module specification

ST5003 - Biomechanics and Control of Human Movement (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Biomechanics and Control of Human Movement
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
80 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
220 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Practical written reports 1 (1500 words)
Coursework 25%   Practical written reports 2 (1500 words)
Unseen Examination 25%   Written exam (1 hour)
Oral Examination 25%   Individual presentation (15 mins)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module focuses on understanding the principles of human movement in terms of anatomy, biomechanics, and the physiology of the muscular, nervous and skeletal systems. In addition the module explores the application of this knowledge to performance analysis, the development of sporting excellence, and injury prevention.

Prior learning requirements

ST4001 ST4002

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The module aims to: provide an understanding of human movement and its control in terms of physiological, biomechanical, and behavioural principles; develop the ability to apply theoretical understanding of human movement in a variety of contexts including the analysis and development of sporting performance, and the prevention and treatment of injuries; and, develop critical thinking skills of data analysis and interpretation of results.


Movement of inanimate objects: linear and rotation movements and their explanation in terms of forces and torques
Forces involved in selected athletic movements; movement description: principles and techniques
Cell and tissue biomechanics related to sports performance
Neurophysiological control of movement:  central and peripheral aspects
Sensory inputs and movement
Behavioural approaches to motor learning and control
Musculoskeletal lever systems
Projectile motion, impact, elasticity; spin.
Static posture and gait analysis:  description of relevant movements, muscles and forces; differences between walking and running.
Fluid mechanics: fluid resistance; drag; relative motion; flotation, particular reference to swimming.
Practical applications to specific sports quantitative and qualitative analysis; use of video; identifying, evaluating and correcting faults in technique.

Learning and teaching

Knowledge of the subject matter will be communicated through lectures (54 hours) and tutorials (6 hours). Appropriate supporting materials will be provided for these class sessions, together with a wider range of web-based learning resources and other student-centred learning opportunities (220 hours). Practical classes (20 hours) will be used to develop expertise with data collection and evaluation, and will form the basis of the coursework component. Self-managed time and private study should be distributed over the whole year and not left until the final weeks. Students’ study responsibilities are further articulated in the FLS Staff/Student Agreement which is available via the Faculty Web site.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Give an account of underlying mechanical principles relevant to human movement
2. Explain human movement in terms of anatomical and biomechanical principles
3. Give an account of how the neuromuscular system controls movement
4. Demonstrate understanding of the behavioural approach to understanding movement control
5. Conduct a set of laboratory exercises relevant to the module, and write reports of these in appropriate scientific style
6. Use theoretical principles to analyse and evaluate sporting technique in the context of injury prevention and performance enhancement

Assessment strategy

Achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed through a combination of coursework (75%) and examination (25%). Summative coursework will consist of practical written reports arising from experimental work carried out in the laboratory (Learning Outcomes 1,2,5,6); these are submitted in two batches (1500 words each). A 15 minute presentation will be performed (Learning Outcomes 1,2,6).  A one hour unseen written examination will also be set (Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4). An aggregate mark of 40% or more is required to pass this module. Formative assessment opportunities are provided on-line.


Bartlett, R. (2007). Introduction to sports biomechanics (2nd Ed). Routledge. (ISBN 978-0415339940)
Bartlett, R. & Bussey, M. (2011).  Sports Biomechanics: Reducing Injury Risk and Improving Sports Performance (2nd Ed). Routledge. (ISBN 978-0415558389)
Blazewich, A.J. (2010). Sports Biomechanics: The Basics: Optimising Human Performance (2nd Ed). A & C Black. (ISBN 978-1408127490)
Enoka, RM (2008). Neuromechanics of Human Movement (4th Ed). Human Kinetics . (ISBN 978-0736066792)
Grimshaw, P. & Burden, A. (2006).  BIOS Instant Notes in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics. Taylor & Francis. (ISBN 978-1859962848)
Hamill, J., & Knutzen, K. M. (2010). Biomechanical basis of human movement (3rd Ed). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (ISBN 978-1451109016)
Kerr, A. (2010). Introductory Biomechanics. Churchill-Livingstone. (ISBN 978-0443069444)
Payton, C. & Bartlett, R. (2007). Biomechanical Evaluation of Movement in Sport and Exercise: The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Guide. Routledge. (ISBN 978-0415434690)
Rosenbaum DA (2009). Human Motor Control (2nd Ed). Academic Press. (ISBN 978-0123742261)
Schmidt RA & Lee, TD. (2011) Motor Control and Learning (5th Ed).  Human Kinetics. (ISBN 978-0736079617)
Schmidt RA & Wrisberg CA (2007) Motor Learning and Performance (4th Ed). Human Kinetics.  (ISBN 978-0736069649)