Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

Master of Dietetics (MDiet)


    The Master of Dietetics (MDiet) degree is an academic and professional dietetic training course which prepares graduates to work as dietitians in New Zealand and overseas. This full time, two-year course encompasses specialist papers in clinical nutrition, public health, food service, professional skills, research thesis preparation, a block placement and a research project.

    The first year of the programme is taught in Dunedin. Early Learning in Dietetics (practical experience placements) will be completed under the supervision of dietetic tutors in hospital, community, public health and foodservice environments. The second year consists of one semester of placements and one semester of research in one of a number of centres.


    No new enrolments will be accepted for this programme. If you have any queries please contact the Human Nutrition Department.

    Regulations for the Degree of Master of Dietetics (MDiet)

    1. Admission to the programme

      1. Admission to the programme shall be determined by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) on the advice of the Dietetics Admission Committee.
      2. Every applicant must either        
        1. be a graduate, or
        2. have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences)
        Note: It is expected that the following or equivalent papers should normally have been passed by applicants: HUNT 231 (or HUNT 244 taken from 2019) HUNT 341, HUNT 342, HUNT 343, HUNT 344 (or HUNT 311, HUNT 312, HUNT 313, HUNT 314, HUNT 331), POPH 192 recommended.
      3. Applicants who have fulfilled the requirements as described in 1(b), may also be considered in one or both of the following categories:        
        1. Māori
        2. Indigenous Pacific (see note).

        An applicant in either or both of these categories must provide verified evidence of either Māori whakapapa or indigenous Pacific ancestry and be a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand, and complete a written supporting statement describing their commitment to Māori and/or Pacific health. An applicant in either or both of these categories must have achieved a minimum academic standard to be determined by the Dietetics Admissions Committee from year to year in the course of study on which the application is based.

        Note: Students applying under the Indigenous Pacific sub-category need to provide verified evidence of family ancestry originating from one or more of the following Pacific nations: Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Wallis and Futuna, Hawai'i, French Polynesia, Rapanui (Easter Island).
      4. In cases where evidence of competence in English is required, acceptable evidence shall consist of certified copies of results in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Test with an overall score of at least 7.5, with a score of at least 7.0 in each individual band, or equivalent results in other recognised tests.
      5. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the availability of placements, and the number of international students admitted may be limited in any year.
      6. Any applicant who        
        1. is, or has been, the subject of criminal charges, or
        2. is, or has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body, or
        3. has a mental or physical condition that could adversely affect their fitness to practise, or
        4. is found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (e)(i)-(iii), may be declined admission to the programme by the Dietetic Admissions Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to medical tests or requests for information regarding an applicant's health status or past conduct have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant's suitability for admission.
      (i) Admission to and enrolment in the programme are subject to safety checking of students for suitability to work with children, as required under the Children's Act 2014.
      (ii) The due date for applications for first enrolment in the programme is 15 September. Late applications will not be considered.

    2. Structure of the programme

      1. The programme of study shall consist of papers and a thesis to a total value of 240 points as set down in the MDiet Schedule.
      2. A candidate must pass all the papers in Year One and also demonstrate the required level of professional behaviour before proceeding to Year Two.

    3. Duration of the programme

      1. A candidate for the programme shall normally follow a programme of study for not less than two years of full-time study.
      2. A part-time candidate shall usually complete the requirements for the degree within four years of admission to the programme.

    4. Examination of the thesis

      1. The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
      2. The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Convener of Examiners.
      3. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and a grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options as specified in clause (d) below.
      4. The examiners may recommend that a thesis:        
        1. be accepted without requiring amendments;
        2. be accepted subject to minor corrections being made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Convner of Examiners.
        3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
        4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
      5. Amendments (regulation 4(d)(ii) and revisions (regulation 4(d)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Convener of Examiners.
      6. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
      7. If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either 'Pass' or 'Fail' (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
      8. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Convener of Examiners should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.

    5. Exemptions

      A candidate may, on the recommendation of the Head of the Department of Human Nutrition to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences), be exempted from some or all of the papers prescribed in the MDiet Schedule on the basis of previous study.

    6. Exclusion from the programme

      A candidate who

      1. has failed to pass any paper twice, or
      2. during the course of their studies is        
        1. subject to criminal charges, or
        2. subject to disciplinary proceedings of the University or of a professional body, or
        3. found to have an issue in connection with their mental or physical health that could adversely affect their fitness to practise, or
        4. found to have an issue that compromises or is likely to compromise their meeting the New Zealand Dietitians Board requirements for registration as a registered dietitian;
        5. found to have failed to declare a matter covered by (b)(i)-(iv)
      may be excluded from further study towards the degree by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) on the recommendation of the Director of Dietetics.    

    7. Withdrawal from the programme

      Where a candidate withdraws from the programme after completing the papers prescribed in Year One of the MDiet Schedule, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may recommend the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Science or determine which papers shall be credited towards the diploma.

    8. Readmission to the programme

      A candidate who withdraws from the programme must first obtain the approval of the Dietetics Admissions Committee before being readmitted.

    9. Level of award of the degree

      The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

    10. Variations

      The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

    This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

    Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

    Back to top