Deakin continues to lead the way in sport!

Deakin news
18 November 2020

Our School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is once again celebrating excellence and global recognition having retained its position as #1 in Australia and #3 in the world in the prestigious ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments. For the past four years Deakin has cemented its position as a world leader in sport and exercise science, being ranked #1 in the world in 2017, and #3 in the world in 2018 and now again in 2020.

The ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments recognises academic excellence and industry-leading research by highlighting the performance of the top 300 universities with sport-related units across the world.

The rankings represent a significant ongoing achievement for the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, whose talented staff have shown great resilience during what has been an unprecedented and extremely difficult year. Despite the challenges of 2020 the School has maintained its focus on research excellence and on upholding the student experience, which helps carve out the next generation of global sport industry leaders.

Head of the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Professor Brad Aisbett said, ‘The School’s continued recognition is a testament to its well-established and engrained culture of excellence across teaching, research and service, and its commitment to creating meaningful engagement that really makes a difference to the individuals and communities it serves’.

The world-leading research conducted in the School through the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) and the Centre for Sport Research (CSR) is strongly reflected in the ongoing and outstanding rankings success. IPAN is a global leader in research committed to improving health and quality of life – working to reduce the rates of chronic disease through nutrition and physical activity research excellence while fostering the next generation of research stars. CSR focuses on improving the health and performance of people and organisations participating in sport – promoting sport and exercise to create healthy communities, as well as build the capabilities of sport organisations in sport governance, management and marketing to support sport participation.

IPAN Director, Alfred Deakin Professor Jo Salmon recognises the significance of the 2020 ranking, in light of the obstacles this year has presented. ‘IPAN is extremely proud of this ranking given the challenging research conditions in 2020. With outdoor exercise one of the few activities people could engage in during the COVID-19 lockdown, our research in exercise and physical activity has never been so relevant’, she said.

Cutting-edge research in exercise, physical activity and sport also informs the School’s exceptional teaching program, which includes leading courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The School offers students a complete pathway to becoming industry ready through the nationally Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) accredited Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, which qualifies students to work in a range of exercise, sport and fitness industries. The course also qualifies graduates to enter the ESSA-accredited Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology, equipping them to deliver exercise physiology services under Medicare and other health care systems within Australia.

Also particularly relevant to Deakin’s sport ranking is our aligned Master of Applied Sport Science. Graduates from this program have a deep understanding of what’s required to deliver success for high-performance athletes within professional sport. From athlete training and conditioning, to analysis of performance and high-performance team management through the application of broad high performance sport skill sets, our graduates can work with both elite athletes and teams within elite sport organisations.

Dr Stuart Warmington Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, said: ‘The School prides itself on educating job-ready graduates. Across our entire exercise and sport science bachelor and masters programs, students engage with career development activities that help shape them for future success’.

In particular, students engage with a work integrated learning (WIL) program in all courses, which places them within industry organisations that support training and skill development and provides the hands-on experience that employers demand.

‘Our sought-after graduates embark on their careers with confidence, armed with the knowledge and practical skills and experience to carve out the future career they desire’, Dr Warmington said.

The School is incredibly proud of its success and the collective and collaborative efforts of its staff – and rightly so. Dr Natalie Saunders, Co-Director, Centre for Sport Research said, ‘You cannot achieve a ranking such as this without a long-term investment in staff and processes that allow for the highest quality outcomes. This ranking reflects the value that Deakin and the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences’ leadership have in nurturing staff to achieve excellence.’

More than ever, sport is a part of Deakin’s DNA. Even in these challenging times, Deakin will continue to invest in research, partnerships and programs that champion sport as a force for good and change communities for the better.

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