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  • Semester 2Online Scheduled


NUTR309 Work Placement 1

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 both soft and hard skills to operate effectively in an ethically responsible manner, communicate effectively and be able to integrate and apply learning to practice. This unit will provide students with 90 hours industry work experience and builds on placement activities in Work Placement 1.The aim of the unit is to provide students with an additional 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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Understand the scope of practice and professional requirements relevant to working in the field of nutrition scienceGC1, GC2
LO2Apply knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to practicing as a nutrition scientistGC2, GC4, GC7, GC8
LO3Demonstrate effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills in a work contextGC3, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO4Reflect critically upon their professional experience with specific reference to their scope of practice, values, assumptions and the principles underpinning community engagementGC3, GC6, GC10, GC11


This unit requires the completion of 90 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 learning outcomes in this unit, the learning and teaching strategy adopted comprises two key phases that are designed to provide students with an integrated learning experience. These phases relate to understanding and practice of nutrition scientists, building on learning from units earlier in the degree and on earlier work placement. The unit commences with the experiential component, 90 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 phase of the unit involves approaches that support students in the critical reflection of their experience. Discussion forums will be used to engage with students in this phase. Simultaneously, the unit provides opportunities for students through online learning, and readings to further understand the scope of practice of nutrition science and diversity of roles and requirements in industry. Overall, the approaches used in this unit are constructively aligned and the integrated sequence designed to support students learning in ways that maximise the perceived (and actual) relevance and value of both stages. 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.

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 requirement and three appropriate assessment tasks. What follows are examples that have the requisite purpose: 

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.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Completion of a minimum of 90 hours of professional practice and relevant documentation  


Enables students to demonstrate evidence of a minimum of 90 hours of suitable practicum 


LO1, LO2

Professional portfolio 


Enables students to prepare a professional application for a mock industry-specific job that may include a cover letter, resume, statement addressing selection criteria, evidence of both soft and hard skills, and an introductory video 


LO2, LO3

Professional 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

Reflective Report 


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



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

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 11 May 2023, 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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