EXERSCI 271 : Advanced Exercise Assessment and Prescription


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

This theoretical and workplace-based course integrates behavioural competencies in the application of advanced physical fitness assessment and design, and implementation of evidence-based, effective and individualised exercise programmes for the maintenance of health and physical fitness in apparently healthy individuals. Supervised practice of not less than 70 hours is provided.

Course Overview

In EXERSCI 271, we will build on experience from EXERSCI 105, introducing and practicing more advanced topics in exercise assessment and prescription, including professional practice, advanced aerobic, muscular, biomechanical, and movement capacity assessments, and evidence and theory-based exercise prescription techniques and procedures.

EXERSCI 271 is the complementary workplace-based learning course for taught courses in the Applied Exercise and Sport Sciences pathway in the BSc major. It is a course that aligns with international requirements for accreditation as an Exercise Scientist. This course will involve students providing exercise supervision for apparently healthy clients in the Health and Rehabilitation Clinic or other placements in the Exercise Sciences domain.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 45 points: EXERSCI 101, 103, 105

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Perform pre-participation screening to ensure safe engagement in an exercise programme (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  2. Apply evidence-based physiological and biomechanical principles to prescribe appropriate exercise for the improvement or maintenance of health and physical fitness in apparently healthy populations (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Analyse health-related outcomes to monitor and modify exercise programmes (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Demonstrate effective exercise and physical activity promotion, professionalism and communication to clients, whanau, carers, and exercise science colleagues (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Practice responsibly, according to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, equity and cultural responsiveness (Capability 1, 2, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Professional Development 20% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 20% Individual Coursework
Assignments 20% Individual Coursework
Case Studies 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Professional Development
Case Studies


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

Exercise Sciences has a dedicated Tuākana space at the City Campus 301-183 [1]. The Exercise Sciences Tuākana space consists of several personal computers, a collection of prescribed textbooks of Exercise Sciences courses, personal study and relaxing areas with access to shared kitchen facilities. Tuākana students [2] enrolled in any Exercise Sciences course are most welcome to make use of these facilities, not only to support their learning but also to build whanaungatanga. Feel free to contact Waruna, the Exercise Sciences Tuākana coordinator, on w.weerasekera@auckland.ac.nz for any questions.

If there is interest from the students, we will establish an EXERSCI 271 Tuākana community with sessions to share course-related experiences.

Key Topics

  • Professional practice, privacy, cultural competency
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Prescription and assessment in the following domains: advanced aerobic, muscular performance, kinematic and kinetic, agility, balance and flexibility
  • Working with clients: writing an exercise programme, communication, coaching, SMART goal setting, providing feedback, health behaviour change

Special Requirements

This course involves working with clients, members of the public, in our Health and Rehabilitation Clinic or with an approved partner organization like the University of Auckland Recreation Centre. All students will need to agree to our "Standards of Behaviour and Practice" and to adhere to Health and Safety protocols before practical hours can be undertaken.

There may be opportunities for students to complete some of their practical hours working in the Clinic in the inter-semester break.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, on average each week you can expect 1 hour of lectures, 2 hours of labs/tutorials, 3-4 hours of clinical work, 2 hour reading and thinking about the content and 1.5 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including clinics to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including clinical training will not be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is required for the practical test.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Lecture slides and tutorial materials will be posted to the Canvas page regularly. 
Labs may require pre-lab reading which can be found on Canvas. You are expected to check Canvas regularly (multiple times per week) to check for messages and new material. Please also ensure that all your personal details (phone numbers, email addresses, and street address) are correct and kept up-to-date on Canvas and Student Services Online.

Textbook and Readings
This course emphasizes the use of evidence-based practice and therefore students are encouraged to read widely on the topics covered. Several textbooks (available in the library) are recommended but not compulsory.
Highly Recommended
ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription
ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer
Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.


Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

More information on support services available from the University can be found at https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/on-campus/student-support.html.

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the AUSA Welfare team (welfare@ausa.org.nz) for support. Furthermore, if you are comfortable doing so, please notify the course director, who will provide assistance where possible.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

This course is run in accordance with principles of equity, recognizing that each student's circumstances, extra-curricular burdens, and needs are different. Deadlines are helpful to maintain consistent workload throughout the semester, to help manage marking loads for the teaching team, and to enable the return of feedback from which students can benefit. If, however, your personal situation affects your ability to perform or complete work by the due dates in this course, please get in touch with the course coordinator so that we can identify ways to make the course work for you.

Key points:
  • Usually, reasonable requests made before the work is due (NOT retrospectively) will be granted.
  • Proof may be required of the reason for the request (e.g. a medical certificate). This can be done through Student Health and Counselling Services [1]
  • Extensions can only be granted by the course coordinator.
[1] https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/on-campus/student-support/personal-support/student-health-counselling.html

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 31/10/2022 09:29 a.m.