Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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18 points, SCA Band 2, 0.375 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Nutrition and Dietetics
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ricardo Costa and Dr Julia Choate

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis.


This unit will focus on developing students' fundamental scientific knowledge in the areas of biochemistry, physiology, anatomy and immunology as the basis for nutrition and dietetics practice. The areas of pharmacology and genetics will be included as the role of nutrition in these sciences is increasingly emphasised. The key theme explored in this unit is Theme 3: Nutrition Fundamentals of Health and Disease coupled with partial integration of content and application from Theme 1: Personal Development and Professional Practice and Theme 4: Food from Science to systems. This unit will take a scientific approach to understanding the anatomy and physiology of the human body in growth and development and the impact of dietary input on cellular and metabolic processes whilst recognising the neuroendocrine control of nutrients within the body and the role of essential micronutrients in immune function. Teaching will focus on a case based learning approach to knowledge application.


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

  1. Relate the structure and function of the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, urinary, skeletal and muscular systems to nutrition, health and disease
  2. Describe the organisation and function of the peripheral and central nervous systems and discuss neuroendocrine control within the body
  3. Explain the anatomy of the GI system and explain the physiological and biochemical processes associated with digestion and metabolism of food
  4. Discuss the role of innate and acquired immunity in health and disease states
  5. Examine the protective roles of some dietary components in health and chronic disease
  6. Describe the pharmacokinetics of common drugs, their distribution and metabolism in the body and their interaction with nutrients
  7. Apply the main biochemical, clinical and physical measures for assessing nutritional status and the signs and symptoms of micronutrient inadequacy and/or deficiency
  8. Discuss introductory concepts in the nutrient modulation of gene expression
  9. Interpret and critically evaluate the scientific literature
  10. Exhibit problem based learning skills and the ability to apply scientific knowledge to nutrition-related scenarios
  11. Interpret data and demonstrate skills in the reporting of laboratory experiments and scientific communication.


Practical reports including anthropometrical (body composition) assessment (20%)
Case studies (10%)
Structured essay (3,000 words) (10%)
Mid-semester exam (10%)
2 x End of semester exams (50%) (25% per exam)
Examinations are a hurdle requirement.

Workload requirements

6 x 2 hours per week lectures/tutorials on campus.
1 x 3 hours practical on campus.
21 hours self study and assessment related work.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Ricardo Costa and Dr Julia Choate

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Must be enrolled in courses 3404, 4530 or 3956.