Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit




EXSC121 Exercise and Sport Science: Starting the Journey , EXSC119 From Health to High Performance Sport

Unit rationale, description and aim

Participating in sport and physical activity is of critical importance to the health of the individual, community and population. Participation in sport and physical activity reduces the risk of disease, brings communities together, benefits the local economy and improves and maintains overall quality of life through enhanced mental and social wellbeing. Indeed, physical inactivity is linked to numerous health conditions that are Australian Government National Health Priority areas, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mental health disorders. Exercise Scientists are professionals with the knowledge and skills to apply the science of exercise to develop interventions that improve health, fitness, well-being, and performance. The aim of this unit is to engage and immerse students by introducing them to foundational knowledge, skills, and attributes of the Exercise Scientist. To meet this aim, the unit introduces students to the scope of practice of the profession and gives them a diverse range of exercise science practical experiences.

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 - Explain why there is a need for the Exercise Science profession (GA1, GA2, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO2 - Describe the scope of practice of an exercise scientist and their relevant work contexts (GA1, GA2, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Accurately conduct, interpret and communicate the outcomes of a variety of testing assessments appropriate to the health, fitness and/or performance goals of apparently healthy individuals (GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Evaluate the outcomes of their practical experiences in conducting exercise assessments in the context of improving health, fitness, well-being, and performance (GA5, GA9).

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 

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:

  • Landscape of activity and health and different groups in need 
  • Importance of exercise for wellbeing
  • Health and fitness professions and scopes of practice
  • Foundational interpersonal skills and reflective practice
  • Foundation of exercise science principles relevant to tests and exercise 
  • Testing and exercise modes including:
  • resting measures 
  • body composition
  • cardiovascular 
  • resistance
  • ROM/flexibility
  • sports performance.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, individual and group-based (collaborative) activities, case-based learning, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, which will be delivered across 12 weeks or equivalent. This range of strategies will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for development of basic practical skills in exercise assessment. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim and learning outcomes of the unit, and develop graduate attributes, as well as professional practice standards. 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. 

Further to this, to ensure students are ready to transition from the Diploma and articulate into the second year of undergraduate study, transition pedagogies will be incorporated into the unit as the key point of differentiation from the standard unit. This focuses on an active and engaging approach to learning and teaching practices, and a scaffolded approach to the delivery of curriculum to enhance student learning in a supportive environment. This will ensure that students develop foundation level discipline-based knowledge, skills and attributes, and simultaneously the academic competencies required of students to succeed in this unit.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. In order to successfully complete this unit, students need to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks. In addition to this, students must obtain an aggregate mark of greater than 50% over these three assessment tasks. 

Assessment 1 assesses students’ understanding of the need for the Exercise Science profession and its scope of practice via a short presentation. For Assessment 2, students will conduct personal health, fitness and/or performance tests and demonstrate knowledge they have developed on collating exercise testing data and interpret the results in a written report. Students will also reflect on how these tests fit within the profession of an Exercise Scientist. In Assessment 3, students demonstrate skills and knowledge they have developed in conducting various exercise tests. Students are required to interpret and communicate the outcomes which may either be provided to them or collected during the practical assessment.

Strategies aligned with transition pedagogies will be utilised to facilitate successful completion of the unit assessment tasks. For each assessment, there will be the incorporation of developmentally staged tasks with a focus on a progressive approach to learning. This will be achieved through activities, including regular feedback, particularly early in the unit of study to support their learning; strategies to develop and understand discipline-specific concepts and terminology; in-class practice tasks with integrated feedback; and greater peer-to-peer collaboration. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Short Presentation

Assesses students understanding of the need for Exercise Science profession and its scope of practice


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Health and Well-being Portfolio 

Collate and interpret test results on personal health, fitness and/or performance. Reflect on how these tests fit within the profession of an Exercise Scientist.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Practical Assessment

Conduct tests, and interpret and communicate test outcomes. 



GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2013). Health-Related Physical Fitness Assessment Manual (4th ed.) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2014). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (9th ed.). Lippincott Williams.

American College of Sports Medicine (2013). Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (7th Ed.). Lippincott Williams

Australian Institute of Sport, Tanner R and Gore C (2013) Physiological tests for elite athletes (2nd ed.). Human Kinetics.

Coombes and Skinner (2014). ESSA student manual for health, exercise and sport assessment. Mosby and ESSA.

McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I., & Katch, V.L. (2014). Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance (8th ed.). Lippincott William and Wilkins.

Nieman, D. ( 2011). Exercise testing and prescription: A health-related approach (7th ed.) McGraw Hill.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs