CHIR20016 - Applied Nutrition and Pharmacology

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit aims to provide you with the skills required to apply the principles of human nutrition and pharmacology to the musculoskeletal health of your future patients. It commences with a review of the general principles in these disciplines, ensuring that your knowledge is both comprehensive and commensurate with current evidence. Following this, you will focus on the elements of pharmacology and nutrition most relevant to your role as a health professional. In the area of pharmacology, this includes a more detailed look at the use of steroids and other medications used in the treatment of musculoskeletal disease, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and an exploration of the adverse reactions of drugs on musculoskeletal function. In the area of nutrition, the relationship between nutrients - in food and by supplementation - and the health of the musculoskeletal system will be studied. You will utilise research databases in an attempt to distinguish between fact and fallacy in the area of dietary intervention.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level Not Applicable
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


CHIR20009 Clinical Practice 4

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2022

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 3 - 2022

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. In-class Test(s) 25%
2. Written Assessment 25%
3. Examination 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2017 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.7 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 77.78% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Self-reflection (unit convenor)
From 2018, the content of this unit will be integrated into a larger unit - CHIR20006. Consequently, changes need to be made which reflect the change of emphasis of the subject matter within this integrated unit.
The following changes will be made: 1. Removal of nutrition assignment and pharmacology mid-term test. 2. Activities related to the content will become part of the portfolio assignment, which is currently a major component of the assessment.
Action Taken
Source: Self-reflection
I believe that the on-line test should be replaced with a more challenging assessment task.
Consider other forms of assessment to replace the online test. Maintain the online test for formative assessment.
Action Taken
An in class, invigilated test replaced the on-line test. This resulted in a greater range of marks, which thus distinguished between good, average and poor students.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Explain a broad range of concepts in nutritional science and pharmacology to patients and to other health care practitioners.
  2. Evaluate current research on a topic in the area of nutrition and/or pharmacology.
  3. Compare the pharmacological management options for a range of common musculoskeletal disorders.
  4. Analyse the relationship between nutrients and the health of the musculoskeletal system.
  5. Contrast the effects of commonly prescribed drugs on the musculoskeletal system, including both therapeutic effects and adverse reactions.
  6. Propose a process for assessing patients to identify any adverse reaction to medications, both prescribed and over the counter.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - In-class Test(s)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - In-class Test(s)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Examination