Food Studies

* This is a Material Intensive Elective. Confirmed enrolment in this Elective is conditional on payment of the Material Intensive charge of $150.

Unit 1 & 2 Food Technology:-

  • There are no prerequisites for either Unit 1 or 2 of Food Technology

Unit 3 & 4 Food Technology:-

  • No prerequisites for Unit 3
  • For Unit 4 Food Studies, Unit 3 Must be completed to undertake Unit 4

VCE Food Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the exploration of food, with an emphasis on extending food knowledge and skills and building individual pathways to health and wellbeing through the application of practical food skills.

Practical work is integral to Food Studies and includes cooking, demonstrations, creating and responding to design briefs, dietary analysis, food sampling and taste-testing, sensory analysis, product analysis and scientific experiments.


Unit 1 Food Origins

This unit focuses on food from historical and cultural perspectives. Students investigate the origins and roles of food through time and across the world.


In Area of Study 1 students explore how humanity has historically sourced its food, examining the general progression from hunter-gatherer to rural-based agriculture, to today’s urban living and global trade in food. Students consider the origins and significance of food through inquiry into particular

food-producing regions of the world.


In Area of Study 2 students focus on Australia. They look at Australian indigenous food prior to European settlement and how food patterns have changed since, particularly through the influence of food production, processing and manufacturing industries and immigration. Students investigate cuisines that are part of Australia’s culinary identity today and reflect on the concept of an Australian cuisine. They consider the influence of technology and globalisation on food patterns.


Throughout this unit students complete practical tasks to enhance, demonstrate and share their learning with others.


Outcome 1(links to area of study 1)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify and explain major factors in the development of a globalised food supply, and demonstrate adaptations of selected food from earlier cuisines through practical activities.

Outcome 2 (links to area of study 2)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe patterns of change in Australia’s food industries and cultures, and use foods indigenous to Australia and those introduced through migration in the preparation of food products.


Unit 2 Food Makers

In this unit students investigate food systems in contemporary Australia.


Area of Study 1 focuses on commercial food production industries, while Area of Study 2 looks at food production in small-scale domestic settings, as both a comparison and complement to commercial production.


Students gain insight into the significance of food industries to the Australian economy and investigate the capacity of industry to provide safe, high-quality food that meets the needs of consumers.

Students use practical skills and knowledge to produce foods and consider a range of evaluation measures to compare their foods to commercial products. They consider the effective provision and preparation of food in the home, and analyse the benefits and challenges of developing and using practical food skills in daily life. In demonstrating their practical skills, students design new food products and adapt recipes to suit particular needs and circumstances. They consider the possible extension of their role as small-scale food producers by exploring potential entrepreneurial opportunities.


Outcome 1 (links to area of study 1)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe Australia’s major food industries, analyse relationships between food suppliers and consumers, discuss measures in place to ensure a safe food supply and design a brief and a food product that demonstrates the application of commercial principles.


Outcome  (links to area of study 2)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare and evaluate similar foods prepared in different settings, explain the influences on effective food provision and preparation in the home, and design and create a food product that illustrates potential adaptation in a commercial context.

Unit 3 Food in daily life

This unit investigates the many roles and everyday influences of food. Area of Study 1 explores the science of food: our physical need for it and how it nourishes and sometimes harms our bodies. Students investigate the physiology of eating and appreciating food, and the microbiology of digestion. They also investigate the functional properties of food and the changes that occur during food preparation and cooking. They analyse the scientific rationale behind the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (see and develop their understanding of diverse nutrient requirements.

Area of Study 2 focuses on influences on food choice: how communities, families and individuals change their eating patterns over time and how our food values and behaviours develop within social environments. Students inquire into the role of food in shaping and expressing identity and connectedness and the ways in which food information can be filtered and manipulated. They investigate behavioural principles that assist in the establishment of lifelong, healthy dietary patterns.


The practical component of this unit enables students to understand food science terminology and to apply specific techniques to the production of everyday food that facilitates the establishment of nutritious and sustainable meal patterns.



Outcome 1 (links to area of study 1)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain the processes of eating and digesting food and absorption of macronutrients, explain causes and effects of food allergies, food intolerances and food contamination, analyse food selection models, and apply principles of nutrition and food science in the creation of food products.


Outcome 2 (links to area of study 2)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain and analyse factors affecting food access and choice, analyse the influences that shape an individual’s food values, beliefs and behaviours, and apply practical skills to create a range of healthy meals for children and families.

Unit 4 Food issues, challenges and futures

In this unit students examine debates about global and Australian food systems.

Area of Study 1 focuses on issues about the environment, ecology, ethics, farming practices, the development and application of technologies, and the challenges of food security, food safety, food wastage, and the use and management of water and land. Students research a selected topic, seeking clarity on current situations and points of view, considering solutions and analysing work undertaken to solve problems and support sustainable futures.

Area of Study 2 focuses on individual responses to food information and misinformation and the development of food knowledge, skills and habits to empower consumers to make discerning food choices. Students consider how to assess information and draw evidence-based conclusions. They apply this methodology to navigate contemporary food fads, trends and diets. They practise and improve their food selection skills by interpreting food labels and analysing the marketing terms used on food packaging.

The practical component of this unit provides students with opportunities to apply their responses to environmental and ethical food issues, and to extend their food production repertoire reflecting the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.


Outcome 1 (links to area of study 1)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain a range of food systems issues, respond to a selected debate with analysis of problems and proposals for future solutions, apply questions of sustainability and ethics to the selected food issue and develop and create a food repertoire that reflects personal food values and goals.


Outcome 2 (links to area of study 2)

On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain a variety of food information contexts, analyse the formation of food beliefs, evaluate a selected food trend, fad or diet and create food products that meet the Australian Dietary Guidelines.


Units 1 and 2

Procedures for the assessment of levels of achievement in Units 1 and 2 are a matter for school decision. Assessment of levels of achievement for these units will not be reported to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Units 3 and 4

VCE Food and Technology are as follows:

  • Unit 3 School-assessed Coursework: 30 per cent
  • Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework: 30 per cent
  • End-of-year examination: 40 per cent

Contact Teacher - Claire Lee