Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science

Become a physical conditioning specialist with our NQF6 Higher Education qualification, including Advanced Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Exercise Specialist

Where & How to Study

(JHB) Sunninghill (JHB) Bedfordview Cape Town Durban

Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science


Full Time

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Part Time

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Distance Learning

Distance - Weekend Workshops

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Distance Learning - Mixed Mode

Distance - Weekday Workshops

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Course Requirements

Higher Certificate in Exercise Science (NQF 5 or equivalent)

Note: If you do not hold a level 4 NQF then apply to study our Fitness Instructor Certificate NQF 4. Successfully completing this will provide you access to the Higher Certificate NQF 5 programme and a pathway into more advanced programmes and further opportunities.

Course Description
  • The Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science (NQF 6) is a Higher education qualification which covers Advanced Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Exercise Specialist.
  • It focuses on special population groups meaning you will be able to work with a referral team of doctors, physiotherapists, biokineticists, dieticians and sport scientists, with clients who have particular physical needs and goals. These include people with cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, immunological, neurological and metabolic conditions, as well as pregnancy, the youth and the elderly
  • The Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science (ACES) is a highly sought after, internationally portable, Higher Education qualification that follows on from the Higher Certificate in Exercise Science (which is a prerequisite)
  • Become a Respected Fitness Professional of the highest caliber with our Higher Education qualifications
  • Graduates enter the workplace as multi-skilled Fitness Professionals with a broad base of expertise
  • Work internationally in Fitness, Sport or Recreation environments, or start your own business


Subjects & Modules



  • Functional Anatomy
  • Bioenergetics
  • The Endocrine System
  • Neural system in Movement
  • Physiological Adaptations to Exercise
  • Kinesiological Analysis



  • Individualised Exercise Programmes
  • Flexibility
  • Anaerobic and Aerobic Exercise Prescription
  • Energy Expenditure
  • Sport SkillsEntrepreneurship of a Sports Conditioning Facility
  • Periodisation



  • Health Risks and Exercise
  • Special populations: Weight Reduction – Insulin Resistance – Cardiac Health – HIV/Aids – The elderly – The youth – Prenatal – Amputee – SCI Exercise Prescription



  • The Sports Medicine Team
  • Injuries and Healing
  • Aqua Programming
  • Psychological Considerations with Injuries



  • Communication
  • PA and Psychological Well-Being
  • Stress Management
  • Performance Psychology of Athletes



  • Principles of Assessment and Evaluation
  • Pre-Participation Screening
  • Body composition
  • Posture
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Muscular Strength
  • Endurance Tests
  • Prehabilitation
  • Sport Specific Assessments



  • Foundations of Nutrition
  • Nutritional Factors
  • Nutrition and Performance


Comprehensive, hands-on, practical tuition offered nationally from HFPA campuses and support centres. Practical Training is also catered for on the HFPA Online Learning Platform.


  • Injury Prevention
  • Techniques of Powerlifting and Weightlifting
  • Plyometrics
  • Speed
  • Agility
Accreditations & Certifications

NQF Level: 6

Course Credits: 141

SAQA Registered

Registered by the Department of Education (DOE) and accredited by the Higher Education Quality Controls & Training Committee (HEQCTO) and the Council for Higher Education (CHE)

Recognised and registered with REPSSA (Register of Exercise Professionals South Africa). REPSSA is part of ICREPS (International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals)

Career Opportunities
  • Work with elite athletes, or in private practice as a physical conditioning specialist, Advanced Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Exercise Specialist
  • Work internationally in a number of sport and fitness environments including health clubs, sport and recreation facilities
  • Work in association with a referral team of doctors, physiotherapists, biokineticists, dieticians and sport scientists
  • Start your own fitness business and open your own business, gym or studio
  • Travel the world working on international luxury cruise liners or at holiday clubs
  • Add sports Performance, Wellness Management and Sport Science support to your resume
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  1. Melanie Lowe-Martin

    Melanie Lowe-Martin (verified owner)

    The past 2 years at HFPA has been a great experience and an essential step towards my future. It offered me courses that enables me to further my studies at any university.

    My 2nd year has been quite a challenge and much more difficult in terms of workload than 1st year but all thanks go to my lecturer Fae, I have made it through the year without any struggle, she has been on call whenever I needed the assistance. Definitely no time mess around when it comes to your work and being dedicated. But if you are unable to hand in your work on time an extension is provided for you.

    Due to the pandemic we have faced this year, HFPA didn’t let it affect our studies and made it easier to learn through zoom sessions. HFPA has broadened my horizon, Organizing the best trained people around the world to interact with us.

    Gymming has never been made more easier to access after class.

    HFPA has taught me that even becoming a personal trainer requires a lot of effort. Class hours are very convenient, especially for those who work or want to work while studying. At the end of my HFPA journey I can finally say that I’m more knowledgeable and confident on how to go about doing many things with my future clients.

    I’m very sad that I couldn’t spend my last year there with all the amazing people I have met. I will definitely miss it.

    Thank you HFPA for the amazing experience I have shared with you guys and I would definitely recommend HFPA to those heading in the same direction as me.

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