Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The unit integrates the use of current research, critical thinking, and the interpretation of that research to inform evidence based practice in exercise rehabilitation program development. Students will apply current principles of strength and conditioning to enhance performance as part of exercise rehabilitation to manage an injury or reduce the risk of injury. Further the impact of the human-surface environmental interface, and psychological readiness will be incorporated into the return to performance process. The use of mechanical analysis concepts to performance testing will guide exercise prescription and return to sport. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to develop individualised, safe and effective exercise prescription for return to sport performance.

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 the application of advanced specialist knowledge, based on current evidence-based practices, to develop return-to-sport exercise rehabilitation programs, that are individualised, safe and effective (GA2, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO2 - Assimilate exercise prescription that impact on return to sport performance and injury risk reduction monitoring systems (GA3, GA4, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Apply individualised, safe and effective exercise rehabilitation programs for return to sport and injury risk reduction (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10)

Graduate attributes

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 

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


Topics will include: 

  •  Key principles of exercise prescription for sport injury rehabilitation
  • Key principles of return to sport performance testing and shared decision making
  • Exercise rehabilitation and return to sport performance strategies for:
  • Hamstring strain injury
  • 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 demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies that offers an authentic learning opportunity that will be transferable to a work situation is used including: 

  • Assessment Task 1: development of an individualized exercise rehabilitation program based on a case study, and
  • Assessment Task 2: development of a return to sport performance testing protocol. 

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

Case Study Scenario 

Requires students to integrate specialist knowledge to develop an individualised rehabilitation program within a real world case study. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

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

Assessment Task 2

Video presentation 

Requires students to apply knowledge and skills and to establish return to sport performance protocols based on program development 


LO1, LO2, LO3

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

Representative texts and references

Ardern, C et al. 2016 Consensus statement on return to sport from the First World Congress in Sports Physical Therapy, Bern. Br J Sports Med 2016;50:853-864 

Brukner P et al. (2017). Brukner and Khan’s clinical sports medicine: injuries, volume 1, 5e. McGraw-Hill. 

Blanchard S, Glasgow P. A theoretical model for exercise progressions as part of a complex rehabilitation programme design. Br J Sports Med. 2019;53(3):139-140.

Hickey JT, Opar DA, Weiss LJ, Heiderscheit BC. Hamstring Strain Injury Rehabilitation. J Athl Train. 2022;57(2):125-135.

King E et al. Clinical and biomechanical outcomes of rehabilitation targeting intersegmental control in athletic groin pain: prospective cohort of 205 patients. Br J Sports Med 2018;52:1054-1062

King E, Richter C, Daniels KAJ, Franklyn-Miller A, Falvey E, Myer GD, Jackson M, Moran R, Strike S. Biomechanical but Not Strength or Performance Measures Differentiate Male Athletes Who Experience ACL Reinjury on Return to Level 1 Sports. Am J Sports Med. 2021;49(4):918-927.

Schwank A, Blazey P, Asker M, Møller M, Hägglund M, Gard S, Skazalski C, Haugsbø Andersson S, Horsley I, Whiteley R, Cools AM, Bizzini M, Ardern CL. 2022 Bern Consensus Statement on Shoulder Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Return to Sport for Athletes at All Participation Levels. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2022;52(1):11-28.

Serner A, Hölmich P, Tol JL, Thorborg K, Lanzinger S, Otten R, Whiteley R, Weir A. Progression of Strength, Flexibility, and Palpation Pain During Rehabilitation of Athletes With Acute Adductor Injuries: A Prospective Cohort Study. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2021;51(3):126-134.

Silbernagel KG, Hanlon S, Sprague A. Current Clinical Concepts: Conservative Management of Achilles Tendinopathy. J Athl Train. 2020;55(5):438-447.

Smith MD, Vicenzino B, Bahr R, Bandholm T, Cooke R, Mendonça LM, Fourchet F, Glasgow P, Gribble PA, Herrington L, Hiller CE, Lee SY, Macaluso A, Meeusen R, Owoeye OBA, Reid D, Tassignon B, Terada M, Thorborg K, Verhagen E, Verschueren J, Wang D, Whiteley R, Wikstrom EA, Delahunt E. Return to sport decisions after an acute lateral ankle sprain injury: introducing the PAASS framework-an international multidisciplinary consensus. Br J Sports Med. 2021;55(22):1270-1276.

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