Boasting beautiful beaches, reefs and wide, open plains, it’s not hard to see what makes Australia popular for not only tourists but students too. Consistently, Australian cities reign as some of the “most liveable cities” in the world, with its alluring climate, affordable cost of living and diversity of education outranking other countries of comparative population.

As the third most popular destination for international students behind the USA and the UK, Australia has quickly grown to become one of the most desirable destinations for those wishing to further their studies. Welcoming international students with its multicultural population – 49% of Australians were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas – the Australian Government also invests over $200,000,000 annually in international scholarships.

Over 760,000 international students from a range of countries are currently studying in Australia, benefiting from the high quality standard of education it provides in all sectors. These students’ home countries range from all over the world; from China and India, to Brazil and Colombia. With more than 1,200 institutions and 22,000 globally-recognised courses to choose from, six of the top 100 top universities in the world reside within Australia, featuring some of the best ranked universities for the study of exercise (physical) sciences.

This ranking should not come as a surprise considering Australia’s renowned sporting culture. Participating in sport and physical recreation is engrained in the Australian identity, whether it be for enjoyment, competition or to improve health and fitness. It’s this remarkable love for sport that makes Australian institutions an appropriate fit for international students to study exercise and sports science in Australia.


Sport and Exercise Science student


Studying an exercise and sports science undergraduate degree in Australia will enable students an understanding of scientific and applied aspects of sport, exercise and health over the course of three years. At the completion of an undergraduate course, exercise and sports science students then have the option to continue their studies within a postgraduate or Master’s degree, which are typically between one to two years.

Whether it’s engaging in the creative spaces of Brisbane at the Queensland University of Technology or the University of Queensland; enrolling in the prestigious University of Sydney located in the heart of one of Australia’s largest cities; or exploring Western Australia’s beautiful landscapes whilst studying at the University of Notre Dame Australia, international students have the opportunity to choose between a range of leading institutions offering exercise and sports science courses.

Australian institutions offer premium exercise and sports science courses and do so utilising world class education, technology, and facilities. However, to ensure a high standard of excellence is met within exercise and sports science courses, almost 100 courses across 25 Australian institutes hold accreditation status with Exercise & Sports Science Australia’s (ESSA), the professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

ESSA’s rigorous course accreditation system ensures those completing an accredited exercise and sports science qualification are completing a course that provides an exemplary study experience and aligns with competency standards for entry into the profession. Graduating from an ESSA accredited course also provides the public with assurance that the practitioner will be highly trained and able to practice in the profession safely.

The completion of an exercise and sports science qualification can then lead to a diversity of career opportunities, both within Australia and internationally. Whilst some roles may require further study, a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science (or similar) will prepare students for enrolment in their desired study area such as clinical exercise physiology or sports science.


sports science exercise


Some common exercise and sports science career pathways include:

  • Accredited Exercise Scientist: Specialising in exercise prescription for health & fitness, wellbeing, performance and prevention of chronic conditions.
  • Accredited Exercise Physiologist: Specialising in clinical exercise prescription for the management of chronic conditions.
  • Sports Scientist: Specialising in athlete and team specific exercise services (e.g. testing, prescription, analysis, injury management) to support and enhance performance.
  • High Performance Manager: Specialising in leading high performance programs of a sporting team, organisation or club.

Other roles for a graduate of an exercise and sports science course include; Cardiac Scientist (Technician), Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist, Health and Lifestyle Coordinator, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Researcher, Athlete Performance Specialist, Sports and Recreation Officer, Injury Case Manager, Sports Performance Analysis, Biomechanist, and Corporate Health Officer.

Visa arrangements can be made for international students who have been accepted to study fulltime in Australia, with the option of extending their stay for the purposes of further study. The Department of Education and Training provides a factsheet of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework for international students in Australia, which ensures quality to protect students. University staff can also advise about the many Australian Government grants and scholarships available for international students as most institutions have a friendly, dedicated support team that students can contact to find out more.

The high quality of exercise science education has led to Australia’s status as world leaders in the exercise and sports science professions internationally. With the increase of worldwide awareness on the importance of our physical and mental health, a graduate of an Australian exercise and sports science qualification may be globally recognised with existing organisations such as ESSA, ACSM (USA), BASES (UK), ECSS (Europe), and ASEA (Asia).

By obtaining an exercise and sports science degree in Australia, students will have access to advanced education tools and extensive work experience whilst studying alongside some of the best minds in the world.


Miss Camella Brightman, Marketing Communications Officer, ESSA