Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


(EXSC513 Data Analysis and Interpretation for High Performance Sport OR EXSC653 Project Design for High Performance Sport ) AND EXSC654 Major Research Project (Part A) , AND 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 (including EXSC654) to implement their project design in order to provide insight into their research question. The Major Research Project units (EXSC654 Part A and EXSC655 Part B) is a 12-month commitment, with students having to complete EXSC654 as a prerequisite to this unit (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 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, GA10)

LO4 - Display appropriate standards of technical and ethical conduct in professional practice and research (GA3, GA10)

LO5 - Use systems of information/data storage, retrieval, and reporting for research purposes (GA10)

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 

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


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 written task to assess the research-based understanding and skills developed in students through the design, implementation and communication of research work; and
  • Assessment Task 2: an oral presentation to assess communication skills and the use of visual media for a range of audiences. 

Order of presentation of tasks may vary.

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

Assessment Task 1

Journal manuscript: 

Enables students to demonstrate the ability to answer a research question in the context of relevant literature, by designing and conducting a study with appropriate methods and data collection to address the aims of the project, and demonstrating critical analysis and perceptive scholarship to draw conclusions. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2

Oral Presentation: 

Enables students to demonstrate the ability to interpret and communicate the findings of a research project, including the limitations and practical applications of the research and its outcomes. 


LO1, LO5

GA9, GA10

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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