PHTY20020 Applied Physics and Biomechanics

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module builds on the measurement and analytical concepts introduced in PHTY10080 Applied Physics Principles and expanded in PHTY10040 Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology.
It applies the principles of physics, in particular mechanics and properties of materials, to understand the main musculoskeletal elements of the human body, its motion, and to biomechanical analysis of the musculoskeletal system and its movement, at an intermediate level.
Further examples of static analysis of postures of the human body are studied. Examples of common car accidents and their physical consequences are studied. Specialist equipment and techniques used in human motion analysis are studied, as are the kinematics and kinetics of human gait.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: 1. Apply the principles of mechanics to a number of situations specialised to the human body; 2. Discuss, at an intermediate level, knowledge of both solid and fluid viscoelasticity and the physical properties of bone, cartilage and muscle; 3. Discuss, at an intermediate level lumbar and cervical spinal mechanics and mechanisms of injury; 4. Discuss, at an intermediate level hip joint mechanics, and premature cartilage degeneration including FAIS; 5. Discuss, at an intermediate level the flexor-pulley system of the hand ; 6. Discuss, at an intermediate level, common car accidents,, their physical consequences, and injury prevention; 7. Discuss, at an intermediate level, a knowledge of human motion analysis equipment, and 8. Discuss, at an intermediate level, normal human gait development and the kinematic and kinetic characteristics of gait.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures with supplementary information online in the VLE. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students must have one of the prerequisite modules indicated

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PHTY10080 - Applied Physics Principles, PHYC10120 - Physics in Medicine, PHYC10150 - Physics for Engineers I

Additional Information:
Students must have any one or other of the above listed prerequisites.

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: End of trimester exam. 1 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: In course assessment: MCQ/timed online MCQ Week 12 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The provisional (indicative) grade of the Brightspace ICA MCQ quiz will be automatically indicated by Brightspace on submission of the quiz by the student. The anonymous grade profile histogram of the provisional quiz results for all students will be posted in Brightspace as soon as possible thereafter, in order that students may see their standing relative to other students in the class, if possible, the histogram is intended to be posted in Brightspace prior to the deadline of the students online written assignment submission.

Low J, and Reed A. (1996) Basic biomechanics explained. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford. ISBN 978-0750621038

Nordin M, and Frankel VH (2012) Basic biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. 4th Ed. / [edited by] Margareta Nordin, Victor H. Frankel. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, London. ISBN 978-1451117097

Whittle’s Gait analysis, 5 th Ed. (2012) Churchill Livingstone, ISBN-13: 9780702042652

Norkin C, and White J (2016) Measurement of joint motion : a guide to goniometry. 5th Ed. Davis. Philadelphia ISBN-0803658478

Mow VC, & Huiskes R (2005) Basic Orthopaedic Biomechanics and Mechano-Biology, Wolters Kluwer

Hamill J, Knutzen K, & Derrick TR (2014) Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement 4 th Ed. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins ISBN-13: 9781451194043

Winter, DA (2009) Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Movement, 4 th Ed., John Wiley & Sons ISBN-13: 978- 0470398180

Low J, Reed A (1996) Basic biomechanics explained. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford. ISBN 978-0750621038
Name Role
Assoc Professor Catherine Doody Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50