Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


NUTR101 Introduction to Nutrition OR EXSC118 Nutrition and Exercise

Unit rationale, description and aim

An understanding of the changes and challenges to human nutrient requirements across the lifespan, and their impact on growth, development and health, is essential when applying learning to practice in nutrition science with individuals and communities. In this unit diet and nutrition as they relate to the human life stages are explored, including the mechanisms by which food and nutrients influence normal physical and cognitive development and how physical and cognitive states affect nutrition status. Nutritional issues relevant to the stages of pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and ageing will be covered. Dietary nutrient requirements and differences in dietary guidelines (e.g., Australian Dietary Guidelines) across the lifespan are addressed, including lifestage nutrition issues such as disease and disease prevention. Inequalities in nutrition related health, especially as it relates to Indigenous Australians and other at risk groups will be examined as will theories and practice of nutrition education. This unit aims to assist students build a strong base from which to develop and deliver nutrition education related to food and nutrition throughout the lifespan.

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 - describe growth and development at various human life stages identifying where nutrient status affects growth and development and where growth and development affect nutrient status (GA5) 

LO2 - compare and contrast nutrient requirements and food and nutrient intakes at each life stage, and across different population groups, including Indigenous Australians and other at-risk groups (GA5) 

LO3 - identify and apply dietary guidelines for each life stage and for specific cultural groups, including Indigenous Australians (GA1, GA4) 

LO4 - effectively communicate food and nutrition issues relevant to specific stages of the lifespan, and to groups within the community(GA10) 

Graduate attributes

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

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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


Topics will include: 

  • growth and development, measurement and monitoring across the lifespan 
  • nutrient requirements, guidelines and  recommended dietary intakes across the lifespan 
  • diet and physical activity assessment in individuals, subgroups and populations theory and practice 
  • food and nutrient intakes and physical activity at each life stage 
  • food and nutrition related issues across the lifespan 
  • food and nutrition related issues for Indigenous Australians
  • food and nutrition related issues for other at-risk groups, with consideration of the social, historical and political context of these issues 
  • food and nutrition relevant to pre-conception 
  • food and nutrition during pregnancy and lactation 
  • food and nutrition throughout childhood (infant, toddler, child) 
  • food and nutrition in adolescence 
  • food and nutrition through young, early and middle adulthood 
  • food and nutrition in older adulthood 
  • food and nutrition for disease prevention 
  • nutrition education and communication skills, learning theory and practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In keeping with the sequence of learning outcomes in this unit, the learning and teaching strategy adopted comprises three phases that are designed to provide students with a developmental learning experience. The unit begins with approaches designed to support acquisition of the knowledge needed to understand food and nutrition throughout the lifespan. It builds on this by progressing to activities that support the development of a theoretical understanding of concepts and principles needed to inform the skill development. The final stage involves approaches that support students in the application of their understanding in the development of skills needed. Thus, 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 known to engender higher levels of engagement, efficiency and effectiveness in students’ study behaviours, and to maximise their learning achievements. 

Learning and teaching approaches include active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning, online learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered over 12 weeks. These approaches will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for development of practical skills. Specific learning and teaching approaches include: lectures where students will develop the theoretical knowledge related to lifespan nutrition across population groups, and tutorial classes where students will develop and apply theoretical learnings and develop nutrition education skills. This strategy and approaches will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in learning activities.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve 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 three phases of the strategy are reflected by integration of three appropriate assessment tasks. What follows are examples that have the requisite purpose: 

A tutorial workbook allows students to apply learning of theory and submit work for assessment. Part A will be submitted at the end of week 4 with return by week 7 allowing students to use feedback to improve their work. Part B will be submitted at the end of week 11 and will be returned in week 14. 

Online tests throughout semester will provide formative feedback and allow students to progressively work through the content. 

A communication task will allow students to demonstrate command of the content and relevant communication skills.  

Each task 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

Tutorial Workbook 

Requires students to demonstrate application of key knowledge and skills developed in the unit. 

Part A  


Part B  


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA10 

Communication Task  

Requires students to apply their unit learning as well as demonstrate their communication skills. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Australian Government Department of Health. (2015) Australian Dietary Guidelines.  

Australian Government Department of Health. (2015) Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. 

Brown, J.E., Isaacs, J., Krinke, B., Lechtenberg, E., and Murtaugh, M. (2014) Nutrition Through the Life Cycle (5th Ed.). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning. 

Croxford, S. (2015) Food and Nutrition Throughout Life. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin. 

Langley-Evans, S. (2015) Nutrition, Health and Disease: A Lifespan Approach (2nd Ed.). Milton, Australia: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Whitney, E., Rolfes, S. Rady, Crowe, T., Cameron-Smith, D., and Walsh, A. (2017) Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand Edition (3rd Ed.). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs