Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to develop evidence-based, best practice, strategies to prevent sporting injury is essential in high performance sport. This unit will develop knowledge and critical thinking pertinent to the prevention of common injuries seen in high performance sport. This requires understanding and interpreting sports injury epidemiology research as well as detailed knowledge of the aetiology, mechanisms, risk factors and prevention strategies of common injury types. The aim of this unit is to develop in students an understanding of common injuries that are seen in high performance sport, to improve their ability to critically analyse the literature, and to advance their ability to deliver evidence-based programs for the prevention of injury.

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 knowledge of evidence-based practices in injury prevention relevant to the multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary environment of high performance sport (GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9)

LO2 - Appraise established theories, contemporary concepts and evidence-based practices relevant to injury aetiology, mechanisms, risk factors and prevention (GA4, GA5, GA8)

LO3 - Plan and present interventions for athletes, directed at prevention of injury (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

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 

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: 

  • Understanding sports epidemiology research and an approach to the critical appraisal of the evidence base. 
  • Aetiology, mechanisms, risk factors, preventative strategies for: 
  • Hamstring strain injuries 
  • Anterior cruciate ligament injury 
  • Hip and groin injury
  • Tendinopathy  
  • Shoulder injury  
  • Ankle injury 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment strategy in this unit has been designed to support learning as well as to assess it. It is sequenced so that the progression through the assessment matches the progression of learners through the learning outcomes. That is, it has a deliberate developmental narrative. Each assessment item is therefore also aligned with a specific purpose. The range of assessment strategies have been purposefully designed for the assessment of learning outcomes reflecting the principles of authentic assessment design and include:

  • Ungraded Hurdle: The "Reflective discussion board post" is a reflective report to generate thought and discussion;
  • Assessment Task 1: The "Journal article review and implementation" is an oral presentation to assess interpretation, critical appraisal and application of literature;
  • Assessment Task 2 : The "Discussion board posts on expert lectures" are written summaries to assess comprehension and reflection on unit content; and
  • Assessment Task 3: The "Injury prevention program" is a group task requiring a written literature review, and an oral presentation to assess ability to search and synthesise the literature and to apply the evidence in a high performance environment.  

Students must achieve a cumulative grade of at least 50% across all assessments.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Reflective discussion board post 

Enables students to reflect on current practices and to articulate their views on injury prevention. 



LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment 1

Journal article review and implementation 

Enables students to demonstrate ability to present their interpretation of literature related to sports injury and to then show an ability to propose strategies to implement evidence into practice. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment 2

Discussion board posts on expert lectures 

Enables students to demonstrate ability to understand and interpret content presented by expert speakers.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment 3

Injury prevention program 

Enables students to work in a group to demonstrate their ability to search and synthesise literature on a specific injury and to present the application of their knowledge by developing evidence-based injury prevention programs.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Andersson SH, Bahr R, Clarsen B, Myklebust G. Preventing overuse shoulder injuries among throwing athletes: a cluster-randomised controlled trial in 660 elite handball players. Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(14):1073-1080

Bahr, R. Why screening tests to predict injury do not work-and probably never will…: a critical review. Br J Sports Med. 2016; 50(13): 776-780 

Bourne MN, Timmins RG, Opar DA, Pizzari T, Ruddy JD, Sims C, Williams MD, Shield AJ. An Evidence-Based Framework for Strengthening Exercises to Prevent Hamstring Injury. Sports Med. 2018;48(2):251-267.

Cook JL, Purdam CR. Is tendon pathology a continuum? A pathology model to explain the clinical presentation of load-induced tendinopathy. Br J Sports Med. 2009;43(6):409-16 

Delahunt E, Remus A. Risk Factors for Lateral Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability. J Athl Train. 2019;54(6):611-616

Harøy J, Clarsen B, Wiger EG, Øyen MG, Serner A, Thorborg K, Hölmich P, Andersen TE, Bahr R. The Adductor Strengthening Programme prevents groin problems among male football players: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med. 2019;53(3):150-15

Opar, D.A., Williams, M.D., & Shield, A.J. Hamstring strain injuries: factors that lead to injury and re-injury. Sports Med. 2012;42:209-26. 

Petushek EJ, Sugimoto D, Stoolmiller M, Smith G, Myer GD. Evidence-Based Best-Practice Guidelines for Preventing Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Young Female Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med. 2019;47(7):1744-1753

Serpell, B.G., Scarvell, J.M., Ball, N.B., & Smith, P.N. Mechanisms and risk factors for non-contact ACL injury in age mature athletes who engage in field or court sports: A summary of literature since 1980. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;26(11):3160-76. 

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

Weir A, Brukner P, Delahunt E, et al. Doha agreement meeting on terminology and definitions in groin pain in athletes. Br J Sports Med. 2015; 49(12): 768-774  

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