Department of Health Studies

Dietetics and Nutrition

My Studies


What is Dietetics and Nutrition?

As a dietician you can choose from a wide range of career options. Your job is to plan, design and monitor nutritional therapy in all areas of medicine. The dietetic process includes a diet history (what does the person eat?), an assessment of the person's nutritional status (how well or badly nourished is the person - how well are they supplied with nutrients and energy?) and dietetic appraisal and judgement (what dietary changes need to be made?). It also takes in quality assurance, evaluation, documentation and reflection.

In hospitals, dieticians fulfil an important role as mediators between the medical requirements and practical implementation. They draw up nutrition plans for people with metabolic disorders or cancer who are approaching or recovering from a surgical operation or in need of artificial nutrition. Dieticians also work in obstetrics.

Health promotion and disease prevention make up another area of work for dieticians. From childhood right up to old age, healthy nutrition is important for everyone. Dieticians therefore give talks as part of health promotion programmes offered at advice centres for mothers, kindergartens, schools, health spas and as part of the health programmes in companies and old people's homes.

Dieticians also work in institutional catering, the food sector, the pharmaceutical industry, research and training. In Austria, dietician is a recognised allied health profession.

As a graduate of the Bachelor’s degree programme in Dietetics and Nutrition at FH JOANNEUM you can help to raise consciousness of nutrition and join interdisciplinary teams working to alter people’s dietary habits.

What will I learn?

Skills in relevant methodology

This degree course teaches you the fundamentals of human nutrition and food science, diet and catering management, communication and advice as well as medicine and science. Building on your knowledge of medical and nutritional physiology you will learn the skills of a dietician. You will be informed about the areas where dietetics interfaces with other disciplines so that you are able to work effectively with other professionals in providing advice and treatment. You will also learn how to provide dietary advice and run training sessions on health promotion and disease prevention.

Personal and social skills

As well as learning to communicate and to offer and accept constructive criticism you are also encouraged to develop your capacity to empathise, reflect on your own actions, work in a team and look upon yourself as a professional. These skills are essential for your future career. They will enable you to take responsibility for your own decisions when explaining them to others, to develop your communicatory and organisational skills and to take part in informative and explanatory discussions in a professional manner. You also learn to develop trusting relationships with patients, to take cultural and religious factors into account and to work according to the legal principles of the profession.

Scientific skills

Scientific skills are taught as a central element of this programme. They include researching the current state of knowledge, framing questions to guide research, selecting and applying scientific research methodology and processing the resulting data to answer the questions at hand. These skills enable you to understand and plan research processes and to make use of new findings in your everyday work.