Specialist Award in Fitness Science

Study exercise science online. Learn about human biology, fitness, and disease prevention to work as a coach, fitness instructor, or personal trainer.

Course CodeVRE023
Fee CodePA
Duration (approx)500 hours
QualificationSpecialist Award

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Study Fitness Science 

  • >Professional Development Course
  • Develop a deeper scientific understanding of fitness 
  • A course for Fitness Leaders, Personal Trainers, Leisure Professionals and others who work in fitness and related areas

While many people enter the fitness industry by doing a short fitness leaders certificate; the entry level course is often relatively short, and the jobs available to such graduates are often relatively low paid, and with limited opportunity for advancement.

This course is far more substantial, designed to set you apart from the "ordinary" fitness instructor.

Employers will always value the employees with greater skills and knowledge; and this course allows you to set yourself apart in that way.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Specialist Award in Fitness Science.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 17 modules.
 Anatomy II (Human) BSC112
 Biochemistry I (Animal and Human) BSC103
 Biopsychology I BPS108
 Physiology II (Human) BSC111
 Sports Coaching VRE109
 Sports Psychology BPS106
 Advanced Aerobics BRE208
 Aquafitness BRE207
 Biochemistry II (Plant & Animal) BSC203
 Bioenergetics (Human Biology IB) BSC201
 Muscles & Movement (Human Biology II) BSC202
 Cardiorespiratory Performance (Human Biology III) BSC301
 Neuropsychology BPS306
 Psychopharmacology (Drugs & Psychology) BPS302
 Sports Nutrition BRE303
 Technical Writing (Advanced) BWR301
 Weight Loss Consultant BRE307

Note that each module in the Specialist Award in Fitness Science is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.



Fitness leaders in Australia, the UK and other countries will often have entered the industry after completing a relatively short course of not much more than a week or perhaps 2 weeks training.

This may be all you need to get a relatively low paid job in a gym or health club; but in reality, this level of training does not commonly lead to a long term, well paid career in the fitness industry!

Think about it: A doctor commonly trains for 6 years in order to advise people on their health and wellbeing. A school P.E teacher trains for 3 or 4 years to teach school children sport and fitness.

What is needed to develop a Sustainable Career in Fitness?
Success comes from having a level of knowledge and skill that is of real benefit to your clients. If you understand biological science, psychology, nutrition and other things related to fitness; and have acquired some sound experience on top of that knowledge -you will then have the capacity to make a difference to the people you work with. Some graduates will start work as a fitness leader, sports trainer, or in some other related situation (eg. even working in a health food shop, or selling gym equipment). Eventually some may work as personal trainers, a sports coach or run their own business,
Whatever you find yourself eventually doing; the potential to make a good income and sustain a long term career, will all depend upon more than just a qualification -success is all about building your skills and knowledge to a high level, so that you shine above all of your competition.

This Course

This is a unique course for people working in Fitness, Health or Sports industries: 60%  of this course provides you with an opportunity to undertake subjects to fill gaps in your knowledge or experience; and the remainder an opportunity to further develop what you have learnt through workplace based learning such as research, attendance at industry meetings or work experience.

Recommended Reading -books written by our staff

>Aerobic Fitness 2nd edition -click for details


click for details

Working in Fitness

The fitness industry has emerged from almost nothing a few decades ago, to become a significant and rapidly changing field in today’s world.

Fitness Leaders are the “coal face” workers of the industry. They provide guidance to clients on development and maintenance of fitness (commonly dealing with a class or informal group using a gym).  Fitness leaders often get very low rates of pay, and have relatively poor job security; but for many in this industry, this can be a starting point.
Personal Trainers provide personal guidance on fitness (dealing with one individual only in a session). Personal trainers usually earn a lot more than fitness leaders, but they are commonly self employed, and need good business and marketing skills as well as expertise in fitness if they are to be successful.
Life Coaches provide guidance on many different things that affect well being. This may include fitness, career, money, general health, relationships etc. They also are commonly self employed, and require skills that are broader and deeper than a fitness leader

Fitness professionals find employment in small and large organisations, government and private enterprise, both self employed contractors and employed by others.

They may be employed in any of the following:

  • Fitness leaders or instructors in Gymnasiums, health clubs or Leisure Centres

  • Personal Trainers

  • Life Coaches

  • Sports Coaches

  • Fitness Teacher or Specialist Instructor

  • Facility managers

  • Marketing (eg. Fitness or Sports equipment, Sales, PR, Advertising, etc)

  • Event Managers

Fitness jobs range from relatively low paid part time or casual positions to highly paid professional careers that require a great deal of expertise and training.

Risks and challenges
The fitness industry is highly competitive so can be challenging to find work/clients. You will need to develop skills to make you stand out from the rest - something that makes you unique, and inspires people to train with you over other trainers.

Many people choose this profession believing it to be relatively healthy and stress free; but in reality, if you run your own business or work in a position of responsibility in any industry, there will always be times of stress.
Fitness professionals in theory should be more conscious of how to manage their own wellbeing, but it is an unavoidable occupational hazard that you will tend to attract clients with problems and helping them deal with those problems will place unavoidable pressure upon anyone who cares. You need to care in order to do a good job; but if you care too much, your own well being suffers and in turn your capacity to do the job suffers.

Also keep in mind the nature of your work – the majority of the day will be spent in fitness training, so you will need to be cautious of how much of the activity you do yourself, so as not to wear yourself out too much.

Getting Started

It is important to recognise that you need a holistic approach. Doing a course may be one piece of the puzzle; but a sustainable career is not likely to come from just doing the same course as a thousand others when there is only a minor % of good, long term jobs jobs available.  You need to learn skills that other people do not have; get experience that your competition doesn't get, start networking (sometimes it is who you know that counts), build communication skills, and cultivate a healthy and optimistic attitude coupled with patience and perseverance.


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John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. J
Karen Lee

Nutritional Scientist, Dietician, Teacher and Author. BSc. Hons. (Biological Sciences), Postgraduate Diploma Nutrition and Dietetics. Registered dietitian in the UK, with over 15 years working in the NHS. Karen has undertaken a number of research projec
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
Jade Sciascia

Biologist, Business Coordinator, Government Environmental Dept, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Recruitment Consultant, Senior Supervisor in Youth Welfare, Horse Riding Instructor (part-completed) and Boarding Kennel Manager. Jade has a B.Sc.Biol, Di
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