Health Sciences

High Performance Sport industry reviews

What the High Performance Sport industry is saying about our Master course.

Andrew Russell

Elite Performance Manager
Hawthorn Football Club
Australian Football League (AFL)

“The Master of High Performance Sport (MHPS) degree has produced an outstanding curricula that is leading the way in preparing post graduate students for roles in the High Performance Sporting Industry. The quality of the staff developing and delivering the course content is of the highest standard. This is supported by the intensive course week, where the invited speakers are leaders in their respective fields, and would hold their own at any conference around the world. The course uses innovative ways to cover up-to-date research trends, whilst understanding the need to keep the content applicable to a real world practical setting. The course has filled a significant gap in the industry in preparing students for the demands of the High Performance Sporting Industry, and is inspiring the next generation of professionals who strive for an outstanding educational experience."


Dr Blake McLean

Performance Scientist
Oklahoma City Thunder
National Basketball Association (NBA, USA)

“The curriculum and delivery structure of ACU’s Master of High Performance program are critical as approaches to inspire and motivate MHPS postgraduate students to learn and succeed, both in the program and in the industry. These approaches include:

  • High quality of ACU academic staff, a number of whom have significant industry experience in high performance sport and whose research is world-renowned.
  • Access to external world-renowned experts delivering content throughout the entire course.
  • The initial face-to-face 'intensive week' which provides a unique opportunity for students to gain access to, and build relationships with, academic staff and high quality industry personnel, as well as gaining practical skill development with techniques and technologies of relevance and prevalence in the industry.
  • A range of assessment modalities, opportunities for learning (eg live online sessions, discussion boards), and internship/research project experiences.

These varied approaches equip students with the necessary knowledge and baseline skills to enter the industry at a level which generally outperforms students and graduates from other programs. In fact, I believe ACU’s MHPS students are some of the most prepared students available to enter industry internships and have a positive impact whilst working in this capacity. The preparedness of the students coming from the ACU MHPS program is of a much higher level than I have experienced with students/graduates from other tertiary programs. As an example, the last MHPS student I supervised was of exceptional quality. Along with entering an internship project equipped to immediately contribute in a professional rugby league environment, the structure of the internship allowed her to develop within the role to such an extent that she was offered part-time employment by the club before the end of her internship, which has since led to full-time employment with the club. Without the MHPS program and associated support, this type of pathway and development of new staff from within the club would not have been possible.

I believe ACU’s MHPS has already had a positive impact on the quality of students entering the industry, as well as up-skilling professionals already working in this field, whilst simultaneously having a positive impact on the careers/lives of many students involved in the program.”


Bryce Cavanagh

Head of Physical Performance and Nutrition
English Football Association
[Formerly Head of Athletic Performance, Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union (Super 15s)]

“The understanding of the workings and requirements of a sports performance environment has allowed ACU to be flexible to these unique needs. This is what separates ACU from its competitors in my view and in turn allows us to deliver to the students a more comprehensive and constructive approach to their experience. I was quickly convinced that the students from ACU where not the norm, but rather a step in front in regards to quality of knowledge, preparedness for working within industry and commitment to continual learning. The invaluable partnership we have created on the back of a shared goal around innovation and its application to performance make the ACU internship program an integral part our program.”


Alex Sakadjian

Sport Science Coordinator & Rehabilitation Coach
Melbourne Football Club
Australian Football League (AFL)
(and ACU Master of High Performance Sport Graduate)

“As a current practitioner in high performance sport, the MHPS course provided me with skills and knowledge that I was able to apply immediately to my day to day tasks. Methods of assessment were broad which helped develop an array of important industry skills including but not limited to; research, critical analysis, academic writing, report writing, multimedia oral presentations and blogging. Given recent events within the industry, an important component of the MHPS course was the study of ethics and leadership. The course/unit coordinators demanded high quality from students, however they were also understanding and flexible with my situation as a full time employee in elite sport. A strength of this course is having academic staff with previous or current experience in high performance. I’m sure this contributed to the development of course content to be in accordance with current industry trends. The student experience was enhanced by innovative methods of content delivery including; the on-site intensive week, online lectures, online readings, online live chat tutorials and even having the option to come on-site for live lectures when it was possible. Furthermore, having access to world renowned experts for specific specialised areas provided extra motivation to absorb as much of the content as possible because I knew I was getting the most novel information available. The requirements of assessments and due dates were clear from the commencement of each unit and any questions to academic staff were promptly answered throughout the entire course. Studying predominantly online was new and I wasn’t sure how it would all work, however my MHPS study experience was smooth and uncomplicated.”


Chad Kolarcik

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
Seattle Sounders FC
Major League Soccer (USA)
(and ACU Master of High Performance Sport Student)

“Since starting the MHPS program it has been a great fit for me. The approach that my professors have taken in delivering content has been extremely appropriate for developing the necessary skills to be a great practitioner. There has been enough structure in the material to lead me through key concepts but the layout of the classes and encouragement from professors has also left enough opportunity to be able to dig deeper into the topics that interest me the most in order to do my own self-guided exploration. In essence, it is helping to mature my critical thinking skills, which in the practical world is extremely important to have. Learning to synthesise research and then translate research into practice requires a strong critical thinking capacity. It's learning how to blend science with the art of coaching a human being. It's learning how to be adaptable. I think this program is structured in a way that promotes these qualities.

If one aspires to some day run a great high performance department, the curricula in the MHPS program is spot on for what these practitioners need to have an understanding of. Each class gives you a 12 week block to immerse yourself in an important and relevant topic for any high performance setting - topics that vary from data analysis to injury prevention to strength and conditioning to leadership and culture. The classes offer you the necessary resources whereby if you want to become more well-versed in a subject you can, but if not, it still gives you a deep enough understanding of the subject matter that will allow you to recognise its importance within your high performance environment. It is clear that the course map for the MHPS program was well thought out with the practitioner in mind.

All one has to do is look at the quality of the professors in the program to realise that the content that is being delivered is not only great but also information at the forefront of the industry. Many of the professors are some of the most well-respected members of their area of specialty. Before beginning my journey through the MHPS program, I followed very closely much of the research from the ACU professors and was using it to help guide my practice. Now, having the opportunity to be taught by such innovative leaders of our field is priceless. It inspires you to want to learn and makes the experience of developing these relationships nothing short of amazing.”


Dr Mitch Mooney

Senior Performance Analyst
Australian Institute of Sport

“The Master of High Performance Sport Degree at ACU has been an industry first degree in Australia that has sought to address the increase in demand for innovation and technical skills in a sports high performance environment. Each degree in the High Performance Sport Postgraduate Suite has been built in consultation with current experts working with athletes and sports understanding the ‘real world’ demands of the industry whilst allowing students to flexibly explore a range of specialties. The students are exposed to the contemporary issues dealt with in sport and, through a range of innovative methods, have the ability to network directly with those who hire graduates. I am currently very grateful to be involved with developing the Graduate Certificate of Performance Analysis as a vehicle to develop the capacity of graduating performance analysts in the industry throughout Australia.”


Jo Clubb

Applied Sports Scientist
Buffalo Sabres
National Hockey League (NHL)
(and ACU Master of High Performance Sport Graduate)

“The Masters of High Performance Sport (MHPS) at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) has been everything I hoped it would be and absolutely perfect for myself as a practitioner working within the industry.

I believe the design of the course is ideal for those balancing a full time job with part time study, as well as those like myself completing the degree on the other side of the world. The range of topics covered in the course have been pertinent to real world application and being able to learn from and discuss such topics with renowned leaders and peers working across High Performance Sport has been particularly motivational. The different methods utilised to teach, as well as assess, such topics within the curriculum are innovative (such as the online discussion forum, creating blogs and podcasts, guest lecturers, and group assignments) and the variation in such approaches really enhanced the online learning experience.

Thanks to the degree I have been able to make some priceless and useful connections with practitioners around the world, both through the in-person intensive week of lectures as well as the online community. I have found mentors and role models who inspire me, as well as being able to connect to peers looking for discussion and advice. Most importantly I have been able to apply what I have learnt to my day job as well as further my career in High Performance Sport during this time.

Prior to the MHPS being established at ACU, I was not aware of any other program worldwide that offered such an applicable and inventive Masters degree in High Performance Sport.”


Simon Kearney

Sports Science Manager
St Kilda Football Club
Australian Football League (AFL)

“The St Kilda Football Club have utilised the services of the MHPS program in our High Performance. I have been very pleased with the quality and application to work, it is a fantastic reflection of the culture at ACU. We will continue to strengthen our relationship with the MHPS for many years to come.”