Exercise and Sport Sciences Placements

Professional practicum is an integral part of the UQ Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences (Honours).

Students gain more than 500 hours of professional practicum experience throughout the degree which includes extensive external industry placements in the third and fourth year. 

HMST3001 (140 hrs) - Clinical Exercise Physiology Practicum (Healthy Populations)

Practicum Aims

Provide students the opportunity to accrue required work experience; apply their knowledge and understanding of the principals of exercise science as they relate to apparently healthy individuals, and develop professional skills to a standard sufficient to graduate from the program as Accredited Exercise Scientists.

Students are expected to complete practicum experience in an exercise science related discipline for the purpose of assessing, programming and delivering exercise interventions. For example: sport, community, corporate and fitness& health settings.

Practicum Objectives

Provide students with the opportunity to:

  • Interact effectively with other exercise professionals and demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills relevant to the profession

  • Contribute to the efficient operation of a community, private or government based health and fitness setting or athlete performance environment
  • Interpret health and fitness assessments, and offer creative solutions to achieve clients' health and fitness goals
  • Demonstrate the ability to use research skills to critically evaluate specific areas of assessment, client centred interventions and/or education to determine whether research evidence indicates that current practice should be maintained or modified
  • Develop scientific rationale for professional decision making and service delivery; appropriate time management; and ability to work collaboratively, and independently (as appropriate)
  • Demonstrate professional conduct that is sensitive to client diversity and equity, and is consistent with the ESSA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice

EXMD3372 (20 hrs) - Exercise Science Professional Skills

Practicum Aims

The aim of this course is to provide students with a grounding in the principles underpinning professional practice in exercise science/exercise physiology. Content includes clinical notetaking, communication (interprofessional, peer to peer and practitioner/client), ethics, legal frameworks and industry structure.

Practicum Objectives

Students acquire practical experience in applying technical and professional skills through the delivery of a personal training intervention to one apparently healthy client over the course of the semester (approximately 20 hours of practical experience). Lectures from industry experts and opportunities for introductory experiences in corporate, clinical, community, fitness, health and sport settings and to assist students with decisions on career direction and major practicum.

HMST4314 (400 hrs) - Major Practicum (Exercise and Sports Science)

Practicum Aims

Provide students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of exercise science principles and develop their professional skills to a standard sufficient to graduate from the program and enter the workforce.

Students are expected to complete practicum experience in an exercise science related discipline. For example clinical measurements/testing, sport, community, corporate, fitness& health.

Practicum Objectives

Provide students with the opportunity to:

  • Gain 400 hours work experience in an appropriate setting;
  • Plan and facilitate safe and effective interventions, assessment and/or education services as relevant for the prac site and Exercise Science as a discipline;
  • Develop clinical reasoning skills;
  • Practice with respect for, and in accordance with, ESSA's Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice; and
  • Help students expand their awareness of the range of professional roles and relationships for Exercise Science and the contexts of practice in the community.

There are a range of pre-placement requirements set by the University of Queensland that Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences (Honours) students are required to meet prior to the commencement of placements.

More information about WIL Placements can be found at UQ HaBS Prepare for your Placement.

Prepare for your Exercise and Sport Sciences placement 

The School of Human Movement and Nutrition Science thanks you for your support of our program and commitment to the professional development of our future Sport & Exercise Scientists. 

Information about supervisor assessments and practicum agreements:

Practicum Support Documentation





Information for new sites

Are we required to find our own placement sites or does the school allocate them for us?

EXMD 4701/4702 & 7315/7316 will be allocated their practicum placement.

For all other practicum course enrolments HMST3001, HMST4314 & EXMD7372 students will be required to find their own placement.

The relevant Blackboard sites have a list of potential appropriate sites for your course. Your preferred site does not have to be on this list, however, you must obtain approval to undertake practicum at a new site and further preparation/set-up will be required.

Please ensure that you are working with the correct client populations for your course, for example HMST3001 - Apparently Healthy; EXMD7372 - Apparently Healthy; EXMD4701/02 &7315/16 - High Risk/Clinical Populations; HMST4314 - Low/Moderate Risk.

If you are working with the wrong client populations your hours may not count toward your practicum completion or accreditation. Further information can be found in the relevant course profiles.

Undertaking practicum at a new site to HMNS

If you wish to undertake your apparently healthy practicum at a site not found on this list, please check/complete the following:

  1. There is an appropriate supervisor
  2. There is capacity to offer minimum hours of appropriate practicum
  3. The site is willing to sign-off on a UQ Practicum Deed
  4. No payment is required for practicum. Any cost would be incurred directly by the student

If all of the above are confirmed, the next step is to contact the UQ practicum team via email: hmns.exsciprac@uq.edu.au. An audit of the site must to be completed to ascertain appropriate learning opportunities and for risk management purposes, prior to any hours of practicum being undertaken.

Where will I be based for Practicum?

The School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences is committed to the reduction of urban bias in the content of its programs. Students undertaking clinical practicum as part of their program (BESS – CEP, BCEP or MCEP) in the UQ School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences could be allocated and/or choose to undertake placements outside the Brisbane metropolitan area.

Where placements are considered rural, regional, or remote students should expect to fund any travel, accommodation, and daily living expenses arising from practicum activities independently. Allocation of placements will be as equitable as possible and issues of hardship will be dealt with at the discretion of the Practicum and Clinical Education Manager.

How many hours of practicum do I complete?

EXMD7372 140 hrs

HMST3001 140 hrs

HMST4314 400 hrs

EXMD7315 + 7316 360 hrs (total)

EXMD4701 + 4702 360 hrs (total)

These are the MINIMUM requirement for practicum hours, there is no maximum ‐ students may accrue as many hours of Practicum as they wish during enrolment in a practicum course, as long as:

  • The site has an Placement Deed with UQ
  • A Practicum Plan has been approved regarding your involvement with the site
  • You are not disadvantaging other students by continuing to undertake placement
  • You are not disadvantaging your ongoing studies by overcommitting to additional work experience

What if I want to undertake elective practicum/internship/volunteer practicum outside a course enrolment?

HMNS students are eligible to undertake an additional 240 hours of elective/volunteer work experience per calendar year in addition to the hours linked to practicum courses. Please see below and attached for further information regarding elective/volunteer practicum.

All practicum/additional work experience undertaken must have:

a) Deed/agreement with UQ HMNS to provide practicum

b) You must have an approved supervisor, appropriate for the accreditation you are seeking i.e. AEP, ES, or ASpS.

c) You must have a prac plan (please complete documentation via your InPlace portal) – For elective/volunteer work experiences, please just tick the elective work experience box, an individual course does not need to be selected.  

d) All your required certifications must be up to date – First Aid/CPR, blue card, Hep B immunisation (other orientation items as required specific to the site).

Your volunteer practicum cannot be counted toward the completion of practicum courses awarded as part of your degree. As such will not be formally assessed. However, as a representative of UQ and the School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences, it is expected that you will conduct yourself in a professional manner and uphold the high expectations for practicum. It is recommended that due to the context of this opportunity, i.e. extended learning, that you negotiate with your nominated supervisor appropriate opportunities for feedback and briefing.

Any queries or concerns please contact the UQ practicum team via email: hmns.exsciprac@uq.edu.au.

Once I have the academic prerequisites what else needs to be in place before I can start prac?

A Practicum Deed is an overarching agreement between UQ and the Provider of the Placement.  It is a continuing agreement which may be terminated on 6 months’ notice and can be used for any number of students who wish to be placed at the Provider organisation.

A student may undertake a Placement within the framework of an overarching Student Placement Agreement so long as details (ie. student name(s), UQ program, times, dates and site/ facility etc.) relating to the placement are agreed in writing between the parties (clause 2.1).

A Prac Plan is essential because it provides the student details required as part of clause 2.1 of the deed. It also indicates that a person in academic authority has verified the nominated facility and approved the activities the student will undertake. Further, the academic authority is satisfied the proposed practicum meets the requirements for academic credit as well as accreditation requirements. N.B. A practicum plan is required for each site at which you intend to undertake placement.

Enrolment in a course is the students’ responsibility. Si-Net is your official record of enrolment.

Due Dates

Census Dates

Non-compliance with these dates have varying results, from the student needing to pay administrative fees, to needing to pay the full cost of the course upfront, to not being allowed to undertake the course in the preferred semester

Only when all three of these requirements have been met, will the student will have valid insurance for practicum opportunities. 

Who can be my supervisor?

A supervisor is deemed suitable if they hold:

  • A recognised qualification* relevant for the activity they are supervising.
  • Experience relevant to the activity they are supervising.
  • *A qualification recognised or endorsed by a regulating authority such as a national association.

Supervisor(s) of students for the exercise science or 'apparently healthy' practicum (HMST3001, EXMD7372, EXMD3372 & HMST4314) must be one of these:

  • An accredited exercise physiologist (AEP)
  • An accredited exercise scientist (AES)
  • An accredited Sport Scientist (ASpS)
  • An individual with an AQF level 7 Bachelor degree in Exercise & Sports Science
  • An individual with  an AQF level 7 Bachelor degree qualified physical education teacher with a major in physical education where the placement is in a school setting
  • Co-Supervision from a qualified and experienced professional who holds a qualification (recognised or endorsed by a regulating authority, such as a national association (i.e. ASCA level 2 or 3, state, national or international level sports coach) or AHPRA (i.e. Physiotherapist) for the activity they are supervising.

Supervisor(s) of students for sport science qualifications (HMST 3001 & HMST4314):

  • a current ESSA Level 1 Accredited Sports Scientist with 2 years FTE experience
  • a current ESSA Level 2 Accredited Sports Scientist
  • a current Accredited Sports Scientist with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) or Sport and Exercise Science New Zealand (SESNZ)
  • an Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) Pro Coach, Level 2 or above, with a three year degree in exercise, sport or movement science
  • an accredited coach with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA)

*Please note: Other persons may be approved as supervisors on a case by case basis by the ESSA Sports Science Advisory Committee if they are a sports science professional with 5 years or more experience, who is capable of attaining Level 1 or 2 Accredited Sports Scientist accreditation with ESSA and who is familiar with the ESSA Accredited Sports Scientist Professional Standards.

Supervisor(s) of students for clinical practicum (EXMD4701/02& 7315/16) must be one of these:

  • An accredited exercise physiologist (AEP)
  • A qualified and experienced professional who holds a qualification (recognised or endorsed by a regulating authority, such as a national association or AHPRA for the activity they are supervising, and relevant to the client condition they are servicing (e.g. physiotherapist, cardiac care nurse, occupational therapist, doctor, clinical nurse consultant). Hours that are not supervised by an AEP must have AEP oversight of the activities and assessment of the learning outcomes, and the competency must be co-signed by an AEP.

**Please note – At least 200/360hrs must be supervised by an AEP. Hours that are not supervised by an AEP must have AEP oversight of the activities and assessment of the learning outcomes, and the competency must be co-signed by an AEP.

What populations should I be working with?

HMST3001 & EXMD7372/3372

  • Apparently healthy clients, Athletes & Athlete Development


  • Low-moderate disease risk clients, Athletes & Athlete development


  • High disease risk/Diagnosed chronic disease clients

Can I complete placement interstate or overseas?

Yes. However, students are required to do the legwork for interstate or international practicums. The main things to consider are as follows

Scouting clinical facilities and/or sites:

  • Is the site happy to sign UQ deed? 
  • Who supervisor would be?
  • Qualifications? CV – confirmation of work experience. Approval needs to be sought via ESSA. Please allow sufficient time to seek appropriate approvals
  • Client populations - who would you be working with? Confirmation of appropriateness through UQ Practicum Team
  • Does the site require payment for practicum? If yes, cannot use, unless student funded
  • Can the site be communicated with fluently and easily in English? Do they understand the practicum assessment & accreditation requirements? If no, please advise the UQ Practicum Team where you are at with your discussions for further assistance to be provided

Timing: Prac can only be undertaken within 6 weeks of the main semester of enrolment in any practicum course, where it doesn’t impact on the academic requirements of other coursework or delay graduation

Certifications: Are their additional requirements for the practicum that are not considered equivalent to the Australian requirement? (i.e. Blue Card, Police Check, First Aid/CPR, Immunisation)

Ensuring can meet course requirements (Skype for interim assessment and internet access for Blackboard & uploading assessment)

Travel Insurance: If you are considered a National of the country you wish to undertake practicum, you will may not be covered by UQ Travel insurance and will need to provide evidence of additional insurance before international practicum is approved

Ensuring the UQ Practicum Team have the opportunity to conduct a site audit via Skype or Conference Call as well as returning signed paperwork to the UQ Practicum Team prior to any practicum hours being undertaken.

To be eligible for international practicum: students must achieve a minimum of a GPA ≥5 from both EXMD2382 - Exercise Science Technical Skills and EXMD2362 Prescription and programming. Overall international or interstate practicum approval will be at the discretion of the course coordinator.

For further details, check with the UQ Practicum Team in the first instance.