Core skills for a dietitian include the ability to communicate effectively and to promote positive behaviour changes in clients. This unit explores the theories of effective communication and behaviour change, as they apply to healthcare practice, with specific focus on motivational interviewing techniques and promotion of behaviour change in clients. Students will develop professional approaches to verbal and non-verbal communication with clients and other professional. They will explore and develop, through scenarios, role plays and case studies, strategies for effective interviewing, active listening and goal setting with clients.
Students will also develop skills in recording and communicating written information appropriately and professionally to clients and other professionals

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


240 credits from Bachelor of Nutritional Science OR Appropriate Bachelor degree for graduate entry students.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review and articulate theories of behaviour change and their application to dietetic practice;  
  2. Exemplify good practice in professional communication with both clients and other professionals; and  
  3. Justify strategies of communication and behaviour change used in dietetic practice.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Online Test MCQ (30mins) 15%
Presentation Group case study presentation (15mins) 25%
Report Case study report (1500 words) 30%
Other Individual client interview (20mins) 30%
Individual Client Interview assessment task is a hurdle requirement and 50% constitutes a pass in this assessment.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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