How to Become a Dietitian


If you are interested in people, food, science and medicine and want a job which offers a wide range of possibilities and the opportunity to excel, becoming a dietitian is the ideal career.

Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems at an individual and wider public health level. Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated and governed by an ethical code, to ensure that they always work to the highest standard.

In general, dietitians work as part of a team, caring for people in hospital or in the community and supporting patients whose quality of life is linked closely with their diet. For example, a patient may have difficulty swallowing, so a dietitian will devise a diet that enables the patient to get sufficient calories or they may support a patient with the process of eating after major surgery or serious injury.

A dietitian may be also be working in the community, developing training for individuals with diabetes or working in a school supporting the implementation of healthy school meals.

Diet and nutrition

Dietitians also work to promote good health and prevent disease by informing and teaching the public, health professionals and others about diet and nutrition.

Dietitians help to promote healthy food choices and prevent disease by increasing awareness of the link between nutrition and health. However, many other career opportunities are available to dietitians, which make it such an interesting profession to join. Many dietitians work in the food industry, public health, education, sports nutrition, research or the media and a growing number decide to work in a freelance capacity.

Training to become a dietitian

To qualify as a dietitian you are required to undertake an approved programme at a university. All dietetic programmes are approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and may also apply for accreditation by The British Dietetic Association (BDA).

This section provides guidance on studying to become a dietitian, including entry requirements to pre-registration programmes and subjects covered within the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.  It also explains the Pre-Registration Curriculum Framework (2013) which is held and managed by the British Dietetic Association.