Student in front of research poster

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students do you accept?
We accepted 35 students in 2020.  We encourage applications from Indigenous students who may self-declare during the application process.
Do you accept non-Brescia students?
YES, we accept coed graduates of any Canadian accredited dietetic education undergraduate program (or American ACEND-accredited equivalent program) the last 3 years (2018, 2019, 2020) or expected to graduate by June 2021.
What do you look for in a practicum student?
In addition to the minimum academic, work and volunteer experience expected for all practical training programs, the DDEPT program seeks students who demonstrate initiative and are mature, professional and independent. Applicants can describe how they possess these attributes in their cover letter and, if invited, through the in-person multiple mini-interview process.
When does the program start and end?
The program starts in early May and it ends in late April the following year. Note – this does not allow students to work during the summer.
Where are the placements?
There are 3 cohorts in the DDEPT program: London Health Sciences, Hamilton Health Sciences, and Ontario-wide. Placements can be anywhere in Ontario or beyond. The Dietetic Education Coordinator plans some placements in advance and students can select geographical preferences on their application (London, Hamilton, Windsor, Grey Bruce, Niagara, Greater Toronto Area, and Kingston).  Some placements may be planned in consultation with the students, however, all applicants should be prepared to relocate throughout the program as preferred locations cannot be guaranteed.
Why do I need a G2 driver’s licence?
Students can expect to travel up to 60 minutes to get to a placement and this may include highway driving. Applicants should be comfortable driving anywhere in Ontario before applying to this program. Students unable to drive for a medical reason can submit documentation to be exempt from this requirement.
How often do students need to be at Brescia?
Students need to be onsite at Brescia in London, Ontario for approximately 6 weeks in May/June for orientation and pre-placement courses, and 1 week in late April for educational seminars and debriefing meetings.
What other types of training/development do students receive?  
  • Level 1 Motivational Interviewing
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention (both are completed at Brescia).
  • Students also complete two Dietitians of Canada online courses: Critical Care Nutrition and Population/Public Health Needs Assessment.
  • Additional monthly educational webinars presented on a variety of topics – such as “nephrology, dysphagia, diabetes, public health.”
How much does the DDEPT program cost?

2019/20 fees were $11,932.59, which includes tuition, ancillary fees, and placement fees. International students are subject to international tuition.

See the current fee schedule.

Students are also advised to consider other costs such as accommodation/moving, food, parking, gas, car maintenance, immunizations, accident and liability insurance, phone, professional attire.

Is the DDEPT program OSAP-eligible?

Yes, though according to OSAP rules, the start date of this program is considered a continuation of the previous academic year. During the first 4 months of the program (May-August), only those students who enter the program immediately from the undergraduate program at Brescia and who received OSAP during the previous school year are eligible. From September – April, more students can qualify for OSAP eligibility. For more information, visit Ontario Student Assistance Program.

Are there any other funding sources for DDEPT students?

Yes, there are some small bursaries and scholarships available through Brescia and students receive information about these during orientation. Contact Rachel Bruijns, Financial Aid Officer at Brescia for more information:

How many and what type of references are needed to apply to the DDEPT program?

Two professional references from work or volunteer experience are required. Academic references are no longer required, but one academic reference can be substituted for a professional reference if preferred.

Where do DDEPT graduates work?

In all sectors: hospitals, community health centres, family health teams, Aboriginal health access centres, long-term care, food industry and foodservice management companies.

When is vacation time for students during the program?

Vacation time (2 weeks) occurs during the Christmas to New Year break (December 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021). There is no flexibility for vacation at other times during the year.

Is it possible to work-part time during the DDEPT program?

In rare instances, students will remain in one location throughout the year and may work up to 10 hours/week. More often, students will relocate throughout the year which would make working difficult or impossible.

What types of research projects are students assigned?  

Projects can be academic research with Brescia faculty in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences or a practice-based project with a dietitian outside of the university.  Some examples of previous research projects are:

  • Research, develop & test dessert recipes in compliance with PPM 150 for a school board
  • 12-week intervention study in a bariatric centre
  • Community food literacy needs assessment through focus groups and interviews
  • Developing a tool to assess food safety culture/climate in a hospital food-service setting
  • Identifying barriers to intake during mealtimes for inpatients in a hospital
  • Research and development of a pediatric obesity prevention program
Are international students eligible to apply?

International students are eligible to apply but will need both a valid post-graduate work permit and study visa.  If offered a position in the DDEPT program, candidates should apply for a post-graduate work permit as soon as the undergrad degree is completed.  The work permit is required to participate in the practicum portion of the program. International students are encouraged to contact the Western’s International & Exchange Student Centre as a resource for this and other international student-related questions.

What is the “diploma” that students receive after successfully completing this program?

It is a Western University post-graduate diploma in Dietetic Education and Practical Training.

Can I contact a current student or DDEPT graduate to ask more questions?  

Yes, current students and graduates of the program are willing to respond to student inquiries. See the following list of students who are happy to talk to you.

2020 Graduates:

2019 Graduates: