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 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Kylie Spencer

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6582

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.072-2

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course lays the foundations of practise osteopathy-focused 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 entrapment 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.

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):

  • PLO1 Provide patient-centred care as a competent, safe primary healthcare professional
  • PLO2 Provide osteopathic, musculo-skeletal 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
  • PLO4 Effectively communicate with a wide audience (i.e. patients, carers, healthcare professionals and agencies), with respect and sensitivity to socio-cultural diversity, using a variety of media
  • PLO5 Manage all aspects of clinical practice to comply with ethical, legal, and regulatory standards in an evolving healthcare industry
  • PLO6 Work autonomously and collaboratively, to lead and/or contribute to inter-professional healthcare partnerships
  • PLO7 Develop and implement strategies to meet personal and professional demands, as a primary healthcare provider
  • PLO8 Develop a commitment to lifelong learning, recognising the historical development and evolution of the profession, and how this integrates with contemporary practice

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

  1. Identify and demonstrate entry level clinical skills pertaining to professional communication, practitioner/patient ergonomics, the use of appropriate medical terminology, and superficial palpatory literacy
  2. Describe and discuss the historical and contemporary development of the osteopathic profession within the healthcare context; domestically and internationally
  3. Develop metacognitive strategies to identify key concepts and communicate them in a variety of mediums.
  4. Define informed consent, identify its communicative and ethical elements, and demonstrate how it is obtained
  5. Reflect on your personal characteristics, and their alignment with those of a healthcare professional
  6. Develop foundational skills required for academic pursuits

Overview of Learning Activities

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

Tutorials often involves collaborative group work.  They encourage the development of independent thinking, whilst simultaneously providing shared learning experiences for you and your peers.

Practical classed encourage and enable you to develop your skill acquisition by applying and practising the material presented in lectures and tutorial classes.  You can ask questions and receive clarification and feedback from your supervising tutors in 'real time'.  You are required to role play the 'student practitioner' and patient in every class to commence your clinical skill development.

Your assessment tasks have been designed to link theoretical components to their practical application in a clinical setting.  These include establishing an e-portfolio, developing an infographic, and writing a reflective blog.  Your end of semester examinations will assess all learning outcome theoretically and practically. 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: 60 per semester comprising 1 hour lecture, 1 x 2 hour tutorial and 1 x 2 hour practical class.

Learner Directed Hours: 60 - 70 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 s safe and skilful 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).

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.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Micro-credentials

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLO 1 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Infographic

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3 & 5

Assessment Task 3 E-portfolio

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 3,5 & 6

Assessment Task 4: : End of semester practical exam (HURDLE Requirement)

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 4