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King's College of Household and Social Science

Cookery students, King's College of Household and Social Science, 1930s (Ref: Q/PH3/24)Cookery students, King's College of Household and Social Science, 1930s (Ref: Q/PH3/24)The most significant academic development at King's College of Household and Social Science was the prominent role of the College in the development of dietetics as a specialised study.

As far back as 1920 graduates from the College had taken positions in hospital kitchens and demonstrated that their training had equipped them well for collaboration with medical staff over dietary treatments and requirements. By 1934 the College had initiated the first course in any institution leading to a diploma in dietetics, which was formally recognised as a University of London One-Year Diploma in Dietetics from 1936.

Laundry work at King's College of Household and Social Science, c1930 (Ref: Q/PH3/15)Laundry work at King's College of Household and Social Science, c1930 (Ref: Q/PH3/15)The course was open to all College graduates, as well as to science graduates and medical practitioners. Course elements, spread over two terms at College, included nutritional biochemistry, physiology and bacteriology, investigation and analysis of diets, nutrition in relation to health and disease, and practical instruction on catering for special diets. Following study of the theoretical aspects of nutrition, students spent three months in the diet kitchen of an approved hospital, and three months in the general kitchen either of an approved hospital or alternative institution.

To compliment the institution of the Diploma, a year long preliminary course in Science and Cookery was established in 1934 for trained nurses and graduates in subjects other than chemistry and physiology. Two further courses in Elementary Dietetics were being held concurrently by Professor Mottram, with an evening course running throughout the year or an intensive option during the summer vacation.

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