Course Title: Osteopathic Principles and Introduction to Clinical Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Osteopathic Principles and Introduction to Clinical Practice

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Danielle Baxter

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7647

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.007

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the skills required to gather clinical data (such as a case history). You will be exposed to the nature and presentations of common musculoskeletal conditions seen by osteopaths and develop your conceptual skills in relation to differential diagnoses. You will learn practical skills to perform clinical physical examinations to narrow your diagnosis. Additionally you will learn how to formulate a diagnosis to prepare for clinical practice.  

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

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), in the following way:

  • PLO1 provide specialised health care within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework;
  • 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. Use appropriate and professional verbal and non- verbal communication skills relevant to osteopathic professional practice
  2. Conduct a systematic and structured case history and verbally present a structured case to another health professional or clinical supervisor
  3. Apply reasoning and decision making processes to clinical and professional case studies, to develop reasonable differential diagnoses
  4. Formulate and perform a pertinent examination including a screening evaluation, medical examination and orthopaedic testing related to a clinical scenario and be able to determine a justifiable working diagnosis
  5. Adequately research a topic related to the course and be able to present information in a verbal and non-verbal format

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). The expectation is that pre-reading is conducted PRIOR to lectures to facilitate a more dynamic lecturing style.

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 2x 2 hour lectures, 1x 1 hour tutorial, and 1x 1.5 hour practical class.

Learner Directed Hours: 42 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 1: Short assignment

Weighting 10%

This assessment supports CLOs 1 & 5

Assessment 2: Peer review assessment with reflective essay

Weighting 20%

This assessment supports CLOs 1 & 3

Assessment 3: Quiz

Weighting 10%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 3 & 4

Assessment 4: Viva voce

Weighting 10%

This assessment supports CLOs 2 & 3

Assessment 5: End of Semester Written Exam

Weighting 25%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 3 & 5

Assessment 6: End of Semester Practical Exam (Hurdle Requirement)

Weighting 25%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4