Dietitians are the only qualified health professionals that assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual and wider public health level. They work with both healthy and sick people. Dietitians use the most up-to-date public health and scientific research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices.
Entry Requirements and Training : You need to complete a four-year full-time honours degree course (NFQ Level 8) in human nutrition and dietetics or a post graduate masters
BSc (Hons) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Dublin Institute of Technology Level 8 4 years full time
BSc (Hons) in Human Nutrition at the University of Ulster Level 8 4 years full time
MSc in Human Nutrition at the University of Ulster which is offered on a full time basis over one year or part time over 2 years. This is open to applicants with a suitable science related primary degree
Website (Part Time Course)
Website (Full Time Course)
Many people find it difficult to tell the difference between what a dietitian and a nutritionist does. Nutritional Concepts was founded by Sabrina Doyle who is herself from the Carlow/Kilkenny area to provide the latest diet and nutrition information in a professional, friendly and innovative way. Nutritional Concepts hopes that this blog entry will explain the differences and help you to decide which service suits your dietary needs best.
Definition: A dietitian is a health professional who has university qualifications consisting of a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a certain period of practical training in different hospital and community settings. Some dietitians also further their knowledge and skills by pursuing various Specialist Dietetic qualifications. Dietitian is an expert in prescribing therapeutic nutrition.
Regulation: All qualified Dietitians should have met national/international standards for professional legislation. The title “Dietitian” is protected by law in many countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, UK and Ireland.
Work: Dietitians can translate the science of nutrition into everyday information about food. They also have special skills in translating medical decisions related to food and health to inform the general public. Dietitians can work in both the hospital and community. They may work with people who have special dietary needs, inform the general public about nutrition, evaluate and improve treatments and educate clients, doctors, nurses, health professionals and community groups. They undertake the practical application of nutrition with both individuals and population groups to promote well-being and to prevent nutrition related problems. They are also involved in the diagnoses and dietary treatment of many diseases, such as food allergies, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
Definition and Regulation: A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term Nutritionist is not protected by law in almost all countries so people with different levels of and knowledge can call themselves a “Nutritionist”.
Work: There are also qualified nutritionists, who are people who have completed University Degrees in Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food and Nutrition, or Food Technology. They are also called Food Scientists. University qualified Nutritionists and Food Scientists normally work for food manufacturers, retailed businesses, in research and public health promotion. Some may work as Dietitian Assistants or Food Journalists. Nutritionists do not have any professional practical training, and therefore they should not be involved in the diagnosis and dietary treatment of any diseases.
Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute