NUT5001 - Introduction to dietetic skills - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food

Chief examiner(s)

Evelyn Volders


Dr Simone Gibson

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


NUT3002, NUT3082 and NUT4001.


NUT5002 and must be enrolled in Master of Dietetics.


Please note: The teaching dates for this unit vary from the standard teaching datesstandard teaching dates ( for this teaching period.

Unit discontinuation and penalty dates for these units are different to other units taught in the same teaching period.

Please refer to the information available on the Faculty non standard teaching dates pageFaculty non standard teaching dates page ( to avoid academic and financial penaltiesacademic and financial penalties (


This unit uses chronic disease as the foundations and basis for dietetic students to develop their core dietetic practice assessment, counselling and management skills. There is an emphasis on person centred care and simulation provides a key platform for learning in this unit. A formative Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) sits within this unit to assist students' readiness for placement. Students are introduced to the healthcare system and a range of health care settings via an introductory clinical placement. This aims to commence the application of the nutrition care process, the use of food as a therapeutic tool, clinical reasoning, reflection and advanced communication and interpersonal skills required for dietetic practice. Attendance at this placement is compulsory. This unit supports students' progression towards entry level competencies in individual case management in the healthcare setting. Placement may take place outside of regular semester times. Students must have valid police check, WWC check and immunisation certificates in order to participate in clinical placements

The key themes explored in this unit are Theme 1: Personal Development and Professional Practice, Theme 3: Fundamentals of Health and Disease, Theme 4: Food from Science to Systems coupled with partial integration of content and application from Theme 2: Determinants and Influences on Population Health and Nutrition.


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

  1. Apply and integrate knowledge of chronic disease into nutrition assessment and management plans using case based learning, simulation and placement experience in the healthcare environment.
  2. Employ core dietetic practice skills - including interpretation of data, collection and analysis of dietary data, nutrition assessment, communication and intervention strategies to formulate and evaluate the elements of effective client centred nutrition care planning and delivery.
  3. Apply knowledge and experience in a healthcare setting to begin practicing safely and professionally both autonomously and as part of the health care team.
  4. Integrate a comprehensive knowledge of food diversity and food composition into dietetic practice.
  5. Incorporate nutrition counselling theory and a range of communication strategies in developing practical, relevant and targeted nutrition interventions for various audiences.
  6. Utilise reflection, professional and personal communication and teamwork skills to assist in critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  7. Synthesise and communicate to peers key findings from the scientific literature and their relevance and application to nutrition and dietetic practice


Placement: 10 days.


  • Self-developed resource (10%) (2000 words)
  • 2 x Case reports (25%) (2500 words):
    • Standardised patient 10%
    • Hospital patient with reflective component 15%
  • Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) with guided reflection (20%) (Hurdle)
  • Case-based learning presentations x 3 (15%)
  • Written Examination (30%)
  • Placement including professionalism development and practical skills appraisal Pass/Fail (Ungraded) Hurdle

Workload requirements

3 days (x 6 hours per day ) over 10 weeks - a combination of lectures, workshops, practical activities and simulated learning experiences. Students will also be expected to undertake self-directed study related to the unit content and complete assessment tasks as defined.

See also Unit timetable information

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