Course Title: Limb and Trunk Anatomy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Limb and Trunk Anatomy

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018


City Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Tracy Denning

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7677

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.02.036

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisite)




Course Description

The course content covers the anatomy of the upper limb, lower limb, and the trunk walls enclosing the axial skeleton (including the vertebral column). The course aims to build upon learner’s pre-existing anatomical knowledge of the structures and organisational principles of the limbs and trunk, which may have been gained from required prior study. Furthermore, this course will help you establish a scientific basis for understanding the structure-function relationships that exist in the human body under “normal” circumstances and challenge you to transfer and apply this understanding to identify and explain conditions that deviate from “normal” circumstances; this can be in the form of pathologies, anatomical variations, and symptoms that present clinically.   Course Aims:

  1. Deepen the learners’ existing knowledge of the anatomical structures and organisational principles of the limbs and trunk
  2. Establish a scientific basis for understanding and differentiating the normal / abnormal function-structure relationships in the human body pertaining to the limbs and trunk

Course Objectives:

  1. Learners will learn anatomical principles governing the function and structural organisation of musculoskeletal and neurovascular anatomy for each region of the limbs and trunk
  2. Learners will read and analyse a variety of anatomical resources to study in detail the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and neurovascular structures of the upper limb, lower limb, thoraco-abdominal walls, and the vertebral column
  3. Learners will study and analyse normal structures of the human limbs and trunk presented in various forms such as pictures, diagrams, models, medical images, cadaveric specimens, and on live models
  4. Learners will consider how changes in anatomical structure-function relationships in the human limbs and trunk may present in clinical scenarios and/or pathologies

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning outcomes

This course contributes to the program learning outcomes in the following disciplines:

BP231 Bachelor of Biomedical Science

  • Exhibit depth and breadth of scientific knowledge by demonstrating knowledge across disciplines contributing to biomedical science (PLO 2)

BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine) and BP280 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chiropractic)

  • Gather clinical information to make accurate differential diagnoses, assessment and management plans and carry out effective treatment (PLO 2)
  • Communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals) (PLO 5)
  • Work independently and in teams, specifically to lead and contribute to inter-professional care partnerships (PLO 6)

BP279 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy)

  • Provide osteopathic, musculo-skeletal healthcare within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework (PLO 2)
  • Manage all aspects of clinical practice to comply with ethical, legal, and regulatory standards in an evolving healthcare industry (PLO 5)
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively, to lead and/or contribute to inter-professional healthcare partnerships (PLO 6)


Upon the successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify, describe and relate gross anatomy of the human limbs and trunk (including spinal column and neurovascular structures) presented in various forms such as pictures, diagrams, models, medical images, cadaveric specimens, and live models
  2. Relate gross anatomical structures to normal functions of the limbs and trunk 
  3. Evaluate how damages or changes to anatomical structures may affect normal function(s)
  4. Begin applying function-structure relationship principles of anatomy to brainstorm and explain the pain and dysfunction exhibited in simplified scenarios. 
  5. Describe anatomical features and structures so as to communicate with other healthcare professional

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be supported in your learning of the anatomical content offered in this course, through face-to-face lectures, online learning, practical sessions and guidance to other resources for wider reading. This course will continue to facilitate your development in key self-directed learning skills and attitudes as you continue your transformative higher education journey to become professional adult learners. To support your acquisition of anatomical knowledge and the related professional skills, a variety of different practice learning activities will be designed and implemented. Group/team learning approaches and activities will be deployed to help you recall anatomical content knowledge that has been previously acquired, and through communicating and working with peers you will practice knowledge application and get informal feedback on how well you know the material.       Details of Learning Activities   Lectures (Face-to-face and Online)

  • 3 hours of face-to-face lecture per week (with the possibility for occasional additional online supplementary lectures). 
  • The lectures are intended to support and accompany material accessible in texts. They do not substitute for wider reading but provide an opportunity to focus on specific details in more important areas.
  Practical classes
  • 2 hours of practical classes per week.
  • Learning human anatomy is maximised through practical sessions with specimens as you are able to visualise the theory you have learnt in lectures and texts. Three-dimensional concepts and relationships are more efficiently acquired and understood when time is taken to examine specimens. 
  • You will be able to prepare for your practical examination by participating in the mock practical tests held in these practical classes.
  • Practical classes also provide important opportunities for you to practice communicating with the anatomical language and translating or interpreting the technical language into plain English. Most importantly, the group/team learning approach offers the convenience to regularly be engaged in the critical analytical discussions with peers and educators. 
  Online Materials and Resources (Canvas etc.)
  • You will be expected to engage with the student learning management system (Canvas) as part of your learning in this course. 
  • We will be using online progress quizzes to create a regular feedback cycle that help you stay on top of your learning, which also provides you with ample time and opportunities to effectively improve your anatomy learning approach and to target content areas that need further improvement. 
On top of face-to-face classes you can expect to undertake 4-6 hours of independent study, some of this may include supplementary online lectures/reading that will be directly available or be made accessible through Canvas. 


Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. 

  • Lecture material will be recorded and made available on RMIT's online Learning Management System (LMS),
  • Discussion board interaction, online quizzes and additional resources will be available on RMIT's online Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Practice learning activities will be provided in a variety of ways such as learning activities in the anatomy laboratory practical sessions
  • Anatomy laboratory practical sessions (both formal allocation as well as supervised self-directed study) provide opportunities to be engaged in group learning activities and the study of preserved human materials, plastinated specimens and models
  • An anatomy museum providing access to human specimens and models for private study with extensive access (generally daily).
Learning Resources   Prescribed Texts     References   Other Resources RMIT University Library Subject Guides:
  • Contains a whole suite of online resources available to RMIT University students


Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Online Progress Quizzes

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5

Assessment Task 2: Final Practical Examination

Weighting 35%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5

Assessment Task 3: Final Written Examination

Weighting 45%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5