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PHTY103 Foundations of Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND (PHTY209 - Neuroscience for Physiotherapy OR ALHT210 Neuroscience for Allied Health )

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

As a physiotherapist, knowledge and understanding of movement science is essential to rehabilitating everyday activities in people with movement disorders. Knowledge acquired in the areas of anatomy, biomechanics, neuroscience and the foundations of physiotherapy units will underpin the new knowledge in the areas of motor control and motor learning presented in this unit. Students will be required to apply this knowledge to the analysis of everyday activities, including gait. Students will develop competence in the use and interpretation of standardised outcome measures, as well as the skills required for planning, implementing and evaluating task-orientated training. The overall aim of this unit is to develop the knowledge, understanding and application of learning, related to movement science, as required for practice as a physiotherapist.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Demonstrate acquisition of knowledge of movement science, including motor control, motor learning, functional task analysis, task-oriented training and outcome measurement,GC1, GC2, GC11, GC12
LO2Assimilate and apply knowledge of movement science to the physiotherapy management used to retrain everyday activities including functional task analysis, outcome measurement, goal setting, planning, implementing and evaluating task-oriented trainingGC1, GC2, GC8, GC11, GC12
LO3Justify physiotherapy management used to retrain everyday activities including functional task analysis, outcome measurement, goal setting, planning, and implementing and evaluating task-oriented trainingGC1, GC2, GC8, GC11, GC12


Topics will include: 

Motor control and motor learning  

  • Interaction of the individual, the task and the environment in everyday activities 
  • Motor skill classification 
  • Characteristics of skilled movement 
  • Stages of learning 
  • Factors affecting motor learning  
  • Instructional methods, feedback and practice variables 

Assessment and training of everyday activities, including balance and gait  

  • A structured approach to task analysis 
  • Essential components of everyday activities including bed mobility, sitting balance, standing up, standing balance, reaching, manipulation, gait, running and stairs  
  • Identification of the impact of pathology on essential components for everyday activities; 
  • Task-oriented training principles including specificity, intensity, part and whole task practice, practice variability, transfer of learning, environmental modification, delivery models, goal setting 
  • Use of manual handling/guidance and positioning; communication skills and augmented feedback 
  • Outcome measures  
  • Development and design of, and justification for, physiotherapy training programs for everyday activities including planning, implementation, and evaluation 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of learning with a combination of face-to-face, online and other directed independent learning activities. The theoretical knowledge underpinning assessment and intervention will be delivered via lectures and online modules. Directed independent learning activities will also be set. Practical and tutorial classes provide students with the opportunity to develop their clinical reasoning skills through the use of case studies and, communication and assessment skills through simulation learning activities. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities, demonstrating respect for the individual as an independent learner.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks align with the presentation of the content in this unit of study and students should learn while, as well from, undertaking these tasks. This unit takes an authentic assessment approach allowing students to demonstrate their learning and competency for clinically relevant scenarios.  

  • Assessment task 1 (written assessment) requires students to demonstrate acquisition, assimilation and application of knowledge related to movement science for a case scenario.  
  • Assessment task 2 (written examination) requires students to demonstrate acquired theoretical knowledge and assimilate and apply this knowledge to clinically relevant case scenarios.  
  • Assessment task 3 (practical examination) require students to assimilate and apply theoretical knowledge and perform clinical practice skills in order to demonstrate their emerging professional competence in the application of movement science to retrain everyday activities.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Written Examination

Requires students to demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the implications for physiotherapy practice related to movement science. Students will be required to explain clinical reasoning that supports and justifies physiotherapy interventions used to retrain everyday activities.


LO1, LO2

Assessment task 2: Written Assignment

Requires students to demonstrate their acquisition, assimilation and application of knowledge related to movement science, including motor control and motor learning, functional task assessment, task-oriented training and outcome measurement, for a case scenario.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Assessment task 3: End-semester practical examination

Requires students to demonstrate competency in professional behaviour, clinical reasoning and the ability to apply, on a peer, physiotherapy clinical practice skills used to retrain everyday activities including functional task analysis, outcome measurement, goal setting, planning, implementing and evaluating task-oriented training.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Carr, J. & Shepherd, R. (2000). Movement science: Foundations for physical therapy in rehabilitation (2nd ed.). Maryland: Aspen Publishers. 

Hamill, J. & Knutzen, K. M. (2009). Biomechanical basis of human movement (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.  

Magill, R. A. (2011). Motor learning and control: Concepts and applications (9th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. 

Oatis, C.A. (2009). Kinesiology: The mechanics and pathomechanics of human movement (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 

Perry, J., & Burnfield, J.M. (2010). Gait analysis: Normal and pathological function (2nd ed.). Thorofare NJ: Slack Inc. 

Rose, J., & Gamble, J.G. (2006). Human walking (3rd ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 

Shumway-Cook, A. & Woollacott, M. (2012). Motor control: Translating research into clinical practice (4th ed.). Baltimore: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. 

Whittle, M. (2007). Gait analysis: An introduction (4th ed.). New York: Butterworth Heinemann. 

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