The professional image of a dietician is embodied in the Federal Act Regulating Higher Clinical-technical Professions, Federal Law Gazette No. 460/1992, in its latest valid version.
“The dietetical and nutrition services provide the autonomous choice, composition, calculation as well as instruction and supervision of the preparation of special diets in accordance with a medical prescription to nourish individuals with a confirmed or suspected illness and include the consultation for patients and their family members about the realization of the medical prescription in hospitals as well as in an outpatient setting. Furthermore they provide the selection possibilities, composition and calculation of food without medical prescription for healthy persons and groups of persons as well as for people under particular physical strain (i.e.: pregnancy, sport,) and include the consultation on nutrition for those people.” (MTD-Law 2006 § 2 par.4)
The above mentioned expression “autonomy” refers to both the consultation for healthy people and the implementation of a diet. It involves the phases of the dietetic therapy including the evaluation of the nutritional status and anamnesis, the dietetic diagnosing and assessment, planning, implementation and consulting on nutrition and dietetics, quality assurance, evaluation, documentation, reflection and the autonomous management of nutrition and catering.
The objectives of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Dietetics are:
The dietitian can carry out his/her profession as an employee or as a freelancer. Dietitians work in an interdisciplinary team in an intramural as well as in an extramural field and thereby contribute significantly in a therapeutic team to the holistic preventative check up. Within the framework of the dietetic process they cooperate not only with specialists, people engaged in other fields of medical-technical services, health professionals and nurses, psychologists, administrative and kitchen personnel, but also with the food industry and the fields of public relations. “The dietetic and nutritional medical consulting service may be conducted through employment status with gastronomic establishments and with institutions involved in science and research as well as industry.” (MTD-Law §7 par.2)
Dietitians may be members of an interdisciplinary team or members of a team of dietitians. They can work as teaching and research staff and as instructors in projects and practical placements.
After some years of professional experience and the appropriate additional qualifications dietitians can acquire leading positions.
The professional methodical, social and self-competencies as well as the scientific competencies of a dietitian are explicitly defined in the FH-MTD-Education-Law 2006 (FH-MTD-AV,BGBl.No.2/2006).
The graduates are able to combine medicine, nutritional science, natural science and related disciplines professionally in the fields of diet and dietetic treatment and are capable of conducting the related research work at an academic level and to adjust to the ongoing scientific development.
The FH-Bachelor degree programme Dietetics provides an academic education at university-level and at the same time a solid professional training. Thus, studying and practice should be combined. Furthermore, social communicative competencies and self-competences as the ability to communicate, the ability to work in a team, empathy and appreciation should be developed in order to meet the real challenges using the acquired skills and knowledge.
Dietitians are autonomously working professionals, who work scientifically oriented with high professional, social and self- competencies.
The professional management of specific and interpersonal work belong to a dietitian’s field of activity. Some personal qualities, attitudes and skills, acquired during the education and advanced during professional practice, are necessary for this purpose.
The rapid development of medicine, nutritional medicine and nutritional science requires lifelong learning. Basic scientific competencies are essential in order to understand and implement the current developments and research results in the professional field.
A profound education in the basic medical subjects, specific subjects on nutrition and nutritional medicine, dietary advice and communication skills as well as the basics of scientific work enable the graduates to critically assess the diverse dietary trends. This wide range of knowledge trains students to cater to the individual needs during individual and group consultations as well as trainings. Moreover it also helps them to plan, execute, evaluate and document dietetic processes.
The FH-MTD-AV 2006 specifies the competencies and qualifications set in the curriculum. Moreover the anticipated developments in the professional field are also taken into consideration in the curriculum, i.e.: increasing number of freelancers, specialization in medical fields such as oncology, metabolic therapy, geriatric care or intensive medicine. Furthermore the development of key qualifications in the field of soft skills, such as empathy, the ability to work in a team, communication and conflict management, professional distance, emotional intelligence like tolerance of frustration, self- determination, self-reflection as well as the readiness for continuous training is taken into account. The lectures offered are mandatory and ensure the fundamental qualifications required in a basic education. The topic selection for the bachelor’s and their practical placement facilitates students to focus on their preference of electives. Practical knowledge and skills are carried out and reflected on in small groups during practical placement in “Diet kitchen”, lab practicals or tutorials on applied nutrition therapy.
The curriculum also incorporates self-study which covers the preparation of speeches and presentations and their follow-ups, conceptualising dietetic treatment including menu planning, calculation of calories and nutrients as well as preparing of consulting and teaching material, last but not least the study workload and exam preparation. The acquisition of competencies and the course content, the method and the content as well as the learning records conform to each other. The University of Applied Sciences defines education such, that its FH-Bachelor degree programmes primarily focus on the acquisition of competencies and secondary on increasing knowledge.
The practical training is outlined in accordance with the terms of the FH-MTD-AV 2006. The practical education predominantly takes place in hospitals but also at other institutions of the health and social services as well as research, science and industry, if the imparting of the required knowledge, abilities and skills is ensured. The practical education encompasses the fields of acute medicine, long-term medicine and rehabilitation as well as health promotion and prevention. Moreover, in the practical training students acquire experience in patient care as well as sound knowledge, abilities and skills when administering dietetic treatment in mandatory and elective fields. During the practical placement, students carry out ten dietetic processes in mandatory subjects.
Elective subjects depending on the individual emphasis
The mode of assessment is determined for each course and is to be announced by the lecturer at the beginning of the course. The grading in the Austrian school system is configured on a scale 1-5 and is basically applied to the assessment unless determined differently in the curriculum. Students´ performance is assessed in individual or group work in lectures or modules.
The forms of performance assessment are
The examination regulations of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Dietetics stipulate the precise terms of examination (contents, methods, assessment criteria) and the possibilities to repeat courses and FH-Bachelor degree examination as well as the dates and deadlines of examinations and re- examination.
Regarding the recognition of certified knowledge, the principle of course-related recognition is applied. For the purpose of transparency of the educational system, the submission and crediting of prior knowledge is basically possible whereby the principle of course related crediting applies.
Applicants of the FH-Bachelor degree programme Dietetics meet the following requirements:
The general requirements for the FH-Bachelor degree programme Dietetics are regulated by the Federal Law Gazette No. 340/1993 (“Fachhochschul Studies Act”) and by the Federal Education Regulation
Applicants with one of the following requirements are accepted:
General Higher education entrance qualification
University entrance examination for selected university studies are accepted as entry requirements (further information).
Relevant professional qualifications
Selected occupational groups must prove evidence of additional exams orienting to the compulsory subjects of the Qualification to study Examination.
Please submit your completed application to:
fhg-Zentrum für Gesundheitsberufe Tirol GmbH
Unfortunately uncompleted applications can not be considered!
The standards for the assessment of the applicants´ aptitude for the relevant study and profession are stipulated in FH-MTD-AV §4. For the admission to the FH-Bachelor degree programme Dietetics the applicants are required to show a healthy and professional aptitude to practise dietetics.The objective of the application procedure is to find the applicants most adapted for this profession, by assessing as many as possible relevant features (professional, personal and social competencies). The procedure consists of the following components:
Evaluation of the written application documents
Written qualifying test
Specific qualifying test
Those applicants that have successfully completed the written qualifying test will be invited to an admission interview. In this interview the applicants are granted the opportunity to prove their skills and knowledge that may be relevant to academic success. Such criteria are in particular motivation, the applicant’s suitability and aptitude for the study and the aspired profession. The applicants´ concrete experience (a practical placement connected to the subject, a volunteer year in the social service) is appreciated with respect to professional motivation. Furthermore, the ability to communicate is assessed in the admission interview.
In accordance with Federal Education Regulation applicants must submit the following documents to prove their professional and healthy aptitude after admission to the programme of study:
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