Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The unit integrates the use of current research, critical thinking, and the interpretation of that research to inform evidence based practice in exercise rehabilitation program development. Students will apply current principles of strength and conditioning to enhance performance as part of exercise rehabilitation to manage an injury or reduce the risk of injury. Further the impact of the human-surface environmental interface, and psychological readiness will be incorporated into the return to performance process. The use of mechanical analysis concepts to performance testing will guide exercise prescription and return to sport. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to develop individualised, safe and effective exercise prescription for return to sport performance.

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 - Develop specialist knowledge based on current evidence-based practices to develop return to sport exercise rehabilitation programs that are individualized, safe and effective.  (GA2, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO2 - Assimilate exercise prescription that impact on return to sport performance and injury risk reduction monitoring systems. (GA3, GA4, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Apply individualise, safe and effective exercise rehabilitation programs for return to sport and injury risk reduction. . (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


Topics will include: 

  •  Key principles of exercise prescription for sport injury rehabilitation
  • Key principles of return to sport performance testing and shared decision making
  • Exercise rehabilitation and return to sport performance strategies for:
  • Hamstring strain injury
  • Anterior cruciate ligament injury
  • Hip and groin injury
  • Tendinopathy
  • Shoulder injury
  • Ankle injury

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, cooperative learning, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered across 12 weeks. These strategies will provide students with access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for application of knowledge and understanding or exercise rehabilitation for return to sport performance. 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 will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively in the online environment.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies that offers an authentic learning opportunity that will be transferable to a work situation are used including: development of an individualised exercise rehabilitation program based on a case study, return to sport performance protocol, and a journal article review to assess student interpretation and application of unit content. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Journal article review

Requires students to critically review a research article pertinent to exercise rehabilitation for return to sport performance and discuss its strengths, weaknesses and relevance from a practitioner’s perspective



GA2, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10

Case Study Scenario 

Requires students to integrate specialist knowledge to develop an individualized rehabilitation program within a real world case study 


LO1, LO2 

GA2, GA5, GA6, GA7, 

GA8, GA10 

Video presentation 

Requires students to apply knowledge and skills and to establish return to sport performance protocols based on program development 


LO2, LO3 

GA3, GA4, GA8, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Ardern, C et al. 2016 Consensus statement on return to sport from the First World Congress in Sports Physical Therapy, Bern. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:853-864 

Brukner P et al. (2017). Brukner and Khan’s clinical sports medicine: injuries, volume 1, 5e. McGraw-Hill. 

Delahunt E et al. Clinical assessment of acute lateral ankle sprain injuries (ROAST): 2019 consensus statement and recommendations of the International Ankle Consortium. Br J Sports Med 2018;52:1304-1310 

Glasgow P, Phillips N, Bleakley C. Optimal loading: key variables and mechanisms. Br J Sports Med 2015;49(5):278-279 

Hickey JT, Timmins RG, Maniar N, Williams MD, Opar DA. Criteria for progressing rehabilitation and determining return-to-play clearance following hamstring strain injury: a systematic review. Sports Med 2017;47:1375-1387 

King E et al. Clinical and biomechanical outcomes of rehabilitation targeting intersegmental control in athletic groin pain: prospective cohort of 205 patients. Br J Sports Med 2018;52:1054-1062 

Silbernagel KG, Vicenzino BT, Rathleff MS & Thorborg K. Isometric exercise for acute pain relief: is it relevant in tendinopathy management? Br J Sports Med 2019;53(21):1330-1331 

Wright et al. Exercise prescription for overhead athletes with shoulder pathology: a systematic review with best evidence synthesis. Br J Sports Med 2018;52:231-237 

Zebis MK et al. Electromyography evaluation of bodyweight exercise progression in a validated anterior cruciate ligament injury rehabilitation program; a cross-sectional study. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2019;98:998-1004

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