The Student Room Group

Nutritionist or dietician?

Hi, I'd like to hear from people either studying or in nutrition and dietetics careers.
I'm really confused as to what career path to go for and the difference between the two and what I need to get there.
I'd love to be in a career where I can help people directly with their nutrition or weight goals (potentially within the NHS or private health care). I was looking at doing the human nutrition and health degree at Sheffield hallam as it's the only one within reach on the list of accredited programmes on the AfN website (to become a registered nutritionist) but now I'm wondering if in order to work with people on a professional level I need to be a registered dietician not just a nutritionist which means an extra degree as far as I can tell and as an older student, time is not on my side. Im also currently having doubts about the validity of the title 'nutritionist', I currently run a recipe website so I'm familiar with the online circles surrounding that and all too often you hear things like "anyone can be a nutritionist, it doesn't mean anything" and if that's the case, why am I spending nearly £30k to earn that title. I don't want to work that hard just to not be taken seriously at the end. Can anybody offer me any guidance because I feel so lost at the moment and I don't know who to ask for advice.
Original post by AshleeB123
Hi, I'd like to hear from people either studying or in nutrition and dietetics careers.
I'm really confused as to what career path to go for and the difference between the two and what I need to get there.
I'd love to be in a career where I can help people directly with their nutrition or weight goals (potentially within the NHS or private health care). I was looking at doing the human nutrition and health degree at Sheffield hallam as it's the only one within reach on the list of accredited programmes on the AfN website (to become a registered nutritionist) but now I'm wondering if in order to work with people on a professional level I need to be a registered dietician not just a nutritionist which means an extra degree as far as I can tell and as an older student, time is not on my side. Im also currently having doubts about the validity of the title 'nutritionist', I currently run a recipe website so I'm familiar with the online circles surrounding that and all too often you hear things like "anyone can be a nutritionist, it doesn't mean anything" and if that's the case, why am I spending nearly £30k to earn that title. I don't want to work that hard just to not be taken seriously at the end. Can anybody offer me any guidance because I feel so lost at the moment and I don't know who to ask for advice.


There is a good explanation on the UCL website:

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/study/subjects/nutrition-and-dietetics-degrees/what-difference-between-dietician-and-nutritionist

I would recommend contacting your local hospital to see if you can get some shadowing experience for both roles. Just a day with each should be enough to help you understand the role and responsibilities of each job. Also, search Youtube for 'day in the life of a dietician' videos, which are produced by NHS trusts. Do the same for nutritionist.

A note in terms of funding if you already have a degree; dietetics, or dietetics with nutrition courses are considered to be exception courses so you would be entitled to undergraduate funding (both tuition fee and maintenance loans). Nutrition courses are not exceptions. Also, the NHS Learning Support Fund provides support for dietetics but not nutrition courses.

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-learning-support-fund-lsf

Don't worry about your age - healthcare courses attract a lot of mature students and we've had a several on TSR in their 50s. :smile:

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