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,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Lee Muddle

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7701

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.014-2

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: Case history and examination. You will be exposed to the nature and presentations of common musculoskeletal conditions seen by osteopaths. You will develop your conceptual skills in relation to differential diagnoses by learning practical skills to narrow your focus to inform a working diagnosis in preparation for clinical practice.

The practical work in this course simulates a practice environment and involves role play as both clinician and patient.

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. Differentiate clinical reasoning frameworks, and their impact on contemporary osteopathic practice
  2. Use a clinical reasoning framework to execute a systematic health assessment specific to the patient, and interpret the findings
  3. Recognise and explain the physiological underpinnings linking musculoskeletal presentations and disease processes
  4. Analyse the skills required to differentiate health information necessary to inform an assessment and development of a working diagnosis
  5. Reconcile the pathophysiology of common musculoskeletal conditions with patient signs and symptoms to formulate differential diagnoses
  6. Present a concise patient narrative (encompassing the patient history and examination findings) in language appropriate to the recipient

Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures are used to introduce new learning concepts: both theoretical and practical, and to 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: 66 per semester

Learner Directed Hours: 42 per semester

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 being sufficiently assessed against practice-focused professional standards throughout the 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 A/B: Peer review and reflection

Weighting 20%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 2: Case study and narrative

Weighting 20%

This assessment supports CLOs 2, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 3: End of Semester Written Exam

Weighting 30%

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 4: End of Semester Practical Exam (Hurdle Requirement)

Weighting 30%

This assessment supports CLOs 2, 3, 5 & 6