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No new enrolments

No new enrolments will be accepted for this programme. If you have any queries, please contact:

The Department of Human Nutrition

Students intending to become dietitians will need to complete a BSc in Human Nutrition or BAppSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition, then a Master's programme. The Master's programme can currently only be completed at either Massey or Auckland University.

Otago provides all of the relevant undergraduate requirements, however specific prerequisites for entry into a Master's programme must be discussed with the University that you are intending to apply to.

If you're interested in people, food, and nutrition, then an undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition from Otago can create an excellent stepping stone to an exciting career in this area. Both nutritionists and dietitians can work in a range of areas.

So what is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietitian, do I have to do Dietetics to have a career in nutrition?

A Dietitian is a registered health professional who meets standards required by the New Zealand Dietitians Board. They have an accredited undergraduate science degree in human nutrition, and a post-graduate qualification in Dietetics. Dietitians are trained in the science of nutrition and diet therapy, and are qualified to work with individuals that have special dietary therapy requirements such as those with severe chronic or acute diseases.

A Nutritionist will ideally have a degree in Human Nutrition or other related science. Nutritionists aim to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the population as a whole, through better foods, diets and nutrition. Nutritionists can work in a variety of roles including research, nutrition consultants and advisors, public health and health promotion officers, food writing, and for governmental and non-governmental agencies, to name a few. Nutritionists can become registered if they hold a relevant degree and meet the criteria of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand.

A Dietitian or Registered Nutritionist may work in a variety of settings ranging from Government, community, public health, sports, research & education and the food industry. Dietitians may also work in hospitals.

(Sourced and adapted from the Nutrition Society of New Zealand

How can I become a Registered Nutritionist?

Otago provides a pathway to becoming a Registered Nutritionist, offering a Master's degree in Advanced Nutrition Practice.

The study of advanced nutrition practice is for students with a relevant undergraduate degree in human nutrition or sport and exercise nutrition, or a background in a related health field, who wish to advance their nutrition knowledge and develop skills for a career in the practice of nutrition.

This course covers clinical nutrition, public health, sports and exercise nutrition, food solutions to nutritional issues and the latest evidence in nutrition research. Each aspect of the course has practical components that allow students to learn and develop skills in real-world environments. Students also have the opportunity to take papers in other subjects, such as entrepreneurship, finance, marketing, public health, science communication, sports and exercise science, and food science, depending on their areas of interest.

A major component of this course is students completing a substantial period of work experience with an organisation in a field of work that is of interest to them.

You can find out more about the Master of Applied Science in Advanced Nutrition Practice.

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