Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


NUTR405 Foods for Special Diets OR NUTR504 Foods for Special Diets in Practice

Unit rationale, description and aim

Entrepreneurial skills and mindset are increasingly important for dietetic graduates/professionals so that they can innovate and capitalise on existing and emerging opportunities and solve complex problems. In this unit, students will be expected to explore entrepreneurial thinking, skills, and strategies relevant to all modern workplaces and vital for graduates pursuing careers as business owners, business innovators and within cause-driven organisations. Students will be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate a broader range of complementary non-technical skills that employers value including business acumen, strategic planning, communication, and people skills. Through examination of the requirements for setting up and running private practice, consultancy or social enterprise students will be supported to build a business plan, and to develop a marketing strategy that incorporates the use of a wide range of media. Students will be supported to develop the confidence and capabilities to take an entrepreneurial approach in any workplace, so they stand out as a valuable and innovative employee, and to building a career in emerging areas of practice such as culinary nutrition and food and nutrition media. The aim of this unit is to provide the opportunity for students to develop extended knowledge, deep understanding, and real-life complementary non-technical skills to support the development of entrepreneurial thinking to successfully realise, and grow, new food and nutrition-related business opportunities.

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 - Apply a social entrepreneurship model to propose a novel solution to a food and nutrition problem (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Demonstrate advanced understanding of the diverse roles dietitians undertake as entrepreneurs (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Apply small business skills to create a business plan for a food and nutrition start-up enterprise (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Proficiently use multiple media to communicate targeted food and nutrition messages (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

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 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

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 includes topics related to the development and demonstration of professional dietetic practice and competence according to the Accreditation Standards of Dietitians Australia. These are described under the heading ‘Building professional dietetic practice’ in each unit outline and build on topics delivered synchronously and progressively throughout the degree. Those in bold reflect ‘new’ topics addressed in this unit. Students will have opportunities for collecting evidence of competence in these, and in other areas (italics).

Building professional dietetic practice

  • reflection and evaluation of practice, peer support and assessment
  • acknowledges, reflects and understands own values, beliefs, attitudes, biases and assumptions privilege and power, at the individual and systems level, and their influence on practice
  • scope of practice and standards of care, codes of conduct
  • continuing professional development
  • attributes (empathy, flexibility, adaptability, resilience, ethical, respectful, demonstrates integrity honesty, fairness, critical thinker)
  • workload and time management, prioritising workload
  • excellence of practice
  • feedback cycles
  • client-centred approach to practice
  • technological proficiency
  • culturally safe and responsive practice (requiring emotional, spiritual and cultural intelligence)
  • active listening, interpersonal and interviewing skills
  • collaboration and communication skills with stakeholders
  • systematically acquires, evaluates and applies findings into practice
  • appropriate decision-making
  • understanding and advocating for the role of the dietitian in emerging areas of practice
  • digital literacy
  • critical, problem-solving approach to practice
  • communication skills for conflict resolution
  • documentation (preparation, storage and transmission) in accordance with accepted industry standards

This unit requires the completion of 5 days of placement. Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components. This content includes:

Entrepreneurship and innovation

  • Entrepreneurship theories: economic, psychological, sociological, anthropological, opportunity and resource-based
  • Developing an entrepreneurial mindset
  • Research, development, and marketing, knowing your clients and their needs
  • Solution-focused approaches and ‘start-ups’
  • Social entrepreneurship in focus (social enterprise models, creating social and ethical change, social impact, sustainability)
  • Introduction to developing a professional identity/brand

Media skills

  • Translating science for stakeholders
  • Communication via (multiple) media with stakeholders
  • Digital marketing (email, websites, social media, mobile technologies, search engines)
  • Building a competitive edge
  • Writing for media

Small business skills

  • Developing a business plan for a small business that brings together entrepreneurship, marketing and client service with budgeting and book-keeping, project, and time management
  • Private practice and consulting logistics

Application to food industry, culinary sector and food and nutrition media

  • Targeting media product development

Both professional practice 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:

  • completion of defined project or project element/s
  • professional practices/attributes to be demonstrated whilst undertaking the experience
  • ability to seek, respond to and provide feedback from supervisors
  • overall student performance throughout the placement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit content will be over the first three-quarters of semester to allow for practice placements requirements of concurrent units in the latter weeks of semester. 

The learning and teaching strategy adopted aligns with the sequencing of the learning outcomes and consists of three phases that are designed to provide students with a developmental learning experience. The unit begins with approaches designed to support acquisition of specialist knowledge needed to understand the theories, principles, and approaches to entrepreneurial small business dietetic practice.

The approaches used to facilitate students’ learning include online learning modules and readings. The unit then builds on this theoretical knowledge and assists students to develop understanding and then application through practical skills development first through case studies and role play/simulation and then practice placement. The practice placement aims to provide students with the opportunity to observe and contribute to an element of work that will support students develop and entrepreneurial approach to practice. 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 in learning activities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit, three core assessment tasks are sequenced to progressively support students learning in alignment with the learning and teaching strategy. The fourth assessment task provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their entrepreneurial approach to practice and their placement. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy. The first assessment tasl involves a written assessment task submitted within the first two weeks, with feedback provided prior to submission of the second assessment task. This task provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to examine the theoretical underpinning of entrepreneurial approaches to business within the food and nutrition context. This second assessment task extends this theoretical understanding, by requiring students to focus on producing media to address a food and nutrition problem/s. The third assessment task will take the form of a business plan that consolidates learning and feedback from assessment the first two assessment tasks. The final assessment task, completed following placement, will require that students reflect on the development of their entrepreneurial thinking, professional dietetic practice development, and to supervisor assessment of their placement. Combined, these 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

Assessment 1

Written assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their ability to critically review relevant theories and their application to solving food and nutrition problems with entrepreneurial business approaches.


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA9

Assessment 2

Multimedia assessment

Enables students to demonstrate abilities to write and produce a range of assets to market a solution to a food and nutrition problem.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3

Written assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate ability to apply theories to develop a small business plan.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment 4

Professional practice portfolio

Enables students to gather evidence of entrepreneurial practice, and critically reflect on supervisor’s report of placement.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Ungraded hurdle

Completion of 5 days of placement.




GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bauer, K. D., Liou, D. & Sokolik, C. A. (2020). Nutrition Counselling and Education Skill Development. 4th Ed. Cengage Learning.

Frederick, H., Kuratko, D. & O’Connor, A. (2018). Entrepreneurship. Cengage Learning.

Gandy, J. Ed. (2019). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 6th Edition. Wiley, UK.

Hudson, N. R. & Booth, P. (2017). Management Practice in Dietetics. Cognella Academic Publishing.

Winterfeldt, E. A. (2018). Nutrition and Dietetics: Practice and Future Trends. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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