Nutrition and Dietetics

You will work largely independently, providing therapy, advice and support for nutrition-related topics to both ill and healthy individuals.

This degree programme

  • prepares you for delivering nutritional consultations and other services, whether independently or with a team of healthcare specialists.

  • qualifies you to undertake demanding tasks in the area of nutrition and dietetics.

  • provides you with a solid foundation in nutrition science, which you will apply in skill-building exercises and training sessions in the practical setting.

  • coaches you in client-centred communication; this will allow you to share complex specialist information in a way your clients will understand.

  • equips you to take an active role in today’s interdisciplinary healthcare system in to nutrition science related topics.

  • enables you to transition to a specialisation or consecutive master’s degree programme after graduation.

Portrait Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (German)

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Specialisations None
  • Mode of study Full-time study (6 semesters), followed by a 10-month additional internship module
  • Start date Calendar week 38
  • Application deadline Academic year 21/22: 15 January 2021
  • ECTS credits 180 ECTS credits
  • Study language German
  • Location Bern
  • Department Health Professions
  • Next info event 21 Ocotober 2020

Content + Structure

Our bachelor’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics provides students with practical, science-based training aimed at honing professional skills and expertise.

Portrait

The bachelor's degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics at the BFH prepares you for a career in nutritional therapy. You have the option of continuing your studies in our consecutive master’s degree programme. Working in dietetics requires a solid theoretical foundation as well as practical expertise – we dedicate equal attention to both in our bachelor's degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics. You will put theory into practice in a range of practical training modules.

Learning outcomes

In the field of nutritional therapy, counselling or training, you will educate individuals, groups and organisations on a wide range of nutrition-related topics.

  • As a dietitian, you may treat people on either an in- or outpatient basis. Working with both ill and healthy individuals from a range of sociocultural backgrounds, you will provide individualised solutions to address their nutrition-related concerns. You will use your honed communication and reflection skills to consider client wishes, fears, expectations, experiences and living situation.
  • People in need of nutritional therapy represent every age group and demographic as well as a wide array of physical and psychological conditions and needs. Your services will be prescribed by a doctor and tailored to support the patient’s medical care. The therapy you provide will take into account each patient’s personal and situational factors.
  • You will answer questions about nutrition and help clients identify and address problematic patterns of behaviour with regards to diet. You will provide clients with the resources they need to eat more healthily, helping them prevent or manage disease.
  • The specialised skills and methods you acquire in your studies will help you build and maintain relationships with clients and understand their social background. You will also learn to foster interdisciplinary professional relationships with other experts in healthcare. You will work largely independently, always respecting the ethics and legal conditions of the profession.
  • You will build upon the foundation from your bachelor’s studies by keeping up to date with developments in the field of nutritional therapy. This may include continuing education courses in counselling theory, social psychology, adult education, anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, biochemistry, food science (nutrition, production, safety and legal aspects), kitchen technology, management, health promotion and preventive care as well as dietetics.

Mode of study + Duration

Full-time study (6 semesters), followed by a 10-month additional internship module.

Curriculum + Modules

Our bachelor’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics is modular and aligns with the latest developments in university didactics. Our competency-based approach trains you how to apply scientific evidence and translate your knowledge into practice.

The first two semesters are primarily dedicated to consulting healthy clients. Focus areas include basic principles ofphysiology (anatomy, biochemistry), psychology and sociology. Further teaching is provided in communication, process-orienttaed counselling, food science, food production and processing including their legal aspects.

  • Nutrition for specific population groups
  • Nutritional counselling 1
  • Nutritional therapy 1
  • Technical English 1 (optional module)
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Foundations in psychology
  • Human nutrition
  • IP 1 – Patient-centred care
  • Food science
  • Food processing
  • Physiology and biochemistry
  • Practical placement module 1
  • Scientific work methods
  • Inter- and transculturalism within the professional context (optional module)

The third and fourth semesters focus on consulting ill clients. Focus areas include clinical work, dietetics and a basis in pathophysiology.

  • Applied nutritional therapy 1 and 2
  • Nutritional counselling 2
  • Nutritional therapy 2 – 5
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Technical English 2 (optional module)
  • Health promotion and preventive care
  • IP 2 – Interprofessionalism between related disciplines
  • Practical placement module 2Research project
  • Inter- and transculturalism within the professional context (optional module)

The fifth and sixth semesters prepare you for managing complex diagnoses and situations. You will begin to focus the professional direction of your studies by choosing between compulsory-elective modules.

  • Counselling and psychological disorders
  • Cross-cultural communication and diversity (optional module)
  • Dietitians in the professional environment
  • Nutritional counselling (compulsory-elective module)
  • Nutritional counselling 3 and 4
  • Nutritional therapy 6 and 7
  • Counselling skills (optional module)
  • Inter- and transculturalism within the professional context (optional module)
  • International topics (optional module)
  • IP 3 – Interprofessional health promotion
  • Clinical nutrition (compulsory-elective module)
  • Practical placement module 3
  • Project management in healthcare
  • Public health nutrition (compulsory-elective module)
Structure of bachelor's degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics Enlarge image
Structure of bachelor's degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics

Student mobility

We highly value mobility for our students and professors alike. We maintain partnerships with various foreign universites of applied sciences, which helps streamline our study abroad options.

The bachelor’s degree programme aligns with the Bologna model, which ensures transparency and mobility among universites of applied sciences across Europe. Student performance is measured and recognised according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Projects + Student theses

Bachelor’s theses

Partners

Rust Brigit - Ernährungsberatung

Requirements + Admission

The number of places available on our bachelor’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics at the BFH is determined by a numerus clausus. Provided you meet formal admission requirements, you must then complete a written aptitude test.

Formal admission requirements

For admission to the programme, you must meet our academic requirements, pass the aptitude test and complete a two-month nursing internship at a healthcare clinic or social services centre before the first semester begins. You must also provide proof of language skills in German at level C1.

Academic requirements

You have earned one of the following Swiss training qualifications:

  • Vocational baccalaureate
  • Specialised baccalaureate (four-year)
  • Baccalaureate
  • Degree in a healthcare field from a professional college (see list)

 

Foreign qualifications are evaluated according to swissuniversities guidelines.

Language requirements

If your prior training (at least three years) was not conducted in German, you must demonstrate proficiency in the German language. We require students to have achieved level C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference.

Knowledge + Abilities

The field of nutritional therapy is best suited to individuals with high social and personal competence, an interest in science, and strong communication skills. Flexibility and mental resilience are also key components. The BSc programme in Nutrition and Dietetics is equally suited to men and women.

You should ideally fulfil these requirements:

You demonstrate

  • an affinity for human interaction, which you initiate actively and respectfully.
  • a love of cooking and eating, which you hope to expand upon with a specialised understanding of food production and processing.
  • an aptitude for the natural sciences.

You communicate

  • clearly (in speech and writing) and appropriately for a range of audiences in different settings.
  • responsibly and respectfully with various demographic groups, regardless of culture, religion, education level or origin.

You display

  • intellectual drive, keen observation skills, and to the ability to quickly analyse, understand and relay complex concepts creatively.
  • an interest in keeping up to date and continuing to develop your professional expertise throughout your career.
  • a sense of responsibility for yourself and others.
  • strong teamwork skills.

Language skills

You will need strong English skills for this programme: level B2–C1 or completed First Certificate (grade A).


Professional prerequisites

There are no professional prerequisites for the BSc programme in Nutrition and Dietetics.

You must complete a fee-based and binding aptitude testto determine your official admission to the BSc programme in Nutrition and Dietetics at BFH. The test comprises a written section and an oral/practical section. The two-part aptitude test must be completed in the same year as the beginning of your studies.

In preparation for the test and bachelor’s degree programme, we ask that you spend a few days shadowing a dietitian to gain initial insight into the profession.

Written aptitude test:

  • Saturday, 20 February 2021

Oral/practical aptitude test:

  • Thursday, 11 March 2021 and Friday, 12 March 2021
  • Tuesday, 16 March 2021 and Wednesday, 17 March 2021
  • Monday, 22 March 2021 and Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Part 2 of the aptitude test takes approx. one day:

  • Block I: Interview with two experts/psychologists
  • Block II: Presentation (task)

Nursing internship (additional module A)

Before beginning your studies, you must complete a two-month nursing internship (additional module A) at a healthcare clinic or social services centre. Exceptions to this requirement are individuals with a specialised baccalaureate in a healthcare-related field and those with a Swiss Federal Vocational Education and Training diploma (EFZ) and vocational baccalaureate in a healthcare-related field.
The goal of the nursing internship is to introduce you to the tasks and work environment of healthcare professions. You will be responsible for performing various nursing duties, which will give you an idea of your own resilience. You must complete this free-form internship over the course of two consecutive months, or 40 eight-hour workdays. Sick and/or days of absence must be made up. This is a chance for you to discover how well or poorly you adapt to this work environment, what you enjoy and what poses a challenge.
You are responsible for planning and securing the internship – BFH does not provide any recommendations. Please refer to the following handout for more information regarding the internship and/or get in touch with the admissions team in our Health Professions Department well in advance.

All prospective students must submit the following form by calendar week 35 to prove completion of the nursing internship (additional module A).


Certain professional healthcare qualifications are recognised in lieu of the nursing internship. The following provides an overview of eligible credit transfers for additional module A within our Health Professions degree programmes.

Contact Admission

Degree + Career prospects

You will enjoy a great degree of freedom in pursuing your profession as a dietitian. Your work will build upon a solid foundation of scientific expertise coupled with strong social and communication skills, self-competence and methodological know-how.

Title + Degree

Upon graduating, you will obtain the title ‘Bachelor of Science BFH in Nutrition and Dietetics’. This bachelor’s degree is federally recognised in Switzerland, compatible with other European systems and counts internationally as a university degree.

Career prospects

After completing your bachelor’s studies, you will be equipped to plan, supervise and provide nutritional therapy and counselling for individuals and groups in either in- or outpatient settings. You will inform and educate clients in the areas of nutrition-based health promotion and preventive care, drawing upon your own expertise and the latest research in nutrition science. You will employ helpful tools and resources to communicate this information to clients. As a dietitian, you can work in a range of capacities and industries.

Possible workplaces:

  • Hospitals and rehabilitation clinics
  • Public nutrition counselling centres
  • Nutrition counselling clinics1
  • Retirement and nursing homes
  • Industry and business
  • Media
  • Medical practices
  • Schools
  • Health insurance companies

Possible fields:

  • Acute medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Preventive care
  • Health promotion
  • Institutional kitchens (e.g. school or workplace canteens)
  • Education2
  • Public outreach (courses, training sessions, lectures, etc.)
  • Industry
  • Research and teaching2

1 Dietitians with at least two years of full-time work experience are permitted to open and run their own clinic.

2 With sufficient work experience and further didactic training, individuals may pursue a teaching position in the bachelor’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Practicalities + Application

If you fulfil the formal entry requirements, we look forward to meeting you. Get your BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics and join a fascinating, vital professional field.

Academic year 2020/2021
 

  • The application deadline for the 2020/21 academic year has passed.
  • Start date: 14 September 2020

Academic year 2021/2022
 

  • Application deadline: 15 January 2021
  • Written aptitude test: Saturday, 20 February 2021

  • Oral/practical aptitude test:

    • Thursday, 11 March 2021 and Friday, 12 March 2021
    • Tuesday, 16 March 2021 and Wednesday, 17 March 2021
    • Monday, 22 March 2021 and Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Fees + Costs

Tuition fees for a semester at the Berne University of Applied Sciences currently amount to a standard CHF 750, plus costs for study materials (photocopies, literature, internet access at home, etc.) and examination fees of roughly the same amount per semester.

Notebook

You need your own WLAN-equipped notebook with decentl internet access. Please note that for the Bachelor's programme Nutrition and Dietetics you need special software that only works with the Windows operating system. If you own a Mac notebook or want to purchase one for your studies, you will also need to install the Windows operating system.
The BFH supports you in procuring the necessary hardware and software.

Compensation during practical work

During the practical work accompanying your studies, you can count on a small monthly compensation from the companies. The bachelor's degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics is designed as a full-time course. Gainful employment is only possible to a limited extent and must be considered individually.

Grants, loans and other funding options

Financial aid. Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course.

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents.

Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator):

The websites ausbildungsbeiträge.ch, stipendium.ch and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Foundations and funds

There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.). Other sources include the foundation directories for individual cantons and private foundations.

The following foundations offer funding specifically to BFH students and students from other universities:

Bern University of Applied Sciences has various sites in the Canton of Bern. At Biel and Bern, new campus-style buildings are now being built and from 2022 and 2026 will connect previously separate locations.

In principle, you are responsible for finding your own accommodation. The HAFL department has a limited number of rooms for students of BFH-HAFL who live a long way from the university.

Rooms and appartments for students in Bern:


The Bern University of Applied Sciences is a partner and member of studentlodge.ch, a non-profit association for the promotion of student living in Bern.

More available rooms and appartments

   

WG-Zimmer

Flatshare classifieds (mainly Switzerland)

airbnb

Holiday homes, apartments and rooms for rent

students.ch

Student flatshares and flats

meinwgzimmer.ch

Flatshare accommodation service Switzerland

STUWO

Student accommodation association

Studentenresidenz Stöckacker

Furnished studios and flats in Stöckacker

Immobern

Bern property portal

Wohnungsmarkt Stadt Burgdorf

Accommodation in the city of Burgdorf and the surrounding area

Alle-Immobilien.ch

Search machine for all properties in Switzerland

Homegate

Swiss property portal

Immoscout24

Swiss property portal

Immowelt

Swiss property portal

More Information

At Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, we promote balance between study, work and family.

A limited number of nursery places are available to BFH staff and students. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, the relevant documents can be found on the BFH Intranet. The fees are based on your income and are in line with the cantonal rates described in the Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (Decree on Social Integration Offer ASIV) issued by the Canton of Bern. You can apply for a nursery place using the online form on the BFH Intranet. If you’re a new student or member of staff and don’t have access to the Intranet, please contact Corinne Badertscher (Tel. +41 (0)31 848 33 01, corinne.badertscher@bfh.ch). There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

Living expenses

Average living costs (in CHF) per month:

Average living costs per month

from to
Course costs
(Tuition fees, learning materials excluding study trips / study weeks)
CHF 140.– CHF 180.–
Fixed costs
(Sickness / accident insurance at non-reduced rate, taxes / social insurance, travel costs)
CHF 420.– CHF 500.–
Personal Expenditure
(Clothes / shoes, spending money / mobile phone, hairdressing / grooming)
CHF 250.– CHF 350.–
Provisions
(Health costs: retention, deductible rate, dentist)
CHF 60.– CHF 60.–

Rent / shared accommodation costs

CHF 300.– CHF 600.–
Other accommodation costs
(Electricity, telephone / radio / TV / Internet, home contents and personal liability insurance)
CHF 70.– CHF 100.–

Food / drink, including refectory

CHF 400.– CHF 500.–
Other houskeeping costs
(Washing powder and cleaning products, general toiletries, waste removal costs)
CHF 20.– CHF 40.–
Total CHF 1700.– CHF 2550.–

Meals outside the home CHF 8 to CHF 10 per meal

   

Source: Budgetberatung.ch

Annual average living costs for students living alone or in shared accommodation. The effective yearly amount may vary between approximately CHF 18,000 and CHF 27,000.

Apply online for our bachelor’s degree programmes. Speed up the application process by having all your electronic application materials ready in advance (please see checklist). We only accept applications for the bachelor’s degree programme via our online application form. We cannot accept any applications after the application deadline.

The application and aptitude test fee of CHF 300 is itemised as follows:

  • Application processing fee of CHF 100 (credit card) or CHF 110 (paper invoice*). This fee is required.
  • Aptitude test fee of CHF 200 (blanket charge).

* Please remit payment within 10 days. We review applications only once payment has been received.

If you are admitted to the programme following the aptitude test, please provide written confirmation that you accept our offer within 20 days. The first semester fee is due upon accepting our offer of admission.

Information events + Advice

Visit one of our information events for further details on our bachelor’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics. We are happy to advise you individually.

Location + Learning Centre

Centrally located and easy to get to: the Department of Health Professions is located within a 10-minute walk or five-minute ride with public transport from Bern central station.

The Learning Centre with its Digital Learning, Communication Training and Skills Centre supports a modern and realistic teaching and learning environment at the Department of Health Professions.

Digital learning

Digital media play an important role in all degree programmes. Via the web-based learning platform Moodle, students have access to all relevant teaching and learning content independent of time and location. Numerous other web applications such as Microsoft Teams, the video platform Kaltura or web applications developed in-house support students in their daily studies.

Skills Centre

The Skills Centre of the Department of Health Professions represents a teaching and learning landscape which, thanks to practice-oriented premises, a variety of equipment, models and materials, allows individual use by students and lecturers. It offers ideal conditions for the systematic training and optimisation of profession-specific skills. The focus here is on the further development of practical and technical skills and abilities. The available infrastructure should, among other things, also offer the opportunity to prepare specifically for practical work as encountered in practice.

Communication training

Communication training is an innovative learning method. With professional actors and actresses, students practise communicative skills by simulating challenging situations from professional practice: Handling a patient who hardly speaks German, a patient who has just received a serious diagnosis or emotional relatives. Mobile video recording systems enable the recording and immediate viewing of the communication situation. In this way, students learn how to deal professionally with demanding tasks in the health care sector in communication training.