Course specification and structure
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PDDIETND - PGD Dietetics and Nutrition

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Postgraduate Diploma Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 120
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Health Sciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 MONTHS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

Teaching and learning is integrated with the assessment strategy. Delivery is through a combination of lectures, practical sessions, seminars, tutorials, case studies and workshops. The teaching team comprises university staff as well as experts from the dietetic profession and elsewhere. Students are expected to complement formal teaching with self directed reading and completion of specified assignments. Students are encouraged to use all open spaces of study available to them within North campus.

The lecture programme provides the underpinning theoretical foundation in the subject area and thinking skills are developed through complementary activities including practical classes, case studies, workshops, seminars, tutorials, assignments and practice based learning. Kitchen, laboratory and nutrition practicals are carried out in the Science Centre utilising the Health and Well Being Centre, the Nutritional Physiology Lab, the Super lab and the Food Technology Lab

Course aims

  1. To provide a sound scientific base in all those subjects necessary for a deep understanding of the issues and concepts related to human nutrition and dietetics.
  2. To develop the students’ powers of analysis, synthesis and evaluation, and the ability to integrate knowledge from contributing disciplines.
  3. To develop a critical approach to existing knowledge in human nutrition and dietetics.
  4. To develop the skills, knowledge and professional practice required to demonstrate the standards of proficiency for dietitians and to promote a reflective approach to practice.
  5. To prepare students to become effective learners and practitioners in all fields of dietetic practice.
  6. To develop an appreciation of the expanding role of the dietitian both inside and outside of the NHS.
  7. Successful completion of the course will ensure that the graduate capabilities of a newly qualified dietitian are met.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students will be able, with individuals, groups and populations, to:

  1. Appraise the relevant biological, social and food sciences to practice dietetics safely and effectively.
  2. Justify nutrition & dietetic diagnoses
  3. Evaluate and analyse nutrition and dietetic need using relevant anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, dietary and environmental information
  4. Defend, design, implement, monitor and evaluate innovative nutritional care plans including in challenging situation.
  5. Critically evaluate nutrition & dietetic practice, theory and research
  6. Evaluate individual behaviour at university and during placements to ensure it meets with all current professional guidance
  7. Communicate effectively in all areas of dietetic practice
  8. Appraise and reflect on current dietetic practice
  9. Demonstrate the skills required to meet the standards of proficiency for dietitians.
  10. Understand what is required of them by the Health and Care Professions Council and be able to practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of the dietetics profession.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

1. Appraise the relevant biological, social and food sciences to practice dietetics safely and effectively (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
NF7012 Assessment of Nutritional Status in Developed Countries
NF7039 Nutrition, Food Science and Catering
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7037 Advanced Pathology & Clinical Management of Disease
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

2. Justify nutrition & dietetic diagnoses (A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

3. Evaluate and analyse nutrition and dietetic need using relevant anthropometric, biochemical, clinical, dietary and environmental information (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
NF7012 Assessment of Nutritional Status in Developed Countries
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7037 Advanced Pathology & Clinical Management of Disease
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

4. Defend, design, implement, monitor and evaluate innovation nutritional care plans including in challenging situations (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7037 Advanced Pathology & Clinical Management of Disease
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

5. Critically evaluate nutrition & dietetic practice, theory and research (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
NF7012 Assessment of Nutritional Status in Developed Countries
NF7039 Nutrition, Food Science and Catering
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7037 Advanced Pathology & Clinical Management of Disease
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

6. Evaluate individual behaviour at university and during placements to ensure it meets with all current professional guidance (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
NF7012 Assessment of Nutritional Status in Developed Countries
NF7039 Nutrition, Food Science and Catering
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7037 Advanced Pathology & Clinical Management of Disease
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

7. Communicate effectively in all areas of dietetic practice (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7037 Advanced Pathology & Clinical Management of Disease
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

8. Appraise and reflect on current dietetic practice (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7037 Advanced Pathology & Clinical Management of Disease
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

9. Demonstrate the skills required to meet the standards of proficiency for dietitians (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
NF7039 Nutrition, Food Science and Catering
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

10. Understand what is required of them by the Health Professions Council and be able to practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of the dietetics profession. (A1, A2, A3):

NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)
NF7039 Nutrition, Food Science and Catering
PD2W21 Placement 1
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)
NF7038 Public Health & Epidemiology
PD2W22N Placement 2
PD2024 Preparation for Placement 3
PD2W23N Placement 3

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including practical reports, case studies, poster and oral presentations, collation of portfolios, in-class tests, end of semester exams and scientific reports
Students must obtain at least 50% to pass individual modules. In addition students must usually obtain at least 45% in each component of assessment within core modules. A mark of between 45% and 49% may be compensated by other components.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes three compulsory placements in designated placement sites (DI5W51 Placement 1; DI6W52 Placement 2; DI6W63 Placement 3). Placement 1 normally consists of 2 weeks in the January period of the first semester. Placement 2 is normally 12 weeks duration and occurs in the summer period of the first year. Placement 3 is normally 14 weeks and occurs in the final autumn semester. The placements do not provide students with academic credit but a pass is essential to enable an application for registration with the HCPC. The expected length of time required to complete the PG Dip in Dietetics & Nutrition is eighteen months.

Course specific regulations

To qualify for the award of PG Dip in Dietetics & Nutrition with eligibility to apply for registration as a Dietitian, the student must:

1. Satisfy the requirements for the award as laid out in the University Postgraduate Award Scheme.

2. Attain all the learning outcomes necessary for registration. This is defined as follows:

  1. Pass all core modules for the qualification.
  2. Pass all the placement preparation and placement modules (modules with prefix DI).
  3. For the placement preparation module DI6W64 a pass at 40% is required.

Successfully complete the three practice placements (DI5W51, DI6W52, DI6W63) at approved institutions as demonstrated by satisfactory student portfolio.

3. Criminal Convictions
All students must comply with the British Dietetic Association and Health and Care Professions Council guidelines on Criminal Convictions and Cautions. Students will be required to submit an application for clearance to work with vulnerable adults and children through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Students with criminal convictions will be counselled individually and in confidence about the possibility of them continuing on the course.

4. Health Requirements
Students must have been cleared for non-EPP activities by an approved Occupational Health Service prior to starting placement 1. Where significant health problems have arisen additional occupational health assessment(s) may be required.

5. Placement Regulations
5.1 DI5W51 Placement 1

In order to be eligible to undertake Placement 1 students should normally have passed:

  1. Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering from the Charted Institute of Environmental Health Officers or equivalent qualification.
  2. *Pass NF7039, Nutrition, Food Science and Catering

Students must have enhanced DBS clearance and have been cleared for non-EPP activities by an approved Occupational Health Service.

*For the purposes of eligibility for Placement 1 a provisional pass prior to Subject Standards Board approval will be accepted.

Failure of Placement 1
If an individual student fails to achieve the learning outcomes of placement 1 the student should be not normally be allowed a retake of placement 1. During the placement, timely feedback on performance will be provided, giving opportunity for improvement. If the student is at risk of failing they will be given at least one warning that they are not achieving the required standard of performance and that their place on the course is at risk.
A suitable alternative course is normally MSc Human Nutrition (Public Health/Sports). If transferred the student would no longer be eligible for funding from Health Education England and would have to apply for funding for the alternative course through Student Finance. Students, should in this instance seek advice from student services.
Students will have the right to appeal this decision through normal University appeals processes.

5.2 DI6W52 Placement 2

In order to be eligible to undertake the Placement 2, students should normally have passed:

  1. DI5W51 Placement 1*
  2. NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (Groups)*
  3. NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (Individuals)*

NF7037 Advanced Pathology and Clinical Management of Disease*

Demonstrated an adequate command of both written and spoken English (as described in HCPC Standards of Proficiency and British Dietetic Association (2013) Curriculum Framework)

*For the purposes of eligibility for Placement 2 a provisional pass prior to Subject Standards Board approval will be accepted.

5.3 DI6W63 Placement 3

In order to be eligible to undertake Placement 3 in a healthcare setting, students must normally have passed:

  1. DI6W52 Placement 2 and thus the pre-requisites for this*
  2. DI6W64 Preparation for Placement *

*For the purposes of eligibility for Placement 3 a provisional pass prior to Subject Standards Board approval will be accepted.

5.4 Attendance on Placement

Students should attend 100% of the placement. If sickness results in absence from placement, students will be expected to make up an agreed number of hours or repeat the placement, subject to discussion between the HEI and lead practice educator. This will take into account current performance and potential effects on future progression. Any occupational health requirements related to prolonged sickness absence should be managed through the HEI provision.

5.5 Failure of placement pre-requisites and reassessments during placement

  1. Students who fail subjects that are university pre-requisites for placement will not normally be allowed to progress to placement. Following successful completion of pre-requisites by the student, a placement will usually be allocated in the next allocation cycle (i.e. they will join the cohort of students in the year below).
  2. Students who have met the academic pre-requisites for placement, but require reassessments in other modules, may not be able to progress to placement 2 and 3. Students should not normally take re-assessments during the placement period but may take a maximum of one reassessment component with the prior agreement of the practice educator and placement tutor.

5.6 Procedures in the Event of Placement Failure

  1. General procedures in the event of failure of modules from the University Postgraduate Scheme are detailed in the scheme regulations. In addition, the following regulations apply to the PGDip Dietetics & Nutrition:
  2. Students failing to successfully complete placement 2 or 3 may be eligible for additional training weeks as guided by the BDA (2013) Curriculum Framework i.e. students will not be allowed to extend their placements by more than a total of 500 hours (14 weeks) over the three placements.
  3. Students who have not met four or more learning outcomes will be considered as having failed their placement and will be entitled to apply for a full repeat placement through the repeat placement panel process.
  4. If students have failed to meet up to three learning outcomes at the end of placement 2 or 3, they will normally be allowed to extend by up to 4 weeks (within the total limit, see point 1.) The decision to extend their placement will be taken in consultation with the student, placement educator and tutor. The student should normally complete extended placement weeks at the site where they completed their original placement.
  5. If following an extension to placement, the student has still failed to meet all of the learning outcomes, they will be entitled to apply for a repeat placement.
  6. The decision to allocate students a repeat placement will be made by the Repeat Placement Panel. The panel will consist of the external examiner for the dietetics courses, a dietetic practice educator who is a member of the placement sub set, the dietetics placements tutor and the dietetics course leader. In addition to this the panel may also include members of academic staff who are involved in the delivery of dietetic placement education in London.
  7. The decision to allocate a repeat placement will be based on the total hours allowed (see point 1), the student’s ability to acknowledge the reasons for the initial failure, the action taken to address the issues for failure and the student’s engagement with a remedial programme.
  8. If the panel decides not to allocate a student a repeat placement they will be either transferred to a suitable alternative course or awarded with the most suitable alternative qualification.

6. Aegrotat degrees
As stipulated by the HCPC, academic regulations relating to the award of an aegrotat degree do not apply to this course.

7. Maximum time from entry to qualification
The British Dietetic Association stipulates that the maximum time from entry to qualification should normally be four years.

8. Consent
Where students participate as service users in practical and clinical teaching, consent must be obtained. Students will be required to consent to taking part in practical sessions and role play where they participate as a service user. A consent form will be completed during induction to the programme and be kept in the student’s personal record. If students decline to participate in practical and clinical teaching, students will have access to the taught material through observation of reusable learning objects such as techniques in taking anthropometric measurements and patient consultations. Students will be required to demonstrate an ability to reflect on the taught material.

9. Fitness to Practise
The University has an obligation to ensure that graduates from Dietetics and Nutrition courses are fit to practise. This means that a person has the skills, knowledge character and health to undertake their professional role safely and effectively.
If the University becomes aware of an issue regarding a student’s professional capability it may initiate Fitness to Practise proceedings and where

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Students will learn skills in reflective practice and portfolio development during the module Nutrition, Food Science and Catering. Students will be expected to develop their portfolio during the course using it to keep a record of their key learning experiences. They will be required to use this portfolio as evidence of learning during their placements and the portfolio will be used as evidence of assessment of competent practice at the appropriate standard for learning on placement.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

Students have access to careers information and guidance throughout the course and during placement. Students seek jobs as dietitians mainly in the NHS. More job opportunities are becoming available in the private sector, local authorities and in charitable organisations such as Diabetes UK and Coeliac UK.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

Employers have both a strategic and operational role in developing and running the course. The subset of placement providers and employers give advice and support regarding academic and practice-based dietetic education for London. The scope of the group includes pre- and post-registration dietetic education; inter professional learning, workforce planning and role re-design.
Specialist dietitians in London are also involved in delivering specialist aspects of the course to ensure currency of information.
Representatives of the teaching team meet regularly and formally with the Dietetic Student Placement Leads. Practical issues relating to placement education are discussed to ensure consistent placement experiences and assessment for all London dietetic students. In addition to the development of resources and protocols student leads are involved with other key stakeholders in addressing placement capacity, allocation and quality issues. Ideas are shared across London to strengthen training support, serving as a forum for communication amongst London dietetic student training leads and the HEIs.
Service users (representative patients who regularly access dietetic services) are involved in the strategic direction and delivery of the course. This is through a focus group of service users who approve recruitment strategies, changes to the course delivery and through involvement in relevant assessment processes such as those assessments regarding communication skills.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)..

Career opportunities

Dietitians work help manage the health and nutritional needs of individuals, communities and populations. This postgraduate diploma will provide you with the core knowledge and skills needed to work in a wide variety of areas, such as public health and health promotion, nutrition related disease and/or disease related malnutrition management and primary care management involving dietary needs in patients with long-term health conditions.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • 2:1 or above honours degree in suitable life science subjects including biomedical science, human nutrition, nutritional science, biochemistry, physiology, human biology and pharmacology
  • a substantive component of biochemistry and human physiology is required in these degrees, including cell biology concerning cell structure and intracellular activities; concepts of cell theory;
    an understanding of the fundamentals of biological chemistry required for the study of biosciences at a higher level; key biochemical molecules and their role in cellular activities; physiological processes concentrating on the organ and systems level
  • A level Chemistry and Biology both at grade C
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)
  • significant nutrition-related work experience (paid or voluntary) within a health or social care setting
  • an enhanced DBS Check for the adult's and children's workforce
  • clearance for non-exposure prone procedures (EPP) by an approved occupational health service

You will be required to pass a London Met interview demonstrating values that promote compassion, dignity and respect, as well as attend a dietetic career event.

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

Nutritional science

Normally, successful applicants will have studied nutritional science at Level 5 in their degree. A nutritional studies component at degree level covers the basis of nutritional science including macro and micro nutrients and their role in the diet, the nutritional composition of foods and the links between diet and disease.

Prospective applicants who have not studied nutritional science are advised to take a module of an additional 15 credits at Level 5 in nutrition in order to meet the requirement to have studied nutritional science. London Met also offers an online course on the Fundamentals of Human Nutrition.

Applicant checklist

In order to make a valid application, you need to include the following:

  • details and evidence of all academic qualifications including GCSE and A level subjects and grades (or equivalent) prior to enrolment
  • transcripts of relevant degrees - your application cannot be processed without these and will be returned to you if they are absent
  • two references - details must be provided and reference documents can be uploaded onto your application when received, bearing in mind it is your responsibility to chase these as no offer can be made without them a completed personal statement that must contain information on your interest, understanding of, and suitability for the dietetic profession - a weak personal statement makes you unlikely to be shortlisted for interview
  • include details of your work experience (paid or voluntary), attendance at a career event or related activities and employment history

Please note: only one application is permitted per entry point. Resubmissions will not be considered.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes B410 (Dietetics): 100%
Route code DIETND

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
DI5W51 Placement 1 Core 0        
DI6W52 Placement 2 Core 0        
DI6W63 Placement 3 Core 0        
DI6W64 Preparation for Placement Core 0        
NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (G... Core 20        
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (I... Core 20        
NF7037 Advanced Pathology and Clinical Management of D... Core 20        
NF7038 Public Health and Epidemiology Core 20 NORTH SPR MON AM
NF7039 Nutrition, Food Science and Catering Core 20 NORTH AUT WED PM
          NORTH AUT WED AM
NF7044 Assessment of Nutritional Status Core 20 NORTH AUT FRI AM

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
DI5W51 Placement 1 Core 0        
DI6W52 Placement 2 Core 0        
DI6W63 Placement 3 Core 0        
DI6W64 Preparation for Placement Core 0        
NF7035 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 1 (G... Core 20        
NF7036 Postgraduate Integrated Clinical Dietetics 2 (I... Core 20        
NF7037 Advanced Pathology and Clinical Management of D... Core 20        
NF7038 Public Health and Epidemiology Core 20        
NF7039 Nutrition, Food Science and Catering Core 20        
NF7044 Assessment of Nutritional Status Core 20