Credit points


Campus offering

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ANAT100 Anatomical Foundations of Exercise Science AND EXSC224 Mechanical Bases of Exercise AND EXSC225 Physiological Bases of Exercise AND EXSC204 Exercise Prescription and Delivery AND EXSC206 Professional Experience Preparation AND EXSC216 Resistance Training: Science and Application

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

To be a competent Exercise Scientist, the knowledge and skills students have gained must be able to be transferred to a professional context, with increasing autonomy and confidence. Professional practice provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge, skills and attributes of a professional in a work context and gain the necessary experience under the supervision of qualified professionals, in order to begin the transition from learner to practitioner. Experiential learning through real-world professional experience will enable students to develop expertise measured through professional standards set for ESSA Exercise Scientist accreditation, whereby students, as graduates, can apply knowledge and skills to operate effectively in an ethically responsible manner, communicate effectively and be able to integrate and apply their learning to help support a client's needs. By undertaking this practicum, students will critically reflect upon their professional practice through feedback from their supervisor. The aim of the unit is to provide an authentic learning experience in which students are able to integrate evidence-based learnings in applied professional settings, in order to critically reflect on their career path, and meet the ESSA Professional Practice graduate outcomes required for Exercise Science 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.

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

LO1 - Demonstrate professional practice knowledge, skills and attributes for employment opportunities in exercise science (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA9) 

LO2 - Design and implement an evidence-based professional practice service which integrates knowledge, skills, and attributes of exercise science (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9) 

LO3 - Critically reflect on feedback from a variety of sources including placement supervisor(s) and self to improve professional practice in a work context (GA3, GA4, GA7, GA9, GA10) 

LO4 - Demonstrate competency of professional practice as an exercise scientist in a work context.(GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7, 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 

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


This unit requires the completion of a minimum of 140 hours of professional experience placements in accordance with ESSA requirements for placement.  

  • Exercise science practice  
  • Professional development planning 
  • Critically reflection of competency, based on a variety of feedback 
  • Preparing for job applications
  • How to record placement hours


Content delivery is arranged as required to support these placements and the underpinning theoretical components. This content includes: 

  • Application of principles and practices in Exercise Science  
  • Professionalism in work contexts  
  • Exercise and Sports Science Australia Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

EXSC325 Professional Practice in Exercise Science sits in one semester of the timetable, however students have the full year to complete the minimum 140 hours of professional practicum experience in the field. 

Learning and teaching strategies include: 

  • Authentic learning and case-based learning, through application of knowledge, understanding and skills of course learnings under the supervision of a qualified professional in a professional workplace environment, for a minimum of 140 hours. 
  • Active learning, which will allow students to develop effective professional verbal and non-verbal communication skills by interaction with both clients and professionals in the exercise science field. 
  • Critical reflective thinking activities, which will give a greater awareness of the scope of practice of an Exercise Scientist within ESSA’s Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice.  


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 are expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively during practicum placements.  

 In addition, completion of this unit will allow students to meet mandatory Professional Practice outcomes required for Accreditation through ESSA as an Exercise Scientist on the completion of their degree. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Students will have a variety of assessment activities to demonstrate completion and achievement of the learning outcomes for the unit. This unit draws upon on both internal opportunities and placement experiences to facilitate continual reflection upon a student's professional practice and skills, promoting their professional growth. The assessment strategy aligns with the concepts of job-readiness, actively doing the job of a professional and continuing professional development.

The Professional Portfolio: Enables students to assemble a professional portfolio for an industry job and prepare relevant documents in preparing for a mock interview. This task will enable students to understand the job market and to prepare high-quality documents in preparation for applying for professional industry roles

Design and implement an Evidence-Based Service: Students will design and implement an evidence-based service for a client/cohort through practical application experiences. This activity will enable them to practice and explore different service delivery methods through simulated and practicum experiences with feedback provided by supervisors and staff.

Professional Development: Being life-long learners is critical in ensuring that students remain contemporary and is often a mandatory part of professional practice accreditation requirements. This task will enable students to reflect upon their strengths and opportunities for them to improve upon and develop professional practice activities to address these areas.

Competency Assessment: Competency as an exercise professional is evaluated by supervisors while on placement, and within the unit of study. Students will receive feedback from supervisors, staff and peers on their professional practice skills and attributes. They will have the opportunity to demonstrate their professional practice skills through recorded and simulation experiences. Critical reflection and integration of feedback is essential as part of professional practice within the unit.

Students will be required to pass all assessment tasks to pass the unit. The Extended Unit Outline will provide information as to the number of attempts permitted for each Hurdle Task.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Competency as an Exercise Scientist 

Students must demonstrate the application of discipline-specific knowledge, understanding and skills within the scope of practice for an accredited exercise scientist. Supervisors will complete an evaluation of student’s performance while undertaking practicum 


Hurdle Task

LO1, LO2, LO4 

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

Professional portfolio 

Requires students to prepare a professional application for a mock industry-specific job, including cover letter, resume and statement addressing selection criteria. Students will be required to demonstrate an understanding of scope of practice in the Exercise Science profession.  


LO1, LO4

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

Design and implement an evidence-based service

Enables the student to demonstrate their professional practice skills relevant for their scope of practice through simulated and practicum experiences and reflect upon their performance 


LO2, LO3, LO4

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

Professional Development

Allows students to critically reflect and identify aspects of their professional practice which they determine require improvement and plan professional development activities to improve their practice 


LO3, LO4

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

Representative texts and references

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2020). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (11th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams.

Coombes, J.S. and Skinner, T.L. (2014) ESSA student manual for health, exercise and sport assessment. Mosby and ESSA.

Exercise & Sports Science Australia.  

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2020) Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice

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