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Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology

2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology is a professional-entry-level degree that aims to produce graduates who will be eligible to register as an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP). Accredited exercise physiologists can provide exercise testing, preventative exercise programs and specialist rehabilitation exercise interventions for people living with chronic diseases, disability or injury.

The course includes clinical placements at on-campus or off-campus locations, for students to gain practical experience in cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, metabolic, neuromuscular and immunological rehabilitation exercise.

Clinical exercise physiology is an allied health profession that is part of the Medicare and private health insurance systems.

Career opportunities

Graduates are suited to employment in various settings including private practice with referrals from GPs, rehabilitation centres, community health, multidisciplinary allied health clinics, workplace health centres, hospitals and aged care facilities.

Clinical exercise physiology is a relatively new allied health profession. Accredited exercise physiologists work in chronic disease prevention and management, and rehabilitation services (chronic disease and musculoskeletal rehabilitation) in rural and metropolitan areas.

Professional recognition

The Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology is accredited by Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA). Graduates will be eligible to apply for accreditation with ESSA as an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP).

Professional placement

The course includes a minimum of 360 hours of clinical placement for students to put theory into practice. This occurs in the SCU Health Clinic on campus, seeing a wide range of clients with chronic conditions, as well as at external locations such as hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, sporting clubs, private practices and aged care facilities. Inter-professional development is also encouraged and exercise physiology students may gain experience working with other allied health students.

Professional experience placements require students to fulfil certain pre-requisites prior to attending any placements. Before applying for this course, it is important that you understand what these requirements are. 

Please note: External placements may continue after Session 3 if approved by the Course Coordinator.

Major areas of study

The course provides an advanced understanding of the theoretical and practical components of clinical exercise physiology.

The course covers Exercise and Sport Science Australia target pathologies including cardiac disease, pulmonary conditions, cancer, metabolic diseases, renal disease, musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, neurological and immunological conditions and exercise for mental health. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge to specific population groups, including older people.

Assessment methods

Students complete a variety of assessments which may include written exams, academic writing, competency assessments, clinical and in-person practical exams.

Teaching methods

The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit. On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, online activities, laboratory and clinic sessions and video-linked or podcast virtual classes. Units are delivered by accredited exercise physiologists and academics who have diverse professional experience.

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.

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.

Clinical Exercise Physiology students access specialist facilities including a state-of-the-art exercise physiology clinic supported by laboratories for strength and conditioning, motion analysis, functional anatomy and biomechanics. The SCU Health Clinic provides facilities for students to undertake clinical practice under the supervision and guidance of academic staff and accredited exercise physiologists.

Course structure

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

Table of contents

Admission requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology will normally:

  1. Have completed a Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Sport and Exercise Science (or related degree) that is accredited or would satisfy the current requirements for course accreditation with the ESSA at the level of Exercise Scientist and have a level of achievement acceptable to the School Board.
  2. In addition to satisfying condition 1 above, candidates are required to have:
    1. Completed at least 140 hours of practicum experience in an “Apparently Healthy” population in accordance with the ESSA requirements for Accreditation as an Exercise Physiologist;
    2. A current Senior First Aid Certificate and CPR update (as required);
    3. Completed the full range of immunizations required, prior to working in a NSW and Queensland Public Health Facility;
    4. A Criminal Record Check (CRC) completed on their behalf.

Course requirements

To be eligible for the award of Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology a candidate shall successfully complete the equivalent of twelve (12) units comprising:

  1. all units listed in the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules.


  1. A student can be excluded under Rule 2 Section 10.
  2. A candidate who has received a fail grade twice in Applied Clinical Exercise Physiology (1–3) may be excluded by the Head of School until they can demonstrate professional suitability to undertake the course.

Schedule of units


How to apply

Applicants need to have completed a Bachelor's Degree in the field of Sport and Exercise Science (or related degree) that is accredited and that satisfies Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) entry requirements into a postgraduate clinical exercise physiology course. Applicants should also have completed (or be close to completion of) 140 hours of practicum experience with healthy individuals.

Applicants seeking more information about the checks and certifications required for placements (such as  First Aid Certificate, Criminal Record Check and immunisation admission requirements), please contact one of our clinical placements coordinators in the Professional Experience Unit.

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'