Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Biomedical Sciences
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
BSc Hons Dietetics produces graduates who are eligible to apply for registration as a Dietitian with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
The programme provides training for careers in dietetics. Registered Dietitians (RDs) are uniquely qualified to translate scientific information about food into practical dietary advice.
The programme is mainly taught by academic staff from the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), a world-renowned research centre in the School of Biomedical Sciences. NICHE undertakes fundamental research to understand the links between diet and human development. In particular research is focused on exploring the role of nutrition and diet in obesity, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and ageing. NICHE researchers engage with a large number of local and international stakeholders including colleagues from the Health Service, Academia and Industry as well as the general public.
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As well as providing impartial advice about nutrition and health, dietitians are also involved in the prevention and treatment of nutrition-related problems and in the dietary treatment of disease. The programme provides a sound background in nutrition, the scientific study of the foods we eat, the nutrients contained in foods, the fate of the nutrients when they are eaten and the effect of diet on health and well-being.
The programme therefore includes the study of the science of nutrition and dietetics, the supportive sciences of chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, biology, immunology, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, food science, epidemiology and statistics, as well as inputs from the social sciences, such as sociology, psychology, communication and management.
The number of places available on the dietetics course is limited by the availability of dietetics clinical placements.
Attendance is on a full time basis and is compulsory.
Assessment methods include formal examinations, class tests and structured coursework.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
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Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.
At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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This module is designed to introduce students to the fundamental biochemical pathways, an understanding of which are necessary for the further study of life and health sciences. The structure, function and metabolism of biological macromolecules and the regulation of the pathways involved in their metabolism are discussed in detail
This module provides an introduction to the study of human physiology and anatomy to underpin further study of the pathophysiology in health and disease.
This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the cellular basis of life and the relevance of studies of cell structure and function at the molecular level to human disease. In addition, it will provide a foundation for further studies in genetics, microbiology, histology and biochemistry.
This module introduces general descriptive, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry and the principles underlying chemical properties and reactions of simple organic and inorganic compounds with applications to pharmacology.
This module aims to provide students with the basic skills and techniques required to work safely in a laboratory setting, which underpins further study and practice in the life and health sciences.
This module introduces the basic scientific concepts of human nutrition and the principles of healthy eating, along with an introduction to learning in a university setting, including scientific information retrieval and handling. It also introduces the basic statistical methods essential to scientific analysis and the use of selective software packages for the analysis and presentation of data. Teaching methods include lectures, computer laboratory classes and tutorials.
The focus of this module is to introduce psychological perspectives to examine contemporary health issues. The module will introduce students to the field of health psychology, and provide an awareness of the role of psychological theory to understand health behaviour. Important themes are the relationships between human behaviour and health outcomes, and the importance of psychological processes to understand and change health behaviours.
This module is designed to provide an understanding in clinical biochemistry sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences.
This module is designed to provide understanding of key concepts in pathology sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences
This module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the key concepts in immunology sufficient to underpin further study in the biomedical sciences
The module provides an integrated overview of food science and technology including principles of food processing, structure and chemistry of food components, elements of food microbiology and food safety hazards. Students are introduced to some commercial constraints relevant to the large-scale production of food that is affordable, palatable and safe.
This module is designed to provide understanding of key concepts in epidemiology and statistics sufficient to underpin further study in nutrition science.
This module is designed to promote an understanding of the fundamentals of nutritional assessment through directed learning on anthropometry, body composition and dietary assessment methodologies. Students will gain practical skills in the measurement and collection of anthropometry and dietary intake data.
This module discusses the changing nature of nutritional requirements and determinants of food selection through the human life cycle.
This module introduces Nutrition students to the basic concepts of Pharmacology, Genetics and Microbiology, sufficient to underpin further study.
This module uses formal teaching methods incorporating practical and skills based learning to prepare the learners for practice-based learning experiences and for a professional career.
This module provides a broad overview of the concepts of health, health belief, health promotion and behavioural change and the sociological factors that influence that food related behaviour. It focuses on strategies for planning and evaluation of current health promotion and nutrition education, the scientific evidence behind nutrition policies and the principles of food labelling.
This module discusses the biochemical roles of the essential nutrients in metabolism, the possible aetiologies of major chronic diseases together with postulated nutritional involvement in the disease mechanisms. In addition, the module also reinforces for students the concept of nutrigenomics and the role of nutrition at the molecular level.
This module discusses the aetiology, prevention, dietary management and treatment of common nutrition-related diseases and nutrition support.
This module provides an integrated study of the role of diet therapy in the treatment of disease. Building on the concepts developed in module NUT503 Clinical Nutrition in semester 1, it explores the rationale for and application of dietary modifications for patients with specific diseases and the means of evaluating dietary treatments. This knowledge is integrated with an understanding of the medical aspects of common disease states.
This module gives an integrated overview of nutrition and food research (which includes sports nutrition) as the basis for advancing knowledge to inform practice in dietetics, the production and promotion of foods for commerce and health, and future research. The value of the scientific literature, and the rationale and inherent limitations of research are explained. Quantitative research methodology and a selected range of experimental approaches are described and critically evaluated. The module includes practical sessions, seminars, tutorials, a literature review, and a presentation.
This module provides experience of the research process and involves the final planning, organisation, conduct, critical analysis and reporting of a substantial, independent, original, research study undertaken in the field of Food & Nutrition, Human Nutrition, Sports Nutrition and Dietetics under the supervision of a member of academic or academic related staff.
This is a 14-week practice-based learning module within a dietetics department approved for training learners, incorporating tutorials and seminars as appropriate. It will allow learners to begin developing the skills and knowledge required for safe and effective dietetic practice.
This module is a 14-week practice based module within an integrated health care setting and/or public health environment approved for training dietetic learners. This module incorporates practical experience with solution-focused tutorials and seminars using model and process for nutrition and dietetics practice to integrate theory and practice. It will allow learners to demonstrate competency in the skills and knowledge required for effective and safe dietetics practice with transferable employability skills to work in a patient-centred manner to demonstrate clinical competency and become a competent practitioner who can deliver effective, evidence-based and quality-driven care.
This module allows learners to demonstrate clinical competence by the application and integration of academic and learning from practice based experiences completed throughout the course.
This module allows students to demonstrate competence in professional dietetics practice by the integration of academic and practice-based learning modules completed throughout the programme.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Grades BBB (to include 2 subjects from Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biology, Nutrition & Food Science of which Chemistry is preferred). Single Award Life & Health Sciences is accepted as a science subject along with a second science from A Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Applied Science Double Award and Life & Health Sciences Double Award are acceptable.
BTEC Award profile of D (to include subject requirements) plus A Level Grades BB to include 1 core science subject from above.
Science-based BTECs only - contact Admissions Office for details
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
Award profile of DDD (to meet subject requirements)
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma
Award profile of DDM (acceptable optional units 8 - 14, 17 - 22)
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma
Award profile of DD (to meet subject requirements) plus A Level Grade B
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
Award profile of DM (acceptable optional units 8 - 14, 17 - 22) plus A Level Grade B
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma
Award profile of D (to include 3 distinctions and subject requirements) plus A Level Grades BB
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
Award profile of D (acceptable optional units 8 - 14)) plus A Level Grades BB to include 1 science from Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics or Biology.
120 UCAS Tariff Points at Irish Higher level grade profile H3, H3, H3, H3, H3 to include 2 subjects from Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Home Economics.
If Maths is not passed at H3, you will be required to achieve a minimum of Grade H6 if studied at Higher Level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level. Applicants are also required to have English grade H6 or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 26 points to include at least 13 at higher level and to include two subjects from Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Home Economics at Higher level.
Higher or Subsidiary level in English Language and Maths at Grade 4 or above.
Pass Access course with an overall mark of 65% to include a minimum of 65% in all level 3 modules (only science-based programmes are acceptable).
You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first-degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at grade C (or grade 4) or above (or equivalent).
You must also hold GCSE passes at grade C (or grade 4) or above in Mathematics and Chemistry or Double Award Science.
Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Essential / Key Skill in Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.
English language requirements for students whose first language is not English
The minimum requirement is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5. Graduates must be able to communicate in English to the equivalent of IELTS level 7 with no element below 6.5 to apply for registration with HCPC.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Acceptable alternative qualifications include:
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 distinctions in level 5 credits/units may be specified
Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 4 credits/units may be specified
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:
2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma
OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma
2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
A Level and BTEC National Diploma
Entry to the course is to year 1 only.
As part of the selection method applicants will be required to undertake a successful video interview. Interviews will occur after the 26 January 2022 deadline.
Entry to Dietetics is also subject to a satisfactory criminal records check (AccessNI) and medical.
In order to ensure your safety and to permit you to fully avail of the many learning opportunities provided throughout the course it is important that you have the relevant vaccinations. Not having some vaccinations may exclude you from specific types of placements or projects.
Information on the various relevant vaccinations will be made available to you at Induction (Week1). You will also be asked questions about your vaccinations on a Health Declaration form completed prior to registration. Vaccinations will be administered by the campus nurse and will incur a small charge.
As this is a professionally validated programme, exemptions and transferability are not normally considered.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
The academic content of the programme, together with the experience gained from placement, leads to excellent employment opportunities in the National Health Service as well as the food industry, health promotion or in nutrition overseas. There are also opportunities for suitably qualified graduates to pursue higher degrees (MSc, MRes, MPhil, PhD) through further taught studies and/or research at both this University or at other institutions of higher education and research.
On completion of all the academic components in Year 3, students underake 2 x 14 week Dietetics Clinical Placements at approved settings.
Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a dietitian.
Accredited by the British Dietetic Association (BDA) as delivering the approved pre-registration curriculum framework. Provides eligibility to apply for HCPC registration as a dietitian.
Students who gain an average mark of greater that 70% are eligible to be included on the annual Dean's List in years 1 and 2.
Prizes are awarded for the best overall student in final year, the best final year research project and the student who performs best in final post clinical Dietetics placement examinations.
All students are health screened and must get the appropriate vaccinations. The health screening and vaccination programme will cost approx. £35 - 155 depending on the vaccinations required.
The criminal record check through AccessNI currently costs £33.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Course Director: Dr Caomhan Logue
Wendy Kearney, Admissions Office, Coleraine