In this unit students will understand the importance of exercise physiology in sport and exercise performance, including elite sports and recreational exercise. This unit focuses on: the physiological requirements of sport, the importance of physiological systems in athlete performance; and the principles underlying physiological exercise testing from both a theoretical and practical perspective, with an emphasis on sports specificity and field-based and laboratory-based testing. Practical sessions require students to administer and interpret exercise tests that are fundamental to sport physiology including: maximal oxygen consumption, agility, speed, muscle strength and power testing. Students gain an understanding of how exercise training is monitored as well as practical experience using state-of-the-art technology (global positioning systems and accelerometers). This unit discusses the value of quality data collection, analysis and interpretation and how to communicate this information to coaching staff and athletes.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


SCL1002 - Exercise Physiology

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Construct appropriate physiology-based testing protocols for different athletes and teams and justify their appropriateness;  
  2. Collect and analyse results from a range of sport specific tests putting them into the context within the scientific literature;  
  3. Employ evidence based problem solving in current physiological topics in the current scientific literature and communicate the outcomes; and  
  4. Explain the theoretical background for athlete testing and training and strategies to enhance performance.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test A series of short answer tests covering practical and theoretical knowledge 20%
Assignment Written assignment requires the analysis, interpretation and presentation of data regarding athlete testing (Part A: Analysis Part B: Interpretation) 50%
Portfolio Students will create and submit a series of documents, spreadsheets and visualisations to build an athlete management system. 30%

Required reading

Physiological tests for elite athletes, 2nd edn,
Tanner, RK & Gore, CJ 2012,
South Australia: Human Kinetics.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

You can choose to study this unit as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to structure your course to include this unit.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.