Course Title: Nutrition Principles

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Nutrition Principles

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Prof Harsharn Gill

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2600

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bundoora Campus Building 201 level 6 Room

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This is an introductory enabling course requiring no formal prerequisites.

An understanding of biology and chemistry is highly desirable.

Course Description

This course provides you with an introduction to and an overview of nutritional issues related to general health and the food supply. Various aspects of food composition and cultural cuisine will be examined and related to the process of food choices and the subsequent effect these choices have on community health issues. The macro and micro-nutrient content of the core food groups will be discussed and the rationale investigated for diet planning principles, food labelling regulations and the setting of national dietary guidelines and recommended dietary intakes (RDI’s). The biochemical principles of carbohydrate, protein and lipid structure, digestion, absorption and metabolism for energy in the body will be outlined and related to the intake and function of the micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) at AQF Level 7 

PLO 1 - Demonstrate a coherent knowledge of science

1.1 Show an understanding of the scientific methods and an ability to apply the scientific methods in practice

1.2 Show a coherent understanding of the role and relevance of food science in society

1.3 Show an understanding and importance of the role of evidence in the continuous evolution of scientific knowledge 

1.4 Show an understanding of the significance of food science and nutrition to society 

PLO 2 - Exhibit depth and breadth of scientific knowledge

2.1 Show a depth of scientific knowledge of core concepts in food science and nutrition

2.2 Show an ability to comprehend the role of diets, nutrients, and food in health and disease

2.4 Show an understanding of the dietary guidelines and standards

PLO 3 Critically analyse and solve scientific problems

3.1 Show an understanding of nutritional status of human diets

PLO 4 Demonstrate effective communication of science

4.1 Show effective communication ability relating to food and nutrition issues

On completion of this course, you should be able to: 


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the distinction between macro and micronutrients. 
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the relative energy contribution to the body from dietary fat, carbohydrate and protein, with the ability to read and understand food labels and nutrition claims.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and function of the digestive tract and process of cellular energy metabolism. 
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the function of the TCA cycle and energy transport chain and the role of micronutrients in controlling energy metabolism in the body. 
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of diet planning principles, weight control and the impact of fad diets. 
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the assessment of the validity of media nutritional information and the accuracy of scientific studies in nutrition.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  • completion of tutorial activities and laboratory projects designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to give feedback on student progress and understanding;
  • completion of written assignments consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter;
  • private study, working through the course as presented in classes and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems;
  • evaluation of personal body anthropometric features;
  • evaluation of food and nutrient intake and correlation with body anthropometry.

Total Study Hours

Lectures: 36 hours (face-to-face)

Tutorials: 12 hours(face-to-face)

Self-directed learning: 72 hours (assignments, revision etc)

Overview of Learning Resources

ou will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources (Including appropriate journals) and freely accessible Internet sites. Other material will be provided in class.

You will be able to access course information and learning material through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT).

Recommended text is;

Whitney, Rolfes, Crowe, Cameron-Smith et al (2017) “Understanding Nutrition” (Aust & NZ 3rd ed).



Overview of Assessment

Note that:

This course has no hurdle requirements.

ONPS 1118 (Undergraduate) & ONPS 2125 (Postgraduate) Assessment tasks

The assessment for this course is based on three assessments, fortnightly exam questions and a 2 hours end of semester examination.

Assessment 1 – Quiz (UGRDs Only)

You will be required to write a report evaluating the validity of the food industry labelling practices on a food product

Weighting  10%         

Assessment 1 – Quiz and report (PGRDs Only)

You will be required to write a report evaluating the validity of the food industry labelling practices on a food product and produce a food fact sheet on a food product.

Weighting  10%                   

This assessment task supports CLO  2

Assessment 2 (UGRD and PGRD)

You will be required to write a report evaluating the scientific validity of a media sourced nutrition information related article

Weighting 10% 

This assessment task supports CLO 6

Assessment 3 (UGRD and PGRD)

A major assignment on your own (or a fictitious individual’s) eating and exercise habits will be done in conjunction with body anthropometry measurements.

Weighting 20% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 and 5 

Online multiple choice tests (UGRD and PGRD)

You will complete Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) associated with each module. Details of the number and timing of tests will be presented in class.
The first MCQ question set is the early assessment task for Nutrition Principles.

Weighting 20%

This assessment supports CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Exam  A two (2) hour closed book final examination at the end of the semester, based on the concepts and material presented in classes during the semester.

Weighting   40% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5