Course Title: Osteopathic Theory and Practice 5

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Osteopathic Theory and Practice 5

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,
Sem 1 2018

Course Coordinator: Danielle Baxter

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7647

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.017

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)

Assumed Knowledge

Course Description

This course expands upon the foundations to practice osteopathy-focused healthcare in Australia. You will extend your knowledge, skills and their application relevant to regional and segmental assessment of the musculoskeletal system and identifying osteopathic findings to formulate a diagnosis. Additionally, you will be introduce to the skills to apply HVLA techniques to the spine and skeletal system that prepare you for clinical practice. You will articulate the theoretical background to these techniques and explain proposed mechanisms of action. This will be assisted by introducing you to the models osteopathy.

The practical work in this course simulates a practice environment and involves role play as clinician and patient, which provides skills in examining a patient for musculoskeletal findings that may form the basis of diagnosis in clinical practice.

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

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

  • PLO2 gather clinical information to make accurate differential diagnoses, assessment and management plans and carry out effective treatment
  • 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 should be able to:

  1. Perform High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) technique to the axial skeleton and describe the physiological basis for the technique and its effect on the body
  2. Perform soft tissue technique to any part of the body as per clinical indications
  3. Identify the clinical indications and contra-indications for the use of HVLA and soft tissue technique and discuss relevant informed consent considerations in a simulated and clinical setting
  4. Explain the neurophysiological basis of nociception and pain
  5. Describe the principles of pain management using a multidisciplinary framework
  6. Demonstrate appropriate and professional communication skills (including verbal and non-verbal) relevant to osteopathic practice, and able to interpret the implications of different communication styles in a clinical setting

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 skill acquisition by applying and practising the material presented in the 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 as it develops independent thinking and provide shared learning experiences, from which you and your fellow students can learn.

Teacher Guided Hours: 78 per semester comprising 1x 1 hour lecture, 1x 2 hour lecture, 1x 1.5 hour practical, and 1x 2 hour practical class.

Learner Directed Hours: 30 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

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). 

A Hurdle requirement is 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.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task 1: Multi-choice quiz x 2

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 3 

Assessment Task 2: Assignment

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLO 6

Assessment Task 3: Multiple Choice Exam

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 4 & 5   

Assessment 4: Practical Exam – Soft Tissue Technique (Hurdle Requirement)

Mid semester practical exam: demonstration of soft tissue technique that is covered in practical classes during semester. Practical examinations may be Directly Observed Procedural Skills (DOPS), Viva Voce, or Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE).

Weighting: 0%. This task is a competency based hurdle.

This assessment task supports CLOs 2 & 3  

Assessment 5: Written Examination 

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 

Assessment 6: Practical Examination (Hurdle Requirement)

Demonstration of selected tasks covered in practical session during semester. Practical examinations may be Directly Observed Procedural Skills (DOPS), Viva Voce, or Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE).

Weighting 0%.  This task is a competency based hurdle.

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 6