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    Integration of the applied, medical and clinical sciences that underpin the philosophy, examination and management practices in physiotherapy. Students will study topics appropriate to their clinical specialisation.

    About this paper

    Paper title Biomedical Science in Physiotherapy
    Subject Physiotherapy
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period(s) Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,103.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    PHTX 501
    Limited to
    MPhty, PGCertPhty, PGDipPhty

    This paper is restricted to health professionals.
    Qualifications are restricted to physiotherapists.

    Paper runs subject to numbers.

    Teaching staff

    Paper Co-ordinators: Dr Meredith Perry.
    Teaching Staff: Dr Stephanie Woodley (Anatomy) along with guest lectures from health professionals with specific biomedical expertise.

    Paper Structure

    The paper covers clinical anatomy, pathophysiology, biomechanics, imaging and the science of measurement.  

    Teaching Arrangements

    The Distance Learning offering of this paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching. It incorporates audio-conferences supported by in-person residential blocks (subject to Covid-19 restrictions).


    It is recommend you have access to any of the following:

    • Abrahams, P. H., Spratt, J. D., Loukas, M., & van Schoor, A.-N. (2020). Abraham’s and McMinn’s Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy. (8th ed). Elsevier. 
    • Drake, R. L., Vogl, W., & Mitchell, A. W. M. (2020). Gray’s Anatomy for Students. (4th ed). Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. 
    • Hombach-Klonisch, S., Klonisch, T., & Peeler, J. (2019). Sobotta Clinical Atlas of Human Anatomy. Elsevier.
    • Standring, S. (Ed). Gray’s Anatomy. The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. (2021). (42nd ed). Elsevier. 
    • Soames, R., & Palastanga, N. (2019). Anatomy and Human Movement. 6th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. Health Sciences Library: Reserve WE 101 P154 2019. (not available as an eBook)
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of this paper, the student should be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of biomedical sciences to physiotherapy
    • Locate, extract, critically appraise and assimilate relevant biomedical literature, from a wide range of sources, and apply this knowledge in a considered manner to physiotherapy clinical practice
    • Develop a commitment to the fundamental importance of the acquisition of biomedical knowledge, and critical thinking about application of this knowledge, to physiotherapy clinical practice
    • Develop effective professional communication, particularly technical writing skills, when presenting an ‘argument’ for or against application of a biomedical science to physiotherapy clinical practice
    • Demonstrate basic anatomical dissection skills alongside observation, recording, description and interpretation of gross structures with relevance to clinical context


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system

    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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