Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy A

Subject PHTY90084 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 Hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:

Undergraduate Degree in Physiotherapy together with clinical experience in musculoskeletal physiotherapy

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Guy Zito


Subject Overview:

This subject builds on the postgraduate students' existing theoretical and clinical knowledge as it aims to equip them with skills required to work clinically at an advanced level. Topics covered include clinical reasoning theories, assessment and management of neuro-musculo-skeletal conditions, classification of disorders, mechanisms of injury and the resulting pathokinematics, clinical tests used in differential diagnosis, the evidence base for physiotherapy interventions, evaluation of treatment outcomes as well exercise prescription and self-management programs. Students will also have the opportunity to refine their manual skills including soft tissue techniques, mobilization and high velocity thrust techniques for spinal and peripheral disorders.

Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this subject are to provide:

  • A deeper understanding of medical, clinical and behavioural sciences and their integration with musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice
  • A sound theoretical knowledge and understanding of disorders affecting the neuro-musculo-skeletal system including their classification, mechanisms of injury and resulting pathokinematics,
  • A good understanding of the theories of clinical reasoning as they apply to the practice of musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • A systematic, integrated and critical approach to assessment of musculoskeletal physiotherapy at an advanced level
  • An understanding of the rationale and evidence for the clinical tests used in differential diagnosis,
  • The ability to perform an appropriate subjective and physical examination, with development of suitable analytical skills to evaluate data obtained
  • A sound appreciation of the evidence base for physiotherapy interventions and evaluation of treatment outcomes
  • Advanced knowledge and expertise in the application of therapeutic skills in the management of neuro-musculo-skeletal conditions including soft tissue, mobilization and high velocity thrust techniques.
  • A good understanding of the paramount importance of patient safety at all times
  • A sound appreciation of the limitations of musculoskeletal physiotherapy
  • An appreciation of the wholistic approach to patient management including and the role of other health care professionals involved in patient care.
  • One written assignment - 2500 words (35%) at end of semester 1
  • Student tutorial presentation 20 mins (45%) (25% presentation + 15% annotated bibilography + 5% from peer review) in the last 3 weeks of semester 1
  • Practical skills evaluation throughout semester 1 (20%)
Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

A list of recommended texts will be discussed at the commencement of the semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

On completion of this subject, students will have developed the following generic skills:

  • Advanced skills to enable effective and appropriate communication
  • The ability to source, evaluate and synthesize the latest research and evidence
  • Proficiency in record keeping skills
  • The capacity to lead small teams and work collaboratively
  • The ability to utilize new technologies and to present their work effectively
  • Effective management of competing demands on time
  • Sensitivity and respect for the social and cultural diversity of individuals, organisations and the communities in which they work
  • The ability to work independently as a practiitioner and also as a member of the health team
Related Course(s): Master of Physiotherapy

Download PDF version.