While it is only the first year Federation University has run its sports science degree at the Gippsland campus, the course is among the best in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
With the course’s ranking jumping from the 201-300 bracket in 2016 to the 101-150 bracket in 2017, the university said the global ranking improvement is the result of sports medicine and sports science research performed by the institution from 2012 to 2016.
Professor Leigh Sullivan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), said the University has consistently had a strong reputation in sports sciences.
“For Federation University Australia to be consistently ranked in the top 150 of the 25,000 universities worldwide is outstanding recognition of the excellence of sports science at our university,” Professor Sullivan said.
Sports science lecturer Lindy Hall said making links with the community and relevant research was part of what made the course great.
“We’ve got a strong staff presence that are passionate about the industry,” she said.
“Now to be able to extend our growth into the Gippsland area, it is a really important step for the industry.
“Especially for the Churchill area, we can now make connections with the local community and government agencies and make connections with the research and link them all together with our students.”
Ms Hall said “the glory” of sports exercise and science was that it was a broad area.
“It can meet a lot of requirements of people who love sport and want to work within sport,” she said.
“You could go into strength and conditioning, individual or group teams, coaching, you can do further study and head into clinical exercise physiology, you could go into research and honours and PhD, even PE teaching is a big one.
“A key component for careers is health promotion, improving people’s health and wellbeing on an individual level but also the community and the wider social groups as well.”
Ms Hall said the sports science industry was “only going to keep growing”.
“Sport is huge in Australia. There are millions upon millions of dollars spent, not just on sports participation but also in marketing and the promotion of it, performance and things like that,” she said.
“It comes back to our students’ love of sport. They want to do something with that, so it is a perfect match.”
First year sports science student at the Gippsland campus Fabienne Schoutens said she enjoyed the course.
“[The course] is being delivered flexibly, so it’s a lot easier for us to study and work at the same time and earn some money and enjoy our personal life alongside our studies,” she said.
“With my degree, I’d like to look further into sport, maybe personal training or sports psychology to further develop my knowledge of sport and really what goes around sport and not just the activity itself.”