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Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science gives students the required knowledge, skills and attitudes to practise as professionals in the field of exercise and sports science. The degree equips graduates for diverse employment opportunities across a range of sport and health-related areas.

The course enables students to focus their study through the choice of specialised majors to meet their career aspirations and areas of interest. Field experience is a feature of the course and provides the opportunity for students to apply theory and knowledge in practical industry settings. This enables students to develop a professional approach to their training and career education.

Career opportunities

Exercise scientists are university-trained health and fitness professionals who specialise in providing exercise-based services and work across a variety of settings. These include: sports coaching, strength training and conditioning, sport development, performance testing and talent identification, personal training and gym instruction, health promotion, occupational rehabilitation and sports or recreation management .

Some graduates also choose to pursue further study at postgraduate level to become an allied health professional in areas such as clinical exercise physiology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition/dietetics or to become a PDHPE teacher.

Professional recognition

The Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science delivered from the Lismore campus is accredited by Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) at the Exercise Science level. Under current ESSA procedures, accreditation for Gold Coast and Coffs Harbour campuses will be completed when students are in their final year (2017 and 2018 respectively). Subject to successful accreditation, all graduates will be eligible for full membership as Exercise Scientists with ESSA.

Graduates of the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science may undertake further postgraduate study at SCU to gain registration as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP).

All graduates are also eligible to receive the Certificate III and IV in fitness through TAFE NSW, and to apply for Exercise Professional Registration with Fitness Australia (FA). In addition graduates meet the requirements of the Level 1 Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) coaching accreditation, making them eligible to register as Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coaches. The course is recognised by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) of America.

The Nutrition major is designed to meet curriculum prerequisites for entry into several accredited postgraduate programs leading to registration as an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). Students interested in this pathway should refer to universities offering accredited postgraduate dietetic programs regarding enrolment requisites. Graduates of the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science who have completed the Nutrition major may be eligible to become an Associate Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia.

Professional placement

Students complete a three-week internship of their choice during their third year studies and some students have the option of an additional internship. These placements normally occur during the breaks between teaching sessions. Field experience provides the opportunity to apply theory and knowledge in practical settings.

Placements are undertaken under professional supervision in health and fitness centres, sporting organisations or clubs, schools, academies and institutes of sport, or sport and recreation centres. The types of positions can include, but are not limited to, assisting personal trainers, health educators, strength and conditioning or sports coaches, sporting event coordinators or recreation officers. Students may also work as research assistants for sport products, manufacturing or business.

Major areas of study

Students select one major from the following:

Education, in addition to studies in exercise science, offers graduates a pathway to an SCU degree in secondary teaching, leading to registration as a PDHPE teacher for eligible students. Only available at Lismore.

Exercise Science enables students to study at a more advanced level in subject areas such as exercise physiology, sport and exercise psychology and applied biomechanics. It also covers areas such as exercise biochemistry and exercise physiology for specific populations (such as ageing people, or people with disability). 

Nutrition encompasses the study of food and nutrition in the context of human health, disease processes and in society, in addition to studies in chemistry, biochemistry and exercise science. This major is not available at the Coffs Harbour campus. 

Assessment methods

Assessment items vary from unit to unit and generally comprise a mix of laboratory-based and readings-based assignments, seminar presentations, field and investigation reports, and formal practical and written examinations.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Students have access to fully equipped dedicated scientific laboratories for wet and dry anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, biochemistry, strength and conditioning, and a multi-purpose sports hall and weight training gymnasium.


Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science a candidate shall successfully complete not less than twenty-four (24) units (288 credit points) comprising:
    1. all units listed in Part A;
    2. all units from one major sequence of units in Part B

Advanced standing

  1. Candidates who have completed either the Diploma of Fitness or Certificate IV in Fitness may be granted advanced standing for up to three (3) units in the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science.

    External accreditation requirements limit advanced standing for non-university study to three units .

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students

International students

Confirm you meet the entry requirements including English language and academic entry and any specific pre-requisites.

Southern Cross University accepts applications directly through the International Application for Admissions form.

Additional information on how to apply is available at SCU International. Please note applicants from some countries need to go through an Education Agent.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'