PHYSIOTH 3003 - Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

In this course you will explore how to use a person-centred model of clinical reasoning to assist with diagnosis, assessment and management of neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the spine. You will select and perform assessment tasks and design, implement and progress management programs for neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the spine. You will apply evidence based clinical reasoning frameworks to clinical cases of neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the spine, including chronic pain.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSIOTH 3003
    Course Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice
    Coordinating Unit Physiotherapy
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites ANAT SC 2402 and PATHOL 2400 and PHARM 2400 and PHYSIOTH 2002
    Restrictions Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons)
    Assessment Examination, assignment, continuous assessment and Required Professional Competencies
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rutger de Zoete

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Conduct case-specific subjective assessments to inform appropriate objective examinations and management plans for people with neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the spine
    2 Conduct and interpret targeted objective examinations for patients with neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the spine
    3 Safely apply and evaluate appropriate interventions for people with neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the spine
    4 Identify and manage common clinical patterns of presentation in patients with neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the spine
    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

    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

    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

    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.

    1, 2, 3, 4

    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.


    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
    All students should factor in the cost of their own electronic device. Required learning resources and readings will be provided on-line via MyUni. Students may need to access other online resources via the University library.
    Online Learning
    All notes, resource manuals and papers for lectures, workshops, practicals, tutorial sessions and assessment tasks are available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course is designed with blended learning opportunities, allowing students to learn and apply their knowledge in a variety of platforms and settings, encouraging engagement both on and off campus. Students will be required to complete online activities available on My Uni prior to their weekly workshop and weekly practical. Workshops and practicals will provide students with content that they will be able to practice and apply. Content will be delivered in an integrated manner, as topics overlap and are closely linked.

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 1: Pain

    Topic 2; Neurological examination

    Topic 3: Lumbar and thoracic spine

    Topic 4: Cervical spine

    Topic 5: Management of spinal dysfunction

    Topic 6: Neurodynamics
  • 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
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Examination Summative 40% 2,3,4
    Practical Examination Summative
    (Hurdle requirement)
    30% 1,2,3,4
    Assignment Summative 30% 1,3,4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Hurdle requirements: Students must pass the final practical skills assessment to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Examination(s) covering entire course content will be held. Some courses may comprise both practical and written examinations and the results will be calculated as a weighted average. Feedback will be provided upon request.

    Students will complete an assignment related to a specific area of the course. The assignment may take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, an essay, reflective piece (written, video, multimedia), case study or literature review. Feedback will be provided via MyUni.

    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.