Musculoskeletal Clinical Practice

Subject PHTY90098 (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:

January, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jan-2016 to 27-May-2016
Assessment Period End 10-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 18-Feb-2016
Census Date 26-Feb-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 22-Apr-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Five weeks (28 hours pw) clinical placement and 10 hours of tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

180 hours

Students will need to allow for self-directed learning to prepare for clinics and tutorials


This subject is based on knowledge drawn from all subjects in Year 1 of the Doctor of Physiotherapy program

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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:


Mr David Kelly


Subject Overview:

This subject will be conducted predominantly in the clinical setting and will provide students with an opportunity to develop their clinical skills and to integrate their theoretical knowledge in musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinical practice. The emphasis in this subject is the application of clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice in the safe and effective assessment and management of individuals with musculoskeletal conditions in the clinical setting. This will apply in, communication, therapeutic interventions, advocacy and education working as a health professional within a team, with individuals and their carers, respecting their rights and choices within the healthcare setting.
For further information on clinical placement location, see attached list ‘The University of Melbourne, Physiotherapy clinical placement locations’.

Learning Outcomes:

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

Element 1: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 1

  • Integrate prior knowledge of musculoskeletal physiotherapy, common musculoskeletal conditions and the framework for clinical reasoning to the assessment and management of individuals with musculoskeletal conditions
  • Safely and effectively execute musculoskeletal assessment techniques, including history taking, observational movement analysis, measures of impairment, activity limitations and participation restrictions
  • Select, justify and demonstrate safe and effective physiotherapeutic intervention to address impairments and activity limitations in individuals with musculoskeletal conditions
  • Evaluate risk assessment procedures and demonstrate safe and effective manual handling skills that apply to the management of individuals with musculoskeletal conditions

Element 2: Research and Evidence

  • Discriminate between different musculoskeletal physiotherapy treatment techniques on the basis of findings from experimental physiotherapy research
  • Use findings of high-quality clinical research to inform clinical decision-making in assessment and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal disorders

Element 3: Healthcare context

  • Demonstrate accurate and effective verbal and written communication skills within the clinical setting, including the ability to develop rapport and accommodate the cognitive, linguistic and cultural needs of the individual and their family/carer
  • Develop short term and long term treatment goals with the patient (or carers as appropriate) with discharge planning designed to meet these goals within existing constraints.

Continuous clinical assessment (60%) during 5 week clinical placement

Clinical case presentation (10%) final week of the 5 week clinical

2-hour written Theory examination (30%) Exam week, end of semester

Students must receive a passing mark (≥ 50%) for both clinical (70%) and theoretical (30%) components of the assessment in order to pass the subject

Prescribed Texts:

Cleland J (2007) Orthopaedic Clinical Examination: An Evidence-Based Approach for Physical Therapists, Saunders Elsevier, Philadelphia

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 had the opportunity to develop the skills associated with:

  • Understanding factors that might disturb normal structure, function and development
  • Self-awareness, recognizing when clinical problems exceed personal knowledge and skills, and a willingness to seek help
  • Applying the principles of reflective practice, recognising its importance in health care
  • Communicating with patients from diverse backgrounds including the ability to listen to, respond to, inform and understand the patients' perspective
Related Course(s): Doctor of Physiotherapy

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