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Faculty of Community Services

Nutrition Communication (MHSc)

Option Two: Major Research Paper/Project  

Ryerson’s Major Research Paper/Project (MRP) option — part of the MHSc in Nutrition Communication — supports registered dietitians who wish to enhance their nutrition communication skills, add value to their current roles or gain the tools they need to embark on a new career.

Our students develop the advanced skills and knowledge needed to:

  • Interpret scientific evidence.
  • Translate knowledge.
  • Tailor nutrition education and counselling for diverse audiences.

Writing an MRP, with the guidance and support of a faculty member, is a great way for motivated, self-starting students to pursue a unique research interest, develop subject matter expertise, and even impact policy, practice and teaching.

Our graduates go on to lead knowledge translation activities and evidence-based practice in a variety of dietetic practice settings, actively improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Curriculum

Our rewarding curriculum blends research and theory in nutrition communication, providing you with the advanced skills and knowledge that can only come from a master’s education.

You’ll spend the first two terms learning in the classroom, then going on to fulfill the MRP component during your third term.

As a student in the MRP option, you must:

Take eight required courses:

  • NC8104A Nutrition Communication Seminar
    A flexible learning approach is used to engage students in self-reflection and self-development practices that support their growth as resilient health professionals.  Students create professional development plans and identify goals and strategies for success. Principles of universal instructional design and inclusive, accessible communication are discussed and applied. Communication skills are enhanced through opportunities for public speaking and development of creative communications.    Pass/Fail. 1 Credit
  • NC8101 Appraising Scientific Evidence
    Emphasis will be placed on understanding how to evaluate and interpret research to make informed judgements regarding complex nutrition issues.  Students will learn to interpret the tools used by scientists to measure the impact of interventions and scientific outcomes from a variety of research approaches and study designs. Students will learn how to synthesize knowledge and formulate an evidence-based position on a complex nutrition issue by conducting a systematic literature review. 1 Credit

  • NC8102 Understanding Health Behaviour
    Theories and constructs of health behaviour and behavioural change in individuals, practitioners, and organizations are examined using an interdisciplinary framework. Through readings, discussions and applications, students develop an understanding of the social psychological processes that support or impede healthy behaviours and communication tools used to promote behavioural change. Promotion of behavioural change is critically examined within systemic, ethical and personal contexts. 1 Credit

  • NC8205 Directed Studies
    Students arrange to work with an individual faculty member on a course designed to pursue readings in a specific area that is relevant to nutrition communication. 1 Credit

  • NC8104B Nutrition Communication Seminar
    A flexible learning approach is used to engage students in self-reflection and self-development practices that support their growth as resilient health professionals.  Students create professional development plans and identify goals and strategies for success. Principles of universal instructional design and inclusive, accessible communication are discussed and applied. Communication skills are enhanced through opportunities for public speaking and development of creative communications.    Pass/Fail. 1 Credit

  • NC8103 Nutrition Communication Strategies
    Principles and strategies for adult education, online, and social media communication are examined and applied.  Evidence and strategies for evaluating the effectiveness of online communication for health promotion are critiqued. A flexible learning approach enables students to apply communication best practices using varied channels and vehicles.   Media training workshops enhance students’ skills and engage them in formulating key messages, simulations, and offering constructive peer feedback. 1 Credit

  • NC8201 Food and Nutrition Policy
    This course provides an overview of contemporary food and nutrition policy issues and debates. The policy development process and roles and perspectives of multiple stakeholders are explored through examinations of current policy issues. Students will develop their ability to critically examine and communicate policy issues and debates to stakeholders as food and nutrition subject matter experts. 1 Credit

  • NC8209 Knowledge Translation
    This course aims to increase students’ understanding of the principles of knowledge translation. Emphasis will be placed on critical appraisal of studies including systematic literature reviews and clinical practice guidelines; and synthesis, interpretation, and communication of research results to public and professional audiences. 1 Credit

And complete a major research paper/project

  • The MRP is an opportunity for a student to acquire breadth and depth of understanding concerning a topic/issue, demonstrate his/her ability to synthesize evidence, and formulate original ideas in a specific area of nutrition communication. All MRPs involve completion of a comprehensive structured review of the literature to establish the evidence base on which the project is based. The essence of the MRP is the critical examination of the full spectrum of scholarly work on a topic and the development of evidence-based rationales to support all project decisions. Completion of a comprehensive and balanced structured literature review, use of a critical and evidence-based approach in the analysis of findings, and development of rationale-based recommendations/outcomes are essential elements of a high quality MRP.
Program structure

The MRP option is offered on a full-time basis only. Due to the intensive nature of our program, part-time study is not available.

Students are expected to complete the program within three terms. The first two terms consist of classroom learning, and the final term consists of the MRP component.

Classes are scheduled on two days each week, but students should plan to be at Ryerson outside of class time to complete assignments, collaborate on team projects, meet with instructors and so on. Aside from attending the three-hour classes, students should expect to spend at least 24 additional hours per week preparing for classes and completing assignments.

The MHSc program is demanding. When considering whether or not to work while completing the program, it is important to consider work-life balance. Some of our MRP students have been able to work part-time during their studies.

Our program structure is as follows:

Term 1 (Fall)
  • NC8104A Nutrition Communication Seminar

  • NC8101 Appraising Scientific Evidence

  • NC8102 Understanding Health Behaviour

  • NC8103 Nutrition Communication Strategies
Term 2 (Winter)
  • NC8104B Nutrition Communication Seminar
  • NC8201 Food and Nutrition Policy
  • NC8205 Directed Studies
  • NC8209 Knowledge Translation
Term 3 (Spring/Summer)
  • Major Research Project/Paper