Exercise Science

Exercise Science Placements

All students completing the Bachelor of Exercise Science will be required to complete 140 hours of placements in order to graduate and be eligible for Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) accreditation. Placements play an integral role in educating UOW students far beyond meeting the hours required for professional accreditation. They aim to provide meaningful student learning and practical experience with quality supervisors. The knowledge gained through these practical experience’s aligns with the knowledge gained within the 3-year Exercise Science degree in order to strengthen graduate readiness for the practicalities and challenges associated with entering the workforce.

The Exercise Science placement program aims to:

  • Provide students with meaningful experiences for professional development with health professionals and organisations that deliver exercise programs to an ‘apparently healthy’ clientele,
  • Expose students to a range of different methods of exercise assessment and prescription, communication, and education, and,
  • Develop student awareness, organisation and planning, teamwork and collaboration, professional communication and negotiation skills with clients and a range of health professionals working in fitness and health promotion

All placements are organised by the healthy placement coordinator and all placement sites must be vetted and entered into a formal arrangement with the University to support placement activities. Structured placements are undertaken by students in the 2nd and 3rd year of the undergraduate degree and the number of hours that students can accumulate in activities that are logged is capped across the years/sessions related to their progression*:


Total hours


Exercise prescription


60-80 (*capped)


20 (*capped)









ESS includes activities that are suitable for Exercise Science standards. Full details of suitable activities for ESS and Exercise prescription-related hours are available in the student healthy placement handbook.

UOW continues to closely monitor the NSW Government requirements around COVID-19 Vaccination.

Whilst the NSW Government has mandated COVID-19 vaccination for certain workers and students (i.e., those within public / private health facilities / aged care facilities / Public Schools), this requirement has not been introduced across all employers. However, many of UOW’s placement facility partners (e.g. Gyms, Sports Teams, Private trainers etc.) have introduced their own requirements; some have stipulated that staff (and students) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

To avoid disruption or delay in placement, UOW strongly recommends and prefers that students attending or planning to attend a placement are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The University of Wollongong uses a software management system (SONIA) to monitor and track placement activities. Here you will find all the information needed for placement including links to any documents and requirements for placement. All documentary evidence for placement activities is also managed using the SONIA software platform.

Access the SONIA online portal and click on 'Exercise Science'.


All resources are available to download within SONIA

  • ES student manual
  • ES student manual appendices
  • Session plan overview example
  • Step by step guide for setting up a session plan overview in SONIA
  • Step by Step guide for using online logbook in SONIA

Students are required to read and sign the UOW Exercise Physiology Placement Acknowledgement Form prior to attending their first placement. This form is provided to students and discussed with regards to the requirements and expectations, including abiding by the Codes of Conduct outlined by NSW Health, ACT Health, other organisations, and UOW Student Professional Experience. By signing this form, students are acknowledging they have been informed of the requirements of placement, and agree to comply with the information and the codes provided.

It is advised that Exercise Science students apply for their Working with Children Check in preparation for placement. Whilst this is not compulsory for all placements, it may be required for some.

  • Working with Children Check may be specifically required by some placement sites. Information regarding Working With Children Checks will be provided to the relevant students who are allocated to placement sites where this is required. It is however recommended that all students obtain a free WWCC before placements are allocated (2nd year, 2nd semester)
  • First Aid
  • Sports trainers award

Students attending placements must be able to safely participate in the activities of placement in the placement environment, in order to comply with the policies and requirements of the specific organisation and the University’s Code of Conduct for Student Professional Practice. Injury, illness or other personal factors that arise prior to, or during, a placement may impact on the student’s appropriateness to continue with that placement.

There is no specific dress code for placements although some placements do prefer students wear a University of Wollongong Exercise Physiology polo shirt with dark shorts/pants and training footwear. This attire is advised for all placements, unless alternative uniform requirements are given by the placement sites. Any jacket or jumper worn for placement should be neat, un-branded (other than a UOW-label if preferred), and should not have a hood.

Placements are organised and allocated by the Placement Coordinator. All travel and accommodation arrangements, including costs associated with placement, are the responsibility of the individual student. The Placement Coordinator will take into account relevant student information in order to provide fair and equitable allocation as much as possible, whilst ensuring students meet accreditation requirements.