Nutritionists are the heart of a patient's health by using their knowledge of the science of food to help individuals and groups make the right choices about what they eat.

Working life

You'll teach and inform the public and health professionals about diet and nutrition. You'll aim to promote good health and prevent disease in individuals and communities.


Nutritionists work in

Your work as a nutritionist could involve

Who will I work with?

You may work with health care professionals such as nurses and dietitians. You may also work with other agencies such as schools or voluntary organisations.

Dietitians and nutritionists have different roles and training and are regulated by different bodies.

Find out more about the work and training of dietitians

Entry requirements

There is no set entry route to become a nutritionist. Most nutritionists have a qualification in nutrition, usually a degree or a Masters.

The Association for  Nutrition (AfN) maintains the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) to distinguish nutrition practitioners who meet rigorously applied training, competence and professional practice criteria. There are three categories of UKVRN registrant:

All registrants have a degree in nutrition sciences or substantial peer-recognised professional nutrition experience and adhere to AfN Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance.  

For more information about registering on the UKVRN, please contact the Association for  Nutrition 

There is a list of accredited courses on the AfN website. Courses may have different titles, including

To get onto a nutrition degree course you usually need 

or alternative level 3 qualifications, such as 

However, each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully.

For a Masters you need a relevant degree or professional qualification.

Skills and personal characteristics needed 

Nutritionists need to be

You'll also need

Training and development 

You will have the training you need to do the job which is likely to include an introduction to the area and local groups and agencies.

As mentioned above, nutritionists can apply to register with the Association for Nutrition (AfN). Some also become members of the Nutrition Society.  Nutritionists need to make sure they keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Both AfN and the Nutrition Society offer training courses and conferences where nutritionists can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.

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