Dietetics (Pre-Registration)

MSc or PGDip

This course is subject to validation

Start dates: September 2024

Full time: MSc or PGDip (Pre-Reg) - 21 months

Location: Headington, Headington (Marston Road site), Practice-based study

Department(s): Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

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Our MSc Dietetics (Pre-Registration) course prepares aspiring dietitians to use food and nutrition science to improve health and wellbeing.

  • Study with qualified, experienced, and research-active lecturers and clinical dietitians currently working in the field.
  • Our small groups ensure you receive enhanced academic support and tailored training that meets your needs and preferences.
  • Consolidate your knowledge with placements in clinical and non-clinical settings and practical sessions in our state-of-the-art labs.
  • Nurture your skills at our Simulation Centre, featuring virtual reality technology and awarded for interprofessional medical education, before your placements with our NHS and industry partners in and around Oxfordshire.

Embrace our healthcare education expertise and equip yourself with knowledge, practical skills, and ethos for a successful dietetics career. Graduates can apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and secure employment in healthcare environments, public health, freelance and more.

Find out more by joining a live webinar Ask a question Order a prospectus

Four students training

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Practical and career focused

    Apply what you learn and unlock exciting career prospects with 1,000 hours of work experience in NHS and non-NHS settings reflecting modern dietetic practice.

  • Immerse yourself

    Put your learning into practice in our £2 million award-winning healthcare simulation centre and our purpose-built nutrition and sports labs.

  • Taught by experts

    Learn from academic and clinical dietitians with recognised qualifications in Dietetics and teaching with extensive experience in supporting students from diverse backgrounds.

  • Home of cutting-edge research

    Get to learn about the newest developments in nutrition, dietetics, behavioural and food science, and public health by researchers in our Centre for Nutrition and Health.

  • Ideal location

    Oxford is home to many organisations that rely on dietitians: from NHS and private clinics to food manufacturers and charities.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Subject to Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and British Dietetics Association (BDA) approvals (in progress)

Course details

Course structure

Our course offers an accelerated pathway that builds on your existing knowledge and skills to swiftly advance you toward a dietetics career.

Guided by knowledgeable and enthusiastic lecturers including dietitians, nutritionists, epidemiologists, and food scientists, as well as external professionals, you will receive a comprehensive education that fosters a deep and practical understanding of the links between diet, eating behaviour, health, and disease backed by research and enhanced through placement-based learning in a breadth of specialities both at NHS and with other providers.

Opportunities for interprofessional work will elevate your communication and teamwork skills whilst developing an appreciation for the holistic approach to patient care.

Whether you choose a career in healthcare, the industry, or pursue a PhD, we are committed to nurture your critical thinking and encourage you to cultivate your own reflective, innovative, and confident approach in contributing to the advancement of dietetics through high-quality evidence-based practice and/or health and food research.

Lecturer in front of a classroom

Learning and teaching

This is a full-time intensive course that integrates dietetic theory and practice through an average of 8.5 in-person/on-campus contact hours per week. These hours consist of a combination of lectures, seminars, and laboratory-based practicals with support for both individual and peer learning. 

Additional guest lectures from healthcare professionals will be delivered focusing on specialist areas of dietetics and interprofessional communication to expand on your knowledge and networking.

Online/hybrid classes and tutorials will be available during placement periods. Your placements will consist of 31 weeks in total (1,000 hours) using simulation, case-based, and work-based learning at NHS and non-clinical providers to bridge theory and practice. Simulation will be used to reinforce the integration of theory and practice, allowing you to practise in a safe space.

You will also be expected to undertake approximately 800 hours of self-directed learning per year of study.


Assessments in this programme are varied and designed for you to demonstrate a range of skills, including critical reasoning, communication, research, and professionalism. These skills are essential for becoming a competent, autonomous, and compassionate dietitian.

Assessment methods include essays, lab reports, reviews, posters, oral presentations, group work, project work and reflective writing. Assessment is designed as 77% coursework with some in-class tests and formal examinations; the placements are assessed via a portfolio.

For assessment, there is a mix of formative and summative types, giving opportunities to engage with feedback and improve before the final submission.

Study modules

Our 200-credit modules cover various topics essential for becoming a registered dietitian. They will foster your comprehension and critical understanding of the scientific foundations of health and disease while equipping you with the knowledge, mindset, and ability to make evidence-based clinical judgments in dietetics for disease prevention and treatment.

You will learn about therapeutic diet planning, broader aspects of nutrition and population health including food science, health promotion and lifespan nutrition, as well as the underlying principles of physiological regulation and nutritional metabolic pathways in health and disease. In this context, you will explore the research process leading to an independent research project. Modules also cover dietetics’ ethical and professional aspects, preparing students for a well-rounded career.

Over three semesters, three supported placements will help you gain hands-on practical experience in clinical and community settings.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (20 credits)

    Understanding the basic principles of nutritional biochemistry and metabolism is essential in the study of nutrition, and forms the backbone of this module, with a focus on energy production systems, metabolic states and nutrients required by humans. Other aspects covered include the critical assessment of dietary reference values and food composition tables.

  • Research Methods (20 credits)

    This module provides a foundation and training in fundamental research methods, from literature searching, experimental planning and design to data analysis and presentation.

  • Dietetics Professional Practice (20 credits)

    During this module, you will develop your understanding of the organisational and delivery framework of health and care services in the UK, focusing on the professional context in which dietitians work. This includes management systems and processes, communication with service users and within multidisciplinary care teams, and safe provision of food and catering systems.

  • Health Promotion and Professional Practice across the Lifespan (20 credits)

    This module introduces the field of health psychology; emphasising health promotion, counselling, and goal setting in the context of diet, nutrition, and exercise for health and disease prevention and within the HCPC Standards of Ethics, Conduct, and Performance, preparing you to act as a professional dietitian. Additionally, the module covers the role of diet and nutrition in supporting growth, development, and health across the lifespan, including the biochemical and physiological changes that occur at different life stages.

  • Applied Public Health Nutrition (20 credits)

    A detailed examination of the relationship between nutrition and health. Both in the form of personalised nutrition interventions to maintain health and/or prevent overweight and obesity, but also from a public/global health perspective is core to this module. You will also gain valuable insights into nutritional issues specific to developing and transitional countries such as micronutrient deficiencies and complications from infectious diseases.

  • Human Physiology and Disease (20 credits)

    This module provides you with a comprehensive and critical understanding of the primary physiological and pathophysiological functions in the human body. The pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of key drugs in the prevention/treatment of selective health conditions, as well as the use of analytical techniques for diagnosing and monitoring human diseases, as well as guiding dietetic referrals, are also considered.

  • Practice Placement A

    This module introduces fundamental healthcare concepts and processes, emphasising a patient-centred approach. It also cultivates skills for autonomous practice, building on them in future placements.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Dietetic Therapy (40 credits)

    This module offers you in-depth knowledge and practical insight into diagnosing and treating various diet-related human diseases, such as gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, neurological, endocrine, and immune conditions, as well as nutritionally supporting patients living with cancer or being in critical care. You will also learn to adapt dietetic treatment plans for diverse work environments.

  • Practice Placement B

    This placement module helps students develop and apply vital skills like communication, professionalism, clinical reasoning, and dietetics intervention in a professional practice context. Students will tailor these skills to their unique practice setting while striving to meet HCPC and BDA standards.

  • Practice Placement C

    This final practice education module combines clinical placements, teaching sessions, and practical simulations. Students learn critical reasoning for patient-centred care, autonomy, problem-solving, and effective time management. They also explore safety, ethics, and the role of dietetics in healthcare. The module introduces business principles, budgeting, and emerging technologies in dietetic practice.

  • Research Project (40 credits)

    This module will enable you to engage in individual or group research under the guidance of a supervisor to pursue a sustained critical inquiry and gain an in-depth understanding of a specific area of dietetics, nutrition, nutrition epidemiology, eating behaviour, food science, or public health through primary or secondary data collection and analysis. Research projects typically include some elements of design and planning of some form of data collection, development of new hypotheses, and analysis of findings. Data collection may be laboratory experimentation (human participants, foods/food ingredients), questionnaires/surveys, clinical audits, or interviews/focus groups. You will therefore have the opportunity to critically engage with appropriate research methodology (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods) and academic literature in a reflective, analytical, and critically self-aware fashion.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


Join our course and embark on a journey towards a thriving and rewarding career. As the sole statutory experts authorised to assess, diagnose, and consult on diet-related issues, dietitians are in high demand. Plus, with the government's unwavering support through a dedicated Office for Health Promotion, the stage is set for a robust job market with exceptional prospects. 

Whether you look to augment your current role in the health or food industry, seek specialisation, or consider an exciting career change, our course equips you with the skill set that paves the way for a world of career destinations: 

  • Clinical, community or public health dietitian
  • Health promotion or education specialist including working in the media
  • Scientist or consultant in food manufacturers, retailers, and medical food and pharmaceutical companies
  • Nutrition-related roles within charities, trade associations, or the government 
  • Specialised educator/trainer in advanced dietetic practice
  • Researcher within universities, food companies, or research institutes
  • Continuation of the academic journey through a PhD.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of what dietitians can do in their career, we recommend reading this article from The British Dietetic Association.

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Financial support and scholarships

All eligible Dietetics students will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year and will also be reimbursed for any additional travel and temporary accommodation costs incurred as a result of attending practice placements. None of this financial support needs to be paid back. For more information, please visit NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF). 

If you do not qualify for the above scheme, you may be able to claim reimbursement of expenses incurred whilst attending placement directly from the university. For more information please visit OBU TDAE Expenses for Healthcare Students.

We also offer a 10% discount on tuition fees to all graduates (those who have completed their undergraduate degree at Oxford Brookes) wanting to stay on or return to study for an additional degree.

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Books and Printing

While you can borrow books and access subject-specific scientific journals at the university library for free, the PENG Pocket Guide to Clinical Nutrition must be purchased (£43) through a bulk order placed by us. Campus printing starts at 2.5p/page. The University provides a laptop loan service, or you can choose to purchase your own device.

Fit-to-Practice and Placements

Your tuition fees cover occupational health checks, necessary vaccinations, and mandatory training. There is an initial £8 charge for DBS verification, and we recommend an annual subscription to the DBS update service for £13. Before placements, you must purchase your own practice-based uniform(s) and suitable footwear (£80-120). Students are responsible for additional travel and dual accommodation costs during practice placements (approx. £200/week) which eligible students can claim back through the LSF.


Student membership in the British Dietetic Association is mandatory for this course. It's free in the first year and costs £40 in the second year, including professional indemnity insurance.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.