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Faculty of Community Services

Nutrition Communication (MHSc)

Option One: Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice (PDEP) Accredited Practicum

Ryerson’s PDEP Accredited Practicum (Option One) — of the MHSc in Nutrition Communication program — enables graduates of accredited Canadian undergraduate nutrition programs to qualify to write the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam and if successful, become dietitians. This is a professional program that leads to entry to a regulated health profession.

Our students also have the unique opportunity to gain a strong foundation in nutrition communication and develop the advanced skills and knowledge needed to:

  • Interpret scientific evidence.
  • Translate knowledge.
  • Create knowledge translation products using various media.
  • Tailor nutrition education and counselling for diverse audiences.
  • Evaluate nutrition communication activities.

Our program combines classroom learning with meaningful opportunities for practice. Drawing on our affiliation agreements with over 200 external partners, our practicum students complete challenging rotations in a variety of dietetic settings, through which they can meet the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice required for entry-level dietetic practice.

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

Curriculum

Our forward-looking curriculum blends research, theory and practice 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 go on to the practicum courses during the third and fourth terms.

As a student in the practicum option, you must:

Take eight required courses:

  • NC8104A Nutrition Communication Seminar
    Seminar activities enhance students’ written and oral communication skills. The principles of adult education, self-directed learning, and universal design for learning provide the basis for creation of communication products. Students create individual professional development plans.  Guest speakers add varied professional practice perspectives.   Pass/Fail. 1 Credit

  • NC8101 Epidemiology for Nutrition Research and Interpretation
    This course provides a survey of the most frequently used elements of biostatistics (odds ratios, relative risk, meta analysis, etc.), demography, informatics, methodology (study design elements), and epidemiology (classical as well as clinical) used to establish nutrition practice and policy. Emphasis is placed on tools used to convey information about dietary risk, risk management. This course provides opportunity for students to critically evaluate and interpret epidemiologic reports in nutrition literature for methodological and analytical soundness. 1 Credit

  • NC8102 Nutrition Health and Behaviour
    Using an interdisciplinary framework, current theories and concepts of health, health behaviour and behavioural change in individuals, practitioners, and organizations will be explored with current theories of health communication and program evaluation to better understand the processes that may facilitate or impede health maintenance in individuals and populations. Behavioural change practice and its evaluation will be critically examined within systemic, ethical and personal contexts. 1 Credit

  • NC8104B Nutrition Communication Seminar
    Seminar activities enhance students’ written and oral communication skills. The principles of adult education, self-directed learning, and universal design for learning provide the basis for creation of communication products. Students create individual professional development plans.  Guest speakers add varied professional practice perspectives.   Pass/Fail. 1 Credit

  • NC8103 Nutrition Communication Strategies
    Strategies, principles, management and effectiveness of online nutrition communication are examined and applied as students create communications for varied audiences. Students participate in media training and discuss multiple perspectives on professional identity formation. Guidelines for creation of inclusive, accessible nutrition communications are applied.1 Credit

  • NC8201 Food and Nutrition Policy
    This course provides an overview of contemporary food and nutrition policy issues and debates. It discusses criteria for effective policy and the role of institutions and stakeholders in the policy development process. Students will develop an analytic framework for evaluating policy decision-making, outcomes and impacts. 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

  • NC8300 Professional Practice
    This course provides students with opportunities to become familiar with the process of competency attainment in external practicums, the roles of dietitians in diverse settings (acute, chronic, long term care, industry, business, community, etc.), interprofessional collaboration, and the standards, policies and legislation governing dietetic practice. Students engage in activities and discussions designed to enhance their readiness for success in achieving the entry-level competencies for dietetic careers. 1 Credit

And complete two practicum placements:

  • NC8301 Practicum I
    This course provides Option One students with structured experiences to integrate, build on, and demonstrate their competence related to the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP). During this course, students are placed in external organizations five days per week for experiential learning. Students engage in monthly workshops at Ryerson throughout their practicum. Online study modules and assessments support students’ progress. Class discussions provide opportunities for students to integrate their learning, discuss challenges, identify strategies to resolve problems, and demonstrate a collegial and supportive approach to professional practice. Successful achievement of all relevant Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice is required to pass the course. Pass/Fail. 3 Credits

  • NC8302 Practicum II
    This course provides Option One students with structured experiences to integrate, build on, and demonstrate their competence related to the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP). During this course, students are placed in external organizations five days per week for experiential learning. Students engage in monthly workshops at Ryerson throughout their practicum. Online study modules and assessments support students’ progress. Class discussions provide opportunities for students to integrate their learning, discuss challenges, identify strategies to resolve problems, and demonstrate a collegial and supportive approach to professional practice. Successful achievement of all relevant Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice is required to pass the course. Pass/Fail. 3 Credits

Program structure

Our practicum option is offered on a full-time basis only. Part-time study is not available.

The practicum option consists of four terms of study. Two of these will consist of classroom learning at Ryerson, followed by two practicum terms at locations across southern Ontario. You must be able to travel and/or temporarily relocate if necessary to complete practicum rotations.

Most classes meet for three hours per week, on campus, from Monday to Friday. Expect to spend a minimum of 20 hours per week on course-work, in addition to time spent completing assignments.

During the practicum component, expect to spend 35 to 40 hours per week learning in various dietetic practice environments, and eight or more hours per week on assignments.

The MHSc program is demanding. While it may be possible to work limited hours during your first two terms, it is not possible to work during your practicum placements.

Our program structure is as follows:

Term 1 (Fall)
  • NC8104A Nutrition Communication Seminar

  • NC8101 Epidemiology for Nutrition Research and Interpretation

  • NC8102 Nutrition Health and Behaviour

  • NC8103 Nutrition Communication Strategies
Term 2 (Winter)
  • NC8104B Nutrition Communication Seminar

  • NC8201 Food and Nutrition Policy

  • NC8209 Knowledge Translation
  • NC8300 Professional Practice
Term 3 (Spring/Summer)
  • NC8301 Practicum I
Term 4 (Fall)
  • NC8302 Practicum II
Individualized practicum placements

Our practicum coordinator works closely with each student to identify your interests and constructs an individualized set of practicum rotations that will:

  • Meet your needs
  • Enable you to explore and expand your interests
  • Ensure that you have well-rounded practical training
  • Provide opportunities for growth and development
  • Ensure that you have multiple opportunities to progress towards 'competent' status for every Integrated Competency for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP)

Working together, we will construct a set of practicum experiences that will enable you to build your confidence, hone your skills, apply your knowledge and expand your practice horizons.

We are constantly expanding the range of dietetic practice settings in which we can offer practicum rotations.  In the fall semester, we consult with each student to determine their needs and identify their interests. We create a unique set of practicum rotations designed to provide opportunities for professional growth and competency attainment for each student.

Opportunities outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

For students who reside outside the GTA or the province, we are happy to pursue practicum rotations in your home town or province. We have constructed individualized practicum rotations that have enabled students living in Sudbury, Kingston, Newfoundland and New Brunswick to return home to complete one or both of the practicum semesters. We are committed to meeting every student's needs.

Other requirements

You must also meet requirements for residency, continuous enrolment and minimum degree fees.