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Nutrition and Dietetics involves the study of the relationships between food, health and dietary choices. The science of human nutrition sits at the heart of dietetics. In Australia, there is a distinction between the work of Nutritionists and Dietitians. Dietitians undertake extra study that involves substantial theory and supervised practice in Public Health Nutrition, Medical Nutrition Therapy and Food-service Management to meet the professional accreditation to practice. In Australia, Dietitians are considered Nutritionists while Nutritionists may not be employed as a Dietitian without an accredited dietetics qualification.
This degree is recognised at a national and international level and graduates are eligible for Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) status as well as membership of the Dietitians Association of Australia, the Public Health Association, Sports Medicine Australia, the Nutrition Society and other bodies. Employment is available in a variety of settings including public and private hospitals, community health services, nursing homes, the food industry as well as private practice.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of postgraduate study options available. Postgraduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the postgraduate study options following the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics include:
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
Sample JobsThe sample job titles listed include a range of opportunities for graduates at degree, honours and postgraduate study levels.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Dietitians are employed in a variety of settings and work with a range of people including patients in public and private hospitals, children in schools, whole communities, sports professionals, and professionals in the health and corporate sector. Below are just some examples of organisations that recruit Nutrition and Dietetics graduates.
- ACT Health (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Sport (International)
- CSIRO (Australia)
- Dairy Australia (Australia)
- Defence, Science and Technology Organisation (Australia)
- Heart Foundation (Australia)
- Heinz Australia (Australia)
- Hunter New England Health (Australia)
- Masterfoods (Australia)
- NSW Department of Health (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Arnhem Land Progress Association (Australia)
- Australasian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (Australia)
- Australian Diabetes Educators Association (Australia)
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Australia)
- Australian institute of Food Science and Technology Incorporated (Australia)
- Coalition on Food Advertising to Children (Australia)
- Dieticians Association of Australia (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
EmployabilityGraduate attributes for the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics are the skills, attitudes and knowledge that are highly sought after by a broad range of employers. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Medicine are the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge acquired through this program. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
- Current and in-depth knowledge of food and nutrition sciences, medical nutrition
- Therapy, public health nutrition and food service management.
- Demonstrated competence to assess people’s nutritional needs at individual and group level.
- Demonstrated competence to advise on nutrition and diet for general good health or for special needs.
- Demonstrated ability to implement and manage nutrition services and programs.
- Competence in developing and implementing food and nutrition education programs.
- Ability to identify and analyse complex problems within nutrition and dietetics and develop solutions to these problems.
- Skills in the development of nutrition communications, nutrition programs and policy.
- The knowledge and skills to perform in a socially responsible manner, and to engage in lifelong learning.