National Careers Week

Becoming a Dietitian - A Journey via the Apprenticeship Route

What is a dietitian?

A dietitian job role is to assess, diagnose, plan, implement, monitor, review and evaluate dietetic and nutrition interventions. They treat, manage and prevent lot’s of different conditions such as diabetes, cancer, food allergies, malnutrition, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease, obesity, heart disease and mental health. A Dietician is classified as an Allied Health Professional (AHP).


Most commonly Dieticians are employed in the NHS working clinically in settings such as hospitals on wards and out-patient clinics. In the community at GP practices, care homes, schools and patient’s homes. They can also work in the food industry, higher education, government, sport, media and freelance.

Find out more

What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a paid job where you can learn and gain practical experience and employment skills in a specific career. At least 20% of an apprenticeship is off the job training, usually in a classroom environment. The dietetic apprenticeships are known as Degree Apprenticeships, when undertaking these apprenticeships you will gain a university degree. Once you successfully complete a Degree Apprenticeship in Dietetics you will be able to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to register as a Dietitian.


What are the benefits of a dietetic apprenticeship?

There are many benefits of undertaking a Dietetic Degree Apprenticeship:

  • The ability to complete a degree without any costs to yourself because the fees will be paid by the government and your employer.
  • You will gain a degree qualification.
  • Earn a salary while you learn, Dietitian apprentices may earn more than the minimum apprenticeship wage.
  • Gain valuable work-based skills.
  • Allows an employer to invest in your career progress.
  • Enables you to fast track to a career which has good earning potential. A qualified dietitian starting wage is typically from £28,482 and can go up to £81,138 (consultant wage)/

“The arrival of the apprenticeship at Teesside has made the world of difference to me! Working as an assistant in dietetics, I started the apprenticeship knowing I was 100% sure it was the profession for me. It has been a learning curve balancing study, work and home life but it’s completely worth it to keep my job and pay whilst learning.”
Claire Greenall, Dietetic Apprentice

The benefits of a degree apprenticeship

What Dietetic Degree Apprenticeships are available?

There are two types of Dietetic Degree Apprenticeships, a Level 6 BSc (hons) Dietetics Apprenticeship and a Level 7 MSc Dietetics Apprenticeship. The Level 7 Apprenticeship is available for anyone who already holds a level 6 degree. The most popular route is the Level 6 Dietetics Degree Apprenticeship.


Institutes who offer Dietetic Degree Apprenticeships are (as of March 2024):

Teesside University

Coventry University (CU Apprenticeships ‘Better Futures’ Limited)

Sheffield Hallam University

"This apprenticeship...has provided me with many great opportunities to progress both academically and in practice, while also enabling me to link in with other dietetic apprentices from around the country. Spending some time as a dietetic assistant aided me with my application and has put me in the best possible place to make the most of the course."
Ben Sanders, Dietetic Apprentice

Who is eligible and what are the entry requirements?

A Dietetic Degree Apprenticeship is available to anyone who’s employed in a dietetic assistant/assistant practitioner/support worker role however you must be supported by your employer to undertake the apprenticeship. An employer can offer a new job for a dietetic apprenticeship these are usually advertised on NHS Jobs. Each higher education institute will have their own specific qualification/experience entry requirements but generally these are:

  • 5 GCSEs grades A to C (including Maths and English)
  • A Level 3 qualification (for example three A levels or a BTEC)
  • A qualification relating to dietetics.
  • Some relevant experience (ideally 6 months)

"Apprenticeships have opened up an exciting new route into the Dietetics profession. Creating opportunities for work based learning and studying at the same time." Cecile Jones RD (Course Lead BSc (Hons) Dietetics Apprenticeship, Teesside University)

What criteria is covered in a dietetic apprenticeship?

The modules in the apprenticeship vary in each higher educational institute, with a mixture of taught lessons, practical sessions and placements. Listed are some examples of the modules:

  • Professional Practice
  • Health and Wellbeing in Professional Practice
  • Human Nutrition
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Structure and Function for Allied Health Professions
  • Food Science and Systems
  • Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology
  • Nutrition and Dietetic Practice
  • Pharmacology for Dietetic Practice

Next steps?

If you are interested in following a career as a Dietitian and would like to undertake a Degree Apprenticeship in Dietetics, visit NHS Jobs to find an advertised Apprenticeship or contact an employer directly to discuss potential job progression options.

In the meantime, explore some of our Dietitian's stories of how they became Dietitians and where it has led them in their careers.

Inspirational Stories