Our nutrition and dietetic department offers opportunities to constantly develop yourself, whether through in-service training, short courses or undertaking a PhD.

Nutrition and dietetics

Learning and development is embedded in day to day practice. Dietitians at Imperial College Healthcare work closely with physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy members of staff to gain broad experience within their role.  We also provide all the essential training you will need to carry out your role safely and competently.

Undergraduate

Dietetic undergraduate students must take a series of clinical placements with NHS hospitals to complete their training. These placements are organised through your university. We work with King’s College London and London Metropolitan University to provide first and second practice placements for around 12 students each year. These placements are of a standard length of two weeks for the first placement and 12 for the second.

During your placements you will have the chance to experience the full range of dietetic specialties we practice, including: medicine, surgery, critical care, paediatrics, renal, diabetes, oncology, gastroenterology, neurology, stroke and cardiac rehabilitation.

We encourage learning with a mix of shadowing, supervised practice, observation, peer assisted learning, group discussions, presentations and reflective portfolio documentation.

You will need to complete information governance training (available as an e-learning package) before starting your placement.

Deepti, third year dietetic student

"This was a great opportunity and I felt comfortable and involved in a friendly environment. The team were open to involving me in all appropriate learning opportunities."

Postgraduate

All new staff have to complete core skills training when they start the Trust and maintain this learning every one to three years depending on the topic. This is to ensure you meet mandatory and statutory training requirements.

All newly qualified staff are enrolled on a multidisciplinary internship programme for their first six to 12 months. This includes five training days to help you get familiar with the clinical working environment and simulation training in dealing with many clinical situations.

We also support staff with training to meet the essential competencies for their roles and, where possible, their personal development. Staff in the department can expect support with attending courses identified in their personal development plan. Several internal courses are organised to enhance skills like becoming more IT proficient, enhancing communication and developing positive behaviours.

The department of nutrition and dietetics supports dietitians with postgraduate education at masters and PhD levels. Staff normally receive external funding with the support of experienced staff in the application process. Master level courses are sometimes also funded internally.

Research

If research is your passion, then Imperial College Healthcare is the place to develop those skills and pursue a clinical academic career.

We encourage staff to develop research skills and expertise by applying for local or national funding schemes and undertaking research to boost clinical practice in their area.

In recent years we have supported dietitians with research internship’s, MRes scholarships, clinical doctoral fellowships, PhDs through bursaries, clinical lectureships and multiple one year fellowships.

The department has also supported several dietitians with getting Imperial Healthcare Charity funding for the development of research skills through a year-long clinical research project.

We also work hard to support secondments away from clinical practice, so that staff can take short courses to build their research skills.

All teams are encouraged to have regular journal clubs where recent papers are critically appraised and e-learning which helps develop critical appraisal skills is available.

Work experience

We always welcome work experience volunteers. However, demand is high for these positions and they’re generally suited to people with a nutrition undergraduate degree level qualification who can commit to between six weeks and three months. Work experience varies depending on your needs and skills. Candidates would be expected to provide an up-to-date CV and attend an interview.

We also offer dietetic students the opportunity to apply for 12-week voluntary dietetic assistant posts. Here, you’ll shadow experienced staff and help with office work, patient related work and assisting the dietitians. This is a great opportunity to brush up on your skills before or just after graduation.

To find out more about work experience in dietetics, including how to apply, visit our work experience page.

Education support

We’re closely linked to Imperial College London which allows you access to the college’s excellent library services. There’s a library on each of the three main sites and all Trust staff can become members.