module specification

ST7033 - Manual Therapy for Spinal Joints (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Manual Therapy for Spinal Joints
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
152 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 0%   Draft literature review submission
Coursework 10% 50 Peer critique of literature review
Coursework 40% 50 Literature review
Practical Examination 50% 50 Practical demonstration of mobilisation techniques plus viva
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module focuses on the students' understanding, knowledge and ability to apply safe and effective mobilisations for spinal dysfunction. The module develops clinical reasoning skills for the use of mobilisations in treating sports and exercise injuries using evidence based research.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module aims to provide the student with advanced theoretical knowledge and practical  expertise to apply safe and effective manual therapy mobilisation techniques for spinal dysfunction. The student will critically evaluate the current research base for the use of mobilisations of the spine within a Sports Therapy context.


1. Manual therapy techniques, assessment, and anatomical & biomechanical analysis for: Cervical; Thoracic; Lumbar; and Sacroiliac spine anatomical regions.

2. Spinal health and posture related dysfunction.

Learning and teaching

The delivery of the module will be via practical sessions with supporting seminars where students learn theory and practice of safe clinical application of mobilisation techniques and independent, directed learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Identify and apply appropriate manual therapy mobilisation techniques to effectively treat   musculoskeletal dysfunction of the spine and trunk.
2. Demonstrate systematic and critical analysis of contemporary literature for the use of manual therapy mobilisations in spinal dysfunction.
3. Critically appraise current investigative diagnostic techniques of the spine.
4. Effectively apply biomechanical and anatomical knowledge to develop appropriate treatment modalities.

Assessment strategy

Assessment instruments comprise:
a) a draft literature review (c.1000 words) (0%) of current research literature in manual therapy to be reviewed by a peer.
b) formative review of a peer's draft literature review (c. 500 words) (10%) with feedback to the original author (LOs 2). This commentary is assessed by the tutor.
c) a final literature review (c. 2000 words) (LOs 2& 3) (40%)
d) A 35 minute practical viva examination (50%) will assess the student’s ability to select, justify, and apply safe and effective vertebral mobilisations (LOs 1 & 4)

A mark of at least 50% must be obtained in all assessment components to satisfy professional body requirements.


Hengeveld, E. and Banks, K. (2005) Maitlands Peripheral Manipulation. Elsevier Butterworth Heinmann. ISBN:0-7506-5598-4
Hengeveld, E., Banks, K., and English, K. (2005). Maitland’s Vertebral Manipulation. Elsevier Butterworth Heinmann. ISBN: 0-7506-8806-8
Middledith, A. and Oliver, J. (2005). Functional Anatomy of the Spine. Elsevier Butterworth Heinmann. ISBN: 0-7506-2717-4
Mulligan, B., R. (2010). Manual Therapy “NAGS”, ”SNAGS”, “MWMS”etc. Plane View Services Ltd. ISBN: 1877520039
Nordin, M. Frankel, V. (2012) Basic Biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. ISBN: 1609133358
Palastanga, N., Field, D. and Soames, R. (2006) Anatomy and Human Movement structure and function. Elsevier Butterworth Heinmann. ISBN:0-7506-8814-9
Petty, N. and Moore, A. (2011) Neuromusculoskeletal Examination and Assessment: A Handbook for Therapists. Churchill Livingstone. ISBN:  0702029904