Postgraduate Taught

MSc Dietetics (Pre-Registration)

This MSc Dietetics (Pre-Registration) course provides graduates of biological sciences with a route into a fulfilling career, helping people improve their health and wellbeing and their quality of life.

The course has a clinical and health promotion focus and includes three practice placements. On completion you will be able to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work as a dietitian.

Why QMU?

  • Reputation and experience: Dietetic education at QMU is well established, extremely popular and well respected.
  • Employability: The profession and has excellent  graduate employability rates and graduates go on to work in a variety of positions both in the NHS and/or in public health, health promotion, private healthcare, government, academia and in industry.
  • Placements enable you to put your learning into practice: The course delivers theoretical and practical campus based learning with three integrated periods of practice based learning enabling you to develop key knowledge, skills and attributes as a trainee dietitian and to meet and evidence the necessary competence to enable registration with the Health Professions Council
  • Staff expertise: The teaching team includes four  registered dietitians who have strong links with the dietetic profession within Scotland and across the UK.
  • Research ensures relevance: The University’s clinically relevant research, along with the broad range of experience of the teaching team, ensures that the course remains current.
  • Facilities: The University campus offers excellent facilities for learning in relation to this course of studies including simulated clinical skills suites, clinical and biochemistry laboratories and food development laboratories. Practice based learning opportunities are provided within a variety of appropriate NHS facilities and settings.

Who is this course for?

This course is a fast-track route for graduates of biological sciences and/or nutrition who wish to become a dietitian.

More about MSc Dietetics (Pre-Registration) and what you will achieve

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 will 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 that allow students to apply and consolidate their theoretical learning.

Exit awards

MSc (320 credits)


You must complete the full MSc to be eligible to register with the HCPC and work as a dietitian. To be awarded the MSc you will be required to complete 320 academic credits and pass the competency-based practice placements. Single module study is not available.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course delivers theoretical and practical campus based learning with three integrated periods of practice based learning.

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 complete 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 200 hours of work (or multiple thereof), which is made up of attendance in class, online learning 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 students will undertake approximately 40 hours per week of student effort, including contact classes, online learning and independent study time. Students will normally complete the course via a full-time route.

All placements are completed on a full-time basis and in line with the requirements of the dietetic service, normally Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.


Introduction to Dietetic Practice (Placement A) (20 credits) (Includes 2 weeks campus based and 2 weeks practice-based learning): This module will introduce and begin to develop students’ knowledge and awareness of the Dietitians role within health and social care settings.

Essentials of the Dietetic Management (20 credits): This module will provide students with a broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of the dietetic management of disease and to further develop the relevant professional skills and techniques required to effectively and sustainably manage individuals, groups and populations within the context of inter-professional working

Nutrition Through the Life Course (20 credits): This module will allow students to apply and critically evaluate the scientific principles and nutritional needs of individuals throughout the life course and in different sub-groups of the population in the community.

Disease Aetiology and Management (20 credits): This module will promote an integrated knowledge of the common disorders and treatments of the gastrointestinal tract, of renal and cardio-respiratory systems and an understanding of the metabolism and endocrinology of key metabolic disorders.

Dietetic Management of Long-Term Conditions (20 credits): This module will provide students with a critical and integrated knowledge and understanding of the dietetic management of long term conditions children, young people and adults. It will also further develop the relevant professional skills and techniques required to effectively and sustainably manage those living with long term conditions within a multi-professional health and social care landscape.

Epidemiology in Public Health (20 credits): Students will gain a critical and applied understanding of how epidemiological research is used in the field of public health and will be able to analyse and interpret a real-life public health dataset and make recommendations for public health practice/health promotion based on findings.

Developing Dietetic Practice (Placement B) (60 credits) (Includes 12 weeks practice-based learning): This module will enable students to apply their broad and integrated theoretical knowledge and further develop the range of skills needed to work as a Dietitian with a range of client groups and within a range of care settings.

Innovative and Emerging Practice (40 credits): This module will provide students with an applied and critical knowledge and understanding of innovative and emerging dietetic practice.

Consolidating Dietetic Practice (Placement C) (60 credits) (Includes 12 weeks practice-based learning): This module will enable students to become competent in translating theory into practice to demonstrate competency in the range of skills required to work as a graduate Dietitian.

Applying Skills of Critical Enquiry (40 credits): The module aims to enable learners to develop and apply the skills of research and enquiry to produce a small scale study which demands a professional approach, academic rigour, independence and self-direction.

The modules listed are correct at time of posting  (October 2022) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

Not available


You will complete three periods of placement. 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 (eg travel and accommodation).

Industry links/accreditation/professional registration

This course provides eligibility to apply for registration as a dietitian with the HCPC and 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 (ProfDoc or PhD).

Class sizes

Normally there are 12-15 students enrolling on the course each year. Most of the classes are delivered with our undergraduate Master of Dietetics (MDiet) students.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (minimum upper second class honours (2:1) or above is required 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.

Where an applicant has an undergraduate degree in a related subject but does not have the required biological science content they can be considered for entry to the course if they can demonstrate the appropriate skill development in their undergraduate degree (eg nursing or psychology degree) and they complete the biological science content in Years One and Two of the undergraduate Master of Dietetics (MDiet) course as an associate student (consisting of two modules in semester 1 and one module in semester 2). This would then permit entry into the MSc Dietetics (pre-registration) course the following year.

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

International: 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

End of January 2023

More information and contacts

Contact Admissions or Alison Lyles (Programme Leader)

Course presentation 2022

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/2024 Entry - Terms and Conditions

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Course Overview

On campus at QMU, online and in the practice setting
2 years full-time
Start Date
September 2023
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

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