module specification

ST5073 - Biomechanics of Human Movement and Dance Technique (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Biomechanics of Human Movement and Dance Technique
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
110 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Practical written reports 1
Unseen Examination 50%   Written test
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module focuses on understanding the principles of human movement in terms of anatomy and biomechanics. In addition the module provides examples of the application of this knowledge to performance analysis, the development of sporting excellence, and injury prevention. A practical programme explores in more detail topics covered in the lectures with dance specific material.  

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. This module aims to: provide an understanding of human movement and its control in terms of biomechanical and anatomical principles; illustrate how this knowledge may be applied to the analysis and development of dance performance, and the prevention and treatment of injuries; and, develop critical thinking skills of data analysis and interpretation of results. These aims have been aligned with the qualification descriptors published by the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.



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
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 of biomechanical to specific sports or dance: 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 (28 hours) and tutorials (6 hours) along. 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 (110 hours). Practical classes (6 hours) will be used to further develop understanding of biomechanical principles and their application to practice in sports or dance, as well as expertise with data collection and evaluation. Self managed time and private study should be distributed over the whole semester 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 and dance technique
2. Apply underlying mechanical principles and a knowledge of anatomy to the explanation of human movement and dance technique
3. Conduct a set of practical exercises relevant to dance science, and write a report of these in appropriate scientific style

Assessment strategy

Achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed through a combination of coursework (50%) and class test (50%). Summative coursework will consist of practical written reports arising from practical work carried out in the laboratory or studio (1500 words; Learning Outcomes 1,2,3). A written unseen test will also be set (1 hour; Learning Outcomes 1,2). An aggregate mark of 40% or more is required to pass this module. There is an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. 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)
Clippinger, K. (2007) Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology. Chicago, IL; Human Kinetics. ISBN:978-0-88011-531-5
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)
Solomon, R., Solomon, J. and Minton, S.C. (2005) Preventing Dance Injuries. Chicago, IL; Human Kinetics. ISBN: 978-0-7360-5567-3