Dietitian BSc - Level 6


Dietitians are predominantly employed by the NHS, working in hospitals (seeing patients both on wards and in out-patient clinics) and in the community (for example seeing patients in GP practices, care homes, schools, health centres or seeing people in their own home). Dietitians are also employed in the food industry (including clinical nutrition companies) and there maybe opportunity for employment in higher education, sport, media, and national and local government. Some dietitians will be freelance and self-employed. The broad purpose of the occupation is to use advanced communication and behaviour-change skills to enable people to make lifestyle and food choices to improve their health. Dietitians work in partnership with individual to assess, diagnose and monitor the impact of jointly agreed treatment plans.

Skills and knowledge

To become a Dietitian you will need to:

  • knowledge of biology
  • be an excellent communicator
  • be hands-on
  • have a caring and calm nature
  • have strong organisational and planning skills
  • have active listening skills
  • be sensitive and understanding
  • be able to explain complex things simply
  • be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • be able to work well with others and your own


Have an approved BSc degree or MSc postgraduate qualification in dietetics or human nutrition accredited by the British Dietetic Association.

You might be able to take a postgraduate course if you already have a degree with an acceptable level of human physiology and biochemistry.

Routes into this job

You might be able to do a dietitian degree apprenticeship.

This typically takes 4 years to complete as a mix of workplace learning and academic study at an approved university.

If you complete your apprenticeship successfully, you'll be eligible for full membership of the British Dietetic Association.


You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, preferably including biology, for a degree apprenticeship

You'll need to get a degree in Dietetics, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.


You'll usually need:
- two or three A levels, including a science
- five GCSEs (grades A-C), including English language, maths and science

Or the equivalent qualifications:

- BTEC, HND or HNC, including science
- relevant NVQ
- science-based access course
- equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications

Each university sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check with them directly.

You could work as a dietetic assistant and study part-time for a degree to qualify as a dietitian.

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the health or care sector before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You can also find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

Career progression

Once qualified, dietitians often join the British Dietetic Association. Registered dietitians have to keep their skills and knowledge up to date with annual CPD (continuing professional development). BDA runs courses, conferences and seminars where dietitians can exchange ideas and update their skills.

You could specialise in a clinical area, such as cancer or diabetes or work with particular groups, such as elderly people or those with learning difficulties. Teaching and health education are also options. You could take on a management role where you would supervise the work of a team of dietitians. Eventually, you could be responsible for controlling a budget and planning and marketing a dietetic service.

You could work in sports nutrition or the food industry. Some dietitians move into marketing roles such as publishing, sales and public relations.

Advanced Clinical Practitioner - Level 7

Advanced Clinical Practitioners are experienced clinicians who demonstrate expertise in their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners manage defined episodes of clinical care independently, from beginning to end, providing care and treatment from the time an individual first presents through to the end of the episode, which may include admission, referral or discharge or care at home. They carry out their full range of duties in relation to individuals’ physical and mental healthcare and in acute, primary, urgent and emergency settings (including hospitals, general practice, individuals’ homes, schools and prisons, and in the public, independent, private and charity sectors). They combine expert clinical skills with research, education and clinical leadership within their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners work innovatively on a one to one basis with individuals as well as part of a wider team. They work as part of the wider health and social care team and across traditional professional boundaries in health and social care.