Unit description

Builds on the knowledge gained in human physiology, physiological pathology as well as in the nutrition units to gain a deeper understanding of human physiology as it relates to nutrient requirements, intake, assimilation and utilisation in health and disease.

Unit content

Overview, revision and extension of knowledge of all physiological systems with emphasis on absorption and elimination

  • The digestive process in health and disease
  • The absorptive process in health and disease
  • Elimination of waste products

Metabolism of nutrients

  • Absorption pathways of nutrients, including across the blood-brain barrier
  • Nutrient metabolism in the liver
  • Fluid regulation
  • Tissue pH regulation

Energy production and balance

  • The adipocyte as an endocrine organ
  • Hunger, appetite and satiety
  • Fasting versus starvation
  • Under-nutrition and anorexia


  • Gene organisation, regulation, expression and damage
  • Polymorphisms

Impact of nutrition on physiological systems

  • Over-nutrition and obesity/insulin resistance
  • Drug-nutrient interactions
  • Endocrine, hepato-biliary, gastrointestinal and urinary systems

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • 615.854 NUTR: Nelms, M, Sucher, KP, Lacey, K & Roth, SL, 2011, Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology, 2nd edn, Wadsworth: Cengage Learning , Belmont, CA. ISBN: 9781439049624.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 2 hour (12 weeks)
Exam: closed book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.