Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


EXSC681 Exercise Physiology Research Project (Part A)

Unit rationale, description and aim

Research in the field of clinical exercise physiology is critical for providing clients and practitioners with evidence-based strategies for improving health and well-being. The aim of this unit is to provide a ‘capstone’ experience for students by affording them a learning experience that involves the completion of a research project of interest to the student and of relevance to the industry. Projects may take the form of an investigative study or systematic review with or without meta-analysis and will include the preparation of a manuscript for publication. The project will be conducted under the supervision of a member of staff appointed by the Head of School. Students will apply knowledge and skills developed in previous units to identify a research problem of interest and formulate an ethical and defensible research proposal. The Exercise Physiology Research Project units (EXSC681 Part A and EXSC682 Part B) is a 12-month commitment, with students enrolling in this unit (EXSC681) as a prerequisite to EXSC682.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - communicate the design of an evidence-based project in written and/or oral forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences (e.g. general public; clinical stakeholders; academic peers) (GA9)

LO2 - critically appraise literature and contemporary concepts relevant to research in high performance sport (GA4, GA8)

LO3 - use specialized knowledge and technical skills to plan and implement a substantial research-based project or piece of scholarship (GA4, GA7, GA10)

LO4 - display appropriate standards of technical and ethical conduct in professional practice and research (GA3, GA10)

LO5 - use systems of information/data storage, retrieval, and reporting for research purposes (GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics of the unit include:

  • identifying industry-relevant issues/problems
  • planning and conducting an evidence-based project
  • application of bibliographic and data management software packages
  • ethical practice in research project design, implementation and reporting
  • communication of project findings

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The pedagogical structuring of learning experiences that comprise this unit of research training and work-integrated learning recognises and utilises contributions from both academic and practice settings. It intentionally integrates the learning arising in both settings to realise the knowledge and skills students need to move smoothly into and be effective in their selected graduate destination. Students will develop key research skills including problem solving and critical thinking as well as build upon their ability and initiative to undertake self-directed study. In this unit, students will work both independently and in collaboration with their supervisor(s). Students will be mentored and supported in their learning by their supervisor(s) who will provide regular guidance and maintain contact with the student. Mentorship and supervision are facilitated through face-to-face on-campus meetings, or by telephone or electronic communication between student and ACU staff mentor. A range of student-centred learning and teaching strategies will be adopted such as: i) regular meetings between mentor and student; and ii) guidance regarding conduct of project, analyses, oral presentation and drafting of manuscript. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent adult learner and provide students with an authentic learning experience to make a positive impact on communities and the lives of healthy individuals and those with chronic and complex conditions.

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit features authentic learning activities which are reflective of key requirements of clinical researchers’ practice. EXSC682 assessments have been developed to guide the students in their finalisation of a capstone project aimed at reflecting the advanced level of professional knowledge and skills, enhanced critical analysis and professional writing style as developed in the Master’s program of Thesis stream. Assessments for the unit incorporate a constructivist approach providing for a broad range of tasks aligned to andragogic principles of adult learning facilitating choice and self-direction for the post graduate student. The oral presentation provides students with the opportunity to prepare and present their research in a conference presentation mode of delivery. Students will prepare a scholarly academic work in the form of a manuscript according to selected author guidelines ready for submission to a peer reviewed journal to communicate the outcomes of their research project. Assessment tasks may be delivered and assessed locally with moderated according to University Policies and Procedures. Written assessments will be submitted electronically.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Oral Presentation:

Enables students to demonstrate the ability to interpret and communicate the findings of a research project, including the limitations and practical applications of the research and its outcomes.


LO1, LO5


Journal manuscript:

Enables students to demonstrate the ability to answer a research question in the context of relevant literature, by designing and conducting a study with appropriate methods and data collection to address the aims of the project, and demonstrating critical analysis and perceptive scholarship to draw conclusions.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Bowling, A., & Ebrahim, S. (2007). Handbook of health research methods: Investigation, measurement and analysis. Maidenhead, U.K.: Open University Press. 

Creswell, J.W., & Piano Clark, V.L. (2018) Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications 001.42 CRE 

Creswell, J. (2018). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (Fifth edition.; International student ed.). 300.72 CRE 

Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2018). The Sage handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications 001.4 SAG 

Glasziou, P., Irwig, L., Bain, C., & Colditz, G. (2001) Systematic reviews in health care: A practical guide. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Higgins, J.P.T & Green, S. Eds. (2008) Cochrane handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. 

Chichester, UK. WileyBlackwell. 

Liamputtong, P. (ed). (2017). Research methods in health: Foundations for evidence based practice (3rd edition) South Melbourne, Vic. Oxford University Press 

NHMRC (2000). How to review the evidence: systematic identification and review of the scientific literature. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra

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