Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 1

Subject PHTY90095 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 18.75
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 09-Feb-2015 to 22-May-2015
Assessment Period End 12-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 02-Mar-2015
Census Date 06-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 01-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 90 hours lectures, tutorials and practical classes across a 16 week semester
Total Time Commitment:

255 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:



Dr Marilyn Webster


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Alan Gilbert Building, Level 7, 161 Barry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 4171
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

Students will have the opportunity to learn the foundational knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to becoming a physiotherapist. The focus of the subject will be on preparing students to work with patients in a variety of contexts including as first contact practitioners and as practitioners working within health care teams. The subject will emphasize topics such as professional identity formation, ethical decision making, clinical reasoning, collaborative practice and effective communication.The development of professional knowledge and skills that underpin assessment, diagnosis and education in physiotherapy practice will be included. Students will focus on developing skills of physical assessment such as observation, palpation and analysis of movement and function. Particular attention will be given to the analysis of normal movement and function as a basis for identifying variations from normal. Students will build on their understanding of the World Health Organization, (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, (ICF) model and will explicitly link this model of classification to physiotherapy assessment using patient profiles. Students will be introduced to a variety of outcome measures commonly used in physiotherapy practice.

Learning Outcomes:

The curriculum for the DPT program has been designed around 8 Learning Outcomes under 3 elements

Element 1: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice

- Outline the theoretical principles that underpin assessment procedures used in physiotherapy to identify functional limitations and impairments.

- Analyse human movement and apply knowledge of kinesiology and biomechanics of movement to interpret normal joint and muscle function and to recognise variations from normal.

- Include knowledge of anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, pain sciences and exercise physiology in the appropriate selection of assessment tools for selected patient cases.

- Interpret and evaluate the use of measurement and measurement tools in the practice of physiotherapy.

Element 2: Evidence in Physiotherapy

- Analyse the purpose of common physiotherapy measurement tools with respect to their clinimetric properties.

- Critically examine the principles of evidence-based practice as they apply to common physiotherapy treatment strategies.

Element 3: Health in Context

- Analyse the role of physiotherapy within the Australian healthcare context and identify the ethical and legal standards of physiotherapy practice and the mechanisms of accountability for patient and therapist safety within the profession.

- Demonstrate skills in patient centred communication that acknowledges the social, economic and cultural factors which influence both physiotherapists and patients.

  • Online quiz: with short answer questions (30 minutes) - due approx week 7 (10%)
  • Written assignment (case study) 1500 words - due approximately week 10 (10%)
  • Written assignment (Critical perspectives in physiotherapy) 1500 words - due approx week 14 (10%)
  • Written exam paper (2 hours) - end of semester (35%)
  • OSCE: exam on practical skills (20 minutes) - end of semester (35%)

Attendance at practical classes is mandatory and attendance at 95% of classes is a hurdle requirement for passing this subject

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

By the completion of this subject, students will have had the opportunity to develop the following generic skills:

  • the ability to identify and address their own learning needs;
  • the ability to give effective feedback to colleagues in order to help them improve their performances;
  • an understanding of the factors that might disturb normal structure, function and developement;
  • the ability to construct with the patient an accurate, thorough, organsied, physiotherapy history and examination.
Related Course(s): Doctor of Physiotherapy

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