New Education  for Dietitians in Denmark

Nobody in Denmark has yet achieved the new title: Bachelor in Nutrition and Health. But the three Danish university colleges who offer the new course received the first students in September 2002.  And from the beginning of 2006 these students can write their new title on their business cards. A few students who have chosen an interim arrangement might do so already in 2005.

The new course is what the Danes call a semi-long higher education. It replaces the education of administrative and clinical dietitians.

Administrative dietitians had a two-year course based on six months of education in school, one year gaining practical experience and finally six months in school.

Clinical dietitians were administrative dietitians or home economists with one yearís further education in clinical dietetics.

None of the former courses were connected with an academic degree. 

The education of a Bachelor in Nutrition and Health takes 3Ĺ years and it is possible to specialize within six different areas. The course consists of 18 months of basic education and two years of specialization. The specialities are: Human Nutrition, Clinical Dietetics, Catering Management, Facilities Management, Health Communication and Product Development.

The specialities of Catering Management and Clinical Dietetics are based on the former education of administrative dietitians and clinical dietitians, respectively. The other specialities are related to the education of home economists. In this way three educations have been merged into one.

The introduction of this new education system has been a rather long process.

In the beginning of the 1990ís the Danish Dietetic Association made an education strategy with the aim of gaining a higher level of education for dietitians. Most of this strategy is now fulfilled, but it has cost a lot of hard work and lobbying. The major step was taken when the Ministry of Education adopted a change in attitude.

The current ministers have prioritized the merging of established courses with overlapping qualifications into fewer courses with more specialities. This provides a professional community and the opportunity of creating good environment for the students. Based on this priority, it has been possible to establish a course leading to the qualification of Bachelorís degree in Nutrition and Health.

The course has proven to be very popular in all three university colleges spread geographically throughout Denmark.

With the title Bachelor in Nutrition and Health and the speciality Catering Management or Clinical Dietetics, the dietitians in Denmark will have improved possibilities to take part in quality development of, and research in, the dietetic field.

For more information:

Jump back to beginning of this report