Master of Health Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics

Applications for this programme close on 1 July 2023.

The Master of Health Sciences (MHSc) in Nutrition and Dietetics is a programme designed to provide the specialised postgraduate training required to enable graduates to seek registration with the New Zealand Dietitians Board to practise as a dietitian in New Zealand. As registered health professionals, dietitians work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community organisations, sports, education, research and the food industry.

The MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics is a two year full-time programme of study, which will provide learning in a broad range of nutrition related areas including medical, sports nutrition, public health nutrition, food service management and professional skills.

Students should feel comfortable working in a clinical environment and have a level of sensitivity towards the needs of people from different cultural groups.

Student learning is supported by expertise developed through small group learning and 20 weeks of placement in a range of nutrition settings. Students may be required to travel around New Zealand for placements to locations including the Waikato, Tairawhiti, Wellington, Christchurch and the West Coast. Every attempt will be made to find placements in Auckland for those with families. Travel and accommodation costs must be paid for by the students.  

Students will also complete a research thesis in order to provide a foundation for evidence-based practice and to enable further higher degree research to be undertaken.

Graduates of the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics will:

  • Have core skills in patient and client-centred care, clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice
  • Be culturally aware, good communicators, empathic listeners and skilled educators
  • Have skills to identify and advocate for effective food policies to improve population health
  • Be equipped with the skills to use lifelong learning and reflective practice to ensure their continued competency in nutrition and dietetics

Programme structure

  • DIETETIC 703 - Clinical nutrition: disease pathophysiology and management (15 points)
  • DIETETIC 707 - Professional Skills 1 (30 points)
  • DIETETIC 708 - Professional Skills 2 (30 points)
  • DIETETIC 710 - Research Methods in Human Nutrition (15 points)
  • MAORIHTH 701 - Foundations of Māori Health (15 points)
  • POPLHLTH 765 - Nutrition Interventions in Public Health (15 points)
  • DIETETIC 709 A&B - Professional Skills 3 (30 points)
  • DIETETIC 793 A&B - Thesis (90 points)


Entry into the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics is competitive due to the limited number of places available. Applicants are normally required to achieve a minimum GPA of 6.0 out of 9.0 (B+ average) to be eligible to apply for entry to the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. The GPA is calculated based on the last 240 ‘relevant’ points of the degree, which for most students are the grades over their final two years of study. Applicants who meet the GPA requirement will be ranked for interview invitation consideration. Following the interview, GPA and interview score will be used to determine final selection into the programme. The weighting given to GPA vs interview score will be 50:50.

One of the aims of the University of Auckland Nutrition and Dietetics programme is to help increase the number of Māori and Pacific dietitians in the New Zealand workforce. Preference will be given to Māori and Pacific students.

Each year, up to 15 places will be reserved for current University of Auckland Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) students. This is the preferred pathway for entry to the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Graduates with equivalent qualifications may compete for the remaining places*.

The following degrees are regarded as an equivalent qualification:

  • Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition (Food Science Pathway) from the University of Auckland  (so long as MEDSCI 142 and POPLHLTH 206 are completed as electives. BIOSCI 358 is also recommended).
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science in Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Auckland (so long as FOODSCI 200 is completed as an elective).
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Auckland (so long as CHEM 110, BIOSCI 107, MEDSCI 142, FOODSCI 200 and POPLHLTH 206 are completed as electives).
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Otago
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science in Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Otago
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from Massey University
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Nutrition from Ara Institute of Canterbury (so long as a food service project is completed as part of the 3rd year industry practicum).

Applicants with one of these qualifications are advised to contact before applying to check that they have covered off all the necessary prerequisite courses.

International students and domestic students who have studied at overseas universities are welcome to apply. To be eligible for admission, these students must have a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition, equivalent to the University of Auckland Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition pathway).*

*To be deemed equivalent, a qualification must include courses in human nutrition to third year level and relevant biochemistry, physiology and food science courses to at least second year level.

In addition, candidates must have a GPA equivalent to a University of Auckland GPA of at least 6 (B+ average).

All applicants (both international and domestic) for whom English or Māori is not their first language (defined as the language a person learns first, usually from the family), and those who have previously studied at a non-English speaking university, must have a minimum Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall score of 7.5, with no band lower than 7 on application. IELTS is not required if applicants have completed a degree from a New Zealand university or another English-speaking university. Students who have enrolled at the University of Auckland English Language Academy must achieve a Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) with an A grade.

All MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics students (both domestic and international) will be required to sit a DELNA test in the early weeks of their first semester, and if identified as needing further support, are expected to follow this up with online resources and workshops provided by English Language Enrichment (ELE) and Student Learning Services. In order to work as a Dietitian in New Zealand, the New Zealand Dietitians Board is required by the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 to ensure that applicants are able to communicate and comprehend effectively in English. The Dietitians Board reserves the right to require proof of English language competence at any time for any applicant when applying for Dietetic registration.

It is not possible to defer the commencement of an offer of a place in the MHSc in Nutrition and Dietetics. Applicants must apply again if they do not wish to take up their offer for the year entry is offered.

2024 entry

Applicants must have completed or currently be in their final year of the BSc in Food Science and Nutrition (Nutrition Pathway) from the University of Auckland or an equivalent qualification (as specified above).

Application closing date: 1 July 2023
All applicants deemed eligible are ranked based on GPA, and short-listed applicants will be invited to the faculty for multiple mini interviews (MMI).


This programme has a total enrolment clause of 280 points. This is the maximum number of points you can enrol in (including failed or withdrawn courses) towards this programme.

Detailed information about admission criteria, programme structure and content, and the schedule of courses can be found in the University Calendar regulations for the Master of Health Sciences. These should also be read in conjunction with the General Regulations - Masters Degrees.