I need help with filling out my logbook
Is there a difference in the courses at the various universities? Is one better than the other? 
What is the difference between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist?
What is the difference between exercise science and sports science? How does this compare to clinical physiology and human movement studies?
Is it better to join ESSA or ASCA? What is the difference?
Am I able to work in the industry while undertaking my degree?
I want to work with elite athletes; do I need a university degree?
Are there jobs available when I graduate from an exercise/sports science degree? If so, how do I go about getting a job?
What courses can I get into after I finish my exercise science degree?
How many jobs are out there?
When I graduate, do I automatically become an exercise scientist, an AEP or an ASpS?

Got a question?

Doesn't matter how random it is, it helps us too! Send your question to ESSA at info@essa.org.au 


I need help with filling out my logbook

For templates and examples of your practicum/student engagement, as well as the practicum guides, click here.

Is there a difference in the courses at the various universities? Is one better than the other?

More than 30 Australian universities provide undergraduate courses in exercise and sports science. These courses are offered across Australia in capital cities and in a number of large regional centres. These university programs vary in their discipline expertise, industry orientation and teaching and learning facilities. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to determine the ESSA accreditation status of each course and to research the program structure and strengths to identify courses that meet their particular career goals. Is my university ESSA approved? Find out.

What is the difference between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist?

Exercise physiology and physiotherapy are both recognised allied health professions. Exercise physiologists primarily treat patients using clinical exercise interventions as their main modality. There is also a strong focus on behavioural change and self-management concepts. Physiotherapists are health care professionals who assess, diagnose, treat and manage acute injury, disability and pain through physical

What is the difference between exercise science and sports science? How does this compare to clinical physiology and human movement studies?

University course offerings have changed considerably in the past 10 years. In the past, courses were mainly a three-year degree known as a Bachelor of Human Movement. These courses covered the theory of exercise science and the skills required to assess groups such as athletes and students and to develop training programs for general and special populations. Such courses are still available today and are broad in content and relate to a range of exercise science jobs; they also provide a basis for postgraduate studies in health related fields.

Exercise science and sports science are generally covered within the same degree with the first involving assessment and prescription of exercise for general populations and the later relating more specifically to working with athletes.

A degree in clinical exercise physiology is generally a four year undergraduate degree and equips the graduate to work in the allied health profession of exercise physiology. Exercise physiologists have the skills and knowledge to prescribe exercise to help people who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer and to help people overcome muscular and skeletal complaints. They also work with healthy people to prevent the development of health problems. Clinical exercise physiology can also be studied as a post graduate qualification for those who have previously completed an exercise and sports science or human movement degree.

Is it better to join ESSA or ASCA? What is the difference?

ESSA (Exercise & Sports Science Australia) is the national accreditation body for exercise physiologists and sports scientists and represents the interests of these two professions as well those of exercise scientists.
ASCA, the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association, represents specifically those interested in the field of strength and conditioning training; these might be exercise scientists, sports scientists, exercise physiologists or coaching staff. Affiliation with both ESSA and ASCA is not uncommon.

Some examples of other organisations that ESSA members are affiliated with include (depending on the person’s area of work or specialisation) Sports Medicine Australia, Fitness Australia, Australian Association of Gerontology and Dietitians Association of Australia. Affiliation with other organisations allows ESSA members to keep up to date with their area of interest / specialisation and to access discounted professional development opportunities.

Am I able to work in the industry while undertaking my degree?

Students enrolled in an exercise and sports science degree are required to undertake practicum hours during their studies. They are also strongly encouraged to seek out work experience in the industry. This work may be paid or voluntary. Students should be mindful to work within the scope of practice for their level of study and to organise appropriate supervision when working outside of that scope of practice. It is also important to ensure you are covered by professional indemnity and public liability insurance whilst working in the industry. For more information about the FREE ESSA Student Insurance click here.

I want to work with elite athletes; do I need a university degree?

As sports become more professional so too do the expectations of employers. ESSA is the peak body that accredits sports scientists. Accredited sports scientists (and all members of ESSA) must comply with a code of conduct and ethical practice and must work within their scope of practice. These requirements provide protection for athletes while organisations can be assured that the staff they hire are competent.

Are there jobs available when I graduate from an exercise/sports science degree? If so, how do I go about getting a job?

The number of jobs is growing steadily. The evidence supporting exercise as a valid intervention in the treatment and management of many chronic diseases, combined with the recognition of exercise physiologists as allied health providers, has resulted in increased employment opportunities. The emergence of personal trainers as valued service providers for the general public, as well as the increased awareness by employers of the benefits of encouraging an active and healthy workforce, have provided many opportunities for exercise scientists.

Recognition of the skills and knowledge of accredited sports scientists has seen sporting organisations and elite-level sports increasingly employing these graduates in a range of positions, from strength and conditioning coaches to high-performance managers. ESSA endeavors to provide career guidance and opportunity for our student members.

What courses can I get into after I finish my exercise science degree?

Access to further study will ultimately be determined by the entry requirements stipulated by the university providing the course. However, examples of further study undertaken by exercise and sports science graduates include; Masters courses in Clinical Exercise Physiology, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Health Promotion and Teaching. Opportunities also exist to pursue doctoral studies in a number of fields.

How many jobs are out there?

The number of jobs in exercise and sports science is growing. The evidence supporting exercise as a valid intervention in the treatment and management of many chronic diseases, combined with the recognition of AEPs as allied health providers, has resulted in increased employment opportunities. The introduction of Medicare rebates for the services of AEPs in 2006 and the recognition of exercise physiology as an allied health profession are presenting more job opportunities for AEPs, who are now employed in hospitals, community health centres and private companies. Within multidisciplinary teams they are working alongside medical practitioners, nurses and other allied health professionals. AEPs are also increasingly working in private practice. The emergence of personal trainers as valued service provider for the general public, as well as the increased awareness by employers of the benefits of encouraging an active and healthy workforce, have provided many opportunities for exercise scientists.

The career opportunities for exercise and sports science graduates are continually expanding. Recognition of the skills and knowledge of accredited sports scientists has seen sporting organisations and elite-level sports increasingly employing these graduates in a range of positions, from strength and conditioning coaches to high-performance managers. However, while job prospects have increased, so too has the number of graduates; thus healthy competition for jobs does exist.

When I graduate, do I automatically become an exercise scientist, an AEP or an ASpS?

No, you will need to apply to ESSA using the relevant application form on this page and provide evidence of your qualifications and practicum hours.