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Programme list > Master of Science > Nutrition and Dietetics

Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics)


Turn your passion into your profession with dietetics at Massey

If you are fascinated by the intricacies of and relationships between food, nutrients, health, and disease, and how they can be manipulated to improve health and wellbeing, then the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is for you.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
  • Campus

  • Auckland
  • Duration

  • 2 years full-time.
  • Other

  • Selected entry programme.

Note: This programme is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.

Dietetics is the application of nutritional science to providing care to people in health and various disease states.

The Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) provides specialised training in all aspects of nutritional science, including dietetics competencies, research underpinning current practices, and an excellent understanding of professional and ethical practice.

Dietetics graduates will meet registration competency requirements of the New Zealand Dietitians Board.

As a registered dietitian (RD), you will be uniquely qualified to translate the latest nutritional science into practical dietary care and advice. Dietitians promote good health, advise about prevention of nutrition-related problems, treat disease, and contribute to research informing evidence-based practice.

You can become a registered dietitian. See the ‘Professional requirements’ section on this page.

Careers and further study


Graduates are eligible to apply to be registered with the New Zealand Dietitians Board to practise as a dietitian in New Zealand (NZRD), and will become eligible to apply for registration in both Australia and the United Kingdom.

Working as part of a community or healthcare team, you will have the opportunity to specialise in areas such as diabetes or paediatrics, or apply your skills in the food or sports industries, education, research, or journalism. Career opportunities include:

  • clinical dietetics (e.g. hospitals, clinics, private practice)
  • community dietetics (e.g. marae, public health, rest homes, schools)
  • consultancy and private practice
  • management or research and development roles in food companies and food industry
  • food service management
  • industry (e.g. corporate health and wellness)
  • health promotion or public health agencies (e.g. NZ Ministry Of Health, NZ Heart Foundation)
  • media (e.g. publications, television, marketing)
  • medical nutritional companies (e.g. nutrition and dietetics advisor, nutritional representative)
  • research and education
  • sports and exercise nutrition (e.g. elite and recreational sports teams, fitness industry).

DietitiansNZ is a professional association that represents dietitians practising in diverse areas of dietetics.

Further study

Graduates of the MSc (Nutrition and Dietetics) programme are eligible to apply for PhD study.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


This programme is a selected entry programme. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.

To enter the Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) programme, you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in the intended postgraduate subject, or equivalent, with a minimum B average in the majoring 300-level courses, or
  • the Bachelor of Science with Honours, in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses and a B grade in an approved research methods course, or
  • the Postgraduate Diploma in Science and Technology in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses and a B grade in an approved research methods course, or
  • the Postgraduate Certificate in Science and Technology in the intended MSc subject, having achieved a B grade average over the contributing courses and a B grade in an approved research methods course. and
  • you will meet all the requirements of the New Zealand Dietitians Board for registration as an entry-level dietitian in terms of good character and fitness to be a dietitian.

Equivalent qualifications will be determined independently by considering whether you have successfully completed the required prerequisite knowledge. For equivalency, the qualification must include all of the following prerequisite subject areas:

At least four human nutrition majoring courses, with at least three at third year level:

  • First and second year biochemistry
  • First and second year physiology
  • Food chemistry.

For each intake, subject to availability, places will be reserved for Massey University students who meet a GPA of 6 (B+ grade average) and above as well as other entry requirements.

An offer made for a place in the programme is only valid for the particular application year, therefore deferment is not possible and you must apply again.

Documents you will need to supply to support your application:

  • verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University
  • a copy of your current curriculum vitae (CV) (including your relevant training and experience, and a current photo)
  • a personal statement/cover letter
  • a short summary of your research interests (200 words or less)
  • contact details of two referees (one work, one academic)
  • a completed police vetting form.

If selected for an interview you will be required to attend in person or on zoom in early December at Massey University’s campus in Albany (Auckland).

Any offer of place on the programme is conditional on:

  • passing the police vetting check and health screening (including full COVID-19 immunisation)
  • availability of clinical placements.

See below for more details.

Application closing date

If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on 1 November 2021.

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards for postgraduate study.

The New Zealand Dietitians Board has additional English language requirements for registration (refer to their website).

Other requirements

Current curriculum vitae

This is a document of approximately three pages documenting your relevant training, experience and professional memberships, including a current photo.  Please include all work and volunteer experience.

Personal statement/cover letter

This is a one page document explaining why you would like to become a dietitian and why you chose the Massey University Dietetics programme. List any personal characteristics you have that demonstrate your suitability.


We require two people who can act as referees for you and who are able to provide informed responses on your personal suitability for the programme. They should know you well in relation to your professional potential as a registered dietitian.  One referee must be able to comment on your academic suitability, ie a lecturer from your most recent academic course.  The other referee should be someone who has known you for one year or more in the capacity of employer, educator, work colleague or person of community standing, ie Kaumatua, Minister or similar. This referee should not be a friend, flatmate, relative or someone who has not known you for at least a year. The information your referee supplies is confidential to those involved in the selection process. You will need to provide their full name, email, telephone number, organisation, position and relationship to yourself.

Health and disability

If you disclose any disability, health or personal information as part of your application, this will be assessed during the selection process and is confidential to the University staff processing your application.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

180 credits (most subjects)

  • Part One compulsory and subject courses – 60‑120 credits
  • Part Two research – 60‑120 credits
  • A specialisation (subject) is compulsory.

These subjects require 240 credits:

  • Nutrition and Dietetics (includes 150 credits of compulsory Part One courses)
  • Psychology
  • Psychology - Health Psychology

Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements may be able to complete this degree by undertaking a 120 credit thesis.

This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.

Courses for this specialisation

Part One

105 credits
151717 Selected Topics in Public Health Nutrition 15
151741 Research Methods and Statistics for Dietetics 15
151742 Nutrients for Health and Disease 15
151743 Foodservice Management 15
151744 Medical Nutrition Therapy 1 15
151745 Medical Nutrition Therapy 2 15
151746 Communications in Dietetic Practice 15

Part Two

135 credits
151750 Professional Dietetic Practice 45
151891 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 45
151892 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 45
151895 Thesis 90

Planning your programme

Planning overview

This programme is only available for full-time study, and you will enrol into prescribed courses every year. This full-time programme is completed over 24 months and includes:

  • course work (mostly in your first year)
  • professional dietetics practice training as work integrated learning (mostly in the second year; at least 20 weeks), and
  • research component (thesis - throughout both years).

You will follow a prescribed programme, where the courses, training and research components build on one another to achieve the required competencies and skills to comply with the New Zealand Dietitians Board requirements for registration.

Due to the specialised nature of the programme and requirements of an accredited programme, some course work and work integrated learning opportunities will be outside of the normal University semester weeks, utilising the full 24 months.

This is an intensive programme placing high demand on both time commitments and personal resources.

Work integrated learning opportunities may be outside of Auckland, requiring students to travel. Travel and accommodation costs must be paid for by the students. Careful consideration should be given before committing to any part-time work whilst completing this full-time programme.

A B grade average in your first year is required to be able to progress to the second year.  The second year involves the completion of the research thesis and professional practice components.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Professional requirements

The Massey University MSc (Nutrition and Dietetics) programme outcomes align with the Professional Standards & Competencies for Dietitians (PSCD). This includes the Code of Ethics & Conduct for Dietitians as prescribed by the Dietitians Board, to ensure that on completion of this programme, every graduate is competent to practise dietetics across the Scope of Practice for Dietitians in New Zealand.

Become a registered dietitian

Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) graduates will meet the registration competency requirements of the New Zealand Dietitians Board.

As a Registered Dietitian (RD), you will be uniquely qualified to translate the latest nutritional science into practical dietary advice. Dietitians promote good health, advise about prevention of nutrition-related problems, and are able to treat disease and ill health.

Working as part of a community or healthcare team, you will have the opportunity to specialise in areas such as diabetes or paediatrics, or you can employ your skills in the food or sports industries, education, research, or journalism.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • have a passion for food, nutrition and health
  • enjoy working with people
  • want to become a registered dietitian.

Meet our students

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships