Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


(UNCC100 Self and Community: Exploring the Anatomy of Modern Society OR PHCC102 Being Human OR PHCC104 Ethics and the Good Life ) 

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science students and graduates will fulfil roles where they need to apply and communicate discipline specific knowledge and skills with supervisors and clients drawn from broad demographics. An Exercise Scientist is most effective when they understand the individuality of these people and the sociocultural factors governing who they are and what their needs may be. Crucial to the development of these skills is the opportunity for exposure to individuals and groups whose experiences, values, culture and constraints are different to their own. Exercise Scientists also need to appreciate the meaningful impact that their practice can have on myriad national and international communities given the personal, social and health outocmes that can occur through sport and physical activity. 

An exercise science community engagement (CE) placement exposes students to new experiences and helps build capacity within the student and their partner community. It challenges them to gain an expanded and enhanced understanding of their community and the people within it and drives the development of key qualities, such as empathy, which are critical to future exercise science practice. A CE placement also provides an opportunity for students to engage with the ACU Mission and identity, working with communities experiencing disadvantage and marginalisation, applying professional skills learnt within their degree and build on knowledge and understanding developed during the first core curriculum prerequisite unit. Therefore the aim of this unit is to provide the foundational knowledge to prepare and plan for a community engagement experience, the opportunity to engage with a partner community and the capacity to critically reflect and learn from the experience. 

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 - Explain the principles and focus of community engagement, how it links to the ACU Mission and Catholic Social Thought, and contemporary models of community engagement (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10).

LO2 - Identify the impact of community engagement practice both on one's self and partner communities (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10).

LO3 - Analyse the sociological determinants impacting the physical activity, health and/or performance of individuals within different societal systems including multicultural, disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10).

LO4 - Assess community engagement experience through reflection, with specific reference to the importance of communication and empathy, the role of an Exercise Scientist, their values, assumptions and attitudes of transformation and the principles underpinning ACU’s Mission (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA8, GA9, GA10).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

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 

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

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


Topics will include: 

  • What is community engagement and why is it important
  • Principles of community engagement and how it relates to the ACU Mission 
  • Models of community engagement including Assets-based Community Development
  • Empathy - what is it and why is it important
  • The sociological determinants of health
  • Health in marginalised and disadvantaged communities
  • Sport for development and peace
  • Community engagement through Exercise Science: Impact on oneself and partner communities
  • Preparation for community engagement and reflective practice
  • Organising and participating in 40 hours of community engagement activities. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is delivered in both face-to-face and online modes that employ an active learning approach. It is designed to provide students with access to the knowledge and understanding, resources and preparatory requirements necessary for understanding, planning, completing and critically reflecting on community engagement experiences. Direct active learning through structured online modules and classroom activities facilitate these outcomes. This strategy allows students to meet the aims, learning outcomes and graduate attributes associated with 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 accordingly.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Tasks are designed to elicit and support the learnings which occur before, during and after community engagement experiences. Assessment tasks 1 and 2 have been designed to ensure that students engage with the unit content, understand the ethical and legal frameworks surrounding community engagement experiences and have completed all FHS pre-placement requirements. Tasks 3 is designed for students to enage in pre and or peri reflection about their planned community engagement experience as wll as apply knowledge about community assets acquired so far. Task 4 requires students to critically reflect on their community engagement experience in general and in the context of their previous reflections in Assessment Task 3.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Pre Placement requirements

Completion of ‘ACU Child-safe Organisations’ online module.

Complete ACU Engagement LEO module.

Attainment of FHS Pre-placement requirements.

Submission of Pre-placement information sheet.



GA1, GA2, GA3, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 1

Online Exam:

Assess knowledge and ability to explain understanding of content delivered in weeks 1-4.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 2

Pre/Peri Placement Assignment:

A pre/peri reflective assessment of community engagement placement including a community assets audit.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 3

Post Community Engagement Critical Reflection:

Based on 40 hours of community engagement students will use their placement journal to complete a structured reflection on their community engagement


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

ACU Catholic Intellectual Tradition 

ACU Community Engagement 

Egan, L., Butcher, J., & Ralph, K. (2008). Hope as a basis for understanding the benefits and possibilities of community engagement. Strathfield, NSW: The Institute for Advancing

Community Engagement, Australian Catholic University 

Exercise & Sports Science Australia. (2021) ESSA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice. 

Hoekema, D. (2010) Is there an ethicist in the house? How can we tell? in Kiss, E, Euben, J. P. Eds. 2010 Debating Moral Education: Rethinking the Role of the Modern University).

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