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Nutritionists carry out research and use scientific knowledge to provide information and advice about the effects of food and nutrition on health and wellbeing

What’s the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?

Many people find it difficult to tell the difference between what a dietitian and a nutritionist does.


Definition: A dietician 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 dieticians 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 “Dietician” is protected by law in many countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, UK and Ireland.

Work: Dieticians 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. Dieticians 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.

Qualifying Courses


PACI Diploma in Nutritional Science and Therapeutics at the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health Bray Co Wicklow Part-time over 2.5 years, Classroom and or Distance Learning.



Diploma in Nutritional Therapy with the Institute of Health Science Dublin 3.5 years part time, delivered through a combination of home study and attendance




The Centre for Nutrition Education and Lifestyle Management (CNELM) based in the UK         also provide a wide range of courses in this field . Check website for further details


Additional Information:-

Motivation Weight Management Clinics look favourably on a Certificate in Health & Nutrition for employment. In addition, they have their own in house training for their Nutritional Consultants

Useful links