Unit description

Focuses on the dynamic interplay between nutrient availability and requirement in health, at different life-stages and when health is compromised, particularly when this affects the multiple systems that control appetite, nutrient absorption, assimilation and excretion. 

Unit content

Topic 1: Nutrigenetics/Nutrigenomics and single nucleotide polymorphisms

Topic 2: The effects of diet on the physiology of the upper GIT and nutritional consequences of common pathology. Related drug-nutrient interactions.

Topic 3: Gall bladder and exocrine pancreas: control, effect and compromise.

Topic 4: Impact of dietary and lifestyle choices on liver function. Related drug-nutrient interactions.

Topic 5: The nutrition physiology of the lower GIT (ilium and colon), including the microbiota.

Topic 6: Changes in nutritional physiology and appetite control in obesity.

Topic 7: Fluid balance, acid-base and electrolyte balance. Chronic kidney disease and the effect of diet and lifestyle on morbidity and mortality. 

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 2

  • This is the latest edition of the text. It is also available as an ebook: Nelms, M & Sucher, KP, 2015, Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology, 3rd edn, Cengage, Belmont, CA. ISBN: 9781305111967.
  • This is the old edition, but will still be OK this year. It is available in the Library: 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
Self-directed project 2 hours (Week 9)
Exam: closed book25%
Exam: closed book35%

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 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

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