Nutritionists are concerned with the science of food and how this can be used to benefit people’s health and wellbeing.
The role can involve working in many types of environments and industry sectors, from working with doctors and nurses, working in sport and exercise performance, running workshops, engaging with the community, or helping to write new policy.
In this article, we will outline how to become a nutritionist in the UK, the qualifications necessary, other routes into the role, and whether this is the right option for you.
Is a nutritionist a good career?
Many people choose to become a nutritionist because they have an interest in the subject area and apply for studies, or they are in a related or non-related role and are considering a change of career.
A nutritionist is a rewarding profession and provides the opportunity to work in many industry sectors.
Just some of these include sports and performance, public health, the charity sector, and education.
The role can also lead into other positions with further study, such as specialist nursing or sports fitness.
Qualifications are necessary to work in nutrition-related fields.
But there are many routes into the job, including degrees, diplomas, and short courses.
What qualifications are required to become a Nutritionist?
To become a fully registered Association for Nutrition (AfN) nutritionist, a degree in a nutrition or a related subject area (e.g. bioscience) is essential.
The minimum timeframe for study is a 3-year BSc (Hons) degree, but a Masters degree may be required for some positions.
The AfN maintains the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN), which separates nutritionist qualifications into three categories: registered nutritionist (RNutr), associate nutritionist (ANutr), and fellow of AfN (FAfN). Some degrees may require additional study to become a fully registered nutritionist.
Alternative routes to work in nutrition
It is possible to gain entry into nutrition roles and supplement your knowledge via other methods, such as industry-recognized courses.
These are ideal for people who want to get into a nutrition-related position but don’t wish to pursue a degree.
A typical example is the Level 3 Award in Nutrition, which is one of the UK’s top nutrition courses and geared towards personal trainers who want to expand their knowledge of nutrition in sports and exercise performance.
Other online courses are available and can help candidates gain entry to support roles, working alongside registered nutritionists and dietitians, or in administration roles related to nutrition.
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