EXERSCI 706 : Seminar in Advanced Exercise Physiology


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A seminar-based course examining the physiological responses and adaptations to physical exercise or inactivity. Students evaluate, present, and discuss seminal and contemporary research publications on selected topics largely focusing on the cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal systems. Emphasis will be placed upon investigations of the explanatory elements of adaptation, from the level of the genome to the living human, and the use of relevant contemporary experimental techniques.

Course Overview

This course advances students understanding on the biological regulations and adaptations to physical exercise during a life span. It suits students in Honours, Postgraduate Diploma or Masters year in exercise sciences, physiology or clinical exercise physiology.

The course is divided into 6 modules. Each module has a specific area of exercise physiology focus and is covered during 2 weeks (4 lectures). Topics  include cardiorespiratory and muscle adaptations, nutrition and performance, paediatric exercise physiology, pregnancy and exercise. The course also introduces students to new research  methods used in the exercise field. 

Students are required to deliver presentations on specific exercise physiology topics therefore basic understanding on exercise physiology is expected.

Course Requirements

Restriction: PHYSIOL 706, SPORTSCI 706

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain in depth the physiological response and adaptation to exercise and physical inactivity (Capability 1 and 4)
  2. Evaluate experimental approaches to the manipulation and determination of the response and adaptation to exercise and physical inactivity. (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Describe and critically interpret relevant research literature (Capability 2 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Presentation 60% Individual Coursework
Discussions 10% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 30% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3
Final Exam

Key Topics

Module topics and sequence are outlined below:
MODULE 1:  Paediatric Exercise Physiology
MODULE 2: Exercise Capacity
MODULE 3: Cardiovascular Physiology
MODULE 4: Muscle adaptations to exercise
MODULE 5: Nutrition and exercise performance
MODULE 6: Pregnancy and early life events

Special Requirements

Students must complete 4 oral presentations and a final written assessment. Presentations and written assessment will be conducted during class hours

  • Students will be assigned a review article on a selected topic. Students will present (PowerPoint) an overview of the article content (20 min), and discuss with and/or answer questions from lecturer and other students (10-20 min). 
  • Students will be assigned one experimental method or technique (or family of techniques). Students are then to present (PowerPoint) the method’s principles (20 min), followed by a question and answer period (10-20 min). 
  • Students will be assigned an original research article on a selected topic. Students will present an overview of article content (20 min), and discuss with and/or answer questions (10-20 min). An informed analysis of the article and the authors’ findings and interpretations is expected. The student will also appraise the merits and impact of the work, potential applications, and possible ideas for furthering the line of inquiry.
  • Students will be assigned one point-counterpoint topic. Students are then to present (PowerPoint) the topic (20 min), followed by a question and answer period (10-20 min). 
  • Class interaction will be assessed based on the student’s involvement on discussions, subject matter and relevance of the questions raised. Class integration will also include the peer feedback submitted by each student for every presentation. Peer feedback will be completed in class and sheets returned to lecturer at end of lecture.

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, you can expect 33 hours of lectures, 40 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 60 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including seminar presentations to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminar presentations will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the final test.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

All articles assigned for presentations will be provided in Canvas.
Students wanting to review basic concepts in exercise physiology can access:
  • McArdle, W.D., F.I. Katch, and V.L. Katch, Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy and human performance. 7th ed ed. 2010, Philadelphia, Pa London: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Guyton, A.C. and J.E. Hall, Texbook of Medical Physiology. 10th ed. 2000, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.
  • Powers, S.K. and E.T. Howley, Exercise physiology: theory and application to fitness and performance. 8th ed ed. 2012, New York: McGraw-Hill.

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.

Digital 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.

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.


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

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.

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 your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1:  Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode. 
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person.  All teaching and assessment will  
have a remote option.  
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely.

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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 29/01/2021 09:58 a.m.