Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Clinical exercise physiologists working in an oncology context must have extensive theoretical knowledge. This unit extends the content contained in EXSC676 Cancer Rehabilitation I and provides an opportunity to apply your knowledge to other cancers. The role of exercise throughout the cancer journey will be explored including the differing approaches across the lifespan from children to older adults. This unit integrates the use of current research, critical thinking and the interpretation of that research to inform evidence-based practice in program development, particularly in areas where the level of available evidence is low.

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 an contemporary knowledge of cancer pathology, diagnosis and treatment. (GA1, GA2, GA5) 

LO2 - Describe the role of the exercise physiologist across the lifespan in cancer survivorship (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA9) 

LO3 - Apply advanced theoretical knowledge and skill in the development of appropriate exercise programs (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO4 - Critically analyse and integrate current evidence on exercise that may impact on patient outcomes (GA7, GA8, 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 

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: 


  • Diagnosis and treatment of different cancer types 
  • Survivorship, including physical and psychological effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. 
  • Exercise across the lifespan 
  • Exercise assessment 
  • Exercise prescription 
  • Monitoring and follow-up 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, web-based learning, case-based learning, project-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered across a 12 week semester online. This range of strategies will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and its application. 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 will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, criterion referenced assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. Assessment strategies used include: a presentation to assess the ability to locate, critique, synthesize and communicate information; and project work to assess the application of learnings in a patient-centred context. These assessment tasks aim to develop a student’s knowledge, understanding and application of content by offering an authentic learning opportunity that will be transferable to their work situation. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Poster Presentation 

Requires students to explore the current literature and present it with relevance to the research and workplace setting, demonstrating their ability to analyse, synthesize and communicate findings and their contextual interpretation. 


LO1, LO2 

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA9 

Case study project 

Requires students to formulate a plan to enhance the wellbeing of the cancer survivor where the evidence base and approaches are still developing, demonstrating their ability to apply knowledge and understanding in a patient-centred context. 


LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

  1. Courneya KS, Friedenreich CM, et al. Physical Activity and Cancer. London: Springer; 2011  
  2. Ballard-Barbash R, Friedenreich CM, Courneya KS, et al. Physical Activity, Biomarkers, and Disease Outcomes in Cancer Survivors: A Systematic Review. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012;104(11):815-40  
  3. Mishra SI, Scherer RW, Geigle PM, et al. Exercise interventions on health-related quality of life for cancer survivors. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;8:CD007566  
  4. Cramp F, Daniel J. Exercise for the management of cancer-related fatigue in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;CD006145(2):1-37  
  5. Craft LL, Vaniterson EH, Helenowski IB, et al. Exercise effects on depressive symptoms in cancer survivors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Jan;21(1):3-19  
  6. Carvalho AP, Vital FM, Soares BG. Exercise interventions for shoulder dysfunction in patients treated for head and neck cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;4:CD008693  
  7. Schmitz KH, Courneya KS, Matthews C, et al. American College of Sports Medicine roundtable on exercise guidelines for cancer survivors. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jul;42(7):1409-26  
  8. Hayes SC, Spence RR, Galvao DA, et al. Australian Association for Exercise and Sport Science position stand: optimising cancer outcomes through exercise. J Sci Med Sport. 2009 Jul;12(4):428-34.  
  9. Rock CL, Doyle C, Demark-Wahnefried W, et al. Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012 Jul;62(4):242-74  
  10. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology – Survivorship: National Comprehensive Cancer Network Inc.; 2013 
  11. Demark-Wahnefriend, W. et al. Practical clinical interventions for diet, physical activity, and weight control in cancer survivors. CA Cancer J Clin 2015; 65: 167–189. doi: 10.3322/caac.21265 

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