Dietetics (pre-registration) - MSc
- Level: Postgraduate Taught
- Starting: January 2022
- Study mode: Full Time
- Location: City South
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
As the only qualified health professionals to assess, diagnose and deliver interventions for diet and nutrition-related problems, there has never been a greater demand for qualified, knowledgeable dietitians to contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and the wider public. Our MSc in Dietetics will provide you with the knowledge, skills and professional approach needed for practice in a contemporary healthcare environment.
What's covered in the course?
On this postgraduate degree in Dietetics, you will gain knowledge in food science, applied nutrition, clinical pathology and pharmacology, social science and therapeutic dietetics. Development of key skills, including communication, research and professionalism will enable you to become a compassionate and competent practitioner who can deliver effective, evidence-based and quality-driven care. You'll learn in specially built clinical skills rooms, with specialist space so you can get the best training possible.
Why Choose Us?
- Funding - Allied health profession students will receive at least £5,000 a year in additional funding for maintenance and associated study costs. Download the funding FAQs
- This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- The alignment with our new undergraduate sports, nutrition and biomedical sciences courses offers you a unique opportunity to gain a sound knowledge of the underpinning scientific principles and contemporary research relevant to your practice
- Successful completion of the MSc Dietetics confers eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC
- You will build your knowledge through a combination of academic and practice placement learning opportunities, Blocks of practice placements - covering both traditional and emerging environments, will enable you to be work ready for a diverse range of dietetic career opportunities
- You will be taught in a small cohort by specialist lecturers who work within the sector and can provide relevant, up-to-date information alongside real life case studies
- We work in partnership with service users and carers to inform the design of the programme as well as involving them in aspects of delivery, enabling you to directly interact with, and learn from, service users and carers
- You will develop effective team working and communication skills through inter-professional learning, projects and placements enabling you to facilitate group education and to work within a multi-disciplinary team
- You will learn about business and innovation alongside clinical and health promotion topics, helping you to become an effective practitioner within the ever-changing healthcare environment
- You will study in our latest development, the £41 million home for the School of Health Sciences, where you’ll have access to state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge resources including mock clinical environments and online simulation learning
- Student loan finance - have you already studied an undergraduate degree but would like to do a second one in Dietetics? You may be eligible for funding.
Attending one of our Virtual Open Days is a great way to find out more about the courses we offer and get answers to any questions you might have. Our next postgraduate Virtual Open Day is taking place on Wednesday 9 June.
This course is open to International students
Student finance for healthcare courses
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to offer student finance to those applying to study pre-registration postgraduate healthcare courses.
You must have an Honours degree with a 2:1 or above which includes the study of human physiology and biochemistry (including cell biology, concepts of cell theory, an understanding of the fundamentals of biological chemistry; key biochemical molecules and their role in cellular activities; physiological processes at the organ and systems level)
Suitable degrees include; biomedical science, human nutrition, nutritional science, biochemistry, human biology, physiology or health sciences.
Please note, we may need to ask to see your undergraduate degree transcript and in some cases, will request further details about the content of individual modules.
You must also have GCSEs (or equivalent) in mathematics and English at grade C or above.
If English is not your first language, you must have an IELTS score of 7.0, with no element below 6.5.
DBS Disclosure: satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) report
Occupational Health Clearance: satisfactory occupational health clearance
A strong interest in working as a registered dietitian, with a demonstrated understanding of the role and the skills required to be a registered practitioner. It may be advantageous to have work experience in a care environment
Accreditation for Prior (Experiential) Learning (AP(E)L)
Accreditation for Prior (Experiential) learning (AP(E)L) is a process by which individuals can gain credit towards qualifications based on past achievements. This can be gained either through formal study - Accreditation for Prior Learning (APL) or by learning through experience - Accreditation of Prio Experiential Learning (APEL). Claims for accreditation should, where possible, be made prior to enrolment in the programme. Claims cannot be considered after the first six weeks of each stage of the programme. The responsibility for making the claim and providing the evidence rests with the applicant.
It is important to be aware that any application for APL credit in respect of postgraduate studies must be based on prior learning or experience at a suitably advanced level. This means that it is not normally possible to accredit prior learning at undergraduate level, even if the content may appear similar. Accreditation can be for entry onto a programme or credit for (s) within a programme.
There are University Regulations which govern the amount of credit which can be allowed for any award. Therefore, in some cases, credit cannot be given even though you can provide evidence of appropriate prior learning. Staff in the Personal Development Department (PDD) will be able to advise on this: Tel: 0121 331 7011.
Please note: Places subject to satisfactory Occupational Health Check, a Disclosure and Barring Service report and registration with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.
- UK students
- International students
Starting: Jan 2022
- Full Time
- 2 years
- £9,250 per year
Starting: Jan 2022
- Full Time
- 2 years
- £13,200 per year
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
The closing date for applications for this course is 31 May 2021.
Your personal statement
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you and also provides evidence of a good command of written English.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address in order to be considered
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest? Tell us about your commitment to studying dietetics
Career as a dietitian
Demonstrate an awareness of the dietetic role and the skills required of a registered practitioner. Show us that you have an interest in and the ability to work with people in a caring role.
Work experience, dietetic shadowing and employment history
Mention any paid or voluntary work that is relevant, highlighting and reflecting on the skills and experience gained and how this will be useful in your chosen career as a dietitian.
School/college or University experience
Highlight skills gained at school/college/university, eg summer schools, mentoring activities, society roles.
Non-accredited skills or achievement
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
All students studying this dietetics course will be expected to demonstrate the core values of the NHS Constitution. This will be assessed as part of the interview process (see below).
Your application will need to be supported by two references.
Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational health
We expect all health and social care students to act in an honest and trustworthy manner and that your conduct, behaviour and attitudes are compatible at all times with your professional Code of Conduct. The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) set criminal record checks as a requirement for entry to educational courses leading to an application for professional registration.
If you are offered a place on the programme, you will receive an email inviting you to complete an online DBS application form via our external provider closer to the start date of your course. No convictions or cautions are considered as ‘spent’ under the ‘exceptions’ allowed under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974. There is no time limit to some parts of the record.
if you have lived outside of the UK for six months or more in the past five years, we will need to see a criminal record check from the country you were living in. For applicants living in the Republic of Ireland, we will need to see an Irish Garda clearance.
Please be aware that you are responsible for covering the cost of the DBS application. This cost will vary by country.
For more information on DBS including EU/overseas applications and the associated cost of an application, please read more here.
Once you have fully enrolled on your course you must inform us about any involvement you have had with the Police or Social Services, including motoring offences.
The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) set ‘good health’ requirements for entry to educational courses leading to professional registration. Good health is necessary to undertake practice and means that students must be capable of safe and effective practice with supervision throughout their course of study.
Expert advice to confirm good health will be received from the Occupational Health Department at Birmingham City University. If necessary, you will be invited for a medical examination and specialist advice may be requested. When students are required to attend Occupational Health for immunisations and vaccinations they will be asked to sign an agreement which states they will attend all required appointments. Failure to attend one or more appointment will result in additional costs to the student.
The health requirement is not a bar to registering for people with disabilities.
Once you enrol on your course you are required to complete an annual declaration confirming that you continue to be in good health.
The Interview process
Interviews are vital in ensuring your suitability for the programme in terms of your academic ability and understanding, evidence of oral communication skills, and motivation to pursue a career in Dietetics. It is also a way of finding out more about BCU and offers an opportunity to meet some of the programme team. Due to the uncertainty and limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, in person contact will be limited during the interview process for those applying for our January 2022 intake. The recruitment process will consist of two stages:
Stage 1: Written task. You will be required to answer a few questions in a virtual timed written activity. The written tasks will be marked by members of the academic team. You will have a choice of dates and times to participate in the activity, which are likely to take place in early summer.
Stage 2: Virtual “face to face” interview. The best performing candidates on the written task will then be invited to attend an interview via MS Teams with a member of the Dietetics teaching team, an expert by experience and a practice partner. Answers will be marked by the interview team. These interviews are likely to take place in summer.
Information about the interviews
The written task and the individual interview will consist of a range of questions which may include:
- Profession specific knowledge, skills, behaviours and values
- Understanding and application of NHS core values
- Reflection on your own knowledge and experience
Applicants will be notified of a decision regarding their application by the end of August 2021.
We understand that it is difficult to obtain work experience in the current situation and the restrictions in place. If you are unable to obtain work experience relevant to your course, this will not affect your application. If you do want to gain some experience to help prepare you for your course, there are other options available. The UCAS website details a range of alternative activities that you might want to consider.
Student finance for healthcare courses
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to offer student finance to those applying to study pre-registration postgraduate healthcare courses.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
This is one of the two inter-professional modules in the programme, delivered by HCPC registered healthcare professional tutors and other specialists from Birmingham City University. This module will emphasise the underpinning philosophies of inter professional collaboration and communication within health and social care, enabling shared learning across professional boundaries and facilitating the contextualisation of the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to deliver optimal care within a dynamic healthcare environment.
This is the first dietetic specific module in the programme and will begin by considering the application and interpretation of nutritional science for and within the general population through group exploration of the global concepts of healthy eating, nutritional requirements and dietary assessment.
You will then be introduced to the UK Process for Nutrition and Dietetic Practice, which describes the fundamentals of dietetic intervention; with individuals, groups or populations; in clinical settings, public health or health promotion. This problem-solving model will support you in developing your consultation skills and clinical-reasoning, whilst considering the environmental factors that influence dietetic practice.
In order to work safely and effectively as a dietitian, you are required to develop a detailed knowledge of the basic and applied sciences that underpin nutrition and dietetics, including an understanding of the integrated nature of these disciplines and how they inform clinical practice. The module will begin with some revision of human physiology and biochemistry, before moving on to develop your understanding of immunology, and your knowledge of microbiology applied to human disease. You will critically analyse the changes in metabolism that take place through the life cycle, relating this to nutrition and considering the implications for your practice through evidence-based peer discussion.
This module has been designed to enable you to effectively engage in nutritional planning, whilst developing an appropriate range of essential food skills to support your dietetic practice. Through group exploration of the diet of the UK population you will consider sub group differences in dietary and eating patterns, engage in critical discussion of the factors and constraints that determine food choice and eating behaviours, and explore international and cultural influences. You will develop a critical understanding of ever changing food legislation and labelling regulations and will learn theoretically and practically how food production, preparation and processing affects the nutrient content of food. You will also gain in-depth insight into catering management in the public sector, including the use of nutritional standards and the different methods of food service. In addition, you will develop a growing understanding of relevant new scientific areas affecting perceived acceptance, attractions and aversions to food e.g. Sensory perception and Cross modal effects.
This is the first of two modules focusing on the strategies for health promotion and disease prevention, alongside the dietetic management of a range of conditions, with the aim of developing the required knowledge and skills to enable you to deliver evidence-based dietetic practice with adults and children at an individual, group and community level. This module will link the underpinning science of nutrition developed in the previous semester to the applied practice of dietetics, considering the professional aspects of care, alongside the theory and application of public health nutrition, and the theory behind the dietetic management of disease. This module will support you in preparing for your practice placements.
This second inter professional module will consolidate the links between your personal and professional development, whilst encouraging and enhancing a lifelong commitment to the concept of continuous quality improvement in a dynamic and ever-changing health and social care environment.
Through a flexible provision, you are encouraged to reflect critically upon your personal experiences as well and health and social care practice, and to appraise and apply concepts from the literature on best practice to issues of relevance for your profession and the needs of the service user.
This module provides an opportunity for you to further develop the knowledge and skills required to deliver evidence-based dietary management in clinical practice and in public health nutrition, with both adults and children. Within this module you will also learn how to plan and deliver a nutrition education session, and will be provided with opportunities to further develop your skills in undertaking one to one consultations. This module will support you in preparing for your second-year practice placements.
This double module forms the final component of your Healthcare Professional MSc. It provides you with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a topic of interest in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review, or an Audit or Service Evaluation linked to practice.
You will complete a minimum of 1000 practice placement hours across the programme to meet the requirements of the professional body. This will be divided into weeks of practice placement time, with 10 weeks being coordinated across the first year and 21 weeks in the second year.
Four practice placements are integrated within the taught course, to enable you to apply your theoretical knowledge within the practical context and to develop the core skills required to be an effective dietetic practitioner. The majority of practice placement time will take place outside of the University, offering you insight into a diverse range of dietetic roles and enabling you to gain experience within a variety of settings. You will be provided with many opportunities to transfer and consolidate your knowledge across client groups and to practice and apply the skills you have learned, including making timely dietetic assessments, verbally communicating to service users, carers and wider members of the team, producing accurate written records, and influencing nutritional care. One of the placement blocks will include two weeks within an emerging dietetic practice environment. This placement has been designed to provide you with access to a range of learning experiences in a variety of dietetic practice environments, to reflect the nature of modern practice and the range of practice settings that you may wish to enter upon completion of this programme.
During the practice placement experience timetabled at University, you will have the opportunity to be involved in peer-assisted learning activities and to practice your skills through simulation; a safe environment in which you can make mistakes, reflect and learn from them. We are also planning to provide you with experience in on-site clinic rooms, where you can carry out mock assessments and interventions in live simulations with actors, and deliver general healthy eating advice to staff and students. Both virtual and live simulations will have been developed with support and input from practice-based dietetic placement educators to ensure that they represent current dietetic practice.
Practice placements will usually be based with Practice Placement Providers in the greater West Midlands region, however, you may occasionally be allocated to other locations throughout the UK, depending on Practice Placement demand and availability and to ensure that you experience the breadth of dietetic practice areas. All placements that are external to the university will require travel away from the main site. You are responsible for covering the costs of this travel. Depending on location, you may wish to seek more local accommodation to the placement site. You are responsible of covering the cost of accommodation.
You will state three placement preferences prior to each practice placement allocation, but no guarantee is given that you will be allocated to one of your preferences. You are encouraged to undertake Practice Placements A2, B and C with three different providers, subject to availability, to widen your experience of dietetic practice. Prior to applying for placement, you will be provided with a list of practice placement providers and information about the placement experience. You should not assume that this list will remain the same throughout your training.
Practice Placements are allocated by the BCU Dietetics Placement Lead and Course Lead. Please note that all practice placement allocations are provisional until the start date of the placement.
We will aim to inform you of your practice placement approximately 4 weeks before starting the placement. You can request a change of placement due to exceptional circumstances.
Placements are compulsory and if you do not successfully meet the professional capabilities for all four placements, you will not meet the requirements for successful completion of the programme.
This postgraduate dietetics degree course will be delivered full-time over a minimum of two years, with each year comprising 45 weeks of learning – this is required to incorporate your clinical placements.
There will be a minimum of 1,000 hours in practice placements, ensuring that you have sufficient opportunity to achieve the required practice competencies.
Student Consent to act as a service user during the programme
Throughout the programme, there are opportunities to participate as service users in practical and clinical teaching sessions and role play. You will be asked for your consent to act as a service user prior to taking part in these sessions. A consent form will be completed during induction and will be kept in your personal record. You are under no obligation to act as a service user and your refusal would not negate your continued eligibility to participate in the practical learning exercises. We appreciate that there is a lot to take in during your initial induction, therefore all of the relevant materials will be available online throughout the year to allow you to view them later if required and information regarding the specific content will be provided in advance of each practical session.
Uniform and Equipment
You may be required to wear a uniform for practice placements. You will be fitted for the required uniform on commencement of your course. Given that your programme involves placement opportunities with the National Health Service (NHS), we wish to bring standard NHS advice to your attention with respect to dress code. For purposes of minimising the spread of infection and of cross contamination, this (dress) code includes the requirement that a short sleeved uniform is worn in many hospital and clinic contexts. Should you wish to discuss any concerns in connection to this prior to starting the course, please contact the programme lead in the first instance.
Additional costs that students may incur related to their studies are outlined below;
Professional Body Membership
It is a requirement that you become a student member of The British Dietetic Association (BDA), the professional body for dietitians during your time as a dietetic student at BCU. It is free of charge during your first year of study and incurs an annual cost of £35 for the second year. Membership includes professional indemnity insurance.
Students are instructed to wait until they have started the course before purchasing any books, as individual module co-ordinators may make particular recommendations and students may also be able to borrow books as required from the university library.
You will be required to purchase the PENG Pocket Guide to Clinical Nutrition prior to your A2 placement at a cost of ~£20-25.
Printing and photocopying costs
In addition to any book purchases, the MSc Dietetics programme utilises a range of bespoke teaching including worksheets, support notes and quizzes. All of this material will be available in electronic format, through Moodle sites. You will also be expected to access additional literature sources (i.e. scientific journals, government publications), as part of your directed and self-directed learning. You may wish to print some of this teaching material and literature and take account of the additional cost of doing so.
Health and Care Professions Council
This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, and will give you eligibility to apply for registration if you successfully complete the course.
After graduating, you could progress on to studying a PhD or undertake specialist education relevant to your area of practice.
Enhancing your employability skills
As the demand for qualified diet and nutrition professionals grows, there are ever expanding career opportunities for registered dietitians. This highly vocational course will equip you with the core knowledge and skills to enable you to apply for registration with the HCPC and to secure employment as a dietitian in a variety of roles, including acute and community healthcare, health promotion, health education, industry, the media, or in private practice.
Integrated practice learning will allow you to build relationships with local employers, both NHS and non-NHS and the inter-professional learning interspersed in the course will enable you to work effectively as part of a team, in whichever field you choose to pursue.
You might also choose to stay in education, progressing on to studying a PhD, which could enable you to pursue a career within research.
Dietitians practice in a range of settings. Your placements will be designed to maximise your exposure to a wide range of dietetic practice, this may include both hospital and community settings.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
This course will prepare you for practice as a dietician in a range of varied settings. You'll have developed the skills that will enhance your and be able to specialise in an area of interest following qualification and application for HCPC and registration.
One of our students attended the National Association of Educators in Practice (NAEP) Conference to represent BCU and as an example of excellent dietetic graduates of the future.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Start in January and receive a £1500 scholarship on eligible courses.Find out more
Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.
We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.
These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge learning facilities.
In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.
Virtual Case Creator
For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.
Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.
The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.
Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.
Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility
The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.
It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.
We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.
We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.
The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.
Mary Seacole Library
The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.
You will have access to all of the University’s libraries.
The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:
- Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
- Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
- Microsoft Office software
- Research and statistical software
- Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home
Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.
The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.
Meet our staff
Our staff have extensive clinical experience and often continue to work in their specialist areas, as well as developing their own areas of research.
Course Lead MSc Dietetics
Ruth began employment as a Senior Lecturer and Dietetics Course Lead in October 2016. She teaches on both years of the postgraduate MSc Dietetics programme.
Prior to commencing employment in Higher Education in 2014, Ruth practised as a senior nutrition support dietitian, managing a home enteral feeding caseload and providing a specialist service to those with complex oral nutritional needs. Within this role, Ruth was responsible for the management and coordination of an award winning nutrition support project, which provided a wealth of opportunity to develop an excellent skills base in training and in public speaking.