Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences


Master of Health Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics

The Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) in Nutrition and Dietetics is a programme designed to provide the specialised postgraduate training required to enable graduates to seek registration with the New Zealand Dietitians Board in order to practise as a Dietitian in New Zealand, and to provide safe and competent dietetic care in a variety of health and community settings. Dietetic care includes the provision of safe, enjoyable, nutritionally adequate and appropriate food and fluids to meet individual and population nutritional needs.

This two year full-time programme of study will provide learning in a broad range of nutrition related areas including medical, applied and sport nutrition; public health nutrition; food service management and professional skills. This learning is supported by expertise developed through small group learning and 20 weeks of placement in a range of nutrition settings. Students will also complete a research thesis in order to provide a foundation for evidence-based practice and to enable further higher degree research to be undertaken.

Graduates of the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics will:

  • Have core skills in patient and client-centred care, clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice
  • Be culturally aware, good communicators, empathic listeners and skilled educators
  • Have skills to identify and advocate for effective food policies to improve population health
  • Be equipped with the skills to use lifelong learning and reflective practice to ensure their continued competency in nutrition and dietetics
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MHSc Nutrition and Dietetics duration and points value


Points required:

240

Time to complete:

Two years of full-time study (it is not possible to complete the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics part-time).

Start semester:

One

Prerequisite

BSc in Food Science and Nutrition following the Nutrition pathway, or an equivalent nutrition qualification. For more information, please visit the relevant degree planner.

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MHSc Nutrition and Dietetics structure


Year Course Points
1 DIETETIC 703 Clinical nutrition: disease pathophysiology and management 15
1 DIETETIC 707 Professional Skills 1 30
1 DIETETIC 708 Professional Skills 2 30
1 POPLHLTH 701 Research Methods in Health 15
1 MAORIHTH 701 Foundations of Māori Health 15
1 POPLHLTH 765 Nutrition Interventions in Public Health 15
2 DIETETIC 709 A&B Professional Skills 3 30
2 DIETETIC 793 A&B Thesis 90
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International students


International students and domestic students who have studied at overseas universities are welcome to apply. To be eligible for admission, international students and students who have studied at an overseas university must have a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition, equivalent to the University of Auckland BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) (see Equivalent Qualification section below). In addition, candidates must have a grade point average (GPA) equivalent to a University of Auckland GPA of at least 6 (B+ average).

The English Language proficiency requirements must also be met (see English Language proficiency section below).

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Eligibility


GPA requirement

Applicants will normally require a minimum GPA of 6 (B+ average) to be eligible to apply for entry to the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Undergraduate degree requirement

In order to be admitted to the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics, applicants need to have completed the University of Auckland Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) or an equivalent BSc degree in Human Nutrition.

Equivalent qualification

Whether another nutrition qualification is deemed equivalent to the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) will be determined on a case-by-case basis by considering whether students have successfully completed the required prerequisite knowledge for entry to the postgraduate programme.

To be deemed equivalent, a qualification must include courses in human nutrition to third year level and relevant biochemistry, physiology and food science courses to at least second year level.  

Further information on courses that form part of the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) can be found on the programme pages for the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition.

A BSc majoring in Human Nutrition from the University of Otago or Massey University is usually regarded as an equivalent qualification. Applicants with one of these qualifications are advised to contact the dietetics team at dietetics@auckland.ac.nz before applying to check that they have covered off all the necessary prerequisite courses.

Secondary school students/School leavers

Secondary school students interested in studying to become a Dietitian are strongly encouraged to take NCEA level 3 Biology and Level 3 Chemistry (or their IB or Cambridge equivalents) in preparation for entry to the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway).

School leavers can apply for the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) through the University's application page.

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Selection


Entry into the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics is competitive due to the limited number of places available. Applications are ranked according to their GPA. Applicants are normally required to achieve a minimum GPA of 6.0 out of 9.0 (B+ average) to be eligible to apply for entry to the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Applicants who meet the GPA requirement will be ranked for interview invitation consideration. Following the interview, GPA and interview score will be used to determine final selection into the programme. The weighting given to GPA vs interview score will be 50:50.

Each year, up to 15 places will be reserved for current University of Auckland Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) students who submit an expression of interest (EOI) in the middle of the second year of their undergraduate BSc degree and are on track to meet the selection requirements (see below for further details). This is the preferred pathway for entry to the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Graduates with equivalent qualifications may compete for the remaining places.

It is not possible to defer the commencement of an offer of a place in the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Applicants must apply again if they do not wish to take up their offer for the year entry is offered.

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Māori and Pacific students


One of the aims of the University of Auckland Nutrition and Dietetics programme is to help increase the number of Māori and Pacific dietitians in the New Zealand workforce. Māori and Pacific students are strongly encouraged to enrol for the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) and to apply for the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Preference will be given to Māori and Pacific students.

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Application closing date


2022 entry

Applicants must have completed or currently be in their final year of the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) from the University of Auckland or an equivalent qualification (as specified above).

Application closing date: 1 October 2021
All applicants deemed eligible are ranked based on GPA, and short-listed applicants will be invited to the faculty for multiple mini interviews (MMI). For more information on dates, please see the important dates.

Students who are earlier in their studies and need advice about satisfying prerequisites should contact the dietetics team at dietetics@auckland.ac.nz.

2023 entry

University of Auckland BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) students who are interested in applying for 2023 entry should submit an expression of interest (EOI) after they have successfully completed the first 180 points of the Nutrition Pathway (generally in the middle of their second year). The EOI process is solely open to BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) students.

There will be an email sent to all prospective students in June 2021.

The EOI closing date: 1 July 2021

All applicants deemed eligible are ranked based on GPA. Students who are on track to meet the selection requirements will receive an EOI approval letter from the postgraduate office. A place in the programme will be reserved for these students, however they still must meet the selection requirements by the end of the final year of their BSc.

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How to apply


  1. Please read through the faculty’s overview on admissions and enrolment.
  2. Apply for the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics through the University's application page.
  3. For enquiries about the application process itself please contact the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Student Centre.
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English language proficiency


Prior to applying for the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics, all applicants (both International and domestic) for whom English or Māori is not their first language*, and those who have previously studied at a non-English-speaking university, must have a minimum Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall score of 7.5, with no band lower than 7 on application.

IELTS is not required if applicants have completed a degree from a New Zealand university or another English-speaking university. Students who have enrolled at the University of Auckland English Language Academy must achieve a Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) with an A grade.

All MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics students (domestic and international) will be required to sit a DELNA test in the early weeks of their first semester, and if identified as needing further support, are expected to follow this up with online resources and workshops provided by English Language Enrichment (ELE) and Student Learning Services. In order to work as a Dietitian in New Zealand the New Zealand Dietitians Board is required by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 to ensure that applicants are able to communicate and comprehend effectively in English.

*‘First language’ (native language/mother tongue) is defined as the language a person learns first, usually from their family

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Extended programme and demands of the programme


In order to cover all the theory and practical requirements of the degree, some teaching and practical placements will be outside of the normal University semester teaching weeks.

The MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics programme makes heavy demands on time, energy and personal resources. In addition to high academic demands of learning theory, research and professional practice, students will be required to go onto placements.

Students may be required to travel to the Waikato, Tauranga, Whakatane or other areas outside of Auckland for their practical placements, though every attempt will be made to find placements in Auckland for those with families. Travel and accommodation costs must be paid for by the students.

Students should feel comfortable working in a clinical environment, and should feel comfortable communicating with and have a level of sensitivity towards the needs of people from different cultural groups.

Students will find that the heavy workload means that it will be unlikely that they will be able to have a part-time job and successfully study full-time.

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Important information


  • Following successful completion of the Master of Health Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics, graduates must apply to the New Zealand Dietitians Board for registration as a Dietitian in New Zealand, including approval to describe themselves as Dietitians. Click here for more information on registration.
  • It is not possible to defer the commencement of an offer of a place in the Master of Health Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students must apply again if they do not wish to take up their offer for the year entry is offered.
  • Graduates wishing to practice in countries other than New Zealand should contact the relevant authority in that country for advice on acceptability of this degree for registration.
  • This programme has a total enrolment clause of 280 points. This is the maximum number of points you can enrol in (including failed or withdrawn courses) towards this programme.
  • An orientation session will be held at the beginning of Semester One of the programme for all commencing students, at which attendance is required. Details will be provided in your welcome letter, after your place is confirmed.
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Regulations


Detailed information about admission criteria, programme structure and content, and the schedule of courses can be found in the University Calendar regulations for the Master of Health Sciences. These should also be read in conjunction with the General Regulations - Masters Degrees.

Scholarships


Any student wishing to apply for a scholarship should see the Scholarships Office webpage.

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Further enquiries


For more information on the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics structure and prerequisite requirements please contact: dietetics@auckland.ac.nz

For more information on how to apply, the enrolment process and degree regulations please contact the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Student Centre.

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