Nutrition and Dietetics

Are you interested in taking on new roles in nutrition advice? Producing evidence? Carrying out pioneering work? Sign up for our ‘Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics’ degree programme and expand your clinical and academic skill set.

Completing the degree programme will enable graduates to

  • take on and help shape new roles;
  • oversee patients with complex conditions;
  • adopt an evidence-based approach to their professional practice and produce their own evidence;
  • question and examine the effectiveness of processes and nutritional therapies and develop new concepts;
  • take even more a consciously interprofessional approach to their work;
  • pursue further academic career opportunities up to the doctorate (PhD).
Titelbild Master-Studiengang Ernährung und Diätetik Enlarge image

Factsheet

  • Title/Degree Master of Science (MSc)
  • Specialisations none
  • Mode of study Part time: 6 semesters (from autumn semester 2019)
    Full time: 3 semesters (from autumn semester 2020)
  • Start date Calendar week 38
  • Application deadline 30 April 2021
  • ECTS credits 90 ECTS-Credits
  • Study language German / English
  • Location Bern
  • Department Health Professions
  • Next info event 18 March 2021

Content + Structure

Our master’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics will help you expand your specialist and methodological skill set. We place critical emphasis on providing a solid scientific grounding and hands-on learning experience in our programme. Our master’s degree programme is an attractive option for achieving your professional goals.

Portrait

The master’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics combines a scientific approach and a focus on nutritional therapy. The degree programme will hone your specialist and methodological skill set.

Learning outcomes

On completing the master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, you will be able to manage complex nutrition therapy cases, develop new healthcare roles - especially Advanced-Practice-Dietitian (APD) roles - and conduct professional research.

By the end of the programme, you will have acquired the ability to:

  • Develop and take on new roles in nutrition and dietetics (Advanced-Practice-Dietitian roles) in a professional and interprofessional context.
  • Contribute to the development of nutritional research and produce new evidence.
  • Develop evidence-based guidelines and recommendations in a professional field of nutrition advice, at institutional or political level.
  • Advocate intra- and interprofessional collaboration.
  • Take a technical leadership of working groups, teams or commissions in connection with food, nutrition, catering for healthy and sick people or other nutritional issues.
  • Initiate and implement projects and research proposals that lead to a deeper understanding or new findings in your professional field.
  • Participate in the training and continuing education of professional colleagues and other specialists.
  • Use your specialist professional knowledge in the field of nutritional advice to encourage and develop high-quality and effective professional practice.
  • You further develop the profession and explore and develop new roles and professional fields.
  • You initiate, develop, implement and evaluate quality assurance projects with the aim of improving the quality of alimentary care.
  • You identify, initiate and work on health promotion and prevention projects for specific population groups or the population as a whole.

Mode of study + Duration

You can take this MSc as a part-time programme in 6 semesters or as a full-time programme in 3 semesters (from the autumn semester of 2020).

Curriculum + Modules

This is a modular degree programme and is made up of the following five module groups:

Nutritional Assessment

In this module you will acquire advanced competences in the subject area of Nutritional Assessment. You will gain advanced knowledge in the systematic and structured collection and interpretation of nutritional and biochemical data, medical tests and procedures, anthropometric and clinical examinations and nutrition-focused physical examinations. This module will enable you to make an accurate and informed nutritional diagnosis. There will be a focus on both the theory of the subject and practical application through case studies. In addition, the topic is embedded in the context of public health in order to also highlight research aspects of the recording and assessment of nutritional intake.

Clinical Nutrition

Dietitians in the clinical setting are often confronted with complex nutritional situations. A central task is to ensure that the nutritional needs are met in different ways (oral nutrition, enteral nutrition and/or parenteral nutrition). One aim of this module is to develop a scientifically founded attitude in order to act and argue professionally in discussions with patients and in the interprofessional team. The focus is therefore on deepening the indication, implementation and monitoring of enteral nutrition and acquiring basic knowledge of parenteral nutrition. Further objectives relate to clinical pictures and clinical situations which have not yet been covered in the Bachelor's degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Advanced Practice Dietitian

In the discussion of advanced practice profiles (AP profiles) of nutrition counselling in the Swiss health system, you will concern yourself with your professional identity, the professional field of nutrition counselling and health policy developments. You will assess the importance of extended competence profiles and develop ideas for practical implementation. Based on the intention to better anchor and further develop the profession within the health system, you identify measures to review the quality of the services provided and make them visible. The aim is to develop a specific project idea for implementing an AP profile in practice and to demonstrate its added value for healthcare.

You will take the research modules alongside students who are enrolled on other BFH Health Professions master’s degree programmes. These modules cover topics such as qualitative and quantitative research methods, applied statistics and submitting applications to ethical committees.

We developed the modules in this group with an interprofessional focus. They are relevant to Nutrition and Dietetics and also to Nursing, Obstetrics and Physiotherapy. You will take compulsory modules in Advanced Practice and Applied Ethics and select at least two of the eight other modules.

Transfer modules 1 and 2 involve e.g. carrying out project work at Advanced Practice level or gaining teaching or research experience in the field of Nutrition and Dietetics. You can also choose a topic from a practice partner.

In the Master’s thesis module, you will use appropriate methods to investigate issues that are relevant to practical work in the field. This will culminate in an independent academic research paper. You will incorporate every phase of the research process and substantiate, evaluate and reflect upon your decisions.

This module provides an interprofessional framework as you work on your master’s thesis. While preparing your thesis, you will be able to enjoy constructive discussions with fellow students and lecturers and benefit from methodological workshops.

Student mobility

You can earn up to 30 ECTS credits at one of our partner universities. The Transfer modules and the Master’s thesis, in particular, lend themselves to completion at a partner university abroad.

Partners

The Nutrition and Dietetics degree programme is run in close collaboration with the Midwifery, Nursing and Physiotherapy master’s degree programmes at BFH Health Professions. We also establish partnerships with practitioners, e.g. professionals in clinics, rehabilitation centres and other institutions working in the field of nutrition, who support us in teaching or in supervising transfer theses and master theses.

Requirements + Admission

With its focus on nutritional therapy, the master’s degree programme is aimed at graduates with a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics and at nutrition specialists with a vocational qualification and retroactively conferred degree title. The programme is particularly suited to specialists who work in clinical practice and counselling.

Educational background

  • BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Formerly valid diploma qualification as a nutritionist and retroactive conferral of degree title

If you do not meet the above criteria, you may still be admitted to the master’s degree programme if you

  • have completed a comparable degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at a non-Swiss university.
  • have a degree in a different discipline that is sufficiently relevant to Nutrition and Dietetics and equivalent to a bachelor’s diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Language skills

Good language skills of English and German are required for the programme.
The majority of the lessons are held in German. If you are not a native speaker of German, you must have the appropriate language skills at level C1. The specialist literature and parts of the lessons may also be in English. Therefore, a knowledge of English at level B2 is required.

  • If you have a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from a Swiss university or an equivalent degree from a foreign university and a score of at least 5.0, you are admitted to the programme without an aptitude test.
  • If you have a degree under the old law or a Bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics with a score of less than 5.0, you will be asked to take an aptitude test. You are admitted to the degree programme if you pass the aptitude test with a minimum score of 4.0.

Aptitude test

The aptitude test consists of a standardised interview of 45 to 60 minutes duration including the discussion of a scientific study. The aptitude test is based on the following criteria:

  • Motivation
  • Conceptual skills
  • Specialist knowledge and personal skills

This will help you prepare for the aptitude test: 

  • Read scientific studies.
  • If necessary, repeat the contents of scientific work of the Bachelor's level or the equivalent level of education.

If you completed your training at a vocational college, we recommend that you develop your skills in the following areas before commencing your studies: Basic principles of academic work, basic principles of statistics, evidence-based practice and academic English.

Degree + Career prospects

The master’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics will train you as a qualified nutritionist, able to take on pioneering roles in the healthcare system.

Title + Degree

On completion of the degree programme, you will bear the title ‘Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics’. This degree is recognised in Switzerland, compatible with other European systems and accepted internationally as a university degree.

Career prospects

Graduates of the master’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics are qualified experts, capable of overseeing complex cases and carrying out research in their own professional field. They are in a position to develop, take on and establish new, pioneering roles (Advanced Practice) within the healthcare system.

The professional world awaits

Hospitals and clinics increasingly need specialists with an interprofessional approach for Advanced Practice roles. Some major hospitals have created posts for nutritional therapists with a master’s qualification. And highly qualified and specialised counsellors are very much in demand in nutritional guidance practices. There is also a pressing need for profession-specific research and for experts with knowledge and experience of research in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Vocational colleges, for example, rely on master’s graduates for their teaching and research. Quality assurance and public health are other places where your knowledge and skills are needed.

Application + Practicalities

For the academic year 2021/2022

  • Application deadline: 30 April 2021
  • Start date: calendar week 38

Applying for a 2021 start date

Submit your application for the MSc in Nutrition and Dietetics online. The application deadline is 30 April 2021. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. 
Tip: Keep the documents required for the application ready in electronic form.

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*); the fee must be paid whatever the outcome of your application.
  • The fee for the aptitude test is CHF 200.

* To be paid within 10 days. The application will not be processed until payment has cleared.

The bulk of the costs of a place on the programme are covered by government funding. The portion that you have to pay (semester fees, etc.) is based on the financial specifications for the master’s degree programme in Nutrition and Dietetics and varies from canton to canton. The fees you will have to pay at BFH are calculated as follows:

Costs per semester

  • Tuition fees: CHF 750
  • Exam fees: CHF 80
  • Fees for social, cultural and sports amenities: CHF 24
  • Optional membership fee for the BFH student body association (VSBFH): CHF 15
  • Fixed fee for materials: CHF 20

One-off costs

  • Application fee: CHF 100

  • Aptitude assessment fee: CHF 200

Specialist literature/Software/Other supplies

Please budget for the additional cost of specialist literature, software and other supplies over the course of your studies. Costs may range between around CHF 1,200 and CHF 1,500. This amount will vary depending upon how much you acquire.

Laptop

We require you have your own WiFi-enabled laptop with a reliable internet connection. BFH will help you acquire the hardware and software required for the programme.

Grants

You may be able to apply for a grant to study at BFH. For more information, contact the grants section of your cantonal Education Department. Information about grants can also be found on the BFH President's Office website.

The master’s degree programme can be combined with your professional and family life. If you have family commitments or want to continue to work, you can opt to complete the degree programme on a part-time basis. However, you should be in a position to devote at least 50% of your time to your studies.

Studierende müssen ihre Dienstpflicht auch während des Studiums wahrnehmen. Planen und koordinieren Sie Studium und Dienstpflicht frühzeitig.

Wir empfehlen Ihnen dringend, die Rekrutenschule und den Ersteinsatz im Zivildienst vor Beginn des Studiums vollständig zu absolvieren. Werden sie während des Studiums absolviert, hat dies Absenzen zur Folge und kann zur Verlängerung der Studiendauer führen.

Beratung

Informationen zur Koordination von Studium und Dienstpflicht erhalten Sie von den Ansprechpersonen.

Location + Facilities