10 Mar 2022
Studying dietetics is incredibly rewarding, diverse and no day is ever the same! Student Rep Reema Rabheru asked nine fellow students currently studying Dietetics in the UK what they most enjoy about being a Dietetic student.
1. Support from your peers
Fiona Macintosh, first-year Nutrition and Dietetics student, University of Chester
Since I have started university, it has been a pleasure to get to know the other students. They have made the learning really fun and a lot less stressful. I've always found the other students really keen to help with any queries, there are no 'silly questions' and everyone is happy to share their knowledge.
With a lot of online learning still in place, it's been great having library sessions with other students to engage with peer-assisted learning and group work hasn't been a struggle. Plus, they share my love for food and are always up for trying out a new cafe for lunch!
2. Practicals on the course
Libby Stagg, second-year Dietetics student, Newcastle University
I love the practical aspects of the course, such as the food practicals in the labs. Personally, I find these classes very interesting and engaging because they bring together everything that we have learned and put it into practice.
During the food handling lab practical, we've carried out a range of tasks like making soup and increasing its energy and protein content to fortify it. One dish was supplemented with food, and we added oral nutritional supplements to another. This was a great exercise because it allowed me to understand how adding different ingredients can manipulate the taste and texture of foods. As part of a practical aspect for this module, we were given an oral nutritional supplement and asked to consume it alongside our normal diet, which allowed me to experience what supplements can bring to patients' lifestyles.
3. No day is ever the same!
Madeleine Hemsley, first-year Dietetics (Hons) student, London Metropolitan University
No day as a Dietetic student is ever the same and at the end of each week, I am amazed and motivated by everything new I have learned. Some days we are in the lab looking at breast cancer cells, and other days, we have incredible Dietitians and doctors from around the UK talking to the students about the management of diseases.
Next term will see us explore the psychology behind behaviour change, as well as continue to dive into human anatomy and physiology. As a Dietetics student you never stop learning, and it allows you to be exposed to new ideas and concepts with every lecture and tutorial - it is just brilliant!
4. Being able to put theory into practice on placement
Hannah Tytko, second-year Nutrition and Dietetics BSc student, University of Surrey
For me, the best thing about studying dietetics is being able to put the theory into practice when going on placement. It really helps to consolidate your learning and allows you to see how each module has been carefully incorporated into the course for a particular purpose.
5. Experiencing the NHS
Talia Cherkez, final-year Nutrition and Dietetics BSc student, University of Surrey
I love studying Dietetics! The course provides rewarding placements within the NHS and insightful practical and research opportunities. Working as a dietitian on placement came with its challenges but also its rewards too, no days ever being the same.
One of my highlights from placement was receiving amazing compliments from patients and their family members on how I, as a dietetic student, positively impacted their lives. As a British Turkish Cypriot, it is wonderful to see the diversity within my future field of work. The variety within Dietetics always excites me and I look forward to seeing where my career path takes me.
6. Understanding the importance of diets in different cultures
Aalia Khan, second-year PGDip Dietetics student, King’s College London
I particularly enjoyed the time we spent taking part in practicals where we were able to prepare, cook and share food together. By exploring the ways in which we use food socially, I learned a lot about the scope to use food as a tool to express my own cultural identity and experience others’, creating a sense of unity whilst celebrating our individuality at the same time.
This also encouraged me to be more inquisitive about the variety of ingredients, meals, and eating practices in other parts of the world and other cultures, both out of interest and to improve my capacity as a future dietitian to provide culturally relevant/suitable suggestions to patients.
7. It is extremely rewarding
Shree Nathdwarawala, recent graduate, University of Hertfordshire
During placement, I began to appreciate the theory behind what we learned and the effects it had on a person’s nutrition. I found it rewarding to be a part of a multidisciplinary team and use my knowledge for my own patients to aid their recovery.
Dietetics is such a varied field, each area fulfilling in its own way and placement was a wonderful opportunity for me to get an idea of the area I wanted to work in. There is so much to Dietetics and using my knowledge to help someone with their health is something I find very satisfying, even if it’s in the smallest way.
I hope to expand my knowledge within the field over time to help more people, especially as diversity increases.
8. Diversifying Dietetics
Fatima Zahir, first-year MSc Dietetics student, King's College London
One of the best parts of studying an allied health professional course is improving diversity in the dietetics field. In addition, it allows my classmates and me to learn from each other and be representative of our patients.
An example of this was when we learned about different cultural diets in one of our modules. As we went through a 'typical' South Asian diet, my classmates asked how certain foods were consumed. As a South Asian, I explained and put into context to my classmates how and when some of the South Asian foods were eaten and how this is just a snippet of a wide melting pot of those from a South Asian background.
As well as racial diversity, the dietetics course attracts many people from various backgrounds, from multiple beliefs to mature students to those choosing dietetics as a second or even third career! The diversity of students allows us to create a sense of community in the dietetic fields and be culturally sensitive healthcare professionals to treat our patient population.
9. All the opportunities available
Oliver Jagus, second-year Master's student, King's College London
For me, the best part about studying Dietetics is the vast number of doors it can open. Whether you decide to specialise in an area which is predominantly hospital-based, running IBS clinics in the community, or working within the public health sector to implement population change – you can easily find an area of Dietetics that aligns with your interests!
I’m really interested in educating children about the importance of health and nutrition: this summer I will be working alongside dietitians at a weight loss camp in America doing just that – how exciting!
10. Learning from experts in the field
Reema Rabheru, second-year Master's student, King's College London and BDA Student Rep 2021/22
The best part about studying Dietetics is the opportunities to learn from experts within the field. All lecturers and professors have gained a vast amount of experience within Dietetics, whether that is within clinical practice, research, or other avenues. I’ve really enjoyed being able to pick the brains on certain interests and topics from academic staff who are at the top of their field!
Student Rep 2021/22, BDA
Reema is a final year Master's student from King's College London.