Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit




EXSC651 Sports Injury Prevention , EXSC669 Exercise Rehabilitation for Return to Sports Performance

Teaching organisation

This unit consists of 75 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to develop evidence-based, best practice, strategies to prevent sporting injury and return athletes to sport performance following injury, is essential in high performance sport. This requires understanding and interpreting injury epidemiology research as well as detailed knowledge of the aetiology, mechanisms, risk factors and prevention strategies of injuries. This unit will develop knowledge and critical thinking pertinent to the prevention of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries, as well as integrating the use of current research, developed critical thinking, and the interpretation of that research to inform evidence-based practice in exercise rehabilitation program development. This unit makes use of mechanical analysis concepts to performance testing will guide exercise prescription and return to sport. Further the unit provides students with consideration of the impact of the human-surface environmental interface, and psychological readiness in the return to performance process. The aim of this unit is to develop students understanding of ACL injuries, to improve their ability to critically analyse the literature, and to advance their ability to deliver evidence-based programs for the prevention of injury and for safe and effective return to sport performance following injury.

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 development of specialist knowledge of evidence-based practices in ACL injury prevention and return to sport exercise rehabilitation programs relevant to the multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary environment of high-performance sport. (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO2 - Plan and present individualised, safe and effective exercise interventions for athletes, directed at prevention, rehabilitation and return to sport performance following

ACL injury. (GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, 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 

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:

  • Understanding sports epidemiology research and an approach to the critical appraisal of the evidence base.
  • Aetiology, mechanisms, risk factors and preventative strategies for ACL injuries
  • Key principles of exercise prescription for sports injury rehabilitation and return to sports performance.
  • Exercise rehabilitation and return to sports performance strategies for ACL injuries.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, cooperative learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities. Comprehension will be supported through information from applied sports injury prevention experts with experience in high performance environments. These strategies will provide students with access to required knowledge and understanding of content, and opportunities for development and application of knowledge and understanding of prevention and exercise rehabilitation for return to sports performance. These strategies will allow students to meet the aims, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of this learning package. 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 in the online environment.

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 two-part assessment that offers an authentic learning opportunity that will be transferable to a work situation is used. This includes appraising and applying literature and creating an ACL injury prevention program, along with the development of an individualised exercise rehabilitation program based on a case study. The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Case Study Scenario - (Part A)

Enables students to independently research ACL injuries as well as assimilate expert knowledge and key research presented to them throughout semester in order to develop an evidence-based exercise rehabilitation program


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Case Study Scenario - (Part B)

Enables students to independently research ACL injuries as well as assimilate expert knowledge and key research presented to them throughout semester in order to develop an evidence-based prevention strategy


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Serpell, B.G., Scarvell, J.M., Ball, N.B., & Smith, P.N. Mechanisms and risk factors for non-contact ACL injury in age mature athletes who engage in field or court sports: A summary of literature since 1980. J Strength Cond Res 2011:26(11):3160-76.

Michaelidis, M. & Koumantakis, G.A. Effects of knee injury primary prevention programs on anterior cruciate ligament injury rates in female athletes in different sports: a systematic review. Phys Ther Sport 2014:15(3):200-10.

Gokeler, A., Neuhaus, D., Benjaminse, A., Grooms, D. R., & Baumeister, J. (2019). Principles of motor learning to support neuroplasticity after ACL injury: implications for optimizing performance and reducing risk of second ACL injury. Sports medicine, 49(6), 853-865.

van Melick, N., van Cingel, R. E., Brooijmans, F., Neeter, C., van Tienen, T., Hullegie, W., & Nijhuis-van der Sanden, M. W. (2016). Evidence-based clinical practice update: practice guidelines for anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation based on a systematic review and multidisciplinary consensus. British journal of sports medicine, 50(24), 1506-1515.

Petushek EJ, Sugimoto D, Stoolmiller M, Smith G, Myer GD. (2019). Evidence-Based Best-Practice Guidelines for Preventing Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Young Female Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Am J Sports Med, 47(7):1744-1753.

Arundale AJH, Bizzini M, Giordano A, Hewett TE, Logerstedt DS, Mandelbaum B, Scalzitti DA, Silvers-Granelli H, Snyder-Mackler L. Exercise-Based Knee and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2018 Sep;48(9):A1-A42.

Zebis MK, Sørensen MH, Lauridsen HB, Bencke J, Andersen CH, Carlsbæk JB, Jespersen P, Kallehauge AH, Andersen LL. Electromyography Evaluation of Bodyweight Exercise Progression in a Validated Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Rehabilitation Program: A Cross-Sectional Study. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2019 Nov;98(11):998-1004.

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