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Study Human Movement

Sport in a Sporting Nation

Professor Kevin Norton University of South Australia

Sport and physical activity play an important role in the lives of most  Australians. Over 90% of Australians participate in sport or are sport spectators. Many writers both in Australia  and from overseas have described Australia as the sporting nation. We have also been described as the lucky country and in Sports Illustrated as the land inundated with  athletes'. Our climate, natural beauty, open space and generally carefree nature all contribute to these descriptions.  In Australia there are about 26 universities that offer flexible degree  programs that suit special interests, such as sports coaching,  administration, sociology, physiology and physical education. The programs vary in duration, with the basic degree usually  running for three years. Combination degrees are  also becoming very popular, so that  graduate-entry 'add-ons' are appearing for specialist qualifications in teaching, physiotherapy, medicine and rehabilitation. The initial degree is in human movement, with specialist training then continuing into the graduate pro- gram. Many institutions will specify  the focus of their pro&rams, so it is important to do some homework. Several places also offer study majors in outdoor education, often combined with health and  physical education teaching qualifications. Human movement courses beg n with foundation studies in basic human bio- sciences and social sciences. It is not uncommon for these classes to be run in combination with other health sciences students, for example, in nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacy. A series of core subjects make. up an essential part of the degree; then the  student is free to pick and choose the best combination of subjects they want to complete the degree requirements, and that suit their vocational interests.  Out of the most popular elective study pathways taken among international students is in outdoor education, which presents a great opportunity to study and see many natural wonders. Subjects taken in outdoor education often  require field trips where nature, survival skills and environmental management are studied. In this way, students have portable qualifications that open up opportunities for employment both locally and internationally. This is also the structure adopted for other areas of study in human movement degrees, with many programs including internationally recognised and accredited components of their courses and subjects. The good part about these qualifications is that they are almost always  'built-in' to the basic degree structure. In this way, both the degree and certificate requirements are satisfied concurrently, with the structure also forming a series of small quality control checks along the way. These are important and  transportable qualifications, which, in addition to, the degree itself, offer possibilities for part-time employment as you study and for future involvement in longer- term employment. . 

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