicate with the students about all the key aspects of the course so that things run very smoothly and any changes are known promptly."
Jo Grey, BSc (Hons) Dietetics

You can read a graduate story here and listen to final year student testimonials here.

Why choose this course?

  • The only university that awards academic credit for practice placements.
  • More weeks spent on practice placements than any other UK university.
  • One of the few universities in the UK offering Dietetics over 3 years rather than 4 years.
  • We welcome graduates who are changing direction and want to qualify as a dietitian.
  • Dedicated facilities and Diet Laboratories 
  • Active Nutrition and Dietetics Society (NADS)
  • British Dietetic Association Research Symposiums
  • British Nutrition Foundation Annual Lectures
  • Attendance to Food Matters Live 

Download the course leaflet for BSc Dietetics 

Find out more about our Dietetics staff

Entry requirements...

2017 entry 

UCAS have introduced a new tariff for 2017 entry so the points being asked for are substantially different to previous years.

120 UCAS points 

GCSE – normally 5 grade 9-4 including Maths, English and Science at grade 4 or above (Grade C or above under the old grading structure).


  • Standard A Level offer –to include Chemistry at grade B and Biology at grade B and a further 40 UCAS points from other AS and/or A2 subjects excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking. A pass in the practical element of the science A Level is required.
  • Standard IB offer - 120 points with a minimum of 2 HL subjects at grade 5 or above to include biology and chemistry (with remaining points to be made up from HL, SL and Core)
  • Standard Access Diploma to Science – Pass access diploma with a minimum of 60 credits to include 15 L3 credits in chemistry at Distinction, 15 L3 credits in biology at Distinction, 15 L3 credits in one other science subject at merit and 15 ungraded credits at L2. Standard Science Foundation / Extended Degree – A pass of 60% in all individual subjects and a pass of 70% in biology and 70% in chemistry.
  • Standard BTEC offer – one of the following: 

BTEC National Extended Diploma in a science subject DDD and grade B in GCE A2 chemistry 
BTEC National Diploma in a science subject DD and a grade B in GCE A2 chemistry 
BTEC national Subsidiary Diploma D and a grade B in GCE A2 Biology and grade B in GCE A2 Chemistry 

  • Standard Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) – 5 subjects at higher level to include chemistry and biology at a minimum of B grades
  • Relevant science undergraduate / postgraduate qualifications – Typically a 2.2 level of achievement in a relevant subject i.e science, nutrition, health or sports science
  • Apolyterion – 18/20 with not lower that 17/20 for any core subjects including biology and chemistry.

For all applicants – satisfactory interview, numeracy and literacy test. Occupational health and DBS check.

A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall and a minimum of 6.5 in each band is required for those for whom English is not their first language with no additional component less than 6.5.

If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.

Professional Accreditations

This course is accredited Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). On graduation you are eligible to apply for registration.


Dietitians are employed in the NHS in both hospital and community settings. In addition, dietitians work in sports nutrition, food industry, charities, education and research or on a freelance basis. This degree gives you the theoretical knowledge and the practical experience to meet those expectations.

The degree has been developed in partnership with NHS Hospital Trusts and Primary Care Trusts, so you can be confident that your knowledge and skills will be a thorough preparation for your future work and give you the opportunity to advance your career into senior roles within the service.

Teaching methods

At the beginning of the programme you will be allocated a personal tutor who will provide support and academic guidance throughout your course. Whilst on placement you will be supported Practice Educators who will supervise and assess you.

You will be taught by a wide range of experienced experts from both within the University and from practice. These include; Biochemists, Physiologists and Dietitians.

Teaching is delivered over 3-5 days with 12-25 contact hours a week. In addition up to twenty additional hours a week of self directed study is required.

A variety of teaching approaches are used, including:

  • practical laboratory sessions
  • small group workshops
  • tutorials
  • seminars and discussion

Assessment methods include:

  • practice placement
  • course work such as written course work
  • lab reports
  • poster presentations
  • vivas (verbal examinations)
  • case studies
  • essays
  • group projects with some exams.

Work Placement

You will undertaking six practice placements consisting of a total of 35 weeks over three years.  This will give you the opportunity to develop the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to be ready to qualify as a registered dietitian.

Placements are in a variety of stimulating NHS settings such as Acute, Mental Health and Primary Care Trusts, where trained practice educators will support and help you to develop your learning, providing experiences ranging from acute clinical practice in hospitals to GP clinics, visiting clients in their own homes and health promotion activities.

Placements will be in the following eastern counties:

  • Bedfordshire
  • Cambridge
  • Essex
  • Hertfordshire
  • Norfolk
  • Suffolk


Year 1

Core Modules

  • An Introduction to Interprofessional Education

    The module is designed to give students the opportunity to work in multi-professional groups in order to improve understanding of a range of professional roles and encourage co-operative learning and working. The rationale for and benefits of inter-professional working are explored. Learning will be through multi-professional group seminars and tutorials that require students to access and gather appropriate data from a range of sources and apply this to a series of practice-based, simulated scenarios and exercises

  • Behavioural Sciences 1

    Behavioural Sciences 1 will examine the psychological links between the mind and body. It will focus on how we learn, how we communicate and how behaviour change can be initiated to improve nutritional health outcomes. We will consider health inequalities in relation to how and where people live and the effect it has on their health and wellbeing. Two major Health models will be considered, the biomedical and biopsychosocial and the impact their application has on health behaviour in particular nutritional health. Students will also study various psychological theories of learning i.e classical conditioning, operant conditioning and social learning theory and will understand the relevance in relation to promoting behaviour change and improving nutritional health. Students will learn about health promotion and public health strategies and will recognise how local and national health promotion campaigns are designed to encourage behaviour change within communities and nationally. Overall this module will enable students to become reflective healthcare practitioners within a multicultural society through the appreciation and understanding of the disciplines of psychology and sociology

  • Cell Biology

    Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure and evolution; DNA structure, chromosome and gene organisation; transcription; translation and the role of ribosomes; protein processing and localisation in the cell; DNA replication; cell cycle, mitosis and cell division; differentiation and embryology; mutation; prokaryotic genetics to include basic structure of plasmids and bacteriophage; an introduction to the manipulation of DNA and recombinant DNA technology; eukaryotic genetics.

  • Food Science, Safety and Systems

    This module includes 3 main topic areas; food science, food safety and food systems linking to nutrition and dietetic practice. The module introduces students to aspects of food processing, food additives, food fortification and effect on nutritional content of food. Students will learn about food safety in relation to food preparation and catering, food spoilage & preservation and food borne disease including micro-organisms associated with infection & disease. The module will also introduce students to food systems including catering systems and menu planning used within health, social care and public sector e.g. residential & nursing homes, prisons. Students will apply knowledge by using food composition data, dietary analysis software and via practical sessions e.g. food portions, microbiological food contamination

  • Foundations in human nutrition

    This module introduces the science of nutrition and examines the inter-relationship between food, nutrients and health. Students’ learning is supported through a range of activities including: Lectures introduce topics, explain complex issues and provide a basis for class and group discussion and exercises. Practical classes examine the role of food commodities, sensory aspects of food and anthropometry in human nutrition. Student-led practicals explore the collection of energy intake and expenditure data. Workshops provide an opportunity for learning about searching scientific literature, referencing, the assessment of nutrient intake using food tables and nutrient analysis software, estimation of nutrient intake from diet histories and relative costs of foods. Studynet is used as an online hub for sharing module-related information and activities, e.g. formative quizzes, online discussion.

  • Human Physiology (Nutrition and Dietetics)

    This module has been designed to give students an introduction to human physiology relating cell function and biochemistry to the function of the whole human body. The module aims to give students an introduction to haematology; a comprehensive understanding of the gastrointestinal tract (digestion & absorption); an understanding of the physiological functioning of respiratory, cardiovascular, renal systems together with their participation in homeostasis and how this may be disrupted in disease states; an understanding of the somatic and autonomic nervous system and endocrine system.

  • Introduction to Biochemistry and Metabolism

    A module which introduces the student to some of the fundamentals of biochemistry and the principles of how energy is provided to enable a living organism to function. The material covers aspects of protein structure, including the structure and function of enzymes and also considers the methods used for determining kinetic parameters. The major catabolic and anabolic metabolic pathways such as glycolysis, the TCA cycle, oxidation of fatty acids, gluconeogenesis and fatty acid synthesis will be studied, including how they interrelate. In addition introductory aspects of the bioenergetics of energy provision via substrate and oxidative phosphorylation will be covered. Teaching of the topics within the module will be supported by examples of the application of biochemistry to principles underpinning the practice of nutrition/dietetics.

  • Practice Education 4

    This placement module comprises two periods spent working in dietetic practice, usually one week in January and six weeks in the summer at the end of the first academic year. Students undertake a range of activities which all placement providers facilitate. These include initiating communication with patients and developing appropriate interactions; taking diet histories and analysing food and nutrient intake; obtaining patient-related information and providing basic interpretation. The application of microbiology is explored in clinical and catering settings. Students observe and reflect on the role of the dietitian in healthcare teams including communication and adherence to professional standards. Pre-placement briefing sessions at the University help students prepare for the placement and follow up sessions afterwards allow them to share learning from different placement sites.


Year 2

Core Modules

  • Behavioural Sciences 2

    Students will be supported in achieving the learning outcomes through a range of activities including: " Lectures which will be used to introduce topics, explain complex issues and provide a basis for class and group discussion and exercises. " Role play will be used to explore and practice behaviour change skills " Workshops will provide an opportunity for learning about presentation skills " Student-designed resources will be used to support learning about the production, effectiveness and evaluation of educational resources. " Studynet will be used as a hub for sharing module-related information and activities

  • Biochemistry and Metabolism 2

    This module will focus on topics relevant nutrition/dietetic practice. The module will cover the metabolic pathways involved in the biosynthesis of carbohydrates and lipids, their importance and how they integrate with each other and with pathways of catabolism and, nitrogen metabolism and its relationship with nutrition, the regulation of metabolism via hormone signalling pathways and modification of enzymes including examples of key enzymes in carbohydrate and lipid regulation. This module will investigate the metabolic effects of common clinical conditions relating to nutrition. The module will also examine the nature of immunity and the cellular basis of the immune response.

  • Diet Therapy

    The teaching will utilise the current evidence base and focus on the use of case studies across the module and be supported with diet lab practicals and workshops. Potential topics would include the application of genetics to dietetic practice, dietary modification of energy, texture and the use of prescribable nutritional products and the use of anthropometric techniques to undertake a nutritional assessment. The case studies will cover a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural groups, and age groups

  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology

    There will be a focus on topics where there is a nutritional aetiology or where nutritional or diet therapy has a role. The digestive system: neural and endocrine regulation and exocrine system; disorders of motility and secretion, including nausea and vomiting, malabsorption and inflammation. Drug treatment for example muscle relaxants. The nervous system: muscle contraction, cholinergic, antidepressants. Neurological conditions: Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease. The circulatory system: atherosclerosis and cardiac arrhythmias; cardiac output, blood flow and blood pressure; oedema, hypertension, shock and congestive heart failure; antiarrhythmic and antianginal agents; antihypertensive drugs; anticoagulants and antithrombolytic agents; cholesterol lowering agents. The endocrine system including pancreas, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands; relevant drug treatments for example insulin and oral diabetic agents. Relevant reproductive hormones for example those involved in polycystic ovary syndrome. The pathophysiology and pharmacology of cancer including chemotherapy.

  • Practice Education 5a Effective communication in practice

    This practice education placement module focuses upon effective communication in practice. Written and verbal communication as well as the role of dietitians in the promotion of health will be explored through the delivery and evaluation of an appropriate learning experience to meet the health needs of an individual or group. Students will undertake the module in a variety of practice settings providing them with the opportunity to develop their communication skills with patients, carers and other professionals within a range of specialities and environments. Students will be supported with a briefing session prior to placement and a debriefing session to enable reflection on their learning. In addition they will also normally be visited once whilst on placement.

  • Practice Education 5b Integrating Theory and Practice

    This practice education placement module focuses upon the integration of theory and practice. Students will undertake the module in a variety of settings providing them with the opportunity to develop and evaluate their practice through reflection and discussion across a range of specialities and environments. Students will be supported with a briefing session prior to placement and a debriefing session to enable reflection on their learning.

  • Research Methods for Nutrition

    The focus of this module is to develop a critical understanding of research principles, processes and methods and their application within the health setting. The module develops knowledge and understanding of qualitative and quantitative research techniques and facilitates the students' understanding of the philosophy behind evidence based practice.


Year 3

Core Modules

  • Advanced Diet Therapy

    Assessment of nutritional status and nutritional requirements in individuals with complex or multiple health conditions; nutritional management in gastrointestinal disorders including upper and lower GI disease; malabsorption; liver; pancreas; renal disease; food hypersensitivities; paediatrics including cystic fibrosis; surgery; critical care; parenteral nutrition; mental health including eating disorders; The pathophysiology and pharmacology content will focus on selected diseases where there is a nutritional aetiology or where nutritional/diet therapy has a key role. For example: Respiratory physiology: mechanics and regulation of breathing; oxygen and carbon monoxide transport; asthma; brochodilators, corticosteroids and respiratory stimulants; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Physiology of the renal system: kidney failure; diuretics; fluid and potassium imbalances. Hepatobiliary system: physiology and pathophysiology, aetiology and pharmacological treatment. Phytochemicals and nutraceuticals and basis of drug-nutrient interaction.

  • Enhancing Health & Social Care through Inter-professional Education

    The module is designed to give students further opportunities of working in multi-professional groups in order to improve understanding across professional boundaries and encourage collaborative learning and working that will bring benefit to patient/service-users. The justification for inclusion of inter-professional working within health care is addressed. The module requires students to bring specialist in-depth knowledge of their profession and professional codes of conduct to a group setting so that health and social care pathways are critically reviewed in the context of professional practice.

  • Nutrition Research

    Students complete an investigative project during this double module which runs across the final year. Project ideas are offered to students during their second year and include a range of topics in nutrition science, clinical dietetics and public health nutrition. Some projects involve collaborative work or are part of larger studies whilst others are stand-alone investigations. All projects allow students to develop their research and project management skills as well as to demonstrate their independence and critical thinking. Each student is allocated a supervisor for one-to-one and small group support. Workshops include protocol writing, ethics, data analysis (statistical and qualitative), research writing and dissemination. A small number of taught sessions focus on hierarchies of evidence, systematic review and meta-analysis. On completion of the module, students are encouraged and supported in disseminating high quality original research findings at external research symposia or through peer review publication.

  • Practice Education 6b Becoming An Autonomous Practitioner

    This practice education module prepares the students to take up the role of an independent and autonomous practitioner. Students will utilise a sound evidence base to apply the nutrition and dietetic care process, working in collaboration with other healthcare professionals, patients and their carers. Students will undertake the module in a variety of practice environments providing them with the opportunity to develop their dietetic skills across a range of specialities and practice activities. Students will also undertake reflective CPD activities which meet the HPC audit standards.

  • Practice Education 6a Patient centred practice

    This practice education module focuses upon clinical reasoning processes in practice. Students will undertake the module in a variety of practice environments providing them with the opportunity to develop their competence in, and understanding of, the dietetic decision process across a range of specialities and diseases / conditions. Students will be encouraged to develop flexible, efficient and effective strategies by which to apply the nutrition and dietetic care process, appreciating the need to practice safely and effectively within a legal and ethical framework. Students will be involved in the audit of dietetic services and have an opportunity to evaluate how service improvement impacts upon healthcare management. Students will be supported with briefing sessions prior to placement and debriefing sessions to enable reflection on their learning. In addition they will also normally be visited once whilst on placement.

  • Public Health Nutrition

    Basis for public health nutrition policies nationally and internationally; nutritional epidemiology; implementation and evaluation of UK public health nutrition interventions; social determinants of health; health inequalities; dietary guidelines; food labelling, nutrient profiling; methods for dietary assessment in surveys; biomarkers of nutritional status; the translation of public health nutrition policy into meaningful advice or guidance for people from a variety of different social, cultural, economic and educational backgrounds.


Fees & funding

Fees 2017

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,250 for the 2017 academic year

International Students

Full time: £14,000 for the 2017 academic year

NHS Funding for UK/EU Students

Please note that the University is currently awaiting the outcome of a Government consultation looking at the future of NHS funding for health courses. The changes proposed for 2017/18 entry have yet to be finalised, although it is widely anticipated that students, rather than receiving an NHS grant / bursary, will be given access to maintenance and tuition fee loans like other students. 

If you would like further details of the proposed changes, these can be found at and at although please note that this information is still provisional until the Government consultation finishes and a formal change of policy is announced.

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Additional course-related costs

There may be some additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. These costs or charges may be compulsory (ie you have to pay them if you are studying this course) or they may be optional (ie you don’t have to pay them, but they may help you get the most out of your course).

Any such costs or charges will be outlined in the About your course factsheet that can be found on the course Overview page.

Additional course costs

Whilst studying this course there are a few items of equipment that you are required to purchase*

  • Weighing scales: £30 (Compulsory)
  • Lab coat and hat: £20 (Compulsory)
  • Core Text: £various
  • Local field trip in second year: £10 (Optional)

*All prices are approximate. On confirming your place you will be provided with purchasing information.

Accommodation for clinical placements for students who are not eligible for an NHS Bursary includes international and Irish students (figures quoted are top-end and depends upon placement venue and distance travelled). Eligible students can claim all, or part and depends on circumstances.£1500 max

Transport to clinical placements (students can claim if eligible for NHS Bursary and travel costs) £600 max.

To find out more about the future of NHS funding please click here.

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply


Start DateEnd DateLink
21/09/201725/09/2018Apply online (Full Time)
01/09/201731/07/2018Apply online (Full Time)
01/09/201731/07/2018Apply online (Full Time)


Start DateEnd DateLink
21/09/201825/09/2019Apply online (Full Time)
01/09/201831/07/2019Apply online (Full Time)
01/09/201831/07/2019Apply online (Full Time)