Elite student athletes

Our elite athlete program helps you successfully complete your studies while training and competing at an elite level.

We recognise the challenges of combining elite sport with an academic workload and provide the support you need to be successful, on and off the field.

Our student athletes have competed at major local and international events, including the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the World University Games.

Leaders in sport

Victoria University is world number 7 for sport science education (ShanghaiRankings).

As a leader in sport education, we offer the largest number of sport-related courses in Australia, spanning all areas of sport, exercise science and active living.

With over 140 registered student-athletes spanning 35 sports and a range of courses across all VU Colleges and Polytechnic, many of our student-athletes have competed at major local and international events, including the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, world championships, World University Games, and as part of national championships and leagues.

Elite students can take advantage of our $68 million Sport and Learning Precinct at Footscray Park Campus which boasts the latest technology and sport & fitness equipment.

Academic support for elite student athletes

Professional male soccer (football) player in a stadium game
Championing education
Graduate Certificate in Community Sport Management, Master of Sport Business
"Athletes gain valuable discipline, knowledge and life skills through professional sport. Upskilling and studying can enhance these attributes and prepare you for the next stage of your career."
Leigh's story

VU is a proud member of the Elite Athlete Education Network and recognises the challenges students face when combining elite sport with an academic workload.

Our athlete support program gives you access to support special study arrangements and course flexibility so you can balance your study with your training and competition demands.

Special arrangements can include:

  • course and unit advice
  • course mapping and timetabling assistance
  • alternative exams
  • assessment deadline negotiations
  • cross-institutional study assistance.

In addition to academic and pathway support, VU’s recognised elite student-athletes have free access to the Footscray Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre as well as fitness centres located at the St Albans and Werribee campuses to assist with training and time management.

Financial support

Financial support is available to all eligible elite student-athletes. It includes:

  • Free access to our fitness centres at Footscray Park (including swimming pool), St Albans and Werribee campuses, helping athletes with training costs and also with time management in balancing study and sport.
  • Complimentary or discounted access to VU Health Clinics (osteopathy, massage, exercise rehabilitation).
  • Elite travel grants for major international competitions.
  • Subsidy to represent VU at UniSport Nationals.


Students can apply if they are competing in a national or international level of competition and endorsed by one of the following organisations:

  • Australian Institute of Sport
  • State institutes or academies of Sport
  • Australian Basketballer's Association
  • AFL Players' Association
  • Australian Cricketers' Association
  • Rugby Union Players' Association
  • Rugby League Professionals' Association
  • Australian Professional Footballers' Association
  • State or national squad and league members from Sport Australia supported sports (including athletes who have qualified for national championships).
  • Senior/head coaches from state and territory institutes/academies of sport, national teams from Sport Australia funded sports or participating professional sports.

Athletes are required to provide a letter of support from their state/national governing body to endorse their status as an elite athlete.

The Australian Sports Directory provides a list of national sporting organisations recognised by Sport Australia.

Apply for the elite student athlete program

To be recognised as one of our elite student athletes, please take the following steps:

  1. Complete the Elite Athlete Program online application. Applications must include supporting documentation from a relevant state or national sporting organisation.

    Apply for the Program

  2. Meet with the University's Elite Athlete Program Coordinator, Scott Cashmere.

    Where: Online
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: +61 3 9919 4433.

  3. Identify any potential clashes with your study and sporting commitments

    Read each of your course unit outlines carefully. Speak with your coaches and/or institute ACE Advisors about existing and upcoming (including potential) sporting commitments.

  4. Make an appointment with your Course and Unit Advisor

    They are the first point of contact if you need administrative assistance and can create a study plan around your sporting commitments and resolve timetable issues.

ATAR adjustment for high-performance sport participants

Maeve Coughlan tackling an opponent in judo
How Maeve balances study & athletic success
Bachelor of Exercise Science (Clinical Practice)
"VU was a natural choice because of its reputation as one of the best sport universities, with great facilities and support networks for elite athletes."
Maeve's story

Current Year 12 students participating in high level sport (athletes, coaches and officials) can receive an adjustment of 5 ATAR points towards your Selection Rank for courses that consider the ATAR as part of the selection process.

These extra points are part of the maximum adjustment points allowed (20 ATAR points overall) including eligible Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS), subject adjustments and other ATAR adjustment schemes.

Please note that our Bachelor of Education (P-12) is exempt from this bonus.