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NUTR202 Lifespan Nutrition

Unit rationale, description and aim

Professional practice is an integral aspect of the transition from learner to practitioner. To be a competent nutritionist the knowledge and skills gained must be transferred to a professional context, with demonstration of increasing autonomy and confidence. Professional practice provides the opportunity to apply knowledge, understanding and skills in a work context and gain the necessary experience under the supervision of a suitably qualified professional, in order to begin the transition from learner to practitioner. Active learning through real world professional experience, enables students to develop expertise, whereby, as a graduate, they can apply knowledge, understanding and skills to operate effectively in an ethically responsible manner, communicate effectively and be able to integrate and apply learning to practice. This unit will assist students to complete the necessary preparation for placements related to nutrition science and provide 50 hours industry work experience. The aim of the unit is to provide students with an authentic learning experience in which they can integrate evidence-based learnings in applied settings. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - understand the scope of practice and professional requirements relevant to working in the field of nutrition science (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5) 

LO2 - apply knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to practicing as a nutrition scientist (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5)

LO3 - demonstrate effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills in a work context (GA7, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - reflect critically upon their professional experience with specific reference to their scope of practice, values, assumptions and the principles underpinning community engagement (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


This unit requires the completion of 50 hours of industry experience work placements. Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components. This content includes:

  • principles of community engagement and reflectiveness
  • application of principles and practices in nutrition science
  • professionalism in work contexts

Both learning and performance will be directed by the university and the appointed placement supervisor at the host organisation, through a pre-defined and monitored set of criteria which encompass:

  • skills to be learned whilst undertaking the experience
  • overall student performance throughout the placement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In keeping with the sequence of learning outcomes in this unit, the learning and teaching strategy adopted comprises two key phases that are designed to provide students with a developmental learning experience. These phases relate to understanding and practice of nutrition scientists, building on learning from units earlier in the degree. The unit therefore begins with approaches designed to assist students actively participate in preparation for placement. Following preparatory activities, the unit provides opportunities for students through online and face-face learning, and readings to understand the scope of practice of nutrition science. The unit then proceeds to the final experiential component, 50 hours of work placement. During this time, students will be provided with opportunities to practice as a nutrition scientist under the supervision of the work placement. This final phase of the unit involves approaches that support students in the critical reflection of their experience. Online modules and discussion forums will be used to engage with students in this phase. Overall, the approaches used in this unit have a constructively aligned developmental sequence designed to progressively and logically support students learning in ways that maximise the perceived (and actual) relevance and value of each stage. As an overarching strategy, this is expected to engender high levels of engagement, efficiency and effectiveness in students’ study behaviours, and to maximise their learning achievements. This strategy and approaches will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching approaches will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively during work placements. 


Two hurdle requirements are included in this unit, both of which are necessary to successfully complete the unit. The first incorporates all preparatory requirements for unit and the second documentary evidence of the minimum placement hours. This placement unit is expected to be compulsory only for students who elect to follow a food science, culinary nutrition science, or exercise science stream, and therefore embedding any of the preparatory requirements in prerequisite subjects would not be appropriate. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to enable students to achieve the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy. Thus, the two phases of the strategy are reflected by integration of hurdle requirements and three appropriate assessment tasks. What follows are examples that have the requisite purpose: 

Completion of preparatory requirements (hurdle); 

Documented completion of 50 hours of work placement (hurdle); 

Professional portfolio to assess learning and application in preparation for employment;  

Placement supervisor evaluation to assess application of discipline-specific knowledge and skills as well as communication and professional conduct;  

Reflective report to assess understanding and integration of learnings through reflection and critical thinking. 

The assessment tasks will allow unit coordinators to assess students’ demonstration of the learning outcomes and attainment of graduate attributes. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Completion of ACU-specific and discipline-specific requirements for work placement, including but not limited to: 

  • Online unit modules 
  • ‘ACU Child-safe Organisations’ Online module 
  • Faculty of Health Sciences Pre-placement Verification process through InPlace 
  • First Aid certification



GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5 

Completion of a minimum of 50 hours of work placement and relevant documentation 

Enables students to demonstrate evidence of a minimum of 50 hours of suitable placement activity


LO1, LO2 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5 

Professional portfolio 

Enables students to prepare a professional application for a mock industry-specific job, including cover letter, resume and statement addressing selection criteria.


LO2, LO3

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA7, GA9, GA10

Placement supervisor evaluation 

Enables students to demonstrate the application of discipline-specific knowledge, understanding and skills, including their ability to communicate effectively in work contexts. 


LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9, GA10 

Reflective Report 

Enables students to reflect critically upon their professional experience with specific reference to their values, assumptions and attitudes and the ACU Mission.



GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4 

Representative texts and references

ACU Assessment Policy

ACU Community Engagement 

Association for Nutrition. 2013. Standards of Ethics, Conduct and Performance. Accessed  

Egan, L., Butcher, J., & Ralph, K. (2008). Hope as a basis for understanding the benefits and possibilities of community engagement.  Strathfield, NSW: The Institute for Advancing Community Engagement, Australian Catholic University. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from:  

Bucker, R. B. & Rucker, M. R. 2016. Nutrition: ethical issues and challenges. Nutrition Research. 36 (11), 1183-92.  

Nutrition Society of Australia. 2019. Code of Ethics. Accessed 

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