Biomedical Science for Osteopathy 5 expands the students' knowledge of biomedical sciences through application of fundamental principles to the head and spine. Patients presenting in osteopathic practice tend to seek care for spine related pain and dysfunction, so a key focus in this unit is the anatomy and biomechanics of the head, neck and lumbar spine that can be related to osteopathic treatment principles. Students are able to strengthen their knowledge of management strategies for musculoskeletal conditions through case-based learning of patients with spinal complaints.

Unit details

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Unit code:


HBO1003 - Biomedical Science for Osteopathy 3

HBO1004 - Biomedical Science for Osteopathy 4

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Map the anatomy, histology and embryology of the head, cervical and lumbar spine;  
  2. Integrate biomechanical principles to spinal movements and to the temporomandibular joint  
  3. Propose appropriate management for common musculoskeletal conditions affecting the cervical and lumbar spine  


Assessment type Description Grade
Case Study Case-based learning Presentation 15%
Practicum Laboratory Oral Practical Examination: 15 mins) 40%
Test Theory test: Week 1 Content (computer based) 15%
Test Theory test: Final (computer based) 30%
The computer based week 1 theory test will be held in class during the third workshop of week 1 and will comprise of multiple choice questions. The case based learning presentation is due in the third workshop of week 2. The final theory test will be held during the final workshop in week 4. It will comprise of both multiple choice questions and short answer questions. The laboratory oral practical examination will be held in the anatomy laboratory in week 4. 90% attendance is required at laboratory sessions and workshop classes in the osteopathic program (hurdle requirement). The classes in this unit are interactive and students are able to seek feedback from the teachers on meeting the learning outcomes and planning for assessment tasks. A minimum pass grade (50%) for the laboratory practical oral examination is required to satisfactorily complete the unit overall as the assessment task is reflective of the nature of osteopathic practice. Learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3 relate to fundamental theoretical knowledge and it is essential students are able to verbally present and summarise this material as they will be doing this with patients in practice.

Required reading

Students will be provided with an up-to-date reading list via the VU Collaborate system.

Clinically oriented anatomy 8th ed.
Moore, K.L., Dalley, A. F. & Agur, A. M. (2018)
Philadelphia : Wolters Kluwer

Human Anatomy and Physiology 11th ed.
Marieb, E. N & Hoehn, K (2018)
USA: Pearson Higher Ed

Anatomy and Physiology Coloring Workbook 12th ed.
Marieb, E.N & Brito, S (2017)
Great Britain: Pearson Education Limited

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