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Unit of study_

NUTM3001: Introductory Nutrition and Metabolism

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Nutrition is a multidisciplinary science that covers the role of food in health and disease. Advances in biomolecular science have increased the focus of nutrition on the metabolic pathways that transform nutrients. This unit of study aims to explore fundamentals in nutritional science to develop an understanding of the core concepts in human nutrition through exploring the role of macro- and micro-nutrients and their interaction across the lifespan, mostly in the healthy individual. The focus will be the biochemical reactions that take place in cells, how these are influenced by different nutrients and what are the implications for the whole body. This unit of study will consider the structure and chemical characteristics of nutrients, their metabolism, and their roles in health and disease. This unit of study will explore how animal models, cell culture techniques and human trials have contributed to advancing nutritional science. Examples from current research will be used to illustrate how nutrients are metabolised, mostly in health, and the expanding scope of research in human nutrition.

Unit details and rules

Unit code NUTM3001
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
[12cp from (BCHM2X71 or BCHM2X72 or BCMB2X01 or BCMB2X02 or MBLG2X71)] OR [BMED2401 and BMED2405 and 6cp from (BCHM2X71 or BCMB2X02 or MBLG2X71)]
Assumed knowledge

PHSI2X05 and PHSI2X06

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Fiona Atkinson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam Online exam
CANVAS timed exam with multiple choice and short answer questions
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Assignment Beta cell lab report
Written report
10% Week 07 2 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO7
Tutorial quiz Nutritional genomics assessment
See Canvas for more details
10% Week 08 50min
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO7
Assignment Nutritional genomics: personalised nutrition summary
Summary report
5% Week 09 300 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO7 LO5
Presentation Journal club presentation
Oral presentation with submitted PowerPoint
15% Week 12 10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO7 LO6
Assignment G-protein lab report
Written report
10% Week 13 2 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO7

Assessment summary

  • Beta Cell lab report: Write a short paper based on the ß-cell lab of no longer than two A4 pages in total.
  • Nutritional genomics - personalised nutrition summary: The first nutritional genomics lab will comprise of online exercises where you will be guided through information relating to personalised nutrition and asked to provide short answers to a number of questions. After an introduction in class, you may then complete this assessment in your own time and submit a pdf of your summary report through Canvas.
  • Nutritional genomics in-class assessment: Pre-watching of video material is compulsory for the assessment task which will be completed in class in the second nutritional genomics lab. The assessment will be a research task where you will be asked to find relevant information in the literature online in relation to specific related questions.
  • Journal club presentation: In this exercise you are asked to describe a research article with emphasis on the results section based on the format presented in “What are the components of a research presentation?”. Please ensure when you upload your powerpoint slides to Canvas, that you also send a copy of the paper (via email) to your UOS co-ordinator.
  • G-protein lab report: Write a short paper based on the G-protein practicals of no longer than two A4 pages in total.
  • Final exam: 2h of lecture content-related questions in the online end of semester exam
Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

At HD level, a student demonstrates a flair for the subject as well as a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the unit material. A ‘High Distinction’ reflects exceptional achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates the ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding to produce original solutions for novel or highly complex problems and/or comprehensive critical discussions of theoretical concepts.


75 - 84

At DI level, a student demonstrates an aptitude for the subject and a well-developed understanding of the unit material. A ‘Distinction’ reflects excellent achievement and is awarded to a student who demonstrates an ability to apply their subject knowledge and understanding of the subject to produce good solutions for challenging problems and/or a reasonably well-developed critical analysis of theoretical concepts.


65 - 74

At CR level, a student demonstrates a good command and knowledge of the unit material. A ‘Credit’ reflects solid achievement and is awarded to a student who has a broad general understanding of the unit material and can solve routine problems and/or identify and superficially discuss theoretical concepts.


50 - 64

At PS level, a student demonstrates proficiency in the unit material. A ‘Pass’ reflects satisfactory achievement and is awarded to a student who has threshold knowledge.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Dietary macronutrients Lecture (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Dietary micronutrients Lecture and tutorial (11 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Nutritional genomics and epigenetics Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Nutrient sensing Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO5
Nutrition across the lifecycle Lecture (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Journal club - critical reading of the research Presentation (2 hr) LO7
Week 01 Energy balance Lecture (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 03 Beta cell biology Lab 1: Gain experience handling β-cells Science laboratory (4 hr) LO5 LO7
Week 04 Beta cell biology Lab 2: β-cell insulin secretion Science laboratory (4 hr) LO5 LO7
Week 05 Beta cell biology Lab 3: β-cell insulin secretion Science laboratory (4 hr) LO5 LO7
Week 06 Personalised nutrition – online report Science laboratory (4 hr) LO5 LO7
Week 09 Nutrient sensing Lab 1: Grow your own cells! Science laboratory (4 hr) LO5 LO7
Week 10 Nutrient sensing Lab 2: CaSR mediated CREB phosphorylation Science laboratory (4 hr) LO5 LO7
Week 11 Nutrient sensing Lab 3: CaSR mediated CREB phosphorylation Science laboratory (4 hr) LO5 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance requirements for this unit of study have been amended. Where online tutorials/workshops/virtual laboratories have been scheduled, students should make every effort to attend and participate at the scheduled time. Penalties will not be applied if technical issues, etc. prevent attendance at a specific online class. In that case, students should discuss the problem with the coordinator, and attend another session, if available.
  • Referencing guide: It is essential in scientific reports and essays that proper acknowledgment is given to the research and ideas of others. Material that is a direct quote must be indicated as such by quotation marks or by setting the material apart from the text. The quote must also be acknowledged with a reference to its source. Where a direct quote is not made, but a fact is stated that relies on a particular author, the statement must be acknowledged with a reference. Not acknowledging an information source is a form of plagiarism. For further information about citation and referencing sources visit the University of Sydney Library Quick Reference Guide: References must be cited in the text, starting in the introduction. For this course you can use either the Author–date style (Harvard style) or the Vancouver style to cite and list your references.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.
  • Required textbook: Essentials of Human Nutrition 5th Edition, 2017. Edited by Jim Mann and A. Stewart Truswell. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198752981

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of the source and metabolism of the major macro- and micro-nutrients in the human diet
  • LO2. discuss concepts relating to energy storage and flux
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of dietary reference standards, and potential consequences of both over and under-consumption of macro- and micro-nutrients
  • LO4. discuss other issues, not directly related to diet, which may impinge upon nutritional status and weight management
  • LO5. demonstrate an understanding of how the body senses nutrients at different levels
  • LO6. discuss issues and demonstrate critical thinking skills surrounding fad diets and the potential impact of these on nutritional status
  • LO7. demonstrate highly developed skills relating to communication using a range of media (both oral and written), team-work, laboratory work, and critical thinking, particularly important in an arena where misinformation abounds.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Number of assessment tasks were reduced to help students increase focus.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.