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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
    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

  • 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

  • NC8300 Professional Practice
    Students engage in discussions, activities and field trips to gain and apply knowledge and skills required for entry level dietetic practice. Students explore current and emerging areas of practice through discussions with guest experts, simulations and have opportunities to meet competencies concerning the application of the standards, policies and legislation governing dietetic practice. 1 Credit

And complete two practicum placements:

  • NC8301 Practicum I
    This course provides students with experiential opportunities to demonstrate progressive learning as per the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice. A one-week orientation prepares students for full-time placements in external organizations. Monthly workshops use case-based learning, simulations, online modules and engage students in discussions to integrate learning, identify strategies to resolve problems, and demonstrate a collegial approach to professional practice. 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 Appraising Scientific Evidence

  • NC8102 Understanding Health 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.