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Kara Buckley

Kara Buckley RD, R. Nutr


School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences

023 8201 3545 ext. 3545 Room no. RM317


Kara developed a passionate interest in nutrition, exercise and health from a young age due to competing at a high level in sport, leading to her starting the early stages of her career as a Personal Trainer.  After working in the fitness industry, her desire to learn more about different aspects of sport and exercise performance led her to studying a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science at Exeter University, where she became particularly interested in the role of nutrition.

Drawn to the varied and clinical nature of dietetics, Kara studied BSc (Hons) Dietetics at Plymouth University and started her career as a Band 5 dietitian in Birmingham, where she was able to complete a number of rotations, including diabetes, HIV and bariatrics. Through this work, she came to find that her real passion lay in counselling and supporting people to make the lifestyle and dietary changes needed to manage weight and long term health conditions. This led to Kara progressing to a Band 6 Specialist Diabetes Dietitian post in 2014 with a particular focus on patient education, Type 2 diabetes and weight management. She also completed several courses during this time in motivational interviewing and behaviour change techniques and continues to apply these skills whether it being supporting student development or helping people make lifestyle changes within her dietetic practice.

 Outside of work, Kara loves travelling, playing touch rugby and generally being outdoors, whether it be cycling, surfing, swimming or enjoying a walk with family and friends. Her other love is of course both cooking and eating food – particularly when there is sunshine and good company involved!

Taught courses

Further information

  1. Awards

    Kara was part of the intermediate care team that won the Quality in Care Award 2016 for ‘structured group education for people with new onset Type 2 diabetes’
  2. Industry experience

    Kara has experience working as a dietitian and spent time as a specialist Diabetes Dietitian...
    • Two years working as a band 5 dietitian within the NHS
    • Two years working as a specialist diabetes dietitian for Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust at band 6
  3. Research interests

    Kara's research interests include the role of motivational interviewing in supporting people to initiate dietary behavioural change...

    Kara's research interests include:

    • The role of motivational interviewing in supporting people to initiate dietary behaviour change.
    • Behaviour change approaches for weight loss.
    • Behaviour change approaches for the management of Type 2 diabetes.
    • The effect of practitioner counselling skills on motivation and engagement in patients/clients.
  4. Teaching experience

    Solent is Kara's first teaching job within higher education and she's been in post since February 2017. She has also delivered dietetic education to patients with a variety of health conditions as well as delivered talks at several training days for health care professionals in her previous role as a specialist diabetes dietitian.
  5. Work in progress

    Kara has recently completed her PGCTLHE.