Dominique Glatt, 28, from Tweedsmuir in the Scottish Borders, recently completed an MSc Dietetics at QMU.

Before coming to study at QMU, Dominique completed an undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Virginia in the USA, where she was first introduced to the study of nutrition and dietetics. To support her studies, Dominique was appointed as a laboratory technician in a cardiovascular disease (CVD) research laboratory and as a teaching assistant for the introductory Human Nutrition course at the University of Virginia.

Dominique also has an MSc Human Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Aberdeen, as well as work experience as a research assistant for the Rowett Institute and as a researcher for Aberdeen-based biotech company, Scotia Biologics Ltd.

Why did you decide to study MSc Dietetics at QMU?

Nutrition has always fascinated me. As an undergraduate it was more from a scientific perspective, but as I continued to study nutrition I became more aware of the gap between the researcher and the public, which I wanted to explore.

The MSc Human Nutrition and Metabolism gave me the foundation to become a nutritionist. However, to become a nutritional expert and be able to treat and nutritionally diagnose patients, I knew I would need a degree in dietetics. I was also looking for opportunities that are available as a qualified and registered dietitian, to work within the NHS or have my own clients one day.

QMU makes a significant contribution to nutritional research in Scotland and the world. It advances professional practice, including dietetics, by providing solid foundations for evidence-based practice, making its research not only notable but directly beneficial to healthcare and the wider public. The University is also a true practitioner of service-based research, with QMU’s eResearch programme further promoting free public access to published research.

QMU’s purpose-built campus is easily commutable by train from Edinburgh city centre, where I live, and allowed me to work and study in a supportive and friendly environment.

How do you think the MSc Dietetics equipped you with the knowledge and skills to pursue your chosen career?

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.

What support have you had studying at QMU?

My Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) gave me all of the reassurance I needed during the teaching part of the course and was always there if I needed a chat. The course supervisors and teachers always make themselves available for any queries and even e-mail us about job or volunteering opportunities.

While on placement, you also have the constant guidance and input from your supervising dietitians. My supervisor is always there if needed through the MSc project portion of the degree.

As an MSc degree, there is an emphasis on independent study, but I always found QMU staff to respond very quickly and were willing to help.

What was your favourite part of the MSc Dietetics?

I would say the final work placement was my favourite part of the course. I got to practice independently as a student dietitian and everything I’d been taught came together. It was really exciting and enjoyable and I knew I’d made the right choice by studying dietetics.

Did you work whilst studying?

Me and my classmates did some freelance nutrition writing for a website, which took up around eight hours per month.

Would you recommend QMU to future dietetics students and why?

Yes, 100%. QMU is one of only two Scottish universities to offer a MSc Dietetics and it provides the excellent education required to become a progressive dietetic practitioner.

What are you doing now that you have graduated?

I am now a first-year dietetics and nutrition PhD candidate at QMU; researching the effects of Vitamin D status and exercise in healthy adults and a clinical population. Doing a PhD was a career path I had always hoped for, however, the opportunity presented itself earlier than expected. Too keep up with my dietetic skills I have attended several nutrition and dietetic conferences, given "healthy eating" presentations, done a little freelance writing, and have started a professional social media account as a dietitian; this allows me to do some nutrition related public outreach along with my full-time research. After the PhD, I hope to practice as a community dietitian in NHS Scotland.

"My Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) gave me all of the reassurance I needed during the teaching part of the course and was always there if I needed a chat. The course supervisors and teachers always make themselves available for any queries and even e-mail us about job or volunteering opportunities."
Dominique Glatt

Story Published 2018

Dietetics

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