Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


EXSC513 Data Analysis and Interpretation for High Performance Sport AND EXSC653 Project Design for High Performance Sport , Students must have a GPA of 5.5 or above in the first 8 units of the MHPS degree


EXSC656 Minor Project , EXSC657 Industry Internship

Unit rationale, description and aim

Research in high performance sport settings is critical for providing athletes and practitioners with evidence-based strategies for improving performance and maintaining athlete 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, systematic review or 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 Major Research Project units (EXSC654 Part A and EXSC655 Part B) is a 12-month commitment, with students enrolling in this unit (EXSC654) as a prerequisite to EXSC655.

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. coaching staff; support staff; stakeholders; academic peers) (GA9)

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

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

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

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 


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

ACU Online

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. This unit will be delivered under the supervision of a member of staff at the Australian Catholic University.

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. A range of assessment strategies have been purposefully designed for the assessment of learning outcomes reflecting the principles of authentic assessment design and include:

  • Assessment Task 1: a feasibility of project to assess the application of research skills and advanced theoretical understanding; 
  • Assessment Task 2: an ethics submission to assess research competency through the application of ethical understanding and research knowledge and communication (UNGRADED HURDLE); and
  • Assessment Task 3: a written task to assess the acquisition and communication of knowledge and understanding related to a content area of future research.

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

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1

Feasibility of Project: 

Enables students to critically evaluate the feasibility of their proposed research project, identify any potential limitations and address these using their research-related skills.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment 2

Human Research Ethics Committee project approval:

Students must submit the approval letter from the ACU HREC and the project’s assigned ethics approval number.



LO1, LO4

GA3, GA9

Assessment 3

Literature Review:

Enables students to apply research-related skills in order to demonstrate literature searching, critique, interpretation and scholarship to draw conclusions.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Baumgartner, T.A. & Strong, C.H. (2006).  Conducting and Reading Research in Health and Human   Performance (4th Ed.).  Sydney: McGraw-Hill.

Gratton, C. & Jones, I. (2004) Research Methods for Sports Studies. London : Routledge.

Matthews, J.R., Bowen, J.M., & Matthews, R.W. (2007). Successful Scientific Writing (3rd Ed.). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. 

Thomas, J.R. Nelson, J.K., & Silverman, S.J. (2011). Research Methods in Physical Activity (6th Ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics.

Williams, C., & Wragg, C. (2004). Data Analysis and Research for Sport and Exercise Science. New York: Routledge.

Yang, J.T. (1995). An Outline of Scientific Writing. Singapore: World Scientific.

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