PHYSIOTH 1002 - Clinical Biomechanics of Human Movement

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022

In this course students will be introduced to the mechanical principles used to describe and quantify human movement. Students will explore the mechanics of human movement with an emphasis on gait in health and disease.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSIOTH 1002
    Course Clinical Biomechanics of Human Movement
    Coordinating Unit Physiotherapy
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Corequisites PHYSIOTH 1001
    Restrictions Restricted to Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) students only
    Assessment Final examination, various assignments and continuous assessment tasks
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Deb Wadham

    Course Coordinator: Deb Wadham
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3647
    Location Level 4, Engineering & Maths Sciences Building

    Tutor: Dr Rutger de Zoete
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3034
    Location: Level 4, Engineering & Maths Sciences Building

    Tutor: Leigh Rushworth
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3690
    Location Level 4, Engineering & Maths Sciences Building
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Timetable information can be found in the MyUni website for this course.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Describe basic concepts related to the biomechanical analysis of movement.
    2 Apply biomechanical principles to describe the internal and external forces associated with human movement.
    3 Identify and describe the biomechanical factors that contribute to efficient human movement.
    4 Analyse and describe normal gait patterns using appropriate terminology.
    5 Identify gait changes associated with pathology.
    6 Perform basic clinical measurements to quantify and analyse human movement.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 2, 3, 4, 6

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

    2, 4, 5, 6

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Richards, J., Levine, D., & Whittle, M. (Eds). (2012) Whittle’s Gait Analysis, Churchill Livingstone
    Online Learning
    All notes, resource manuals and papers for lectures, practicals, tutorial sessions and assessment tasks are available on MyUni as well as lists of suitable readings, online quizzes and links to external websites.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The approach to learning and teaching involves students’ progression through 12 weeks of dedicated coursework. Students will explore the domains of spatiotemporal measures and kinematics of gait, linear and angular kinetics, exercise prescription, balance, gait disorders, and work, energy, and power. Each week will be comprised of a lecture, tutorial, workshop, and online activities. Based on the learning activities of the workshop sessions in week 4-7, students complete a group assignment.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Workshops: 12 x 2 hours = 24 hours
    Tutorials: 12 x 2 hours = 24 hours
    Examination: 1 x 2 hours = 2 hours
    Preparation for Practical and Tutorial Sessions: 1 hour per session = 24 hours
    Preparation for Assessment Tasks = 35 hours
    Weekly reading: 1 hour per week = 12 hours
    Online modules: 2 hour3 per week = 24 hours
    TOTAL = 145 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    The following content will be covered within this course:

    • Basic anatomy principles
    • Spatiotemporal measures of gait
    • Kinematic quantities
    • Anthropometry
    • Kinematics of gait
    • Linear kinetics
    • Angular kinetics
    • Kinetics of gait
    • Muscle activities
    • Exercise prescription
    • Work, energy, and power
    • Gait disorders
    • Balance
    • Range of motion
    • Muscle length
    • Muscle strength
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assessment for Clinical Biomechanics of Human Movement consists of:

    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Examination Summative 40% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Assignment Summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 4
    Continuous Assessment Formative & Summative 40% 4, 5, 6
    Detailed information, including due dates, can be found in the MyUni wesbite for this course.
    Assessment Detail

    Examination (40%) – The final examination consists of a written and practical component:

    1. Students will complete an end-of-semester written examination (20%) covering spatiotemporal measures and kinematics of gait, linear and angular kinetics, exercise prescription, balance, gait disorders, and work, energy, and power.
    2. Students will complete an end-of-semester practical examination (20%) covering clinical measurements to analyse human movement, including the assessment of range of motion, muscle length, and muscle strength. 

    Assignment (20%) - Students will complete a group assignment related to the learning activities of the workshop sessions in weeks 4-7. The assignment involves observational, spatiotemporal, and kinematic analysis of a healthy gait, and descriptive pathological gait analysis.

    Continuous Assessment (40%) - Continuous assessment tasks will occur frequently throughout scheduled course time and will not require additional preparation time beyond normal expectations. The continuous assessment consists of two parts:

    1. Two online quizzes (10% each)
    2. A mid-semester practical examination (20%) covering clinical measurements to analyse human movement.
    Detailed information on assessment task submission can be found in the MyUni website for this course.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.