PT6002 - Clinical reasoning in Physiotherapy

What will I learn on this module?

The overall purpose of this module is to explore factors influencing clinical decision making and to develop your understanding of the processes involved through considering physiotherapy to support people with movement problems.

The module will help you develop your understanding of the internal and external influences on clinical reasoning. You will explore the cause and impact of movement difficulties and the prescription, delivery and evaluation of an appropriate package of physiotherapy for people with different health conditions.

You will explore and discuss how your own personal knowledge, research evidence, Government policy, pathways of care, professional guidelines and the perspective of service users and carers relate to clinical reasoning and decision making in rehabilitation.

The module explores theories, which explain and illustrate the way that clinicians approach reasoning and decision making. Research examining how physiotherapists use subjective and objective information from a variety of sources to support decisions made in practice will be introduced. You will have the opportunity to further develop your observational and therapeutic skills in movement analysis and use these to design and implement programmes to address specific features of movement and function for people with a range of conditions.

The module also explores working as a physiotherapist within a multi-professional team and the importance of providing a person-centred approach, which includes the opinions and goals of the people with different conditions and their family.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, practical sessions and independent learning with supporting materials on eLP. You will have the opportunity to build on knowledge and skills developed in year 1 and 2 of the programme and apply your reasoning to your placement experience. The module staff will support your learning and development across the module. You will work in small groups to develop your skills within seminars and practicals. Lecturers will facilitate context driven application and learning of your professional skills. There will be a strong emphasis on applying clinical reasoning theory to practice. Peer support is also encouraged throughout the module during face-to-face sessions and through online discussion boards. You will also be set tasks to complete outside of taught sessions to further develop your understanding.

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 provided with content verbally and guided through tasks during timetabled sessions. A dedicated assessment session will afford you the opportunity to ask assessment related questions in class. The Module Leader is there to support you with any queries that you may have about the module content, and all staff members provide 4 hours of tutorial support per week. Tutors can be accessed via email or using the online booking system which can be accessed via your mobile phone or computer. 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 a tutorial. There is also further academic skills support available from the University Library services.
During practical sessions you will have the opportunity to develop your clinical reasoning skills in relation to the assessment and treatment of movement disorders. Knowledge and skills gained on placement will be further explored and developed during the module.

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. Critically discuss models of clinical reasoning and the influence of professional, propositional and experiential knowledge on person-centred care, showing awareness of the influence of government/local guidelines and research evidence on clinical reasoning
2. Identify and discuss features of efficient and effective movement and the effect of common conditions on movement in terms of impairment, activity and participation

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. Select, implement and evaluate physiotherapy interventions to address effective and efficient movement in terms of impairment, activity and participation
2. Show critical understanding of the role of physiotherapy within the multi professional team and family unit and how service setting influences reasoning around person centred, collaborative interventions to address client goals.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. Reflect, explore and discuss the influence of personal factors and professional principles such as ethics, equality, and cultural diversity on communication and collaborative decision making for clients.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment: You will be assessed by a presentation immediately followed by a viva. In the presentation and viva you will be asked to explore reasoning based on a clinical decision.
Written feedback will be provided following the summative assessment with the opportunity to explore this further with the module team.

K&U 1,2
IPSA 1,2

Formative opportunities: Clinical reasoning skills will be developed in a number of short student presentations delivered over the course of the module





Module abstract

What factors influence the decisions we make in clinical practice and how can we ensure every decision we make is person-centred? The ability to make effective person-centred clinical decisions is fundamental in physiotherapy. In this module you will be drawing on knowledge and skills developed over your first two years of study to take your clinical reasoning to a level where you can safely and effectively deliver person centred care. In this module we will explore the theory of clinical reasoning to allow you to understand how your knowledge, experience and professional skills influence the everyday decisions you will make when qualified. The module will enable you to advance your skills of movement analysis, treatment and evaluation through the application of reasoning to a number of common movement problems observed in practice. We will explore how to use evidence and guidelines to inform person centred physiotherapy and the role of the physiotherapist within the multidisciplinary team and different service pathways. The module will examine professional requirements for registering bodies and accountability for decision making. This module allows you to consolidate your skills and prepares you in your journey towards qualification and employment.

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 or September 2025

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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