University of Sydney Handbooks - 2012 Archive

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Nutrition and Dietetics


Master of Nutrition and Dietetics

These resolutions must be read in conjunction with applicable University By-laws, Rules and policies including (but not limited to) the University of Sydney (Coursework) Rule 2000 (the 'Coursework Rule'), the Resolutions of the Faculty, the University of Sydney (Student Appeals against Academic Decisions) Rule 2006 (as amended) and the Academic Board policies on Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism.

Course resolutions

1 Course codes


Course title


Master of Nutrition and Dietetics

2 Attendance pattern

The attendance pattern for this course is full time only.

3 Master's type

The master's degree in these resolutions is a professional master's course.

4 Admission to candidature

With approval from the Dean, available places will be offered to qualified applicants based on merit, according to the following admissions criteria:
Admission to the degree requires a bachelor's degree from the University of Sydney, or equivalent qualification, and completion of two semesters of units of study acceptable to the Faculty in each of Biochemistry and Human Physiology.

5 Requirements for award

The units of study that may be taken for the course are set out in the table for the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics.
To qualify for the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics a candidate must complete a prescribed program of 96 credit points, including:
48 credit points of first year units of study; and
24 credit points being the dietetics training placement; and
24 credit points being the Nutrition Research Project.

6 Satisfactory progress

Successful completion of the training placement is a requirement of this course. Candidates who fail the training placement once will be identified as not meeting academic progression requirements and become subject to the Progression provisions of the Coursework Rule. Candidates who fail the training placement a second time will be permanently excluded from the course if they cannot show cause. Any further failures in the training placement will result in automatic and permanent exclusion from the course.

7 Transitional provisions

These resolutions apply to persons who commenced their candidature after 1 January, 2011 and persons who commenced their candidature prior to 1 January, 2011 who elect to proceed under these resolutions.
Candidates who commenced prior to 1 January, 2011 may complete the requirements in accordance with the resolutions in force at the time of their commencement, provided that requirements are completed by 1 January, 2016, or later date as the faculty may, in special circumstances, approve.

Course overview

The Master of Nutrition and Dietetics provides professional education for dieticians/nutritionists. It builds on major concepts from the study of human biochemistry and physiology to discuss the roles of all nutrients, nutritional contents of food and food and diet in health and disease. The programme includes all the units of study to ensure dietetics competence can be reached including public health, medical nutrition therapy, food services management, communication, management and research and evaluation.

The course requires two years of full-time work and study. The first year consists of coursework, lectures, tutorials and practicals. In the second year, one semester is devoted to clinical training and the other semester is spent on a small research project. The dates for this course do not follow the undergraduate academic year. The second year commences in late January.

Course outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the graduate will have a sound knowledge base in nutrition and dietetics, possess the skills to improve nutritional status of individuals, families, and the community at large and to modulate the course of illness with dietetics. The graduate will be skilled in basic research and have a lifelong commitment to the pursuit of excellence in professional conduct. Graduates of the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics are eligible to apply for admission to a research degree (Doctor of Philosophy).

Admission requirements

Applicants must have a Science degree from a recognised tertiary institution and have completed two semesters of study in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and two semesters in Human Physiology at the intermediate or senior level. This prerequisite is required by the Dietitians Association of Australia. It would be expected that at least junior chemistry, biology and maths would also be included in the undergraduate degree. Applicants who meet the minimum entry requirements are then ranked according to their academic record with offers made on a competitive basis.

Course Structure

First year: This is an integrated academic year of teaching, practicals and study. All students take the units of study listed below.

Second year: In the second year students undertake a clinical training in hospital, community and food service training placement. The other semester is a research project. During the second year all students are required to attend formal seminars at the University approximately one day per month. The units of study are supervised by a Program Committee in Nutrition and Dietetics, chaired by the Head of School.

Units of study tables

Unit of study Credit points A: Assumed knowledge P: Prerequisites C: Corequisites N: Prohibition Session
First Year Core Units
Dietary Intake & Nutritional Assessment
6    C NTDT5602, NTDT5601 and NTDT5604
Semester 1
Nutritional and Food Science
6    C NTDT5602, NTDT5503 and NTDT5604 (previously known as NTDT5504)
Semester 1
Methods in Nutrition Research
6    C NTDT5601, NTDT5503 and NTDT5604
Semester 1
Dietetics Professional Studies
6    C NTDT5601, NTDT5602 and NTDT5503
Semester 1
Food Service Management
6    P NTDT5601, NTDT5503, NTDT5604 and NTDT5602
C NTDT5307 and NTDT5608
Semester 2
Public Health and Community Nutrition
6    P NTDT5601, NTDT5503, NTDT5604 and NTDT5602
C NTDT5305 and NTDT5307
Semester 2
Medical Nutrition
12    P NTDT5503, NTDT5601, NTDT5602, NTDT5604
C NTDT5305 and NTDT5608
Semester 2
Second Year Core Units
Nutrition Research Project
24      Semester 2
Dietetics Training Placement
24    P NTDT5601, NTDT5503, NTDT5604, NTDT5602, NTDT5305, NTDT5307, NTDT5608

Placements commence in January
Int June


Unit of study descriptions 2012

NTDT5601 Nutritional and Food Science

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: TBA Session: Semester 1 Classes: 4 lectures and 1 tutorial per week Corequisites: NTDT5602, NTDT5503 and NTDT5604 (previously known as NTDT5504) Assessment: Two 1 hour formative quiz (50%); one 2 hour final exam (50%)
This unit of study coversthe different macro nutrients and the ways in which they are metabolized and micronutirents and their biochemical and physiologiocal roles. It includes requirements for health, deficiency diseases and toxicity.This unit of study also involves the study of different types of food, theirnutritional attributes and relationship to health. Aspects of food microbiology and food safety are included.
Mann J and Truswell A.S. Essentials of Human Nutrition Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd Ed, 2007
NTDT5503 Dietary Intake & Nutritional Assessment

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Katherine Jukic Session: Semester 1 Classes: Lectures/tutorials/workshops averaging 5 hours per week Corequisites: NTDT5602, NTDT5601 and NTDT5604 Assessment: One 2-hour exam, plus 5 assignments (100%)
This unit of study covers Dietary Assessment Methods in the context of individual, group and population dietary data: purposes of dietary assessment; uses of dietary data; four key dietary assessment methods and their use, application, strengths, weaknesses, sources of measurement error; quantification of portion and serve sizes; evaluation and validation of dietary data; use and application of dietary reference standards; food composition databases; and the appraisal and interpretation of dietary assessment methods in published literature. This unit of study also covers Anthropometry, Body Composition & Nutritional Biochemistry: anthropometric and body composition methods for the assessment of nutritional status; reference standards for assessing body composition; anthropometric measurements; biochemical and haematological indices for nutritional assessment; and assessment of physical activity. In addition is a module on Nutritional Screening - its key characteristics and objectives, advantages, limitations, and application in practice.
Tutorials and workshops aim to address the practical aspects of the administration of dietary assessment methods, critical appraisal of such methods, food composition, and nutritional screening.
R.S. Gibson Principles of Nutritional Assessment, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press. 2005.
NTDT5604 Dietetics Professional Studies

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: TBA Session: Semester 1 Classes: 3 lectures and 3 practicals per week Corequisites: NTDT5601, NTDT5602 and NTDT5503 Assessment: Assignments (100%)
This course is designed to facilitate students to develop professional communication and organization/management skills that will enable them to work effectively as dietitians. Dietitians work in varied environments - within private and government organizations, industry and in private practice; within teams and solely. Interpersonal, individual and group communication as well as professional, management, organization and general business skills are required in all of these areas. This unit of study introduces communication, management and organization and behavioural theory to dietetics students. Students will have the opportunity to apply these through practical examples in class and by assessment tasks.
Bauer K and Sokolik C. Basic Nutrition Counselling Skills. Wadsworth, 2002. ISBN: 0720916645
NTDT5602 Methods in Nutrition Research

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Margaret Allman-Farinelli Session: Semester 1 Classes: 3 hours of lectures and 2 hours of tutorial or practical work per week. Corequisites: NTDT5601, NTDT5503 and NTDT5604 Assessment: 2 hour exam (60%); 2 assignments (2x20%)
This unit of study introduces students to both qualitative and quantitative research methods that are essential tools for dietitians. Qualitative methods include the development of questionnaires and conduct of focus groups, Students will learn about study design and methods used in epidemiology to be able to critically analyse the scientific literature of nutrition and dietetics. An introduction to statistical tests with practical computer classes will also be included. Scientific writing techniques will be covered.
Bonita R, Beaglehole R, Kjellstrom T. Basic Epidemiology. 2nd Ed. World Health Organisation: Geneva, 2005 Lawrence M and Wolsely T (editors). Public Health Nutrition from Principles to Practice. Allen and Unwin 2007. ISBN: 978 174175 102 4. Chapter 14, pages 344-349
NTDT5305 Food Service Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Ms Tara Diversi Session: Semester 2 Classes: 10 hours practical classes per semester, 4 hours lectures per week. Prerequisites: NTDT5601, NTDT5503, NTDT5604 and NTDT5602 Corequisites: NTDT5307 and NTDT5608 Assessment: Practical assignments (15%), minor projects (30%), major project (55%)
The course introduces students to the principles of Food Service Management including food safety, nutrition marketing, technology in foodservice, food regulations, foodservice across the continuum of care, foodservice for special populations, menu and recipe assessment, menu and recipe development, and management and leadership in foodservice. Students gain knowledge, as well as practical skills and clinical, community, industry and commercial applications.
NTDT5307 Medical Nutrition

Credit points: 12 Teacher/Coordinator: Ms Natasha Davis Session: Semester 2 Classes: Lectures average seven hours per week, tutorials average onehours per week, and group case study (and teaching clinic) 4 hours per week. Prerequisites: NTDT5503, NTDT5601, NTDT5602, NTDT5604 Corequisites: NTDT5305 and NTDT5608 Assessment: Case study (25%) assignment (15%) and formal examination at end of semester (60%).
The broad objectives involve learning the role of medical nutrition therapy to prevent and alleviate disease.The importance of client focused factors in dietary modification; education and interpretation of theory for client understanding are key discussion points.This unit of study involves the study of medicine as it relates to nutrition, and the modification of diet to alter the disease process and nutrition support of patients with wasting illnesses and it includes a paediatric program at the Children's Hospital Westmead.
NTDT5608 Public Health and Community Nutrition

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: TBA Session: Semester 2 Classes: 4 hrs lectures and 2 tutorials or prac per week Prerequisites: NTDT5601, NTDT5503, NTDT5604 and NTDT5602 Corequisites: NTDT5305 and NTDT5307 Assessment: 2 hr exam (50%); 2 assignments (50%)
This unit of study covershealth promotion and population nutrition. : Introduction to health promotionteachesstudents to plan, implementand evaluate nutrition health promotion programs for different population groups in the community. It covers principles of health promotion, conducting needs assessments, effective nutrition promotion strategies, and program evaluation. Population nutrition, examines the scope and distribution of chronic diseases and obesityand role of nutrition in the etiology of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. It also investigates the current nutrition policies and guidelines aimed at preventing these diseases; Food habits which covers theories of food habits and examines food habits of various population groups such as children, adolescents, older people and vulnerable groups.
Hawe P, Degeling D & Hall J. Evaluation Health Promotion - a workers guide. Artarmon, NSW: McLennan & Petty; 1990. Truswell, An ABC of Nutrition. 4th ed. London: BMJ Books. 2003 Lawrence M & Worseley (eds). Public Health Nutrition - from Principles to Practice. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. 2007.
NTDT5612 Dietetics Training Placement

Credit points: 24 Teacher/Coordinator: Ms Margaret Nicholson Session: Int June Classes: 20 weeks full-time placement Prerequisites: NTDT5601, NTDT5503, NTDT5604, NTDT5602, NTDT5305, NTDT5307, NTDT5608 Assessment: Pass or fail at completion
Note: Placements commence in January
During twenty weeks students develop further practice-based skills in each of three settings of work; hospital, community/public health and food service management. The semester commences late January and runs for 20 weeks as prescribed in the requirements of the professional accrediting body.
Placement manual provided by the University.
NTDT5310 Nutrition Research Project

Credit points: 24 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Margaret Allman-Farinelli Session: Semester 2 Classes: Supervised research experience. Assessment: Tutorials on scientific writing and statistics, research proposal, oral presentation, research treatise (100%)
During the research semester each student conducts a small project under the supervision of research academic or practitionerResearch projects can include small surveys, simple bench work, literature reviews, or clinical trials, and are carried out in the University or with an external supervisor.