This unit amalgamates the biomedical science theory introduced in previous semesters HBS1103 Scientific Basis for Osteopathy 1, HBS1203 Scientific Basis for Osteopathy 2, HBS2303 Scientific Basis for Osteopathy 3, HBS2403 Scientific Basis for Osteopathy 4 and HBS3503 Scientific Basis for Osteopathy 5. 
A key focus of this semester is to prepare students for a transition in clinical roles in the student-led clinic. Upon successful completion of the Bachelor Degree (HBSO), students shall be permitted to treat members of the public under the supervsion of a registered osteopath. To facilitate their preparation for this advanced role, students consider patient cases with more than one painful site as these presentations are more reflective of those encountered in osteopathic practice. Students have the opportunity to apply the specialized knowledge developed in HBS3603 in both the clinical setting and in case based learning classes. To further consolidate the relationships between anatomy and common neuromuscular pathologies, students will design and implement a targeted, cadaveric dissection.

In addition, the aim is to introduce students to critical concepts in pain science. Such knowledge is essential for the effective assessment and management of pain in the clinical setting.  The concepts introduced in this unit, set the foundation for a deeper exploration of pain in the Master's program HMHO Master of Health Science (Osteopathy).

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HBS3503 - Scientific Basis for Osteopathy 5


HBS3601 - Patient, Practitioner and Health System 6

HBS3602 - Evidence for Practice 6

HBS3604 - Clinical Skills 6

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Explain the neuro-anatomical, physiological, pharmacological, and biochemical mechanisms involved in nociception, including peripheral and central sensitization  
  2. Classify and discuss the pain mechanisms influencing common presentations in osteopathic practice;  
  3. Reconstruct the pathoanatomy, pathophysiology, clinical presentation and biomechanical implications of common neuro-musculoskeletal conditions;  
  4. Manage common musculoskeletal conditions by applying the osteopathic principles to their practice; and  
  5. Design, synthesise and present an anatomical prosection  


The formative assessments tasks for this unit are: - Online Quizzes - Contribution to CBL group
Assessment type Description Grade
Report Implementation plan of proposed prosection (500 words) 10%
Presentation Oral presentation of completed prosection (15 minutes) 15%
Test 3 x 30 minute Online Quiz 30%
Examination 2 hour Written Examination 45%
Participation in lab, workshop and CBL sessions with at least 90% attendance, unless well-documented acceptable reasons are provided (hurdle requirement). These sessions are critical in preparing students for their assessments particularly the lab sessions where students are working on their prosection. The examination in this unit is a hurdle requirement and as such a minimum pass grade is required to satisfactorily complete the unit overall. The exam assesses students knowledge of essential content and satisfactory completion is required to prepare students to enter their post graduate studies in osteopathy.

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.R. (2018)
Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

Greenman's principles of manual medicine 5th ed.
Destefano, L. A. (2017)
Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

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