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Interest area

Always dreamed of a career in sport? By studying sport with us you'll truly be ready to hit the ground running, whichever career path you choose.

Get set for a successful career

Our sport courses allow you to specialise in a range of areas from sport management, coaching and development through to applied sport science and clinical exercise physiology. You’ll get hands-on learning in world-class sport facilities, and our industry connections – including the Australian Institute of Sport, Tennis Australia and VicHealth – ensure you enjoy valuable networking opportunities while you study, and strong employment outcomes when you graduate. You can also rest assured you're learning at the cutting edge: the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is the #1 ranked sport science school in Australia*.

Courses within Sport





Your future in sport

Australia's national pastime is sport – so why wouldn't we provide a cutting-edge course that's both elite athlete friendly and has the world number one ranking for graduate salaries?^

Learn in the real world

You'll get hands-on learning with our prestigious sporting institution partners – from AFL and NRL clubs through to the Victorian Institute of Sport and Surf Life Saving Australia.

Build your sport career

Career outcomes in the sporting industry are exciting, diverse and ever increasing. Deakin offers
you the opportunity to gain a world-class qualification in a country that’s globally renowned for high achievement in sport.

Explore our industry connections

Get access to professional networks and contacts within the industry. Develop an in-depth knowledge of your particular area of interest – from movement analysis, physical activity and health through to sport performance.

The opportunity to complete a hands-on sports scientist role and gain exposure to an elite environment really enabled me to put my skills into practice.

Monica Kelly

Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Honours) and Women’s Physical Performance Coordinator with Geelong Football Club

Learn more about Monica's experiences

Working with the Geelong Cats’ AFLW team, Monica Kelly has landed a role that links her to a landmark era in women’s sport.

In a role that ensures elite athletes perform in peak condition, Monica Kelly considers she’s landed her dream job.

Monica is the Women’s Physical Performance Coordinator with the Geelong Football Club (GFC), and with the 2020 AFL Women’s League now underway, she’s thriving in her dream job in a landmark era in women’s sport.

Monica completed Deakin’s Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science (Honours) in 2013 and credits her career success to a highly recognised degree embedded with real-world experience.

She says a sport science placement with the Geelong Cats during her third year of study was pivotal in providing a link between the lecture theatre and the real world of professional sport.

‘The opportunity to complete a hands-on sports scientist role and gain exposure to an elite environment really enabled me to put my learnt skills into practice – I enjoyed every second of my student placement and it led me to the career I now have,’ she says.

Deakin has a long-standing partnership with the GFC and is a co-major partner of the Cats’ AFLW team. The School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is also the club’s official high-performance partner which means Deakin students have access to some of the nation’s leading sport experts and facilities.

Monica was raised on a farm in western Victoria and says she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t involved with sport. Like her parents and siblings, she played sport of all sorts but was also fascinated by its layers – the people, activities, business and organisation.

‘I was intrigued by things like athlete preparation, competitiveness, team camaraderie, management – things that go on behind the scenes. Somehow it all comes together in this wonderful combination and that’s something really awesome to be involved with!’ she says.

Following graduation, Monica moved into full-time employment with the Cats where she spent four years first as a sport scientist (working on highly specific player performance data) before transitioning into her current role.

‘I now manage and oversee the strength and conditioning program for our women’s teams in both the AFLW and VFLW and I’m also the Strength and Conditioning Assistant in the AFL men’s program,’ she explains.

Throughout her career progression, Monica has found every aspect of her Deakin degree highly relevant – from fundamental skills in anatomy, to testing, writing programs, and constructing team schedules.

‘These are really important skills and I learnt them all at Deakin. The absolute best aspect of my job is seeing athletes work hard and achieve their goals.’

Strong communication skills are also crucial as Monica needs to ensure that the athletes, staff, coaches, physios and doctors all work collectively.

‘During training you’re also often communicating a lot of really important information – especially on game day there can be a lot of added pressure with scores, times and interchanges. Providing clear and concise information is really important.’

In a career that’s delivered many highlights, she suggests that so far, it’s hard to trump the Cats’ AFLW debut in 2019.

‘Our AFLW opening match at GMHBA stadium on 2 Feb 2019 is burnt into my brain! To see the two years’ work in our women’s program, the 21 girls involved in that first match and our entire list and staff behind that team was incredible. The way the Geelong community also supported us that night was absolutely epic.  And for our number one draft pick Nina Morrison to kick the winning point was a fairy tale.’

When it comes to her own sporting heroes, Monica nominates cyclist Anna Meares.

‘She’s gone through so many challenges, wins, successes and failures throughout her career – and that’s so relevant to anyone’s journey whether it be work, life or sport. I think Anna is a fantastic role model in all aspects of life.’

Through role models like Meares and her own career experience, Monica has learnt to find positives in every situation, even when plans go awry.

Some of the most random, imperfect messed-up days are some of the best days. I like to call it controlled chaos – it’s okay if it doesn’t work to plan because a lot of the time, that beautiful mess is exactly what it needs to be!’

She says that with the diversity of roles in the sport industry, Deakin’s sport programs are highly relevant to current employment opportunities.

‘These degrees allow you to have a multitude of different roles and careers in different organisation from all around the world. You’re not locked down into one role, it’s how you creatively use that skillset and then how you can add value to another organisation or career path.’

Monica is now expanding her own academic path by undertaking a PhD in sport with Deakin.

‘It’s very exciting to be studying again. I am passionate about research in the applied setting and understanding more thoroughly the needs of elite athletes,’ she says.

And as for her career trajectory she can’t think of a better time and place to be involved in the industry.

‘I’m really excited about women’s sport – particularly with the growth of the AFLW – and how we can continue to make it more professional for female athletes and provide them with the opportunity to be the best they can be. It’s a pretty cool space to work in at the moment.’

Dedicated to sport

Deakin's sport facilities, partnerships and commitment to encouraging more women into the sector is second to none. As an elite athlete-friendly university, our Elite Sports Precinct is second-to-none, featuring an MCG-sized AFL oval, FIFA-grade soccer pitch and eight-lane IAAF 400-metre athletics track. And our Specialised Indoor Exercise and Sport Science Building has  some of Australia’s most advanced sports and exercise facilities.

Learn more about sport at Deakin

Deakin Webinar Series: Finish first in your sport career with postgraduate study

Want to inject more energy and momentum into your career in sport? Dr Lyndell Bruce, Course Director for the Master of Applied Sport Science, reveals the new postgraduate courses on offer for 2020 and talks all things study and sport with Deakin student Ruby Holten.

A home for elite athletes

We’re dedicated to supporting elite athletes to achieve academic success alongside the demands of training and competition. That’s why Deakin is a member of the Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Network.

We offer student athletes flexibility for assessment deadlines, leaves of absence to meet sporting commitments, and extensions on the time normally allowed to complete a course.

Find out more about Deakin's Elite Athlete Program

#1 sport science school*

Deakin's School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is a world-leading sports science school, ranked #1 in Australia. Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments ranked Deakin the #3 sport science school in the world.

*ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Sport Science Schools and Departments 2018
^SportBusiness International's Postgraduate Sports Course Guide, 2014

+Deakin references data from a range of government, higher education and reputable media sources. For more information, visit our list of media references.

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