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ESC2001 : Introduction to Biomechanics

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The field of human biomechanics concerns itself with the internal and external forces that act on the body to create or resist movement. Biomechanical principles are regularly applied to improve exercise and sporting performance; understand the underlying mechanisms of pathology and guide treatment; and design sporting and medical devices.

This module aims to provide a solid foundation of the principles of biomechanics; present ways in which it is applied to human movement in clinical and sporting contexts; and demonstrate a range of industry standard tools used to assess the biomechanics of human movement.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus comprises of three key aspects taught concurrently:
i) fundamental principles of biomechanics;
ii) how these biomechanical principles are applied in clinical and sporting contexts; and
iii) methods of assessing the biomechanics of human movement commonly used in the medical and sporting industries, as well as discussion of emerging technologies. The types of assessment that will be covered include: Video analysis; Three-dimensional motion systems; Force and pressure sensors; and Body worn sensors.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion610:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture211:0021:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1102:00102:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical62:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Revision sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Mathematics primer workshop
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce key concepts of the module to the students in support of the knowledge outcomes. Practical sessions are designed to provide students with hands on use of biomechanics equipment. These practical sessions will help solidify the student’s understanding of fundamental principles, support the development of skills outcomes relating to teamwork and inter-personal communication, and give them a degree of familiarity with industry standard equipment. A 1-hour mathematics workshop will be provided in the first fortnight to help students gauge where their mathematics skill are with respect to what is required for the module as well as to introduce them to mathematics support such as MathsAid. Two 2-hour revision workshops will be run to give students the opportunity to practice exam-style questions and revise material prior to the two exams.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602M30Written examination; a combination of multiple choice (single best answer), and short note questions.
Written Examination602A30Written examination; a combination of multiple choice (single best answer), short note and essay questions.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M10Practical report based on practical sessions 1 and 2.
Practical/lab report2M15Practical report based on practical sessions 3 and 4.
Practical/lab report2M15Practical report based on practical sessions 5 and 6.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2M1-hour workshop in the computer clusters, where they will work through basic mathematical problems to highlight area for improvement
Prob solv exercises2MSeveral sheets of problems will be given to students to test and practice their biomechanics problem solving skills
Prob solv exercises2MTwo 2-hour workshops will be dedicated to revising material prior to the first and second exams respectively.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two written examinations will assess the learning outcomes as well as skills outcomes in relation to calculating basic biomechanical parameters and explaining how biomechanics is applied to human movement. The first exam will be scheduled to ensure the students are familiar with the fundamentals of biomechanics prior to learning about more complex topics. The second exam will be scheduled at the end of semester and primarily assess ability to describe and apply the material provided in the second half of the semester. The combination of single best answer and short note questions will allow assessment across the breadth of topics.
Practical reports will assess the student’s ability to assess the biomechanics of human movement. In doing so, the students will demonstrate a working knowledge of: i) the fundamentals of biomechanics; ii) how these fundamentals have been applied to human movement; and iii) describe how and why particular methods of human movement assessment are chosen depending on the clinical or sporting application.

Formative assessment will provide students a chance to gauge their mathematical skills (and be introduced to MathsAid support) in the first fortnight of the module. Problem solving exercises in class will let students practice their biomechanical problem solving skills throughout the module, and so is designed to build the students’ confidence and their ability to comprehend the underlying biomechanical concepts. The revision sessions provide students with an opportunity to practice exam-style questions and also consolidate material the have learned previously in the module prior to summative assessment.

Reading Lists