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MEDI1033 Nervous and Locomotor 1

Module Overview

The Nervous and Locomotor 1 course primarily focuses on the anatomy of the limbs and peripheral nervous system and the physiology and pathology of the locomotor system. The course is composed of four main themes: Bones & Joints, Movement & Exercise, Communication and Trauma. Each theme will introduce students to a range of integrated basic science and clinical disciplines related to these topics

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The Nervous and Locomotor 1 module primarily focuses on the anatomy of the limbs and peripheral nervous system and the physiology and pathology of the locomotor system. The module is composed of four main themes: Bones & Joints, Movement & Exercise, Communication and Trauma. Each theme will introduce students to a range of integrated basic science and clinical disciplines related to these topics. Main aims of the module are to enable you to  Understand the functional anatomy of the upper and lower limb and the histological organisation of bone, cartilage and muscle.  Understand the physiological principles underlying the normal function of the Nervous and Locomotor System on the different levels of biological organisation.  Be introduced to fundamental knowledge of human genetics.  Understand the principal mechanisms of disease related to the Nervous and Locomotor System, their treatment and the recovery process.  Understand the psychological and sociological aspects of patient care. The learning outcomes below map directly to one or more of the Programme learning outcomes [as indicated in square brackets] which in turn are taken from the GMC’s Tomorrow’s Doctors (2009).

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the structure and function of the upper and lower limbs and discuss the diseases and disorders that may result in the production of pain and disability [1.1a, 1.1b]
  • Demonstrate appropriate numeracy skills in the calculation and interpretation of quantitative scientific and clinical data [1.1f, 1.1g]
  • Interpret radiological images relevant to the normal anatomy of the upper and lower limbs [2.2d]
  • Recognise the impact of disease and dysfunction of the locomotor and nervous systems on patients and their families and the scope of treatment and management options available within healthcare [3.2c, 3.3b, 3.4a]
  • Further develop professional skills, including group and independent study, team working and communication in laboratory practical classes and tutorials [3.2a,3.2b, 3.2d, 3.3a, 3.3b]
  • Describe the structure, development and pathophysiology of bone and cartilage [1.1a, 1.1b]
  • Describe the structure, mechanism of contraction and metabolism of skeletal muscle [1.1a]
  • Explain the responses of the body to exercise, the health benefits of physical activity and the public health issues surrounding nutrition and exercise [1.1a, 1.1e]
  • Describe the structure and function of the neuromuscular junction and explain the pharmacological effects of neuromuscular junction drugs and their effects on disease states such as myasthenia gravis [1.1a, 1.1b, 1.1f]
  • Describe the structure and function of the nervous system in order to understand the pathological basis of diseases of the nervous and locomotor systems [1.1a, 1.1b]
  • Describe the sensory and motor pathways of the nervous system and their integration at the brain and spinal cord [1.1a]
  • Explain the biomechanics of the locomotor system including normal and abnormal patterns of gait [1.1a, 1.1b]
  • Describe the physical, psychological and social impact of trauma upon the nervous and locomotor systems [1.1b,1.2b,1.2c, 1.2f, 1.3b, 1.3 c, 1.3d]


In order to meet the learning outcomes, the syllabus will contain teaching in the following areas: Anatomy Clinically relevant anatomy of the following regions: • Shoulder • Hip • Elbow • Knee • Wrist • Ankle • Hand • Foot Communication skills • Body language and non-verbal communication Emergency medicine • Introduction to trauma • Assessment of the seriously injured patient Exercise science • Physical activity and health • Biomechanics Human Genetics • Medical Genetics • Inheritance in families • Chromosome and DNA changes causing clinical phenotypes • Genetic investigations Histology • Cartilage • Bone Neurology • Neuromuscular disorders • Peripheral nerve injury and peripheral neuropathy Nutrition • Physical activity and energy expenditure • Proteins, bone growth and metabolism • Proteins, amino acids and nitrogen balance Orthopaedic surgery • Introduction to orthopaedic surgery • Clinician’s perspective of gait Paediatrics • Paediatric disorders of nervous and locomotor systems Pathology • Wounds and fracture healing • Bone disease • Introduction to central and peripheral nervous system pathology Pharmacology • Drug action at the neuromuscular junction Physiology • Physiology of bone • Muscle structure and contraction • General physiology of the central and peripheral nervous systems • Afferent and efferent transmission and reflexes • Control of movement Psychology • Bodies and minds: What is normal? Radiology • Imaging of nervous and locomotor systems Rehabilitation medicine • Disability and rehabilitation Sociology • The social model of disability • Trauma, self and identity The Nervous and Locomotor 1 (NLM1) module is built around four topic based weeks: ‘Bones and joints’; ‘Movement and exercise’; ‘Communication’ and ‘Trauma’. Anatomy, which constitutes a significant part of the module, is taught mainly in the anatomical sciences laboratory and based on comparison of similar joint systems between the upper and lower limb, to help students develop a deeper understanding of the functional and clinical anatomy of these regions. Anatomy and histology are integrated in laboratory classes throughout the module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught through a range of learning and teaching strategies which will include: • Lectures • Tutor led tutorials • Practical laboratory classes • Guided self-study • Group work • eLearning • Patient based learning

Preparation for scheduled sessions95.5
Practical classes and workshops14
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Schuenke M. (2006). Thieme Atlas of Anatomy: general anatomy and musculoskeletal system. 

Palastanga N, Field D, Soames R. (2006). Anatomy and Human Movement: structure and function. 

The standard textbooks on the BM5 Recommended Reading List. 

Lim EKS (ed). (2007). Medicine & Surgery: an integrated textbook. 

Michael-Titus A, Revest P, Shortland P. (2007). The Nervous System: Basic science and conditions. 

Willson S. (2006). What can the arts bring to medical training?. 

Online interactive resources for NLM1 including the Virtual Patient, the Interactive Radiological Anatomy Package, interactive anatomy, histology and pharmacology materials, and the Pathology Interactive Practicals (PiPs) are available on the NLM1 e-learn.

Knight S, Iqbal R. (2003). Muscles, Bones and Skin. 

Sambrook P, Schrieber L, Taylor T, Ellis A. (2001). The Musculoskeletal System.. 


Assessment Strategy

As compensation applies across assessment components in this module, a fail in any of the components will require a supplementary exam to be undertaken in all of the components of the assessment to progress. Students taking supplementary exams as a referral (second attempt) will have their mark capped at the minimum pass mark for the module. According to the Academic Regulations for the BM5 programme failure to pass referral exams results in termination of the year and repeating Year 1 is not normally allowed either externally or internally.


Multiple choice question


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice question  (140 minutes) 40%
Practical paper  (40 minutes) 20%
Written paper  (140 minutes) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Supplementary activity %
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