Postgraduate Taught

PgDip/ MSc Dietetics (Pre-Registration)

This well-established course which has strong employability rates is for graduates of biological sciences who want to extend their studies into the professional field of dietetics. 

Delivered full-time, the course has a clinical and health promotion focus. It includes three placements and on completion you will be able to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council to work as a dietitian.


Why QMU?

  • The course is well established, extremely popular, well respected throughout the profession, and has good graduate employability rates.
  • The teaching team includes four registered dietitians who have strong links with the dietetic profession both within Scotland and across the UK.
  • The University’s clinically relevant research along with the broad range of experience of the teaching team ensures that the course remains current.

Course overview

This course provides graduates of biological sciences with a route into a fulfilling career, helping people improve their quality of life.

Dietetics is the management of diseases that are amenable to dietary intervention, and the prevention of nutrition-related disorders. A dietitian influences food selection and eating behaviour of an individual based on specific nutritional or food requirements.

As a dietitian, you will translate scientific information about nutrition into practical advice to help people make health-conscious decisions about food. You’ll assess, diagnose and treat diet-related problems and aim to raise awareness of the link between food, health and disease to prevent future problems and treat existing nutrition-related problems. Dietitians are a key part of the healthcare team and are the only nutrition professionals to be statutorily regulated.

The course takes you through a clinically and practically focused study of disease, health, food and nutrition. With a clinical and health promotion focus, the course includes three practice-based placements which allow students to apply and consolidate their theoretical learning.

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)


To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit bearing modules. You can opt to study for the full MSc or a PgDip. 

Teaching, learning and assessment

The emphasis is on student-centred learning where your previous knowledge and skills are used to develop your new subject area. Learning activities include lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes and are guided using web-based supporting materials. You will also attend three practical placements to enable the integration of theoretical knowledge with practical experience.

A variety of assessment methods are used across the course. A small cohort ensures that individuals receive excellent support and benefit from sharing their experiences with classmates.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module is equivalent to a notional 150 hours of work, which is made up of attendance in class and independent work. The structure of each module is different with different attendance requirements for each timetabled module. Over an average semester the expectation is that during 14 weeks of teaching this will equate to approximately 40 hours per week of student effort, including contact classes plus independent study time. Students will normally complete the course via a full-time route.

All placements are completed on a full-time basis, normally Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.


  • Food and Nutrition (15 credits)
  • Principles of Nutrition Science (15 credits)
  • Clinical Sciences (15 credits)
  • Therapeutic Interventions (15 credits)
  • Professional Studies (15 credits)
  • Professional Practice (15 credits)
  • Evaluation of Practice (15 credits)
  • Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetics (15 credits)

You will also carry out practice placements, which you must pass but which do not carry any credit.

If studying for an MSc, you will also complete a dissertation (60 credits).

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (September 2019) but are subject to change. In the event that modules are changed, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD



Placements are randomly allocated as part of a Scottish-wide placement system. They can take place anywhere across Scotland and the costs associated with these are met by the student (ie travel, accommodation).

Links with industry/ professional bodies

This course provides eligibility to apply for registration as a dietitian with the Health and Care Professions Council. It is accredited by the British Dietetic Association.


Career prospects on completion of the course are varied. Most graduates normally choose to work within the NHS as dietitians. Others will work in health education, health promotion, general practice, private healthcare and government advisory posts. Opportunities also exist in the food and pharmaceutical industries in, for example: food labelling; nutrient profiling; product and recipe development; product evaluation and special diet foods. Some graduates may apply for the opportunity to study for a higher degree (MPhil or PhD).

Class sizes

Normally there are 12-15 students enrolling on the course each year.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (normally an upper second class or above) that includes significant emphasis on human physiology and biochemistry. An application should illustrate what has been done by the applicant to research, and understand more about the role of a dietitian. In particular, evidence of understanding the skills, attributes and values required to work as a dietitian should be evident in the application.

Although it can be difficult to get shadowing experience, relevant experience that demonstrates transferable skills to those required by dietitians would be beneficial.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 7.0 and no individual component score below 6.5.

Criminal Records Check: A satisfactory criminal records check will be required.

Application deadline

31 January 2020

More information and contacts

Contact Admissions or Contact Jacklyn Jones on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/2021 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
Full-time: 1 year, 7 months (PgDip)/ 1 year, 10 months (MSc)
Start Date
September 2020
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies

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A Student Story

Dominique Glatt - MSc Dietetics (Pre-Reg) "The MSc Dietetics pushed my boundaries in all directions. I went from researcher to healthcare practitioner. It fulfilled all of my hopes of what the course would teach me, from developing nutritional interventions to diet analysis. It also gave me the practical experience and skills to go confidently into the dietetic world through 26 weeks of external placement within the NHS. It was challenging at times, but I personally never feel like you are learning if something is too easy." Read my student story