PT4000 - MSK anatomy and physiology

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to the anatomy, physiology and key pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, with a particular focus upon normal structure and function. This knowledge forms the foundation knowledge is required to assist in recognising normal anatomical presentation and helps assist in assessment and diagnosis for conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. There is a strong emphasis on developing practical and functional anatomy skills such as palpation and observation to help identify clinically important structures. The module takes a regional anatomy approach and considers the gross structure and function of the lower limb, upper limb, spine and pelvis.

Teaching will be delivered via full day workshops, where you will be expected to practice handling and palpation techniques alongside other students. Occasional lecture-based teaching will be included to help introduce new topics. This will be supported by directed and independent study. The module is assessed by practical exam, where you will be asked to demonstrate knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology of a given joint.

How will I learn on this module?

The main focus of the module is learning via face to face and online workshops, tutorials and independent learning. The module staff offer support to develop your learning and development across the module. There is a strong emphasis on practical skills required to practice effectively in musculoskeletal contexts, with opportunities to assess your progress formatively through active engagement in feedback. Learning in this module reflects HCPC and CSP recommendations for lifelong learning and continuous professional development, with the method of delivery mirroring what is expected and observed by qualified physiotherapists. Full day workshops, which will have a specific focus on one joint, will usually be delivered every week, with consolidatory weeks at key points of the module e.g. completion of a region. The primary focus is upon student led learning using group work, facilitated by teaching staff. These sessions are heavily practical based, and will require students to model for each other to explore palpation of the musculoskeletal system. There will be a large emphasis on directed study in order to prepare for each workshop. Online resources are available through the University learning platform and are used to support your directed learning, demonstrate the required structures, level of detail and content required. These are available for perusal prior to all workshops.

You will be expected to:
• Attend teaching sessions
• Be dressed appropriately for practical sessions
• Behave in a professional manner
• Engage and contribute to the learning and development of yourself and others

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module information, assessment requirements and expectations, and important module announcements will be made through the eLP. Material to support your learning will be uploaded in advance of sessions. You will be signposted to content via the module booklet and also verbally during timetabled sessions. Online resources are available through the University learning platform and are used to support your directed learning, demonstrate the required structures, level of detail and content required. The Module Leader is there to support you with any queries that you may have about the module content. You will have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on your development during the module, and you will receive feedback on summative work to help you identify areas of strength and areas for development. There will be the opportunity to discuss your feedback with a member of staff during taught sessions or by face to face or online tutorials as necessary. There is also further academic skills support available from the University Library services.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the musculoskeletal anatomy of the spine, pelvis, upper and lower limbs.
2. To discuss aetiology, pathology, clinical features and prognosis of common pathologies affecting the musculoskeletal system.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. To accurately locate, identify and palpate key structures of the musculoskeletal system using a range of human and physical resources.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. To gain informed consent, behave professionally and perform practical tasks alongside peers in a respectful manner.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: Your tutors will support you in developing your exam preparation through regular tutorial discussions and formative peer assessed tasks.

Summative assessment:
Assessment will be a practical based exam, focused upon one of seven anatomical areas. You will be randomly assigned to an area on the day of the exam. During the exam, you will be asked to identify and palpate, using a student model or physical resources e.g. skeleton, bones etc. your knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy. You will also be expected to describe key features of common pathologies that affecting this region, discussing their clinical presentation, aetiology and prognosis. Written feedback will be provided after the examination period has completed.

You will receive written and verbal formative feedback throughout the module following each workshop. You will be given written feedback on your summative assessment which can be discussed in person with the module tutor.
K&U 1,2; IPSA 1, PVA 1





Module abstract

The study of anatomy has been a cornerstone of medical, and more latterly physiotherapy, education in higher education institutes. Centuries worth of meticulous examination via cadaveric study and surface palpation has led to the development of an accepted anatomical map, which has remained largely unchanged in the 21st Century. You will be directed to a multitude of appropriate sources, including text books, online material and computer software programmes, and encouraged to explore all potential resources in order to aid their learning.

Course info

UCAS Code B165

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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