What is Food Studies all about?

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. They study past and present patterns of eating, Australian and global food production systems and the many physical and social functions and roles of food. They research economic, environmental and ethical dimensions of food and critically evaluate information, marketing messages and new trends. 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.


This study enables students to:

    • develop as informed, discerning and capable food citizens
    • build practical food skills in the planning, preparation, evaluation and enjoyment of food, including the principles and practices that ensure the safety of food
    • apply principles of nutrition, food science and sensory evaluation to food planning and preparation
    • extend understanding of food origins, cultures, customs and behaviours
    • understand global and local systems of food production, distribution and governance
    • develop awareness of a diverse range of influences on food choice
    • research and discuss issues relating to economic, environmental and ethical dimensions of our food system
    • analyse and draw evidence-based conclusions in response to food information, food advertising and current food trends.


The study is made up of four units.

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

Unit 2: Food makers

In this unit students investigate food systems in contemporary Australia. Area of Study 1 focuses on commercial food production industries; they consider the possible extension of their role as small-scale food producers by exploring potential entrepreneurial opportunities.

Unit 3: Food in daily life

This unit investigates the many roles and everyday influences of food.

Unit 4: Food issues, challenges and futures

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


There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4. Units 1 to 4 are designed to a standard equivalent to the final two years of secondary education. All VCE studies are benchmarked against comparable national and international curriculum


Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE Food Studies are as follows:

Unit 3 School-assessed Coursework: 30%

Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework: 30%

End-of-year examination: 40%

Proposed Subject Cost

Units 1 & 2 – $140

Units 3 & 4 – $140