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ANAT100 Anatomical Foundations of Exercise Science AND (EXSC118/ EXSZ118- Nutrition and Exercise OR NUTR101 Introduction to Nutrition OR NUTD101 Introduction to Nutrition ) AND (EXSC224 Mechanical Bases of Exercise OR EXSC120 - Mechanical Bases of Exercise Science) AND (EXSC225 Physiological Bases of Exercise OR EXSC198 - Physiological Bases of Exercise) AND EXSC204 Exercise Prescription and Delivery AND EXSC216 Resistance Training: Science and Application AND EXSC218 Internship Preparation for Coaching and Prescription

Teaching organisation

300 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

To be a competent Exercise Scientist and Strength and Conditioning Coach, students must be able to be transfer the knowledge and skills to a professional context with increasing autonomy and confidence. Professional practice is an integral aspect of the transition from learner to practitioner. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge, understanding and skills in a work context and gain the necessary experience under the supervision of qualified professionals. Experiential learning through industry-based professional experience will enable students to develop expertise relevant to the professional standards for Exercise Scientist and Strength and Conditioning Coach accreditation. Experiential learning through real-world professional experience will enable students to develop expertise measured through professional standards set for accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Scientist and Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) level 2, whereby students as graduates can apply knowledge and skills to operate effectively in an ethically responsible manner, communicate effectively and be able to integrate and apply learning to help support client’s/athlete’s needs. By undertaking this practicum, students will critically reflect upon their professional practice through feedback from their supervisor. The aim of the unit is to provide an authentic learning experience in which students can integrate evidence-based leanings in an applied professional setting, in order to reflect on their career path, and meet the ESSA Professional Practice graduate outcomes required for Exercise Science Accreditation and Strength and Conditioning accreditation (ASCA level 2).

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Demonstrate professional practice knowledge, skills and attributes for employment opportunities in exercise science and strength and conditioningGC2, GC7, GC11
LO2Design and implement an evidence-based professional practice service which integrates knowledge, skills, and attributes of exercise science and strength and conditioningGC2, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC12
LO3Critically reflect on feedback from a variety of sources, including placement supervisor(s), peers and self, to improve professional practice in a work contextGC3, GC7, GC11
LO4Demonstrate competency of professional practice as an exercise scientist and strength and conditioning coach in a work contextGC2, GC4, GC6, GC11


This unit requires the completion of a minimum of 200 hours of internship placements in accordance with ESSA and ASCA requirements for placement. Additional content that will be delivered to support the internships include: 

  • Exercise science practice  
  • Professional development planning 
  • Critical reflection of competency, based on a variety of feedback 
  • Preparing for job applications 
  • How to record placement hours
  • Professional conduct 
  • Scope of practice

Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components. This content includes:

  • Application of principles and practices in Exercise Science
  • Professionalism in work contexts
  • Exercise and Sports Science Australia Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice
  • Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Scope of Practice

During internships, both learning and performance will be directed by the university and the appointed placement supervisor at the host organisation, through a pre-defined and constantly monitored set of criteria which encompass:  

  • skills to be learned whilst undertaking the experience 
  • overall student performance throughout the placement 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

EXSC309 Internship in Coaching and Prescription sits in one semester of the timetable, however students have the full year to complete the minimum 200 hours of professional practicum experience in the field.

Learning and teaching strategies include:

  • Authentic learning and case-based learning through application of knowledge, understanding and skills of course learnings under the supervision of a qualified professional in a professional workplace environment, for a minimum of 200 hours 
  • Active learning will allow students to develop effective professional verbal and non-verbal communication skills by interaction with both clients and professionals in the exercise science and strength and conditioning field. 
  • Critical reflective thinking activities which will give a greater awareness of the scope of practice of an Exercise Scientist and strength and conditioning coach within ESSA’s Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice and ASCA

These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in face-to-face activities and work integrated learning, and during practicum placements.  

In addition, completion of this unit will allow students to meet mandatory Professional Practice outcomes required for Accreditation through ESSA as an Exercise Scientist and ASCA on the completion of their degree.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

Students will have a variety of assessment activities to demonstrate completion and achievement of the learning outcomes for the unit. This unit draws upon on both internal opportunities and placement experiences to facilitate continual reflection upon a student's professional practice and skills, promoting their professional growth. The assessment strategy aligns with the concepts of job-readiness, actively doing the job of a professional and continuing professional development.

The Professional Portfolio: Enables students to assemble a professional portfolio for an industry job and prepare relevant documents in preparing for a mock interview. This task will enable students to understand the job market and to prepare high-quality documents in preparation for applying for professional industry roles.

Design and implement an Evidence-Based Service: Students will design and implement an evidence-based service for a client/cohort through practical application experiences. This activity will enable them to practice and explore different service delivery methods through simulated and practicum experiences with feedback provided by supervisors, staff, and peers.

Professional Development: Being life-long learners is critical in ensuring that students remain contemporary and is often a mandatory part of professional practice accreditation requirements. This task will enable students to reflect upon their strengths and opportunities for them to improve upon and develop professional practice activities to address these areas.

Professional Practice Reflection: Students will present a summary from their internship experience and reflect upon their knowledge, skills and attributes. This summary will allow students to reflect on their practicum from both an academic and industry experience perspective as they near the end of their practicum hours. This will both clarify and deepen their understanding of their professional practice and the key skills they require to enter the workforce.

Competency Assessment: Competency as an exercise professional is evaluated by supervisors while on placement and within the unit of study. Students will receive feedback from supervisors, staff and peers on their professional practice skills and attributes. They will have the opportunity to demonstrate their professional practice skills through recorded and simulation experiences. Critical reflection and integration of feedback is essential as part of professional practice within the unit.

Students will be required to pass all assessment tasks to pass the unit. The Extended Unit Outline will provide information as to the number of attempts permitted for each Hurdle Task.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Professional Portfolio

Enables students to develop a professional portfolio for a mock industry-specific job in a competitive opportunity, demonstrating knowledge of the skills and understanding required for a job in the field of exercise science.


LO1, LO4

Design and implement an evidence-based service

Enables the student to demonstrate their professional practice skills relevant for their scope of practice through simulated and practicum experiences and reflect upon their performance.


LO2, LO3, LO4

Professional Development

Allows students to reflect and identify aspects of their professional practice which they determine require improvement and plan professional development activities to improve their practice.


LO3, LO4

Professional Practice Reflection

Present a summary from professional experience and reflect upon your knowledge, skills and attributes.


Hurdle Task

LO1, LO4

Competency as an Exercise Scientist and Strength and Conditioning coach

Students must demonstrate the application of discipline-specific knowledge, understanding and skills within the scope of practice for an accredited exercise scientist and strength and conditioning coach. Supervisors will complete an evaluation of student’s performance while undertaking practicum.


Hurdle Task

LO1, LO2, LO4

Representative texts and references

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2020). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (11th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams.

Coombes, J.S. and Skinner, T.L. (2014) ESSA student manual for health, exercise and sport assessment. Mosby and ESSA.

Australian Strength and Conditioning Association. 

Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Scope of Practice  

Exercise and Sports Science Australia. 

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2020) Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice  

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