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Holly Robertson

Holly summarises placements and their impact on her university experience.

Hi everyone! My name is Holly and I’m a 4th year Dietetics student taking the MDiet course here at Newcastle University.

As part of our course, we complete 1,000 hours of mandatory placement in order to practise as an accredited qualified Dietitian. This can seem a little overwhelming, but I promise it’s not! The hours are spread out across four years of study with a huge variety of opportunities and experiences. You learn more than you could imagine on placement and the 1,000 hours honestly flew by!

I got to experience placements across clinical settings such as hospitals and care homes where I spent the majority of my placement hours. These were conducted as two separate 12-week placements and a 1-week placement. I was also lucky enough to explore other areas through placements such as working with food production companies, social media skills teams, food banks, and practical skills sessions on campus. Every single placement provider has been so engaging and supportive in my learning and the university was always there to provide structure and support when I needed it too.

For me, having this practical experience where I could consolidate my knowledge and build on my skills was one of the most beneficial and rewarding elements of my course. Each placement opportunity was well guided and structured, allowing me to systematically build upon my confidence and skills as an independent clinician, practising almost completely independently in the last two weeks of my final placement.

These opportunities have given me a real feel for what my working life as a dietitian will be like as well as opening my eyes to the opportunities that await me once I graduate. Whilst my degree might be considered niche and to lead to specific job roles, having placement allowed me to confirm my passion for this career path, as well as reassure me in knowing that I also have so many other paths I could take with my degree if I ever wanted to branch out.

Placement has been exhausting, exhilarating and informative in the best way! I truly feel it’s had the most amazing impact on my entire university experience, and I can’t wait to put everything into practice as a dietitian once I graduate this summer.