Dietetics BSc (Hons)
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
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.
- GCSE – normally 5 grade A-C including maths,English and science at grade C or above
- Standard A Level offer – 300 UCAS points. To include chemistry at grade B and biology at grade B and a further 100 UCAS points from other AS and/or A2 subjects excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking
- 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, 30 L3 credits in other subjects at merit
- 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. A health check and enhanced Criminal Record Bureau screening will be required
- Full Time, 3 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
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.
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
- seminars and discussion
Assessment methods include:
- practice placement
- course work such as written course work
- lab reports
- poster presentations
- vivas (verbal examinations)
- case studies
- group projects with some exams.
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:
This course is accredited Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). On graduation you are eligible to apply for registration.
An Introduction to Inter-professional 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 within health and social care 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
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. " Practical sessions will be used to extend understanding of multicultural diets in relation to nutritional counselling within a multicultural society " Role play will be used to explore and practice communication skills " Workshops will provide an opportunity for learning about communication skills " Studynet will be used as a hub for sharing module-related information and activities
Cell Biology (Nutrition and Dietetics)
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 will cover aspects of applied knowledge of food, food science and food systems management, plus microbiology and food safety. The content includes: the composition of foodstuffs, main food groups and commodities providing these; menu planning; use of food tables; understanding of derivation and limitations of food composition data; portion sizes; use of different cooking processes and effect on nutritional content of food; current legislation on food preparation; patterns of food distribution; food provision within in health, social care and public sector e.g residential & nursing homes, prisons; nutritional standards for catering services; Health and Safety aspects of catering and food storage; short-term and long-term food preservation and storage; food additives; food fortification; micro-organisms most commonly associated with infection; benign and pathological organisms; causes and prevention of food spoilage and food-borne disease; clinical microbiology; micro-organisms associated with infection and disease and their transmission.
Foundations in human nutrition
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. " Taught practicals will be used to facilitate an understanding of topics such as food commodities, sensory aspects of food and anthropometry. Student-led practicals will be used to explore the collection of intake and expenditure data. " Workshops will 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. " Student-designed posters will be used to support learning obtaining information from peer-reviewed sources and present it in a style and level suitable for fellow students. " Studynet will be used as a hub for sharing module-related information and activities, e.g. formative quizzes.
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 course aims to give students an introduction to haematology; an understanding of the somatic and autonomic nervous system and endocrine system, including control of reproduction; an understanding of the physiological functioning of respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and digestive systems together with their participation in homeostasis, and how this maybe disrupted in disease states
Introduction to Biochemistry and Metabolism (Nutrition and Dietetics)
An introductory module in 'the biochemistry of the cell, covering various aspects of protein structure; enzyme kinetics and methods for determining kinetic parameters; catabolic metabolism - the inter-relationships and control of pathways particularly glycolysis, TCA cycle and the beta-oxidation of fatty acids'. Introductory aspects of bioenergetics including 1) the structure of mitochondria and chloroplasts 2) basic aspects of oxidative and photosynthetic phosphorylation 3) fundamentals of electron transport in both mitochondria and chloroplasts.
Practice Education 4
Students will be supported in achieving the learning outcomes through a range of activities which all placement providers will facilitate. These will include: " Initiating communication with patients and developing appropriate interactions " Taking diet histories and analysing the food and nutritional content " Obtaining patient-related information and providing a basic interpretation of it " Exploring the application of microbiology in a clinical setting, e.g. Control of Infection Policy " Exploring the application of microbiology in a catering setting, e.g. food hygiene practice " Observing and reflecting on the role of the dietitian in healthcare teams including communication and adherence to professional standards Students will be supported with briefing sessons prior to placement and debriefing session to enable reflection on their learning.
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.
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
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 sesson prior to placement and a debriefing session to enable reflection on their learning.
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 sesson 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.
Applied Nutrition Research
Nutrition and dietetic research and evidence-based practice; clinical governance; nutrition research methodologies; primary/secondary research; introduction to systematic review; Cochrane; hierarchies of evidence; settings for nutrition/dietetic research - public health nutrition and clinical management; levels of nutrition/dietetic research activity (utilising findings; assisting in projects; initiating and leading research); the research process (defining a research question; protocol writing; research ethics applications; seeking funding for nutrition/dietetics projects; data collection; data management; statistical analysis; writing up; dissemination).
Applied Nutrition and Dietary Management
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; intensive care; parenteral nutrition; mental health including eating disorders; food and nutrition policy; public health nutrition cycle; nutritional epidemiology;; current public health nutrition policies in the UK; public health inequalities; dietary guidelines.
Clinical Education 3a - Decision Making in Practice
This clinial education module focuses upon clinical reasoning processes in practice. Students will undertake the module in a variety of clinical settings providing them with the opportunity to develop their competence in, and understanding of, clinical decision making across a range of specialities and clinical environments.
Clinical Education 3b - Patient Centred Practice
This clinical education module focuses upon patient centred practice. Students will be facilitated to demonstrate sensitivity to the patient's requirements, both physical and psychosocial, understand the need to prioritise problems by negotiation with patients and/or significant others and evaluate the impact of resource availability on healthcare delivery. Students will undertake the module in a variety of clinical settings providing them with the opportunity to develop their practice across a range of specialities and clinical environments.
Clinical Education 3c - Clinical Effectiveness
This clinical education module focuses upon clinical effectiveness, including clinical audit, in preparation for the students to take up the role of independent and autonomous practitioners. Students will undertake the module in a variety of clinical settings providing them with the opportunity to develop their clinical effectiveness across a range of specialities and clinical environments.
Nutrition Healthcare Provision
*Public health nutrition strategies for intervention; intervening at ecological and individual levels. *Principle ways in which healthcare is organised and provided including factors that influence these *Evaluation methods for healthcare provision *Working in interdisciplinary teams *Professional bodies roles in healthcare *Involvement of the users of the service in service provision. *Students will have the option to carry out a mock application for a post
Nutrition Medicine and Methods
The pathophysiology and pharmacology content will focus on topics where there is a nutritional aetiology or where nutritional or diet therapy has a role. 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. Nutritional anaemias; anti-anaemic agents. Phytochemicals and nutraceuticals. Basis of drug-nutrient interaction. Nutrition intake methods including 24 hour recall; food frequency questionnaires; weighed intakes; biomarkers; food diaries; photographic method; chemical analysis; food tables. Body composition methodology including body compartments; densitometry; DXA; dilution techniques.
Fees & funding
If you are a UK or EU full-time undergraduate student, the NHS will pay the tuition fee for this course. You will not have to pay for the course yourself.
UK Students may be entitled to an NHS bursary.
Please note that in the event that you have to retake failed module(s) from a previous year (unconnected with adverse circumstances) you may have to 'step-off' the course until you have passed the module(s). In the event this happens, any NHS bursary you have been receiving will cease until you are in a position to resume the full-time course. In addition, you will be required to pay student tuition fees for retaking the failed module(s).
University of Hertfordshire bursaries are not available for this course.
Additional course costs
Whilst studying this course there are a few items of equipment that you are required to purchase*
- Weighing scales: £30
- Lab coat and hat: £20
- Core Text: £various
*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
Other financial support
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.
Key course information
- Institution code: H36
- UCAS code: B410BSc (Hons) Dietetics,
- Course code: HHDIET
- Course length:
- Full Time, 3 Years