Unit description

Provides a comprehensive introduction to clinical skills required in the holistic assessment of the individual with particular emphasis on osteopathic physical examination. 

Unit content

  • Communication  and patient interview skills
  • Mechanical, physiological and biochemical changes found in selected disorders compared to normal anatomy and physiology
  • Signs and symptoms of common conditions of regions and systems of the body
  • Critical analysis of the evidence supporting assessment and diagnosis of common conditions
  • Physical assessment of the regions of the body, integrating the neurological, musculoskeletal and visceral systems
  • Developing management plans for common clinical problems
  • Professional behaviour and ethico-legal requirements for health care practice

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • Bickley, LS & Szilagyi, PG, 2012, Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking, 11th edn, Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, USA.
  • Petty, NJ (ed.), 2011, Neuromusculoskeletal examination and assessment: a handbook for therapists, 4th edn, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Edinburgh.
  • Stein-Parbury, J, 2014, Patient & person: interpersonal skills in nursing , 5th edn, Elsevier Australia, Chatswood, Australia.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hr (12 wks)
Practical session 3 hrs (12 wks)
Community/Professional placement 44 hrs (Across the session)
Weekly online quizSR
Filmed presentation - patient interview20%
Performance of systems examinationSR
Exam: closed book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2018 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.