VCE Food Studies Units 1 and 2


Unit 1: Food origins

Do you ever wonder about why you eat what you eat? Have you thought about the role that history and different cultures play in the foods you eat today? In Unit 1, you will learn about that by investigating where our food came from and how the role of food in our lives has changed. You will learn about how food has changed – from caveman to farmer to 21st century hipster, and how the food gets from where it is grown to where it is eaten. You will study some well-known cuisines and select a cuisine of your choice to investigate further. Want to learn about and sample some traditional Australian Indigenous food? You will get the opportunity to do that too, as well as investigate cuisines that are part of “Australian Food” today.

Unit 2: Food makers

How is food produced in modern-day Australia, both inside and outside the home? You will learn about a range of techniques used to prepare high-quality food and what the food industry and government is doing to keep food safe. Do you know a person that is lactose intolerant, has a nut allergy or needs to restrict certain foods in their diet due to their religious beliefs? You will learn more about how to produce foods to suit a range of situations such as these that might occur amongst your family and friends. You will also have the opportunity to design and prepare new food products and adapt existing recipes to suit particular needs and circumstances.

Who is it for?

If you are curious about where your food comes from and how our “Australian cuisine” came about, then this subject is for you. This subject is also for students who like to know how their food is produced and how many different factors can have a positive and negative impact on the food that is available to us. If you like conducting research, cooking and planning your own foods and recipes to meet a particular situation then this subject is for you.

What do you do?

In these Units students will:

  • cook 5-6 recipes throughout each Unit
  • develop evidence of cooking through the production of their choice of PowerPoints, videos, iMovies, etc.
  • taste tests
  • sensory analysis
  • ingredient comparisons
  • research assignments
  • contribute to Class Discussions
  • develop menus/recipes to meet a specific needs
  • modify recipes to meet a certain need.

What skills do you need?

You will need to know how to read and produce a recipe and to perform basic food preparation skills. It would be great if you have had some cooking experience but if you haven’t it won’t be a problem. You will need to be self-motivated, organised and enthusiastic. Sometimes you might need to find your own information and recipes to complete learning activities so you will need to have good research skills in order to find the information you need. From time to time, you will be asked a question about a food related topic. You need to be able to say what your opinion is and explain why you have that opinion.

What skills do you develop?

Students develop a variety of skills including:

  • organisation in the kitchen
  • safe food handling skills and knowledge
  • basic food preparation skills
  • how to use food preparation tools and equipment safely
  • research skills
  • the ability to identify, analyse, explain and compare a range of food-based information from websites, TV shows, magazines etc. In other words, you will learn more about how to trust the information you are presented with
  • you will develop the ability to evaluate your written and practical work and if something went wrong, you will learn more about how to make appropriate suggestions for how to improve in the future.




What you will need for this subject:

  • the prescribed textbook is Heath, G., McKenzie, H. and Tully, L., Food Solutions – Food Studies Units 1 and 2, 4th Edition, Nelson, South Melbourne, 2016
  • mobile phone or digital device to photograph production work
  • the ingredients purchased for your food productions
  • regular access to a kitchen with a range of appliances and utensils.

Please be aware that this is a fully online course – there is no printed course-book available. However, many resources are hyperlinked on VSV Online for you to print yourself if you wish.

Things to think about

You will plan and prepare food regularly, but cooking is just one of the many different types of activities you will complete in this subject. The other activities include written work and other practical activities such as taste tests and comparing products.

There is a large practical part of the subject but as it is a VCE subject, you will find that you will need to be just as organised and committed as you would for any other VCE subject. You can expect to spend 4-5 hours a week on Food Studies, just as you would for any Unit 1-2 Maths, English or Science subjects.

You will not necessarily have to submit work every week. For some weeks, attendance and participation in online lessons will be all that is required. From time to time, the cooking work may still require you to do some written work so that you can demonstrate to your teacher knowledge around what you are cooking and why you are cooking it. For each cooking task, you will need to prove to the teacher it has been completed – so you can do this by making a movie or presenting a range of photographs.

Things you can do now

Have a basic understanding of what causes food poisoning to develop and how you can prevent it.

Be familiar with what you can do to use tools and equipment safely in the kitchen.

Familiarise yourself with a range of food preparation techniques and how to perform them.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.



Things to have a look at

Kitchen safety tips


What is food poisoning?


Food preparation skills