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Transferred from the Gordon Institute of Technology, the Graduate Diploma of Dietetics began at Deakin University in Geelong on 3 February 1978. Twenty-four students enrolled in the course in its maiden year, with enrolments ranging from 17 to 33 students in subsequent years. The diploma was positioned within the Department of Human Nutrition in the School of Sciences and the Division of Biology and Health Sciences.
Back in those days, uniforms were required for placements and consisted of blue denim skirt, blue check blouse, stockings and correct shoes for females, and dark blue trousers with a light blue shirt and correct shoes for males. The original text books included Tucker in Australia, Ed, B. Wood, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Davidson, Brock, Truswell, Australian Food Composition Tables, and Dietary Allowances for Australians. At the time it cost $25 to become a registered dietitian.
Towards the end of the 1980s, a plan was developed to commence a new two-year Master of Nutrition and Dietetics course in 1990 to replace the Graduate Diploma in Dietetics. One reason for this was to reduce the unrealistic length of the Graduate Diploma of Dietetics, which stretched over 46 weeks of the year. The courses differed in the magnitude of the elective project. Some of the time allocated for clinical placements and for the completion of the elective project were removed and the course was offered over two years.
The Master of Nutrition and Dietetics lasted for 11 years, with the final intake of students commencing the course in 2001. This course was subsequently replaced in 2000 by a four-year Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics. In 2006 Deakin reintroduced a postgraduate dietetics qualification with the Master of Dietetics to cater for the large demand in Victoria for this form of qualification. With the move back to postgraduate dietetics, the Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics was phased out in 2009.