Exercise and sport science careers

Study exercise and sport science at Deakin and look forward to choosing from a range of exciting careers across multiple industries. As a graduate of the #1 ranked sport science school in the world for three years running, you’ll be prepared to be a leader in exercise and sport science, and allied fields.

Where can an exercise and sport science degree get you?

Deakin’s exercise and sports science courses include practical experience via on-campus learning and industry placements. You’ll get the skills to work in a range of sport-related roles ranging from community sport to clinical exercise physiology.

Below, you can explore exercise and sport science careers, and the courses you can study to get you there.

Elite and professional sport roles

Work with athletes in high performance environments, focusing on physical development as a strength and conditioning coach, or performance and biomechanics as a sport scientist. These highly competitive roles exist in all professional sporting codes, state institutes and in some universities, particularly overseas. To get there, study Deakin's:

Community sport professional

Study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and create a positive impact in communities through sport. Community sport science professionals design and supervise training; analyse athlete performance; provide health and wellness advice; promote grass roots participation in sport; and provide structured athlete development pathways to the elite level.

Personal trainer or gym instructor

Personal trainer or gym instructor

Gym instructors give general fitness advice and run group fitness classes, while personal trainers give 1:1 exercise advice. You’ll need to graduate with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and get ESSA accreditation to work as a gym instructor or personal trainer. With an ESSA accreditation you can also collaborate with clinically trained colleagues.

Sport coach

Study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and inspire the next generation to be more active and successful. Sport coaches teach the technical and tactical components of their sport, and develop participants physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. Sport coaches work across all levels of sport, from grass roots to the elite level.

Strength and conditioning coach

Study a Graduate Certificate of Strength and Conditioning and improve the fitness and performance of all levels of athletes. Working in specialist sport facilities, performance training centres, schools, sport academies or with elite sporting teams, you’ll generally have a particular interest area, such as speed and power sports e.g. rugby and netball, or endurance sports e.g. triathlon and marathon.

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) accreditation

Deakin’s Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and the Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science/Bachelor of Business (Sport Management) provide pathways to register and practise as an accredited exercise scientist with ESSA.

Clinical exercise physiologist

An accredited exercise physiologist (AEP) specialises in prescribing exercise to help patients improve their quality of life and achieve health, fitness and function goals. To become an AEP you must complete a relevant postgraduate qualification such as Deakin’s Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology.


Assess, diagnose and treat movement challenges related to joint, muscle or nerve disorders. To be a physio, you need a relevant undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, and to register with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia. Deakin doesn’t offer physiotherapy, however a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science may provide a pathway to a postgraduate physiotherapy course at another university.

Allied health assistant

Work in cardiac or orthopaedic rehab, and aged care in a variety of settings such as hospitals, community health centres and rehab centres. Getting experience in a clinical setting may be useful if you’re planning to go on to study clinical exercise physiology or physiotherapy. A great course to start with is Deakin's Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science.

Health promotion officer

Health promotion officers plan and coordinate health promotion policies and programs for various community groups to improve the health of populations and reduce health inequities. Study Deakin's Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion or Bachelor of Health Sciences (health promotion major).

Sport scientist

Sport scientist

Sport scientist roles relate to training load planning, physical testing and assessment, performance analysis, biomechanics and skill acquisition. Sports scientists can work in high performance sport, sport pathway programs and community settings. Study a Master of Applied Sport Science to get there.

Recreation officer

Recreation officers develop, support and coordinate sport, recreation and physical activity programs and services for the benefit of the community. You may work on policy and physical activity strategies and programs to prevent obesity and chronic diseases. A Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science will get you there.

Sport development coordinator

Sport development coordinators develop, distribute and manage information, and organise sport-related projects, classes, programs, coaching, club development and training. Their main role is to increase participation in all sports, but also to address issues of health and social inclusion. Study Deakin's Bachelor of Sport Development.

Performance analyst

Performance analysts use data to develop long-term performance management programs, maximising the potential and improving the performance of dedicated athletes. Study a Graduate Certificate of Performance Analysis and get the skills to work in specialist sports facilities, performance training centres, sport academies or with elite sporting teams.

Sports dietitian

Sports dietitians help athletes and sports people improve their health and performance through nutrition. They identify the best eating and drinking strategies to meet an athlete’s schedule as well as their training and competition needs. Study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science and Master of Dietetics.