Course Title: Osteopathy Theory and Practice 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Osteopathy Theory and Practice 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Lee Muddle

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7701

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.014

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides the foundations to practise osteopathy- focussed healthcare in Australia. The theoretical components introduce you to the history and philosophical principles of osteopathy, contemporary osteopathic healthcare in Australia and various forms of professional communication. The practical aspects of this course will expand and refine your communication skills and commence the lifelong development of palpatory literacy as you begin to amass an eclectic variety of osteopathic treatment modalities.

Practical experience in this course simulates osteopathic practice by utilising role play as both clinician and patient.  You will develop the following professional skills within the ‘routine osteopathic consultation’ setting: professional conduct, communication, ergonomics and palpation.  

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes and Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) for BP279 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy):

  • PLO3 practice as a competent health care professional in a safe, ethical and legally responsible manner
  • PLO4 demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity in the provision of specialised health care
  • PLO5 communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals)
  • PLO8 understand the historical development of the profession, its ethos, organisation and philosophical foundations.

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate and perform appropriate and professional communication skills relevant to osteopathic practice, including written and verbal/non-verbal communication
  2. Identify different communication styles in a clinical setting and interpret the implications of these behaviours
  3. Describe and discuss the historical and contemporary development of the Australian osteopathic profession within the healthcare context domestically and internationally
  4. Identify and perform routine clinical skills pertaining to professional conduct, practitioner/patient ergonomics, the use of appropriate medical terminology and palpatory literacy
  5.  Reflect on individual personal characteristics within a ‘professional healthcare provider’ context.

Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures are used to introduce new learning concepts (both theoretical and practical) and revise essential knowledge requirements.  Lecture material and related resources are available on the Learning Management System (LMS).

Tutorials alternatively encourage and enable you to develop your skill acquisition by applying and practising the material presented in lectures and practical classes. You can ask questions and receive clarification and feedback from your supervising teachers in real time.  You are expected to dress appropriately for practical tutorials to allow for the application of skills taught.  This will be discussed further in class.

Group discussions during classes are encouraged to develop independent thinking and provide shared learning experiences for you and your peers.

Your assessments link theoretical components to their practical application in a clinical setting.   These include reflective blogs, a professional letter and a case scenario.  Your end of semester examinations will assess all learning outcomes in a theoretical and practical forum. The theoretical component will be conducted via written examination (multiple choice and short answer), the practical component via Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS). Course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced at

Teacher Guided Hours: 48 per semester comprising 2x 1 hour lectures and 1x 2 hour practical class.

Learner Directed Hours: 48 per semester consisting of review of lecture material, additional suggested reading and skill acquisition.

Progression and Attendance Requirements: Attendance at osteopathic technique classes is compulsory. Students need to demonstrate competency in the delivery of practical techniques in a safe and skillful manner in supervised laboratory classes. Students with less than 80% attendance of practical classes during semester will not be offered an additional assessment opportunity to demonstrate safety and practical skills if they are unable to demonstrate safe practice in the final practical assessment.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course notes and online resources are available through myRMIT Studies (


The Library has specialised Subject guides at 


RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

Hurdle requirements are necessary to demonstrate to the accrediting body that students are competent, and are being sufficiently assessed against practice-focused professional standards, throughout the course of their program.

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s).  These have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching). 

Assessment Tasks: 

Assessment Task 1: Reflection blog

Information processing and learning styles

Week 4

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2 & 5 

Assessment Task 2: Professional Letter 

Letter of application

Week 7

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 4 & 5  

Assessment Task 3 (Hurdle Requirement):  Case scenario and reflection blog

Cultural and social awareness and sensitivities

Week 8 

Weighting 20% (Case scenario - 10% + Blog - 10%) 

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 4: Reflection blog

Evolution of your communication skills

Week 11

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2 & 5 

Assessment Task 5 (Hurdle Requirement):  End of semester practical exam


Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 4 & 5 

Assessment 6: End of semester theory exam

Multiple choice and short answer questions covering material Weeks 1-12

Weighting 25%        

This assessment task supports CLO 1-4 

Assessment 7 (Hurdle Requirement): Student Clinic Attendance

Weeks 1-12: Minimum of 2 visits – First visit: Weeks 1-6, second visit: Weeks 7-12 

This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 4 & 5