MCEP recognised for high level employability

Employability is the name of the game for our Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology (MCEP), an innovative and agile course enriched by the latest practices, treatments and research.

The hallmark of any great course is its graduate employability rates. Deakin's Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology (MCEP) was specially designed by accredited exercise physiologists to create an industry-focused pathway for future students.

Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology Steve Fraser says this is what sets the Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) accredited course apart from the rest.

“We exist to produce graduates who are employable. We've got a course that has significant practicum hours involved,” says Steve.

“Meeting all the requirements for accreditation is one thing, but making your graduates job-ready is another. We have a host of initiatives around preparing students well for placement and making sure that they're regarded well when they're on placement. That can lead to employment opportunities.”

High employability for graduates

The MCEP has one of the highest rates of employability in the field, with MCEP alumni survey data showing that more than 80 per cent of graduates secure accredited exercise physiologist (AEP) clinical exercise-related employment within six months of graduation.

“At the moment it's probably more like a hundred percent. But we are showing that even in the early days, when jobs were harder to get, 75 to 80 per cent of our graduates were in employment within six months of graduation. So that was well ahead of the curve,” says Steve.

The MCEP’s employability successes haven’t gone unnoticed – the team were recognised for their job-ready focus with the 2021 Deakin University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for Student Employability.

As part of students’ job-ready learning, they develop LinkedIn profiles, hold mock interviews, create a job-winning CV and learn to clearly articulate clinical skills. There’s also an annual job expo to link industry experts back to graduating students.

After undertaking over 360 hours practicum including  onsite at the Deakin Clinical Exercise Centre, MCEP students are prepared to step into a career. They graduate as accredited exercise physiologists into an industry where their skills are highly valued and in demand.

“Our graduates certainly hit the ground running. We like to think they're the preferred candidates in Victoria for jobs because of the quality of the course and the job readiness of our graduates,” says Steve.

Learn from industry leaders

Setting Deakin’s MCEP apart is not only the passion from the teaching team, but the experience.

“They're all exercise physiologists. That's not common. You've got leaders in their field teaching and doing research, adding to the evidence base for the subject they teach,” says Steve.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the job for the teaching team is seeing past graduates move into senior roles and return to mentor current MCEP students.

“I’m really proud that they have a strong foundation from our course. They've continued to learn and develop and become industry leaders themselves. A number of our graduates are now chapter chairs for ESSA Victoria,” says Steve.

“I think our graduates are primed for success and so I'm quite proud of the fact that so many of them gone on to see their careers really prosper."

The relationships that form between students and teachers within the MCEP often continue long after students graduate and become peers.

“We have a strong connection with our alumni. We feel like they're not just students who come in and leave, we feel like we're part of their journey through their careers as well,” says Steve.

Real-world practice creates competent graduates

The majority of MCEP units immerse students into real-world client consultations through our unique on-campus clinic or external hospital or private practice placements. This is complemented by the in-built employability components of the course to ensure MCEP students are ready to secure employment during or shortly after graduation.

“Australia leads the way in terms of the recognition of clinical exercise physiologists. They're strongly ensconced in the healthcare system. They're working in public and private hospitals, community health, private practice. They've got the respect of other allied health professionals, GPs and other referrers,” says Steve.

MCEP places a premium on lifelong learning skills coupled with the newest research and best practice giving students exposure to emerging treatment models. Post-graduation, MCEP has strong alumni engagement, offering students unparalleled access to a professional network.

For Steve, exercise physiology has allowed him to pursue a career that allows him to channel his passion into helping others.

“I'm quite happy in the career that I've achieved. My goal is that exercise is usual care for anyone with a chronic disease. Whether you've got diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer, it shouldn't matter,” says Steve.

“There should be a recognition that exercise is medicine and should be prescribed for everyone, not only to prevent and treat chronic disease, but also to improve overall quality of life and survival.”

Ready to take the next step in following your passion? Find out how Deakin can get you there with a Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology today.