Discover nutrition and population health at Deakin

Integrate traditional food wisdom and current scientific evidence to motivate individuals and communities to eat well and live healthier lives.

Diet, nutrition, food and health have never been discussed so much in our lives and media as they are today. There are many health issues attributed to poor diet and nutrition. For example, the wrong food can lead to a lack of energy, weight gain, digestive problems and contribute to depression and anxiety. With health care costs rising around the world, nutrition and diet can serve as key measures to prevent disease and help people live healthier, happier lives. That’s why there is a growing awareness of nutrition and a demand for good advice and qualified Nutritionists. This is a point reflected by the Australian Institute of Heath and Welfare’s: A picture of overweight and obesity in Australia. The 2017 report stated the amount of overweight or obese people in Australia made up one-quarter of children and two-thirds of adults. Those rates are still rising, and unsurprisingly, careers in nutrition are expected to rise too, with around 5000 jobs expected to open in the next five years, according to Job Outlook

Jess Kempler studied a Master’s degree in Nutrition at Deakin University and is now a Public Health Nutritionist and Senior Policy Advisor at The Health Foundation. Jess is currently working on food and nutrition policy at the Department of Health and Human Services and advocating a healthy diet aligned with the government’s Australian Dietary Guidelines. We asked Jess what sort of challenges she faces when it comes to advocating a healthy diet aligned with the government’s Australian Dietary Guidelines – and what inspired her to become a nutritionist.

Why did you decide to become a nutritionist?

‘I decided to study nutrition to gain a better understanding about my relationship with food, specifically about how my experiences with food growing up shaped my habits and eating preferences,’ Jess explains.

‘What really motivated me was my desire to learn how to eat in a way that really nourished my body, and not just ‘fed’ my body. As I worked through my degree I realised that nutrition was a field that I really enjoyed being a part of and could dedicate my career to.’

What does an average day look like for you?

‘Each day is so different! My team and I develop and help implement healthy eating policies in schools, universities and community sports facilities, just to name a few.’

‘I could be helping other government departments make sure their work aligns with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, offering support to external agencies who run healthy eating initiatives in the community, or responding to ministerial requests.’

What do you love most about your job?

‘I love the fact that my job allows me to help communities be healthier; I’m helping to make a healthier future for the next generation of Australians. I also love that my job allows me to keep up to date with the latest nutrition research and evidence, as well as healthy eating initiatives.’

‘I get to learn about a topic that I find fascinating every day, which is really awesome. I also do some part-time teaching for nutrition subjects at Deakin, and I really enjoy the opportunity to give back to the university where my adventure with nutrition began.’

If you are interested in helping communities through improved nutrition, Master of Nutrition and Population Health at Deakin University is the degree for you. Advance your qualification and equip yourself with the skills and knowledge in public health, food science, biochemistry, physiology, epidemiology, psychology, sociology and politics and policy to enable you to work effectively as a nutritionist in a range of employment settings across a range of government, industry, community health sectors, the food industry and private consulting.

Xiaomeng Zhang (Sarah) is currently studying Deakin’s Master of Nutrition and Population Health.

Professional recognition

Enrolled students and graduates can apply for membership of the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA). Graduates of this course may be eligible for registration as an “Associate Nutritionist.” Following three years of relevant work experience, Associate Nutritionists are able to apply for “Registered Nutritionist” status.

Course structure and Eligibility

The course duration is two years full-time, with T1 (March) intake. The course comprises 16 core units, each worth one credit point.


Students who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree, or equivalent, in any discipline area from an approved university or other educational institution. If you have completed previous related studies, you may be eligible for credit towards your Deakin University degree.

Students must also possess an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0 (or equivalent).

Career outcomes

Graduates can become qualified nutritionists who design, coordinate, implement and evaluate a range of population nutrition interventions to improve the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the population as a whole through better food and nutrition.

The career opportunities for graduates of this course are diverse both in terms of job title and employment settings and are underpinned by the student’s areas of interest and past experience.

Graduates may find nutritionist roles in:

  • Public health/preventative health
  • Food industry
  • Private consulting to industry/schools
  • Marketing and sales
  • Research and tertiary education.


If you wish to find out more about the course and have one-on-one consultation with Deakin’s International Coordinator, as well as the academic who is teaching the course, please visit our 2018 Deakin Postgraduate Expo.

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