Course Title: Biomechanics and Functional Anatomy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Biomechanics and Functional Anatomy

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Noel Lythgo

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6518

Course Coordinator Email: noel.lythgo@rmit.edu.au


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge

You are assumed to have Year 1 university-level anatomy knowledge such as BIOL2274 Limb and Trunk Anatomy.


Course Description

This course examines the biomechanics and functional anatomy behind human motion and physical performance during exercise, sporting, recreational, rehabilitation and “daily living” activities. It provides the foundation for understanding, analysing and assessing human motion and physical performance in these settings. Specifically, this course examines the following content:

  1. Mechanics of non-moving (static) and moving (dynamic) systems
  2. Space and time aspects of human motion (Kinematics)
  3. External and internal forces that act on a body (Kinetics)
  4. Human energy expenditure, power and work (ergometry)
  5. Basic mathematical principles behind the measurement, analysis and assessment of human motion
  6. Quantitative measurement of human motion through technology
  7. Muscle mechanics during exercise, sporting, recreational and “daily living” activities
  8. Unsafe exercise practices, movement patterns and biomechanical mechanisms behind common musculoskeletal injuries
  9. Human anthropometry, physique and somatotype


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

BP280 (Chiropractic)

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

BP279 (Osteopathy)

PLO1 Provide patient-centred care as a competent, safe primary healthcare professional

PLO2 Provide osteopathic, musculoskeletal healthcare within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework

PLO3 Gather and interpret health information, and employ clinical reasoning to develop differential diagnoses, to inform assessment and management

PLO6 Work autonomously and collaboratively, to lead and/or contribute to inter-professional healthcare partnerships


On completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Apply biomechanical and functional anatomy knowledge to analyse and understand clinical and non-clinical movement patterns in exercise, sporting, recreational, rehabilitation and “daily living” activities.
  2. Safely and effectively use biomechanics technology to record, analyse and assess human motion.
  3. Use technology to assess, analyse and record human anthropometry, physique and somatotype.
  4. Be able to use basic mathematical principles to measure, analyse and assess human motion.
  5. Identify muscle action, contraction type, and movement outcomes during basic exercises, sporting and “everyday daily living” activities.
  6. Identify and correct unsafe exercise practices, movement patterns and biomechanical mechanisms behind common musculoskeletal injuries.
  7. Communicate biomechanics and functional anatomy knowledge, application and outcomes through a variety of scientific formats (reports, abstracts, presentations).  


Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities include face to face lectures, specific readings and supplementary notes, laboratory and practical guided sessions, on-line learning and assessment. CANVAS allows you to independently access course material. It will be to your advantage to access and review relevant information prior to lectures and laboratories. Laboratories and practical guided sessions involve physical activity. Please dress with appropriate footwear and clothing.

Total Study Hours

Forty-eight hours (48) of lectures, laboratory and practical guided sessions, and approximately 60 hours of directed learning through online activities and independent study. 


Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources include lecture notes, supplementary notes, specific readings of literature, laboratory guides, on-line quizzes (with feedback) and use biomechanical technology and software.


Overview of Assessment

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

Hurdle Requirement:

In order to pass the course, students are required to attend and actively participate in 80% of practical sessions throughout the semester. In the case of students failing to attend the minimum number of sessions for reasons other than medical, additional sessions will not be provided by the course. Students who fail to attend the requisite number of sessions and who are granted Special Consideration will become eligible to complete supplementary assessment to meet the hurdle requirement. Students who arrive after the class has commenced or who leave before the class finishes will be marked as having arrived late or left early. Students will be provided with one warning, and for each subsequent instance of this behaviour the student will be marked as being absent.

Assessment tasks

Early Assessment Task 1: Online quizzes (4 quizzes at 5% each)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 and 4

Assessment Task 2: Motion Project Report

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 4 and 7

Assessment Task 3: Lower Limb Movement and Exercise Analysis

Weighting 5%

This assessment task supports CLOs 5, 6 and 7

Assessment 4: Upper Limb Movement and Exercise Analysis

Weighting 5%

This assessment supports CLOs 5, 6 and 7

Assessment 4: End-of-semester exam

Weighting 50%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 4, 5 and 6