Transforming Retail Food Environments to be Health-Enabling-PDM1140

Monash University with the Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments (RE-FRESH) bring to you a short course on healthy food retail. This short course will provide learners with the specialist skills and knowledge to contribute to this exciting practice area. It will upskill participants with the knowledge and skills in the theory of consumer decision-making, the power of marketing and retail merchandising, and how, when and where to intervene to facilitate change in practice and policy.

This short course will provide learners with the specialist skills and knowledge to contribute to this exciting practice area.
It will upskill participants with the knowledge and skills in the theory of consumer decision-making, the power of marketing and retail merchandising, and how, when and where to intervene to facilitate change in practice and policy.
It will facilitate learning between practitioners working with different retail settings and enable participants to harness the expertise of practitioners, policy-makers and academics working at the cutting edge of health-enabling food retail.

This course is brought to you by the researchers and educators at the RE-FRESH: Centre of Research Excellence: Food Retail Environments for Health.
The key aims of RE-FRESH are to drive cross-disciplinary research; build capacity in front line practitioners and retailers; build a workforce equipped to help transform food environments to enable healthy eating; and promote collaboration to improve the health of our food retail environments to improve population health. The short course team comprises some of the world’s leading researchers in this rapidly developing area of food retail for public health.

Our experts include those who have experience in planning, performing and evaluating interventions and policies and they are focused on sharing their expertise with others to facilitate healthier food environments. RE-FRESH also has a broad range of engaged stakeholders, within local government settings, in First Nations communities, in supermarkets, university and health care settings and in urban food retail, many of whom have expressed a desire for evidence-based training to assist them in improving the health of retail food environments.

This course is for those in positions who can influence food retail environments to be more health enabling.
This includes public health practitioners such as nutritionists and dietitians, health promotion officers, community development officers, public health/population health nurses, health education officers, public health policy-makers, local government officers, town planners and public affairs officers.

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$1800 (Assessed)
$1300 (Non-Assessed)


To equip learners with the knowledge and skills to facilitate the application of health-enabling practice and policy in the food retail setting for healthier food and drink purchasing and improved population health.

Learning outcomes:

  1. Evaluate the role of retail food settings in improved population diet
  2. Critique the key theories used in food retail marketing practice and their influence on consumer food choice
  3. Distinguish the relationships between food retailers, suppliers and manufacturers in an array of retail food settings in Australia and internationally and the influence of these on food retail
  4. Explore Australian and international regulations, laws and social responsibility agendas that influence food retail marketing practice and how these impact population diet and health
  5. Critique the evidence used to inform practice and policy intervention to improve the healthiness of different food retail settings
  6. Design a monitoring and evaluation framework from a self-selected food retail setting, to inform best practice in relation to health
  7. Plan an approach, that draws on best practice, to modify a selected food retail setting to be health enabling

Weekly topics include

Week 1: Food retail and health: The why?
Week 2: Marketing and consumer choice theories
Week 3: Australian and International law, regulation, and social responsibility
Week 4: Retailers and suppliers: expectations and obligations
Week 5 and Week 6:  Evidence for improved health: What works?
Week 7: Engaging with retailers: The how?
Week 8: Monitoring and evaluation
Week 9: Case studies from around the world

Accelerate your learning

Eligible Participants who complete the assessed version of this short course can* receive 6 credit points towards the Master of Public Health.
*Maximum credit limits and minimum course entry requirements apply, see the terms and conditions page for more details

The course will be once per year and delivered online over 9 weeks with an expected workload of 8 hours per week each of directed and self-directed learning.

Students who elect to complete the summative assessment will have 12 weeks to complete the course.

The course will include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Directed hours: 8 hours per week of scheduled and directed learning activities. For each of the 9 weeks, this will include:

  • Pre-lecture reading and activity (1 hour)
  • Recorded online lecture with real world-case studies and discussion board (2/3 hours)
  • Post-lecture activity (1 hour)
  • Formative assessment activity – reflection of practice + summary (1 hour)
  • Summative assessment activity (2 hours)

Self-directed hours: 8 hours per week of self-directed study. For each of the 9 weeks, this will include:

  • Reading (2 hours)
  • Application of principles in workplace (i.e., work-based experience) with reflective journal (2 hours)
  • Formative assessment activity (1 hour)
  • Summative assessment activity (3 hours)

Weekly Lesson Outline

The lesson each week will comprise the following format:

  • Pre-reading
  • Pre-activity (e.g., quiz, discussion forum)
  • Expert lecture with real-world case studies
  • Post-activity (e.g., discussion forum, case). The case, for example, could be videos of different retailers presenting their views on health-enabling retail food environments and a guided critique of these.
  • Expert feedback

Recognition of Learning

Assessment has been designed to meet the requirements of a 6-credit point unit. The equivalent of a 6000 word assignment. This short course has been designed to meet Monash University requirements of a Masters Level 6 credit point unit.

A certificate of completion will be issued by Monash University to course completers. This can be used for industry recognition of professional development.


Assessment Details

Learners will have the option at registration of completing assessment or not.

  • Formative assessment will be embedded in weekly learning modules to evaluate knowledge and skill development and application to practice including completion of quiz, discussion boards and a reflection journal for all 9 topics. The learning objectives to be covered by formative assessment are 1 to 5.
  • Summative assessment will involve four pieces of assessment: a 3-part case study and a discussion paper. Details of assessment submission and return will be provided.




Due date


Case study (Part 1): For this assessment task, the participant is required to produce an introduction to their case study with underpinning knowledge related to the role of retail settings in societal health, theory on retail marketing practices, and retailer expectations.


(Week 4)


Discussion paper: For this assessment task, the participant is required to prepare a discussion paper that critiques the evidence of a proposed approach to improving a retail food environment to be health-enabling.


(Week 6)


Case study (Part 2): For this assessment task, the participant is required to produce a video presentation of proposed evidence-based strategies selected for case study and implementation plan. The participant is also required to provide feedback on the work of others.


(Week 8)


Case study (Part 3): For this assessment task, the participant is required to finalise and finish their case study of a food retail setting based on feedback from Case study Parts 1 and 2 with a logic model including monitoring and evaluation plan developed. The assessment will incorporate any feedback and recommendations from Part 2 of the assessment.


(Week 12)

Julie Brimblecombe

Julie Brimblecombe is Associate Professor Public Health Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University. Julie is passionate about addressing inequities in our food system and striving for a food system that is in balance with human and planet health. Having worked as a public health nutritionist, she is acutely aware of the potential and challenges that practitioners face when stepping in to a complex context such as the food retail space.

Her research has shown that both public health and business gains are possible through food retail approaches that harness the interest and expertise of the food retail sector and best practice evidence. With two-decades of real-world research and practice experience she hopes to inspire and support practitioners across the world to work hand-in-hand with the food retail sector for a healthier world.

Megan Ferguson

Megan is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health Nutrition at the School of Public Health, The University of Queensland. Megan’s research is focused on approaches to support local decision-makers design effective policy and strategies to improve nutrition and food security outcomes, through incorporating evidence and an understanding of the policy context. Megan’s research in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and community retail settings follows a public health and nutrition career working in policy and service provision in government, remote retail and the international development sectors.

Luke Greenacre  

Luke is a Lecturer at the Monash Business School. His research examines retail practice and consumer behavior, and how practice can be pursued that benefits both groups.

Jane Dancey

Jane Dancey is Monash University’s specialist Nutrition Consultant. Jane works with retailers, caterers and vending providers to increase the availability of healthy food for Monash students and staff. Jane is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and commenced her career in clinical dietetics with roles in Melbourne, Alice Springs, London and Manchester. Prior to joining Monash, Jane worked as a manager in the Risk Transformation team at Ernst and Young. Jane’s work at Monash has included transitioning the University to Healthy Choices vending; trialing fresh and frozen healthy food vending; working with Monash Finance to establish a panel of caterers who provide healthy catering; and working with Monash Property Contracts team to embed Healthy Choices Guidelines into food retail leases. Jane is passionate about making healthy food accessible to all.  In 2020, Jane commenced her PhD exploring the use of regulation to create healthy food environments.

Catherine L Mah

Catherine Mah MD FRCPC PhD is a Canada Research Chair in Promoting Healthy Populations and Associate Professor, School of Health Administration, Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University. Catherine L. She directs the Food Policy Lab, a multidisciplinary program of research on the environmental and policy determinants of diet and consumption, with particular interests in retail food environments, household food insecurity, municipal and regional public policy, and food systems. Dr. Mah is an expert appointee to Canada’s federal Nutrition Science Advisory Committee reporting to Health Canada, and member of the inaugural Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council reporting to the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food.

Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson has a background in psychology, marketing and health behaviour change. Amy is passionate about cross-disciplinary approaches to facilitating health and wellbeing of individuals and societies, and values the need for multi-stakeholder and multi-sectorial collaboration to achieve this. Her research has focused primarily on understanding consumer behaviour and the role of marketing as a driver of (un)healthy behaviours. She actively addresses the marketing myth (that marketing is the enemy of good health) by educating people and organisations about how marketing can be used to promote health and wellbeing across home, retail, community and public policy contexts. Amy’s passion for bridging the gap between health and marketing disciplines led her to develop and coordinate a new  award winning undergraduate course Marketing for Health and Wellbeing at the University of South Australia. She is also a regular guest speaker in other courses, seminars and conferences and as published text book chapters and academic articles on health marketing.

Miranda Blake

Miranda Blake is a research fellow in the Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE), at Deakin University. She is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and public health nutrition advocate. Her research focuses on implementation of healthy food policy and retail interventions, with an emphasis on business outcomes for retailers and mixed method evaluation approaches. Miranda partners with a range of government and non-government organizations to co-create and evaluate healthy food retail initiatives, with a strong appreciation of the value of different perspectives to intervention success. She hopes to demystify the ‘how’ of healthy retail intervention planning and evaluation for practitioners, including identifying challenges and leveraging opportunities to meet their goals.

Tara Boelsen-Robinson

Dr Tara Boelsen-Robinson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Deakin University. Through her research, Tara aims to measure and produce outcomes of relevance to multiple stakeholders, including retailers, customers and public health practitioners, reflecting the integration of her marketing and public health training. Through the CRE, Tara continues to explore how retailers can be supported in making shifts to healthier food environments, while also expanding on her interests in food marketing, food policy, and food supply chains.

Emma McMahon

Dr Emma McMahon is an early-mid career research fellow within the Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Food Retail Environments for Health (RE-FRESH) at Menzies School of Health Research. Her research focuses on optimising food supply and environment in remote stores to improve nutrition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She is particularly interested in methods and tools for monitoring and evaluating healthy food retail strategies, use of store sales data to monitor nutrition indicators, and how reporting this information can support decision making to create health-enabling food environments. She has a PhD in nutrition, with her doctorate focusing on the effects of dietary salt on risk factors for cardiovascular disease and renal disease progression in people with chronic kidney disease.

Jill Whelan

Dr Jill Whelan is a postdoctoral research fellow at Deakin University. Jill has a particular interest in understanding ‘how’ to implement effective change in community settings and environments that last beyond any funded research project. With qualifications and work-related experience in nutrition, economics and education, Jill favours adopting a systems approach to her work to explore the inherent interconnections in any real world problem. Jill considers solutions that arise from an understanding that values all perspectives: stakeholders and policy makers are more likely to address genuine systems change.