Biomechanical Analysis - SPOR5770

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Jake Bowd checkmark-circle


This module is concerned with angular mechanics and the biomechanics of complex movements. Laboratory experimentation will provide the opportunity for students to develop practical skills in the use of a range of analysis equipment such as a force plate and computer-based motion analysis. A range of sport and exercise situations will be used to illustrate the mechanical principles considered. These could include kinematic analysis of walking; the kinetics of weight lifting; the computation of resultant joint moments and gait analysis.
Indicative content includes:

Definition and computation of angular kinematic quantities.
Newton's Laws in their angular formulation.
Methodology: motion analysis, force plates, anthropometry.
Interpretation of resultant joint moment profiles in gait analysis.
Basic material properties such as stress and strain and the relationship between these measures and injury.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

online quiz – 20 % (3 hours)
online quiz – 20 % (3 hours)
written worksheet – 30% (20 hours)
written worksheet – 30% (20 hours)

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:

Apply Newton's Laws to whole body and segmental angular motion.
Identify the steps involved in computing resultant joint moments using a two-dimensional inverse dynamics procedure and critically discuss methodological issues involved in collecting the necessary data.
Explain the advantages of muscle indeterminacy and the limitations of an inverse dynamics analysis.
Interpret a joint moment-time profile to identify common gait issues.
Recognise a typical stress-strain relationship for biological tissues and the changes in mechanical properties that occur with training, ageing and disuse.

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.
Apply communication, presentation, numeracy and IT.
Apply interactive group skills.
Apply problem solving.
Self-appraise and reflect on practice.
Plan and manage learning.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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