NUT504 Dietetic Counselling and Education Practice (8)

This subject introduces the students to the theory and practice of nutrition communication including effective and appropriate skills in listening and communicating information, and the giving of advice, provision of education and communicating professional opinion to individuals, groups and communities.The subject will employ experiential learning in simulated environments including role plays in the nutrition laboratory, as well as in participating in dietetic service provision in actual health service environments including the CSU Nutrition Clinic and other local clinics. This type of learning aims to support the development of students' understanding of the interactions that take place and the professional relationships that develop between the dietitian, the client and health care team. Opportunities to engage with clinics that provide health services to people from a range of cultural backgrounds will be actively sought to assist in the students' development of cultural competence. Students are also required to attend a compulsory five day residential school during the subject.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Dentistry and Health Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Master of Dietetics students only

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate effective and appropriate interviewing and history taking skills in the collection of data relating to the health and nutritional status of individuals, groups and populations;
  • be able to relate knowledge of food science to nutrition and dietetics;
  • be able to explain the relationship between dietary intake and development and management of disease to individuals, groups and populations;
  • be able to apply principles of learning, education and behaviour change theory;
  • be able to develop or identify engaging nutrition education material using a mode that meets the needs of the target group;
  • be able to develop, implement and evaluate nutrition education plans for a variety of target groups;
  • be able to provide appropriate rationales for educational approaches based on evidence;
  • be able to use a variety of presentation techniques;
  • be able to apply innovation in the design and implementation of nutrition education plans;
  • be able to employ effective communication and counselling strategies as they apply to nutrition and dietetic practice;
  • be able to interpret nutritional information and communicate it using socially and culturally appropriate language;
  • be able to use appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication;
  • be able to listen and provide feedback that encourages participation and engagement;
  • be able to communicate in a way which respects customs of other cultures, using socially and culturally appropriate strategies;
  • be able to present an accurate, clear and logical message that is targeted to the audience when speaking publicly


This subject will cover the following topics:

- principles of learning, education and behaviour change theory.
- application of principles of learning theory.
- appropriate rationale for an educational approach based on evidence.
- verbal and non-verbal communication.
- effective communication and counselling strategies in nutrition and dietetic practice.
- translation of technical information into practical advice on food and eating.
- identification and development of education resource material,suitable for target audience.
- group education methodology.
- communication methods respectful of diversity of  culture and socioeconomic status.
- development of suitable nutrition messages targeted at suitable audiences.

Residential School

This subject contains a 5 day Compulsory Residential School.

A compulsory week's residential school will be provided at the mid session break. This will involve lectures, tutorials and opportunities for students to practise their counselling and communication skills during role plays and small group education sessions. Students will also have some exposure to the CSU Nutrition Clinic and small group education sessions.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.