The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Higher level analytical and clinical reasoning skills in the assessment and management of musculoskeletal disorders. This course emphasises the critical thinking process in examination, problem analysis and treatment prescription extensively using a case based approach.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply biomedical and behavioural scientific knowledge to the evaluation and management of complex musculoskeletal disorders

2. Demonstrate a well developed clinical reasoning and evidence based approach to decision-making in musculoskeletal physiotherapy clinical practice

3. Understand the role of diagnostic statistics in evaluation of musculoskeletal disorders

4. Adapt the clinical examination for more complex disorders of the musculoskeletal system, integrating advanced physical examination procedures

5. Appropriately select, modify as necessary, and correctly demonstrate advanced active and passive treatment procedures commonly used in the management of musculoskeletal dysfunction

6. Apply sophisticated treatment evaluation and intervention outcome processes appropriate for musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice


  1. Clinical reasoning skills needed for planning and interpreting the clinical examination of more complex musculoskeletal disorders, in addition to planning and implementing an individual rehabilitation program
  2. Multidisciplinary approach to the management of selected complex musculoskeletal disorders
  3. Exercise prescription: advanced procedures/preventive applications, indications/contraindications, adaptation and progression, including, strengthening, conditioning, periodisation
  4. Biopsychosocial models for the management of persistent pain
  5. Psychosocial considerations in managing patients with selected complex musculoskeletal disorders, including chronic pain and psychosocial risk factors (flags)
  6. Sophisticated outcome measures, including the reliability, validity and responsiveness of functional measures
  7. Modify and progress advanced musculoskeletal physiotherapy interventions in response to changes in outcome measures
  8. The use of statistical processes such as clinical prediction rules and diagnostic statistics and their role within a clinical reasoning context


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) program 12337. Students must have successfully completed PHTY2020, HUBS2505, HUBS2503.

Assumed knowledge

All year 1 and 2 Courses in the B PHTY (Hons)

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Formal Exam

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Clinical Reasoning Case Exercises x 4

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Clinical Reasoning Case Examination

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Lectures will occur in weeks 1 to 4 and 9 to 12


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks

Practical to occur in weeks 2 to 4 and 9 to 11.


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks

Tutorial to occur in weeks 2 to 4 and 9 to 11