Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Within their scope of practice, accredited exercise physiologists must be able to explain the relationship between anatomy and pathology to select and interpret clinical assessments, which inform prescription and delivery of safe, effective, person-cantered and evidence-based exercise interventions for individuals suffering a range of musculoskeletal conditions. In this unit, students will advance their knowledge of anatomy, pathology and develop their practical skills in clinical assessment and exercise selection, prescription, delivery and progression, based on current scientific knowledge, relevant to musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb. The aim of this unit is to prepare students for clinical placement and professional practice by applying this knowledge with critical thinking and clinical reasoning to implement these practical skills based on the needs and goals of individuals with musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate advanced, coherent knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology and evidence-based clinical assessments and exercise interventions relevant to musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb (GA5, GA8, GA9).

LO2 - Demonstrate critical thinking and clinical reasoning to design and justify safe and effective person-centred exercise interventions, informed by advanced and coherent knowledge of holistic clinical management, evidence-based practice and the needs and goals of individuals with musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9).

LO3 - Selectively apply evidence-based clinical assessments for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb and demonstrate critical thinking and clinical decision making to interpret findings, which informs subsequent holistic clinical management (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10).

LO4 - Demonstrate the ability to design, deliver, monitor and adapt safe and effective person-centred exercise interventions for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb by integrating advanced and coherent knowledge of holistic clinical management and evidence-based practice (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Foot 
  • Ankle 
  • Lower leg 
  • Knee 
  • Thigh 
  • Hip 

Evidence-based clinical assessments, relevant to musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb and within scope of practice of accredited exercise physiologists, including but not limited to: 

  • Subjective assessments
  • Range of motion and flexibility tests
  • Strength tests
  • Orthopaedic testing
  • Functional outcome measures

Evidence-based exercise interventions and key principles of exercise selection, prescription, delivery, monitoring and adaptation, relevant to musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb and within scope of practice of accredited exercise physiologists.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered through multi-mode delivery and aims to facilitate learner centred activities and inquiry-based learning. Learning and teaching strategies within this Masters level unit are based on a blend of constructivism, social constructivism, and experiential learning. These strategies focus on active participation and developing a community of inquiry. Purposefully designed content and activities have been identified. This has led to the development of purposefully designed learning activities focusing on inquiry-based learning principles aimed at encouraging critical thinking, clinical decision-making, application of knowledge and skills, evidence for practice, collaborative peer learning, and critical self-reflection.


Students participate in individual and small group activities based on analysis of current practice, to assimilate application of acquired knowledge and facilitate translation of learning into practice. Engagement in extended dialogue is encouraged to guide change to a more interprofessional, person-centred practice. Unit activities include, but are not limited to: guided readings, synchronous on-line tutorials, web-based activities and practical workshops, which include skill development, case-study simulations, work-based activities with reflection to enhance practice. To facilitate practical application of knowledge and skills, multi-mode delivery requires participation in weekly practical workshops. Where possible, workshop activities are designed as reusable learning objects. Activities are aimed to facilitate acquisition of advanced knowledge and skills in assessment and exercise intervention planning strategies.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment tasks in this unit have been purposefully designed to prepare for and replicate authentic clinical practice, with an “assessment for learning” approach to provide evidence for judgement of learning and to reinforce, facilitate and support learning and its application. The assessment tasks have been designed to provide a broad range of tasks aligned to andragogic principles of adult learning, facilitating choice and self-direction for the post graduate student. The design enables timely judgement to ensure students have appropriate knowledge and skills prior to workplace application.

The first assessment task enables students to acquire advanced knowledge and understanding of content delivered throughout the unit. The second assessment task enables students to assimilate this knowledge and develop clinical reasoning to interpret the findings of a clinical assessment and prescribe an exercise rehabilitation intervention, which is informed by holistic clinical management, evidence-based practice and based on individual needs and goals of a case study. The final assessment task enables students to develop the ability to apply critical thinking and clinical reasoning to selectively perform and justify the use of appropriate clinical assessments, which will then inform prescription, instruction and delivery of an exercise rehabilitation intervention for a case study with a musculoskeletal condition of the lower limb. This assessment tasks also enables students to apply knowledge and skills specific to evaluation and monitoring of the case study’s response to exercise and apply clinical decision making to modify the intervention where necessary. The final assessment task is also a hurdle requiring students to demonstrate, at a minimum, the essential clinical competencies needed to safely and effectively service a client with a musculoskeletal condition of the lower limb. Demonstration of these essential clinical competencies is necessary for safe and effective professional practice as an exercise physiologist. Students will be given two opportunities to successful complete this assessment with space for provision of individual feedback between opportunities if required.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Written examination

Enables students to demonstrate advanced, coherent knowledge and interpretation of content.



 GA5, GA8, GA9

Audiovisual presentation

Enables students to apply knowledge and skills of clinical decision making to prescribe a three stage exercise rehabilitation intervention for a musculoskeletal condition of the lower limb based on evidence and the individual needs and goals of a relevant case study.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Practical Examination 

Enables students to develop ability to perform a clinical assessment and prescribe and instruct an exercise rehabilitation intervention for a case study with a musculoskeletal condition of the lower limb.

40% + Hurdle Component

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Brukner P; Clarsen B; Cook J; Cools A; Crossley K; Hutchinson M; McCrory P; Bahr R & Khan K (2016). Brukner and Khan’s Clinical Sports Medicine: Injuries: Vol. 1 (5th Ed.) Europe: McGraw-Hill Education

Neumann, D. A. (2013). Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System-E-Book: Foundations for Rehabilitation. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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