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PHSE102 Biophysical Foundations of Human Movement

An introduction to the biophysical study of physical education and human movement, mainly in the contexts of exercise for health and sports performance. Focuses on multi-disciplinary approaches and sets the study of human movement in a broader context.

This paper will represent your first exposure to some of the fundamental knowledge and skills embodied within the subdisipline of exercise science. For the lecturers involved in the paper, PHSE 102 represents an opportunity to pass on to you their favourite scientific facts and skills. Their aim is to help you peer under the lid of the human movement machine and discover the intricate and interconnected mechanisms that allow its operation.
In this paper we will work together to learn many of the core concepts underlying the control of movements that we take for granted every day. The lectures and laboratory sessions are structured to guide you through a variety of projects while developing your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
You will be introduced to new concepts and skills and asked to master them. You will be asked to focus on producing a high standard of work. Excellent grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an outstanding ability to acquire new laboratory skills, logically solve complex scientific problems, comprehend and critically evaluate concepts and experiments and, most importantly, present their ideas clearly and concisely. You will also come to better understand Batman.

Paper title Biophysical Foundations of Human Movement
Paper code PHSE102
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1400
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $969.22
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,368.00

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This is a core paper for the Bachelor of Physical Education. It is also an optional paper for First Year Health Science students. It is suitable for students interested in gaining knowledge of exercise science and exercise prescription.
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator: Dr Jonathan Shemmell
Paper Structure
The paper is structured as three modules:
  • Evolution of movement
  • Explosive movements
  • Endurance movements
Within these modules, aspects of biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control, sports psychology and exercise prescription will be covered.
Teaching Arrangements
Completion of laboratory exercises is compulsory.
Text books are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Information literacy.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Aims of PHSE 102:
  • To gain fundamental knowledge and skills in the biophysical sciences of human movement
  • To identify the biophysical foundations of human movement in the context of physical education, health promotion, injury prevention and rehabilitation and sports performance
  • To make links between motor behaviour, biomechanics and exercise physiology from the perspectives of life-span development, exercise prescription and the enhancement of health and sports performance

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Monday 11:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41
P2 Monday 11:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41
P3 Monday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P4 Monday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P5 Tuesday 09:00-11:50 29-34, 36-41
P6 Tuesday 09:00-11:50 29-34, 36-41
P7 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P8 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P9 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P10 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P11 Thursday 10:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
P12 Thursday 10:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
P13 Thursday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P14 Thursday 14:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
P15 Friday 11:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41
P16 Friday 11:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41