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Choosing which nutrition course you undertake can be difficultAustralian university nutrition courses

Last Updated: October 2015

Studying Nutrition in Australia

How do I become a professionally accredited or registered nutritionist?

NOTE:  A number of course providers offer courses that promise qualifications or careers such as "health coach", "nutrition certification", "nutritional advisor", "food coach", "nutritional counsellor", "wellness coach", "diet therapist", "nutrition expert", "professional nutritionist" and "weight loss consultant"  or similar - please note that these courses and qualifications are in no way the same or comparable to professional study in nutrition to become a Registered Nutritionist or Accredited Practicing Dietitian (even if the courses are very expensive) and are unlikely to assist you in achieving nutrition-related employment or professional opportunities in the field of nutrition. In order to practice or work in nutrition at a professional career level you will require an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine (HLT61012) as an absolute minimum qualification, or ideally a university degree in nutritional science and / or dietetics at a recognised Australian University.       

Who can call themselves a nutritionist? 

In Australia there is currently no control or regulation over who can call themselves a nutritionist.  This makes selecting an appropriate professional training course very difficult as course providers can promise that they will accredit you to work as a nutritionist, when in reality, you could actually already call yourself a nutritionist without undertaking any study in nutrition at all.  This is however slowly changing, with both the Nutrition Society of Australia ( and the Dietitians Association of Australia ( establishing guidelines for registration of nutritionists.  Professional training in nutrition routinely involves a comprehensive program of tertiary studies and takes a number of years of full time study to complete and is likely to cost more than AU $30,000 (government fee loans can apply). 

Accreditation and registration guidelines for nutritionists and dietitians in Australia

Professional accreditation and regulation of nutrition professionals in Australia is increasingly reliant upon industry bodies such as the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) and the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA).  This industry accreditation requires a degree qualification in nutrition (or a related health science plus postgraduate study in nutrition that is approved or accredited by the Nutrition Society of Australia and / or the Dietitians Association of Australia) as a minimum.  Neither the NSA or DAA recognise diploma and advanced diploma level courses.  Registration and accreditation of nutrition professionals is a very complex area which is constantly changing and evolving.  If you have particular questions or concerns regarding this matter please feel free to contact us. 

Nutrition Society of Australia - Register of Nutritionists "Registered Nutritionist"

The Nutrition Society of Australia has established a professional registration program that promotes and encourages high standards of training.  Inclusion on this register requires a undergraduate degree in human nutrition or a related health or nutritional science combined with at least three years of advanced postgraduate study or professional experience in nutrition.   Nutritionists registered by the Nutrition Society of Australia may work in a range of health and nutrition roles including designing, coordinating, implementing and evaluating a range of population health interventions.  Registered and Public Health Nutritionists may work in a number of other roles, including research, nutrition consultants and advisors, public health and health promotion coordinators, community development officers, quality and nutrition coordinators, food technologists, media spokespeople and more.    

The primary goal of the NSA Register of Nutritionists is to distinguish individuals who have received an appropriate level of training and experience from those who have not.  Qualifications required to register as a Nutritionist with the NSA include a Bachelor level degree with majors in nutrition or a postgraduate degree such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters degree or PhD specialising in nutrition.  There is no course that will guarantee registration.  

To view the NSA Register of Nutritionists or find out more about registration requirements go to:     

Nutrition Society of Australia

PO Box 576

Crows Nest NSW, 1585 Australia

Telephone: 02 9431 8655


Dietitians Association of Australia - "Accredited Practicing Dietitian"

The Dietitians Association of Australia has a comprehensive accreditation scheme for dietitians.   To find out more go to   

Dietitians Association of Australia

National Office

1/8 Phipps Close

Deakin ACT 2600

Telephone: 02 6163 5200

Email: nationaloffice@daa.asn,au


Nutrition Australia, a peak nutrition body has also developed a fact sheet outlining nutrition training and qualification, registration options and desired study outcomes in Australia.  To view a copy of Nutrition Australia's fact sheet, please click here.  


Nutrition Training - University or Private College?

While many education and training providers in Australia have Higher Education status (and can therefore award degree qualifications) generally when considering nutrition course providers - course providers such as "colleges", "institutes" and "academies" are not as well recognised in the nutrition and health science industry.  When deciding where to study in order to become a 'nutritionist' it is important to consider many factors.  The following information has been developed to some study-path options and questions to ask if you are wanting to train as a nutritionist.  

Time requirements

Generally most professional nutrition courses will take a minimum of three/four -years full time study to complete (unless you have already completed an undergraduate degree in a related health science).   

Course requirements

  • Most courses will involve such subjects as anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pathology, diagnostics, physical examination, practice managements and counselling as well as nutrition. 
  • Students will also be required to undertake several hundred hours in clinical placement (e.g. a nutritionist's private practice, student clinic, hospitals etc).  Nutrition and health science qualifications that do not include clinical placement are not commonly recognised by many professional accreditation bodies, which can be problematic as professional membership of accreditation bodies is often vital for attainment of professional indemnity insurance, private health fund rebates and professional recognition upon graduation.    

Things to consider when comparing professional nutrition courses

  • Qualification upon completion: many private providers and universities offer a range of nutrition training, however it is vital that you find out what your final qualification will actually allow you to do.  This is particularly important if you plan to work in private practice or a clinical setting, as not all courses will actually qualify you to do this.  A number of correspondence and online courses also promise qualifications such as "nutritional advisor", "food coach", "health coach", "nutritional counsellor", "diet therapist", "nutrition expert", "professional nutritionist" and "weight loss consultant"  or similar - please note that, to the best of our professional and industry knowledge, these qualifications are not widely recognised in Australia (even if the courses are very expensive) and are unlikely to assist you in achieving nutrition-related employment or professional opportunities at a career-path level.         
  • Academic qualifications of the faculty (academic staff): ensure that members of academic staff have suitable university qualifications in the science of nutrition and/or dietetics, and specialist faculty / academics are are registered as nutrition professionals themselves (e.g. are appropriately registered by the Nutrition Society of Australia (Registered Nutritionist) or the Dietitians Association of Australia (Accredited Practicing Dietitian).  This is generally not an issue in the Australian university system as their Higher Education status means that their academic staff must be appropriately qualified however this quality assurance often does not stretch to many of the private providers, colleges, academies and institutes.     
  • Cost: ensure you are fully informed about all costs: including all fees, GST or other taxes, international currency exchange, examination fees, clinical and laboratory fees and request some indication of the costs of texts.  Private colleges tend to be more expensive than universities in the sense that they charge up-front fees whereas Fee Help options are available for public university courses in Australia.
  • Student support and service level: ask about what support services are offered to students undertaking a course (e.g. what sort of contact occurs during a correspondence course, for example is it online only, or can you speak to your lecturer over the phone or during online tutorials? Will the person you will be in contact with be appropriately qualified in their subject area?).
  • Residential and examination requirements: if you are planning to undertake your studies via correspondence (online, distance or off-campus) , be sure to check if you will be required to attend any residential sessions (generally a few days each semester where you are required to attend the university for a block of lectures or laboratory sessions).  Remember to factor the cost of travel, accommodation and possibly time off work to attend these.  Also check how clinical hours are required to be completed and whether there is assistance finding placements with nutrition professionals.  Many online, distance and correspondence courses also require you to attend exams.  Make sure you know where your nearest examination centre is.         
  • Mode of delivery: Research constantly confirms that courses delivered completely online have poorer educational outcomes for students.  When studying via distance learning it is vital to have complete, detailed information available to you.  Beware of distance courses which rely solely or too heavily on note form or presentation formats such as video or PowerPoint, such media is only helpful if you are in a very well supported lecture environment and are accompanied with comprehensive written learning materials.     

Current Australian training requirements for accreditation or registration as a nutritionist:   

Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine (HLT61012):  This is the absolute minimum level qualification you should consider if you are planning to practice as a nutritionist in Australia.  This qualification is a part of the Nationally Recognised Training System.  This qualification is not recognised by the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of Australia but is commonly recognised by associations such as the Australian Traditional Medicine Society or the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) please note that many private health fund providers will not recognise courses that are delivered by online, distance, correspondence (and / or the clinical training was not supervised by an appropriately qualified health professional) for client health fund rebate purposes.  This is an important consideration if you are planning to work in a consultation / private practice context in the future.   

Accreditation arrangements for the Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine require the following study load for this qualification: Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry and Chemistry, Diagnosis, Pathology and Pharmacology, Nutrition, Professional practice studies, Communication, supervised clinical training, Safe Practice, First Aid Certificate.  You will require professional accreditation in order to gain professional indemnity insurance and be able to legally practice as a nutritionist upon graduation from your studies.  The Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine is not directly recognised by the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of  Australia nutritionist registration programs.  Our professional advice if wishing to become an appropriately qualified nutritionist and gain success in the nutrition industry is to choose a degree in nutrition and / or dietetics at a reputable Australian University.  If you do choose to undertake the Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine, be sure to choose a college or training provider that has a degree pathway qualification option (for example, at completion of your studies you can complete further study to attain a Bachelor of Health Science at a reputable Australian University), as it is our experience and opinion that you will require a degree in order to effectively progress in the nutrition industry (as well as apply for registration as Registered Nutritionist) in the near future.  We do not recommend any particular provider of this qualification but would encourage you to choose a provider that suits your planned study mode (e.g classroom or correspondence - based) as well as one that offers a direct degree upgrade qualification to a degree that is suitably recognised by the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of Australia.                

Degree qualifications: 
In order to gain recognition and registration as a professional nutritionist by peak bodies such as the Nutrition Society of Australia or the Dietitians Association of Australia you will require a Bachelor of Science or other suitable degree qualification with a major strand of study in health or nutrition science with honours plus a minimum of three years professional experience or ongoing postgraduate level study.  A list of Australian University nutrition courses is listed below.

Australian University Nutrition Degrees (undergraduate and postgraduate)

Currently in Australia the best professional nutrition education and professional training is via a recognised Australian university.  For individuals wishing to study nutrition at a professional level, we have compiled a list of courses and study paths available Australian Universities.  Please note that this list is not exhaustive and includes both undergraduate and postgraduate study options.  For further information on any of these courses please contact the university or institution directly.         

Courses listed here include both nutrition and dietetics degrees.  Information regarding accredited dietetic degrees is sourced from the Dietitians Association of Australia.  For details regarding programs accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia please go to or for details regarding the Nutrition Society of Australia's nutritionist registration program go to:       

University of Newcastle, NSW

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours)

Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition


University of Sydney, NSW

Master of Nutrition and Dietetics

Bachelor of Science and Master of Nutrition and Dietetics


Deakin University, Victoria

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Graduate Certificate of Human Nutrition

Graduate Diploma of Human Nutrition

Master of Human Nutrition


University of Wollongong, NSW

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics)


University of Canberra, ACT

Master of Nutrition and Dietetics

Bachelor of Human Nutrition


Griffith University, QLD

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Master of Human Nutrition and Dietetics

Graduate Diploma of Nutrition

Bachelor of Public Health in Health Promotion and Public Health Nutrition


Queensland University of Technology, QLD

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Bachelor of Nutrition Science


University of Queensland, QLD

Master of Dietetics Studies

Bachelor of Exercise and Nutrition Science


University of the Sunshine Coast, QLD

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Master of Sports Nutrition by Research


Flinders University, SA

Master of Nutrition and Dietetics

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics


University of South Australia, SA

Master of Dietetics

Bachelor of Nutrition and Food Sciences


La Trobe University, VIC

Bachelor of Health Sciences and Master of Dietetic Practice

Master of Dietetic Practice

Bachelor of Human Nutrition


Edith Cowan University, WA

Master of Nutrition and Dietetics


Monash University, VIC

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

Degree Pathways and Advanced Standing

Beck Health & Nutrition courses can offer advanced standing / course credit opportunities for further qualifications in nutrition, however this is dependent on the course that you are applying for.  For example, it is likely that you will receive some advanced standing / credit / recognition of prior learning (RPL) if you are applying for an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine or a degree majoring in nutrition.  All Australian universities, higher education providers and Registered Training Organisations are legally required to consider prior learning in relevant areas of study (for example, nutrition) in order to maximise advanced standing / course credit for learners. 



Other nutrition study options:


Certificate III in Nutrition and Dietetic Assistance (HLT31512) and Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance (HLT42512)

These qualifications are offered by TAFEs and some private providers and are of value to individuals who wish to work as an assistant to an Accredited Practicing Dietitian or consultant nutrition professional in a workplace such as a nursing home, hospital or other health care setting.  This qualification does include some very basic study of nutrition but more from a workplace application context, rather than a study of nutrition science. 


Diploma of Nutrition and Dietetics for Personal Trainers (10454NAT)

This is a new course in nutrition for Personal Trainers offered by a private provider specialising in fitness education.  It is commendable that this course forms a component of the Nationally Recognised Training System, however as it is a new course, it is still unclear how well it will be received and recognised in the fitness and wider health and nutrition industry.  As mentioned previously, at this point in time a degree in nutrition science at a reputable Australian University is still ideal if you wish to progress your career in the field of nutrition.    


Diploma of Health Coaching (or similar)

A number of international and Australian private course providers are now offering qualifications to become a health coach, wellness coach, nutrition or food coach (or similar).  Beck Health & Nutrition courses allow you to automatically access the same accreditation and professional indemnity insurance for these purposes.  To find out more please read our health and nutrition coaching guide      




Students who successfully complete a Beck Health & Nutrition course are automatically eligible for accreditation from the International Institute for Complementary Therapists and will be eligible for accreditation and professional indemnity and business insurance for nutrition and health coaching, nutritional advice and menu planning.  To find out more about accreditation and insurance options, please read our "studying to be a health and nutrition coach" guide. 


Note: As we have always maintained, Beck Health & Nutrition courses are designed for professional development and personal interest purposes.  A course from any private provider is not going to provide you with the qualifications required to become a nutrition professional such as a Registered Nutritionist or Accredited Practicing Dietitian (you will need to complete a degree at a recognised Australian university for this) however this opportunity is an important development for individuals passionate about health, wellbeing and nutrition to work and access insurance for the tailored services they wish to provide (health and nutrition coaching, nutrition and dietary advice, nutrition and health communications, health coaching and education) and add professionalism to their work. 


Beck Health & Nutrition courses

  • Beck Health & Nutrition courses can be used to assist entry into professional nutrition qualifications.   
  • Beck Health & Nutrition courses are designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to nutrition and detail a large range of common nutritional principles and issues.  The courses are designed to be completed in approximately 40 hours of study over a six month timeframe whereas a first-semester introductory nutrition unit at an Australian university requires more than 100 study hours (and generally cost in the vicinity of $2000-$3000 per unit).  The short-course nature of Beck Health & Nutrition courses mean that they will not qualify and accredit you as a professionally accredited nutritionist or dietitian (as this takes several years of full-time study). 
  • Beck Health & Nutrition courses can be used by health professionals for professional registration points and broadening of current services.
  • Beck Health & Nutrition courses are especially useful for General Practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, personal trainers, naturopaths, weight loss consultants, teachers and childcare workers, health food and pharmacy staff or anyone who requires a sound working knowledge of nutrition and health.   
  • Beck Health & Nutrition courses can offer successful graduates the option to gain access to professional indemnity and public liability insurance to provide nutritional advice as part of their current services.     


Note: The area of nutrition and professional training in Australia is constantly changing.  If you have a question that you think we can help you with, please contact us.    



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