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ANAT100 Anatomical Foundations of Exercise Science

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

The ability to apply anatomical knowledge in the understanding of human movement is a crucial foundation for exercise science practice. This knowledge and associated skills are consistent with the professional standards of several accreditation bodies, including those for Exercise Science. This unit extends the students' learning in neuro-musculoskeletal and joint anatomy. Students are provided with knowledge on the functional anatomy and mechanics of the upper limb, lower limb and trunk, to develop an ability to analyse movement and posture in anatomical terms. The aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of the inter-relationships between anatomy and human function, how to perform analysis of human movement from an anatomical perspective, and to develop skills for the assessment and interpretation of flexibility, linear anthropometry and electromyography, applicable to exercise science.

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 knowledge of structure and the function of the neuro-musculoskeletal system and articulations of the extremities and trunkGC1, GC9, GC11
LO2Describe the general effects of ageing, injury and immobilisation on the neuro-musculoskeletal system and articulationsGC1, GC11
LO3Conduct and interpret assessments of human function and anthropometry through the application of anatomical knowledgeGC1, GC2, GC7, GC8
LO4Analyse human movement relating to sport and exercise from an anatomical perspectiveGC1, GC2, GC7, GC8


Topics will include: 

  • Neuro-musculoskeletal and functional anatomy of the: 
  • upper limb (sternoclavicular, acromioclavicular, shoulder, elbow and radioulnar, wrist and hand complexes)  
  • lower limb (hip, knee, tibiofibular, ankle and foot)  
  • trunk (vertebral column function, muscles of the trunk responsible for stability and movement) 
  • general effects of ageing, injury and immobilisation  
  • Stretching, flexibility and strength assessment and interpretation 
  • upper limb (pectoral girdle, elbow, radioulnar, wrist & fingers) 
  • lower limb (hip, knee, ankle) 
  • trunk (vertebral column) 
  • Linear anthropometry measurement and interpretation 
  • identify bony landmarks of the axial and appendicular skeleton 
  • measures of skeletal segment lengths 
  • compare and interpret data based on normative values    
  • Postural analysis and interpretation 
  • identify bony landmarks of the axial and appendicular skeleton  
  • measures of posture of segments of the axial and appendicular skeleton  
  • Movement analysis 
  • single-joint movements 
  • multi-joint movements 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning and web-based learning, delivered over 12 weeks. This range of strategies will provide students with appropriate access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for development of knowledge and practical skills of relevance to functional anatomy. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, as well as professional practice standards. Learning and teaching strategies will 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.  

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. Two assessment strategies are used: (i) written examinations to assess student learning of unit content; and a (ii) practical examination to assess proficiency in skills required for professional practice.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Written examination 

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of course content from the first 5 weeks. 


LO1, LO2

Practical examination: movement analysis  

Enables students to demonstrate proficiency in the performance of movement analysis. 



Written examination 

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of course content from week 6 through week 12. 


LO1, LO2, LO4

Practical examination: skills test  

Enables students to demonstrate competence in skills required for assessing human function and anthropometry. 



Representative texts and references

Combes, J., Skinner, T. (2013). ESSA's student manual for health, exercise and sport assessment. (1st Ed.). Chatswood: Elsevier Australia. 


Martini, F., Nath, J. & Bartholomew (2012). Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology (9th Ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin/Cummings. 


Norton, K & Olds, T.  (1996) Anthropometrica : a textbook of body measurement for sports and health courses. Sydney: UNSW Press. 


Levangie, P.K., & Norkin, C. (2005). Joint Structure and Function: A Comprehensive Analysis (4th Ed.). Philadelphia, USA: F.A. Davis Company.  


Lieber, R. (2010). Skeletal muscle structure, function, and plasticity. (3rd Ed.). Baltimore, USA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. 


Neumann, D. (2010). Kinesiology of the musculoskeletal system. (2nd Ed.). St Louis, USA: Mosby. 

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