Graduate Diploma in High Performance Sport

Course information for - 2024 entry

1 year full-time or equivalent part-time
Fees (first year)*

$23642 Fee-paying

Start dates
ACU Term 1 - 29 Jan, ACU Term 2 - 22 Apr, ACU Term 3 - 15 Jul, ACU Term 4 - 7 Oct


The Graduate Diploma in High Performance Sport develops your knowledge, understanding and skills needed to enhance the conditioning of high performance athletes. You'll build strategies to optimise individual and team performances, within the context of a multidisciplinary environment and its culture and leadership structures, and to do so in an ethical manner characterised by a concern for respect, equity and social justice.

The high performance sport industry is a global, multi-billion dollar entity that provides employment opportunities for a range of professions, including sport scientists, coaches and managers. In Australia, there are employment opportunities in professional and semi-professional sporting teams, Australian and state institutes of sport, academies of sport, and other sporting organisations. These opportunities extend to the international market.

Professional experience

The Graduate Diploma in High Performance Sport is designed as a program of structured learning that includes relevant professional practice-related learning.


Examples of the types of work settings the course prepares you for:

  • sports scientist
  • high performance manager
  • strength and conditioning coach
  • professional coach
  • fitness coach
  • rehabilitation coach
  • performance analyst
  • fitness advisor
  • sports science manager
  • football or other sport manager
  • team manager

Course details

Course structure

Course map

Open all

Please note: Course maps are subject to change.

Commencing ACU Term 1 - Full-time

  • Coursework UnitsEXSC510Strength and Conditioning for Performance and Rehabilitation

    Also available in ACUO Term 3.

    10 cp
  • Coursework UnitsEXSC652Contemporary Issues in Sports Science

    Online Intensive

    Sessions will be recorded.

    10 cp
  • Coursework UnitsEXSC668Performance Nutrition

    Also available in ACUO Term 4.

    10 cp
  • Coursework UnitsEXSC651Sports Injury Prevention

    Also available in ACUO Term 4.

    10 cp
  • Coursework UnitsEXSC512Leadership and Culture in High Performance Settings10 cp
  • Coursework UnitsEXSC513Data Analysis and Interpretation for High Performance Sport

    Also available in ACUO Term 1.

    10 cp
  • Coursework UnitsEXSC650Fatigue, Recovery, Adaptation and Performance

    Also available in ACUO Term 2.

    10 cp
  • Electives* Elective

    See Elective list on the Course Enrolment Guide Unit Offering Tab.

    Elective units are available in ACU Onlne Terms 1, 2, 3 and 4.

    10 cp

All units are delivered in Online Unscheduled mode.

Elective units are available in ACU Online Terms 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Commencing ACU Term 1 - Part-time

All units are delivered in Online Unscheduled mode.

Elective units are available in ACU Online Terms 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Graduate statement


As an ACU graduate you have personal insight founded on an understanding of who you are as a professional, a citizen and a scholar. You embrace change and growth through critical self-awareness and learning autonomy. You are empowered to seek truth and meaning, drawing on the principles of justice, equity, and the dignity of all human beings.


As an ACU graduate you value human dignity and diversity. This appreciation is founded on deep reflection, and empathy. You have experience of Indigenous Knowings and perspectives and can engage respectfully when working alongside Australia's First Peoples. You can connect with people and cultures and work with community in ways that recognise the dignity of the human person and all cultures


As an ACU graduate you utilise imagination and innovation to solve problems. You critically analyse information from a range of sources to creatively solve practical problems and use critical thinking to make decisions and advance the common good. You appreciate the role of innovation and creative thinking in developing a better future for each person and community.


As an ACU graduate you recognise your responsibility to work for social justice and a sustainable world founded on a commitment to human dignity and the common good. You lead change through respectful collaboration and effective communication of ideas to diverse peoples, groups and communities in local and global contexts. You are empowered to positively impact your profession and the community.

AQF framework

Graduate Diploma - AQF Level 8

Exit Points

  • A student who has completed 40 cp from the Schedule of Unit Offerings, including EXSC510 and EXSC513, may exit with the Graduate Certificate in High Performance Sport.

Additional course information

The course is designed to suit a postgraduate clientele that is already in the workforce, as well as graduating students. The course provides flexible learning pathways that can accommodate:

  1. professional employment commitments;
  2. national and international students;
  3. full-time or part-time enrolments;
  4. exit point with a qualification (Graduate Certificate in High Performance Sport); and
  5. a pathway into the Master of High Performance Sport.

To meet these objectives, the primary design feature is that the majority of the course is delivered in the online mode.

A suite of coursework subjects focus on the preparation and performance of high performance athletes, including technological advances for athlete monitoring, strength and conditioning, fatigue, recovery and adaptation, and injury prevention and management.

Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary foci built into the curriculum will bring together current and new knowledge from allied health professions within the industry, for example, sports psychology, skill acquisition, nutrition and dietetics, exercise physiology, physiotherapy, sports medicine and rehabilitation, including a specialist seminar series of guest speakers from sports science and related fields.

Issues of leadership, culture, and communication in high performance sport setting area addressed, and a foundation of project design and research skills is incorporated into the program with direct application to high performance sporting contexts.

To support these subjects, an intensive on-campus component is incorporated as a four day offering during the course. This component offers students hands-on experience with the latest technology in the industry, while providing the added opportunity to network directly with industry specialists and other students in the course.

Entry requirements

An applicant must also comply with the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy .

To be eligible for admission to the course, an applicant must:

a. hold a Bachelor degree or higher in Exercise Science, Sports Science, Human Movement or a related discipline AND have evidence of relevant industry experience; AND

submit a supporting professional referee’s report regarding suitability for this postgraduate program and/or experience in the industry;


b. hold a Bachelor degree in Exercise Science, Sports Science, Human Movement or a related discipline, with a grade point average of at least 4.8 on the ACU 7 point scale; AND

submit a supporting professional referee's report regarding suitability for this postgraduate program and/or experience in the industry;


c. have completed one of the following ACU degrees:

  1. Graduate Certificate in High Performance Sport
  2. Graduate Certificate in Performance Analysis
  3. Graduate Certificate in Exercise Rehabilitation for Sports Injuries

NOTE: Applicants having completed a Bachelor degree (or higher) in a related allied health discipline will be considered, dependent on specific qualifications and evidence of industry experience.

NOTE: Applicants having completed the following ACU Graduate Certificates will be eligible for recognition of prior learning (RPL):

  • Graduate Certificate in High Performance Sport (40 cp RPL);
  • Graduate Certificate in Performance Analysis (20 cp RPL);
  • Graduate Certificate in High Performance Sport Leadership (20 cp RPL);
  • Graduate Certificate in Exercise Rehabilitation for Sports Injuries (30 cp RPL);
  • Graduate Certificate in Sports Analytics (20 cp RPL).

Disclaimer: The course entry requirements above are for 2024 Admission.

English language requirements

Applicants require an academic IELTS minimum overall score of 6.5 (with a minimum score of 6.0 in all bands), or an equivalent acceptable test score as outlined in the Admission to Coursework Programs Policy  (see English Language Proficiency).

Inherent requirement

There are essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the capabilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes of that course or unit. You will need to be able to meet these inherent requirements to complete your course.

Learn more about inherent requirements for your course and how they affect you


Further study

The degree is designed as a pathway into the Master of High Performance Sport.


Course costs

Average first year fee*

$23642 Fee-paying

All costs are calculated using current rates and are based on a full-time study load of 40 credit points (normally 4 units) per semester.

A student’s annual fee may vary in accordance with:

  • the number of units studied per semester; 
  • the choice of major or specialisation; and 
  • elective units.

The University reviews fees annually.

A 10% rebate on fees will be offered to domestic ACU graduates (from any faculty) enrolling in full fee-paying postgraduate studies in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Conditions apply.

Payment options

You should be able to concentrate on getting good marks instead of worrying about how you’ll pay your fees. We have a number of options that can help you ease the financial burden, including government assistance, scholarships and income support. 

Explore your options 


You could be eligible for one of the hundreds of scholarships we award each year to help students from across the university with the cost of studying, accommodation or overseas study opportunities. Some of our scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit, but these aren’t just for the academically gifted; ACU also recognises excellence in community engagement and leadership. We also offer a range of scholarships for those who may be struggling financially or who have faced other barriers to accessing education.  

Search our scholarships 

Apply for this course

ACU Online Applicants

Apply now

Applicants for our High Performance Sport courses must also provide a referee report. Your referee can fill out and submit their reference online using the High Performance Sport Referee Report form.


Deferment is available for one year. Find out more about deferment.


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