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Top tips for UCAS applications for dietetics courses

17th December 2019

British Dietetics Association logo

As the UCAS deadline gets closer, here’s some advice for those thinking of applying to become a dietitian, from Eleanor Johnstone RD, Policy Officer in the Education and Professional Development team at the British Dietetic Association.

  • Show a passion for the science of nutrition, not just food. Dietetics is a science and you need to show your interest in biology and chemistry, as well as your love of cooking and eating! 
  • Communication skills are key. It seems obvious that you should make sure your application and statement are well written, but its especially important in dietetics. Communication is one of our most important skills and absolutely vital when working with service-users and other healthcare professionals. Provide examples of when you have needed to be an effective communicator and the outcome of this.
  • Try to get some experience in health and care. If you can show that you’ve done some volunteering or work experience, even in an unrelated area, that will be a bonus. Dietetics is a clinical discipline; you will be working in healthcare environments during clinical placements and may choose this as a career path.
  • Dietitians are evidence-based – we appraise up-to-date research and translate this into practical guidance for service users. Explain in your application what areas of research you are interested in and when you have appraised this (you could use previous assignments as an example).
  • Make it a successful application – if the university you are applying to has included a person specification, refer to each point in your personal statement. Evidence (with examples) how you meet each section to show that you are the candidate they are looking for. You can use examples from a range of experiences, including: your personal life, employment, voluntary/shadowing work and your education.

More about Eleanor Johnstone RD

Eleanor works the British Dietetic Association. Before that she worked in clinical roles in Yorkshire and continues to work as a practicing dietitian in Oxfordshire. 

“Dietetics is a fantastic and varied career, and you could find yourself working in industry, public health, research, education or the media as well as clinical settings. We look forward to welcoming you.”

To find out more about studying dietetics visit the BDA website:

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