Credit points


Campus offering

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NUTR604 Practice Placement 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

This practice placement unit offers students the opportunity to continue to develop competence to practice as a dietitian. Students will critically review food and nutrition management case studies across key dietetic practice domains and undertake a placement in one of these domains. Building on skills developed in earlier units where students started to build a professional identity/brand, students will be supported to develop confidence to enter the workforce through preparation of final work readiness skills. This unit aims to support students to develop advanced food and nutrition management planning skills and further opportunity to become competent to practice as a dietitian.

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 - Demonstrate application of advanced food and nutrition management planning skills through successful interventions to improve health in practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Demonstrate the dietetic practice attributes, abilities and skills required for professional practice (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate readiness to work through preparation of a career strategy that incorporates development of a professional identity/brand (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

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
  • digital literacy/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
  • critical, proactive problem-solving approach to practice
  • reflection of own personal health and wellbeing
  • communication skills for conflict resolution
  • taking responsibility for own actions
  • documenting in accordance with accepted industry standards
  • resource, team worker, leader
  • appropriate nutrition diagnoses/decision-making
  • competent practising dietitian

This unit requires the completion of 20 days of placement. Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components. This content includes:

Case studies in food and nutrition management

Collaborative, culturally sensitive and safe, evidence-based, client-centred issue assessment, planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating

Professional identity/brand

  • Preparing a vision for a career and working to that vision
  • Continuing professional development plans
  • Preparing a resume
  • Applying for positions

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:

  • ability to perform elements of individual case management of clients, completion of defined project or project element/s, or other defined placement activity
  • professional practices/attributes to be demonstrated whilst undertaking the experience
  • ability to seek, respond to and provide feedback from clients (carers etc.) the healthcare team, the community, other stakeholders, and supervisors
  • overall student performance throughout the placement

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit content will be delivered intensively over 5 weeks. This unit will be the only unit delivered at this time. Presentation of the major case study will be at the end of semester during ‘conference week’. The learning and teaching strategy adopted aligns with the sequencing of the learning outcomes and consists of three interlinked stages that are designed to provide students with a rich learning experience. The unit begins with approaches designed to support further consolidation of specialist knowledge of dietetic practice as they commence practice placement, and consideration of the requirements to be ‘work-ready’. 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 and then practice placement. Each week students will spend some time further developing their understanding and application of dietetic practice, simultaneously drawing on their own practice experience to enhance their learning. Students will be expected to be demonstrating competence more consistently in their practice placements. 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. A range of assessment strategies are used in ways that support the developmental sequence of the learning and teaching strategy. The first assessment task requires completion of a complete and detailed presentation of a case study related to the practice placement. The case study will be submitted for feedback and formative grading. The final presentation, with grading adjustment if feedback incorporated, will be made during the conference week at the end of semester. This strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to incorporate feedback to improve their performance. The second assessment task provides students with the opportunity to translate their knowledge and understanding of ‘work-readiness’ into real skills in preparation for completion of their studies and entering the workforce. The final assessment is an extension of their professional practice portfolio where in addition to continuing to collect evidence of their competence to practice, they will reflect on their supervisor's final assessment of their placement and articulate a plan for their final placement and any further development of competence required in accordance with Dietitians Australia. There is one ungraded hurdle requirement for this unit, completion of 20 days of 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

Multimedia major case study assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their advanced ability to plan and implement interventions to improve food and nutrition-related health.


LO1, LO2

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

Assessment 2

Multimedia assessment task

Enables students to demonstrate their readiness to enter to workforce.


LO1, LO2, LO3

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

Assessment 3

Professional practice portfolio

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


LO1, LO2, LO3

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

Ungraded hurdle

Completion of 20 days of placement.



LO1, LO2

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, Wadsworth, USA.

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

Linder, K, E. & Pasquini, L. (2018). Managing Your Professional Identity Online. Stylus Publishing, US.

Stewart. R. (2020). Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. 6th Ed. Nutrition Care Professionals Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Stewart, R., Vivanti, A. & Myers, E. (2016). Nutrition Care and Process Terminology. Nutrition Care Professionals Pty. Ltd. Australia.

Theobald, T. (2019). Develop your Presentation Skills. 4th Ed. Creating Success, UK.

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