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Training to be a Registered Dietitian: Part 1

Jun 15, 2015 | Dietetics | 18 comments

If you’re a relatively new reader, you may not know that I have been studying this year as the first step to retrain as a dietician.

I know there’s a lot of confusion out there about what the difference is between a nutritionist and a dietician. According to the Association of UK Dieticians, dieticians are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law, and are governed by an ethical code to ensure that they always work to the highest standard. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, however only registrants with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) can call themselves a Registered Nutritionist (RNutrs).

There are a lot nutrition courses out there, some great and some pretty average, and it can be hard to tell the difference. I wanted to take a course that I knew was legit, and that would allow me to work in a hospital, private practise or sports club when I have qualified.

This year I’ve been taking some of my prerequisite classes at evening school, studying for my Certificate in Higher Education: Life Sciences for Subjects Allied to Medicine. I was taking 3 hours of Chemistry on a Monday evening, and 3 hours of Biology on a Tuesday evenings from September-May at Birkbeck university. I didn’t do a science A level so needed to complete these two subjects to get onto a serious dietetics course.



My exams were on the 1st and 8th June- 3 hours in each subject! The last few weeks have been tough with revision every evening after work and all weekend!

The course was tough, there’s an option to take the two classes over one year or two. There was a lot of topics to cover with plenty of homework, quizzes, and Saturday classes. Some of topics we covered;


  • Cell Biology
  • Biomolecules
  • Diversity
  • Gas Exchange
  • Respiration
  • Metabolism
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • DNA


  • Atoms and molecules
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Volume analysis and titrations
  • Enthalpy
  • Acids and bases
  • Oxidation and reduction
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electromagnetic radiation

Biology and Chemistry


I applied to a couple of universities this year, and was thrilled to get into my top two choices- one with a conditional and one unconditional offer. I’ll find out in August how I did in my exams, and which uni I’ll be going to, so I’ll keep you posted!


  1. Amanda

    Congrats on getting into your top choices! This looks tough. I went to college for engineering and thankfully only had to suffer through one chemistry class. Good luck! I hope to hear more about your journey 🙂

    • charlotte

      Thanks Amanda, will definitely be sharing the ups and downs of going back to school here!

  2. jillconyers

    Congratulations on your top choices! After I completed the NASM PT cert I want to get a nutrition license or cert of some sort. I’m still wading through all the information and programs.

    • charlotte

      Good luck and congrats- would love to get my PT qualifications!

  3. Molly @ Strong Girl Fitness

    Congratulations on getting into your top 2! That’s so exciting!! And for taking 2 three-hour long exams…holy cow! And in chemistry & biology…those are NOT easy courses; you should feel very proud!! Can’t wait to see where the next step takes you 🙂

    • charlotte

      Thanks Molly, waiting to see how I do in the exams before I congratulate myself too much!

  4. littlegreenrunningshoes

    Wow what an exciting journey! I’m so happy for you. I wish you lived closer so I could refer my personal training clients to you. Congrats on your acceptance letters and best of luck in choosing where to go!

    • charlotte

      Thank you! Haha I wish you were too!

  5. Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers

    This is awesome! I’m a Registered Dietitian and it’s such a fun career path with lots of different opportunities. Can’t wait to continue reading about your journey.

  6. Lauren

    Way to go. I have my undergrad degree in Chem so I know those classes are no joke!

    • charlotte

      Haha I’m dreading Biochemistry!

  7. misscatherine251

    This is so cool Charlie. Will you be doing the degree part-time/evenings too? Major kudos to you as it such hard work but will be completely worth it to work in an area you really want to do.

    • charlotte

      Thanks Catherine- I’m doing the degree full time but hoping to work part time too, as well as keep up with the blog 🙂

  8. peachylau

    Much love and encouragement xx

    • charlotte

      Thank you lovely, right back at ya!

  9. Andrea

    Congrats and best of luck!

    • charlotte

      Thank you Andrea!

  10. ptmollie

    Congrats Charlie! Keep us posted on where you end up. 🙂


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