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Course summary

We all understand the benefits of better health and wellbeing. In enhancing your qualifications and increasing your understanding of how our bodies work, this program takes your career prospects to a higher and even healthier level.

The Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology is a professional-entry-level degree that produces graduates who are eligible to register as an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP). You'll explore health and exercise from cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, metabolic, neuromuscular and even psychological perspectives.

At Southern Cross University's Health Clinic, you'll receive theoretical grounding towards being able to prescribe rehabilitation exercise for people with injury, disability or chronic disease.

Accredited exercise physiologists can provide exercise testing, preventative exercise programs and specialist rehabilitation exercise interventions for people living with chronic diseases, disability or injury with career options existing in private practice, hospitals, aged care facilities and rehabilitation centres. 



Gold Coast1, 2
Lismore1, 2


Gold Coast1

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.

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Demonstrate a level of critical analysis, problem solving and decision making appropriate for professional clinical exercise physiology practice

Exercise sound theoretical and practical judgement in dealing with the challenges and situations common to the work of a Clinical Exercise Physiologist


Develop innovative and creative responses and solutions to health problems and chronic conditions encountered in clinical exercise physiology

Demonstrate flexibility in responding to exercise physiology challenges, developed using evidence-based practice

Ethical practice

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ethical, legal and human right principles consistent with Clinical Exercise Physiology scope of practice and the ESSA Code of Ethics

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate an understanding of the pathophysiological, physical, social, political and cultural influences on Clinical Exercise Physiology practice

Demonstrate competency to assess health and fitness status in population groups and develop management/treatment plans in consultation with clients and allied health professionals

Deliver safe, effective and evidence-based health care

Lifelong learning

Retrieve, critically evaluate and apply evidence in the performance of clinical exercise physiology and self-directed learning

Reflect on current skills, knowledge and attitudes and plan ongoing personal and professional development

Communication and social skills

Communicate concisely and appropriately in oral and written form in an academic, professional and allied health context

Demonstrate professional behaviours

Cultural competence

Demonstrate an understanding of social and cultural issues relating to the practice of clinical exercise physiology

Apply cultural and indigenous awareness and sensitivity in dealings with clients and stakeholders in Clinical Exercise Physiology

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

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.

Graduates are suited to employment in various settings including private practice with referrals from General Practitioners, 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.

Clinical exercise physiology is an allied health profession that is part of the Medicare, Department of Veterans' Affairs and private health insurance systems.

The course includes a minimum of 360 hours of clinical placement for students to put theory into practice. A proportion of these clinical placement hours occurs in the on-campus Southern Cross University Health Clinics at Lismore and the Gold Coast, 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.

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).

Please note: In order to apply to be an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, ESSA’s requirements for English language must be met.


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

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