Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


EXSC220 Biomechanics or EXSC321 Biomechanics

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Postgraduate study, specialist accreditation (e.g. Exercise Physiology, Sports Science) and/or specific career paths in biomechanics and related fields requires extension of the knowledge, understanding and skills of the professional standards for Exercise Scientist accreditation in this discipline. This unit aims to further the students' theoretical knowledge of anatomical and mechanical concepts related to human movement, including more advanced studies of kinematics and kinetics. The unit will expand the students' understanding of normal and pathological gait, and sports injury mechanisms. The student will be introduced to inter- and multi-disciplinary topics including ergonomics, mathematical modelling of sports movements, and the effects of materials, surfaces and equipment on movement. Students will further develop skills in data collection, analysis and interpretation of human movement, as well as in reading and critically evaluating research, experimental planning and design, and statistical analyses relevant to biomechanics.

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 specialist knowledge and understanding of biomechanics and its application to human movement.  

LO2 - Demonstrate an understanding of selected literature in the area of biomechanics and the ability to interpret and evaluate research as it applies to selected problems (GA4, GA8). 

LO3 - Conduct comprehensive kinematic and kinetic investigations of human movement, and understand the limitations associated with the methodologies (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA10). 

LO4 - Describe how biomechanics can combine with other exercise and sports science disciplines to provide a greater understanding of human performance (GA5). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

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


Topics will include: 

  • Movement analysis concepts 
  • Research methods 
  • Advanced kinematics  
  • Advanced kinetics 
  • Neuromuscular mechanics 
  • Modelling 
  • Materials, surfaces and equipment 
  • Fluid mechanics 
  • Applied biomechanics (e.g. Ergonomics, Sports injuries, Clinical biomechanics) 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies in this unit are designed to allow students pursue higher degrees including Honours, Master and PhD programs, as well as to attain relevant professional accreditations, while meeting the aims, learning outcomes of the unit and graduate attributes of the University. Learning and teaching strategies are intended to reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities.   

Content for the unit is delivered over 12 weeks in the form of face to face and online lectures and activities, and practical laboratory-based activities. Each laboratory-based activity allows student to consolidate knowledge presented during the lectures. Laboratory-based activities promotes active learning while facilitating an in depth understanding of the relevant theoretical knowledge. Students are also to carry out an independent research activity consistent with their academic level that includes research design, data collection, data processing, analysis and academic writing. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to best enable students to achieve unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used including: a case study to assess the application and implementation of knowledge, understanding and skills; and a written examination to assess student learning and assimilation of unit content.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Applied Assessment 1:  

Enables students to develop a literature review on a specific biomechanics technology for use in clinical (e.g. gait) or athlete assessment. 


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA8 

Applied Assessment 2:  

Enables students to cooperatively complete an inquiry-based research project using a minimum of two methods of movement analyses. This project is completed in large (data collection) and small groups (data analyses, interpretation and reporting; 2-3 students). 


LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10 

Written examination 

Enables students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of advanced biomechanics topics explored during the unit.  


LO1, LO2, LO4 

GA4, GA5 

Representative texts and references

Bartlett, R. & Bussey, M. (2012). Sports biomechanics – Reducing injury and improving performance (2nd Ed.). London: Routledge. 

Robertson, G.E., Caldwell, G.E., Hamill, J., Kamen, G., & Whittlesey, S.N. (2014). Research methods in biomechanics (2nd Ed.). Champaign: Human Kinetics. 

Winter, D.A. (2009). Biomechanics and motor control of human movement (4th Ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.  

Wright, T.M., Buckwalter, J.A., & Hayes, W.C. (1999). Writing for the Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Journal of Orthopaedic Research17, 459-466. 

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