Introduction to Biomechanics - SPOR3270

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The module aims to provide students with a basic understanding of mechanical principles and their applications to sports performance and human movement in general. We will work by specifying a question about an aspect of sports performance, and then examining the mechanical principles that allow us to answer this question.
Indicative content includes:
• Definition and computation of kinematic quantities: position, displacement, velocity and acceleration.
• Vector and scalar quantities.
• Newton's Laws of linear motion.
• Impulse-change in momentum relationship.
• Projectile motion.
• Basic fluid mechanics.
• Searching and reading the biomechanics literature.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Online Quiz 1 – 15%
Written Worksheet – 40%
Online Quiz 2 - 15%
Online Quiz 3 - 15%
Online Quiz 4 - 15%

Indicative reading

Hamill, J. and Knutzen, K.M. (2009) Biomechanical basis of human movement. 3rd Ed. London: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Hay, J.G. (1993) The biomechanics of sports techniques. 4th Ed. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice-Hall.
McGinnis, P. (2005) Biomechanics of sport and exercise. 2nd Ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Nordin, M. and Frankel, V. H. (2001) Basic biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. 3rd Ed. London: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Nigg, B. and Herzog, W. (2007). Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System. 3rd Ed. Chichester: Wiley & Son.
Winter, D. A. (2009) Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Movement. 4th Ed. Chichester: Wiley & Son

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Define basic biomechanical terms including: kinematic terms such as velocity and acceleration, force, mass, work, energy.
Apply Newton's Laws and the impulse-change in momentum relationship to basic two dimensional whole body movement.
Use basic trigonometric and algebraic techniques to manipulate and solve equations of uniform acceleration.
Describe the effect of air resistance on performance in sports such as cycling and tennis.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems – evidenced via the selection and solution of appropriate equations to gain insight into human movement principles.
Apply communication, presentation, numeracy and IT skills – evidenced via the completion of calculations in seminars and assessments, the use of computer software to aid in the collection and processing of biomechanical data, and the interpretation in worksheets and assessments of this data.
Apply interactive group skills – evidenced via the collection and analysis of biomechanical data in groups for coursework assessment
Apply problem solving skills – evidenced via the completion of calculations and data analysis.
Self-appraise and reflect on practice - achieved through the completion of formative online quizzes and in-class exercises.
Plan and manage learning – through completing the extra self-directed study and optional online exercises necessary to successfully complete the required assignments and tasks throughout the module.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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