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EXSC216 Resistance Training: Science and Application OR EXSC204 Exercise Prescription and Delivery

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The effective design and delivery of training programs to enhance athletic performance requires an understanding of the requirements of different sports and the physical capacities of athletes. This unit is based on scientific principles and practices of strength and conditioning/sports science, including the utilization of current research and technology. The unit aims to provide students with a framework to quantify activity profiles in different sports, objectively assess levels of strength, speed and endurance in athletes and monitor the fatigue response. Practical skills associated in activity profiling and fitness assessment are embedded within this unit and students will be introduced to fundamental components of training program design. In addition, students will develop a variety of data analytical skills applicable to the athletic environment. These knowledge and skills are consistent with the professional standards for Strength and Conditioning and Exercise Scientist accreditation.

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 a critical understanding of data analysis and interpretation as they relate to coaching and sports science; including concepts of validity, reliability and assessing changeGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO2Display knowledge regarding the process of activity profiling with particular emphasis on the relationship between physical capacity and performance and the role of current technologyGC1, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO3Understand the issues surrounding athlete profiling, and talent identification; including developing the skills to conduct common field testsGC1, GC7, GC8, GC11
LO4Explain basic concepts surrounding long term planning, recovery and monitoring training load and fatigueGC1, GC2, GC9, GC11


Topics will include: 

  •  Data analysis and Interpretation 
  • Activity profiling 
  • Athlete profiling 
  • Introduction to Periodisation & Long Term Planning  
  • Monitoring Training Load, Fatigue & Recovery 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered over 12 weeks through lecture and practical sessions. These strategies will provide students with access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for application of knowledge and understanding for practical skill development in Strength & Conditioning/Sports Science. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, as well as professional practice standards required by Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and Exercise and Sports Science Australia. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities.  

This unit may also be offered on or off campus in intensive mode or multi-mode for sponsored / special cohorts, with the learning and teaching strategies being equitable with on campus mode offerings.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Consistent with University assessment requirements, standards-based assessment is used in this unit, and assessments are designed to reflect learning outcomes and graduate attributes. Assessment Task 1 (Written Task) allows students to demonstrate their understanding of how activity profiling is performed in the context of a sport, including determining which components of the activity are important and how they are measured. Assessment Task 2 (Written Task) enables the student to 1) demonstrate their knowledge of athlete profiling; 2) determine which physical attributes positively relate to performance in a given sport; and 3) identify appropriate tests to measure those attributes. Assessment Task 3 (Written Task) enables students to demonstrate their ability to interpret a dataset pertaining to a team’s testing results and provide some advice around future planning for their training focus. All written assignment tasks allow the students to relate fundamental concepts of exercise and sports science (i.e., validity, reliability and assessing change) through the assessment of the various technologies and data collection methods used. In turn, this allows the students to show their understanding of a range of measurement and assessment concepts in a practical and real-world context.

Additionally, the knowledge and skills assessed in this unit are requirements of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) Level 1 and Level 2 accreditation scheme. EXSC310 is part of a suite of units that contribute to ACU achieving the status of an ASCA recognised industry provider, allowing the students to streamline accreditation with this important industry partner at the successful completion of their degree. The assessment tasks have been consequently designed to encompass the learning outcomes of the unit, while being aligned with the ASCA accrediting body. Offshore intensive and/or multimode assessment of this unit will be identical with on campus mode offerings.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Written Assessment - Activity profiling task:  

Enables students to demonstrate an understanding of methods of activity profiling including selecting strategies appropriate to different sports, and their ability to analyse, interpret and report data. 


LO1, LO2

Written Assessment - Athlete profiling task:  

Enables students to demonstrate an understanding of scientific and practical knowledge regarding athlete profiling and their application, including analysis, interpretation and reporting of data. 


LO1, LO3

Data interpretation task:

Enables students to demonstrate their ability to analyse and interpret a pre-existing dataset, including future planning of training based on the results.


LO1, LO4

Representative texts and references

Cardinale, M., Newton, R., Nosaka, K. (Ed) (2011). Strength and Conditioning-Biological Principles and Practical Applications. Wiley Blackwell 

Harrison, A. J., McErlain-Naylor, S. A., Bradshaw, E. J., Dai, B., Nunome, H., Hughes, G. T., ... & Fong, D. T. (2020). Recommendations for statistical analysis involving null hypothesis significance testing. Sports biomechanics, 19(5), 561-568.

Sands, W., Cardinale, M., McNeal, J., Murray, S., Sole, C., Reed, J., ... & Stone, M. (2019). Recommendations for measurement and management of an elite athlete. Sports, 7(5), 105.

Tanner, Rebecca K. and Gore, Christopher J. (Ed) (2012). Physiological Tests for Elite Athletes (2nd ed.)  Human Kinetics. 

Weakley, J., Black, G., McLaren, S., Scantlebury, S., Suchomel, T. J., McMahon, E., ... & Read, D. B. (2022). Testing and profiling athletes: recommendations for test selection, implementation, and maximizing information. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 10-1519.

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