Dietetics and Nutrition

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Dietetics and nutrition is an important field. We all know there is a connection between our mental and physical well-being. A balanced and nutritious diet promotes good health. Dietetics and nutrition experts work with people with  special dietary requirements. That could be those with allergies, to elite-level athletes attempting to maximise their performance levels.

Nutritionists and dietitians study the components of food and the values they have. They also educate the general population about healthy food and promote good eating habits.

Third-level Nutrition and Dietetics courses are scientific. For students with an aptitude for science subjects and an interest in human health, a course in Nutrition or Dietetics is well worth considering.


School leavers interested in diet and nutrition have several degree options. Courses are available from Trinity, UCD, Dublin IT, Letterkenny IT, and Cork IT.

These teach students the connection between food and health on an individual and social level, against a background of scientific knowledge. Core aspects include food chemistry, production processes, and safety requirements.  They also study the human body: its biology, physiology, and metabolic system.

Students learn how to apply their knowledge. This may be in public health, health education, clinical nutrition, food production, and laboratorial research. The development of research skills are a key objective of nutrition degrees.

Applied Biology – Food, Health & Nutrition, a Level 5 Certificate provided by Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa. This gives students the technical skills to work in the food or pharmaceutical industries or to pursue further study.

The Work

Clinical dietitians work in institutions such as hospitals or nursing homes. They they help prevent and treat illnesses by encouraging healthy eating habits. After consulting with doctors, the patient and his or her family, they scientifically evaluate the patient’s eating regime and suggest dietary modifications. This can include suggestions such as a reduced salt intake for those with high blood pressure or reduced sugar and fat intake for those who are overweight.

Consultant dietitians perform nutrition screenings and provide advice on areas such as cholesterol reduction and weight loss. Some have their own practices or work in health centres, while others find employment with sports boards or teams, supermarkets, or nutrition-related businesses.

Management dietitians supervise the planning and preparation of meals in facilities such as hospitals, schools, prisons, and company cafeterias. They develop menus, hire and train food workers, and offer expert advice in budgeting and planning healthy meals, safety procedures, and sanitation.

Nutritionists might also work in the food industry, where they help to develop new products and calculate their nutritional value. They may also work in a marketing or advertising department, helping to run promotional health campaigns, writing advertisements, and producing information to promote products.

Communicating skills are hugely important, particularly since dietitians are increasingly working on a freelance basis and must be skilled in connecting with and motivating others.

Did you know?

Berries contain more antioxidants than any other type of fruit.

Further Resources

Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.
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