Food and nutrition FAQs

What courses are available in undergraduate food and nutrition?

Food and Nutrition:
Bachelor of Food and Nutrition H315
Honours:
Bachelor of Food and Nutrition (Honours) H418

Offered at the Melbourne Campus at Burwood and Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds.

What is the difference between the Bachelor of Food and Nutrition and the Food Science major?

This course is called the Bachelor of Food and Nutrition.  By the time you complete this course you will have a solid foundation in both food and nutrition.  In order to graduate you need to complete 24 credits.  Of these 24 credits, 16 are core required credits and the other 8 credits are elective credits.  You can choose any units within the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences or anywhere in the University to meet this elective credit requirement.

If you are interested in food science, you can take a 6 credit sequence of food science units that count towards your elective requirements for your degree.  This sequence of units is called the Food Science major.  If you complete the Food Science major you will have the more specialised knowledge and skills that will help you obtain employment in a variety of roles in the food industry. The food industry is a major employment area both within Australia and internationally.

What is the advantage of completing an Honours degree in this area?

The Honours degree consists of a combination of coursework and a research project.  In the project you will work with a supervisor and gain insight into research.  On completion of your Honours degree you may apply to enter a Masters or doctoral program by research. In addition, you will develop skills in managing research projects, statistical analysis, data interpretation and report writing. These skills are highly valued by the food and nutrition profession and can provide you with a competitive edge in the job market.

What is nutrition?

Human nutrition is the science of how the body obtains and uses nutrients from food for maintenance, growth and renewal of body tissues necessary for life. The scope of human nutrition extends far beyond the classical study of the physiological and biochemical processes involved in nourishment. Nutrition also considers why people choose to eat the foods they do even after they have been advised that doing so may be unhealthy. The study of food habits and people's attitudes, beliefs, likes and dislikes overlap with the social sciences of psychology, anthropology, sociology and economics.

What does a Nutritionist do?

Nutritionists apply scientific principles and methods in the field of nutrition to influence the broad environment affecting food supply and eating behaviour, to enhance nutritional status and prevent chronic diseases.  Nutritionists design, coordinate, implement and evaluate a range of population health interventions to improve the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the population as a whole, through better food and nutrition.

Who can call themselves a Nutritionist?

There are a diverse range of qualifications that can lead to people calling themselves a Nutritionist.  A Nutritionist may have a Bachelor level degree with a major in nutrition, a postgraduate degree (such as Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters degree) or even a PhD specialising in nutrition.

Some people call themselves Nutritionists even though they do not have suitable qualifications as there is no legal protection of the title 'Nutritionist'.  A registration system does exist with the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) and this will help support the profession and its development into the future.

What is food science?

Food science is the application of a range of scientific disciplines to understand foods and all their components and the application of the scientific knowledge so derived to the design, development and production of food products of consistently high quality.

What is a Food Scientist?

A food scientist is a person involved with the science of food.  They will have specific knowledge relating to the composition of foods and how the composition relates to functional properties of the foods and how the food tastes. Food scientists will have knowledge in diverse areas such as food microbiology, food chemistry and the physics of food.  The Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) is the professional body for food scientists/technologists employed in the food industry.

What is the relationship between nutrition and food science?

Food science deals with all the scientific aspects of food before it is consumed. Nutrition deals with how food gets into the body and how this ingestion promotes or affects health.

What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietitian?

Nutritionist
Nutritionists design, coordinate, implement and evaluate a range of population health interventions to improve the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the population as a whole, through better food and nutrition. 

There are a diverse range of qualifications that can lead to people calling themselves a Nutritionist.  A Nutritionist may have a Bachelor level degree with majors in nutrition, a postgraduate degree (such as Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters degree) or even a PhD specialising in nutrition.

Some people call themselves Nutritionists even though they do not have suitable qualifications as there is no legal protection of the title 'Nutritionist'.  A registration system does exist with the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) and this will help support the profession and its development into the future.

Dietitian
Dietitians are health professionals specialising in foods and nutrition who have received clinical training to prescribe special diets for medical conditions. Dietitians are trained to work in the clinical setting and currently it is their qualification which allows them to work as a Dietitian in a hospital, community or private practice setting. Dietitians are eligible for membership of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) and to participate in the Accredited Practising Dietitians (APD) and/or Accredited Nutritionist (AN) program.  The titles APD and AN are protected by law so that only qualified practitioners who have met certain requirements can use this title.  Please refer to the DAA website for further details on the APD and AN program.

Click here for information on the Deakin Master of Dietetics course information.

Can I be a Dietitian after this degree?

No, however if you choose the recommended units/electives you may be eligible to apply for our Master of Dietetics course.

What opportunities exist for further study?

If I am a Year 12 or VCE student what Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) is required and what prerequisites are needed?

Applications for current Year 12 students must be made through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC). Prerequisite studies: VCE units 3 and 4 – with a study score of at least 30 in English (ESL) or 25 in any other English. For more information, please visit www.deakin.edu.au/future-students/courses

If I am a non-school leaver or mature aged student what are the requirements to undertake these courses?

All prospective students are encouraged to sit the STAT test to supplement their applications.

All non-Year 12 applicants must apply through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC).

Are qualifications recognised overseas?

Most of the careers listed below are also available overseas as many Australian degrees are recognised internationally.
Going Global Career Guides are the ultimate international job seeker's guide!
http://www.deakin.edu.au/students/jobs-career/work-experience-and-preparing-for-employment/going-global

Labour market information/employment opportunities

Salaries in food science and nutrition careers range between $45,000 and $80,000 plus, depending on your experience and chosen work area.

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