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The University of Southampton

PSIO1029 Foundations of Health Sciences for Physiotherapy

Module Overview

This shared module will provide a broad introductory foundation in the sciences that underpin the practice of Physiotherapy. It will enable you to gain an integrated understanding of relevant anatomy, physiology and aspects of pathophysiology from the cellular level to the level of whole-body systems. It will also provide an opportunity to explore the relevance of this foundation learning to your future clinical practice.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Within this module students will start to build an integrated understanding of human anatomy, physiology, health psychology, sociology, the body's responses to pathology or trauma and the impact of these events on an individual's sense of self, their relationships and their occupations. In addition to the main, shared learning lectures, students will engage in physiotherapy specific sessions that aim to contextualise this learning from a physiotherapy perspective.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand and demonstrate knowledge of relevant anatomical and physiological terminology
  • Describe the basic structure and function of relevant body systems in relation to the healthy human condition e.g. nervous system, cardiorespiratory system and musculoskeletal system.
  • Discuss the main concepts of key psychosocial models and concepts relevant to healthcare, such as health beliefs, identity, supported self-management, and behaviour change.
  • Understand the way in which the biopsychosocial model integrates the anatomical, physiological and psychosocial factors that impact upon a) patients' personal experiences and b) your clinical practice.


The syllabus may include the following: - Understanding of anatomical structures and physiology of the body e.g. the cardiorespiratory or musculoskeletal systems and their relationship to normal function. - Primary and secondary responses to pathology and trauma where appropriate - Psychological well-being and their relevance to occupational performance The subject areas from anatomy, physiology, pathology, health psychology and sociology will be linked to enable students to begin to understand the interrelationship of physical and mental health and the impact of ill health/disability on sense of self and occupational performance. The material delivered in the joint lecture programme may include: Anatomy, Physiology & relevant aspects of pathology - Cells and tissues - Anatomical terminology - Pathology: inflammation and repair Neuromusculoskeletal System - Structure and function of bones, joints and associated muscles, an overview nervous system including the autonomic nervous system. - Pathology: bone disorders e.g. osteoporosis and osteochondritis, degenerative and inflammatory arthritis. Cardio-respiratory System - Structure and function of heart, arteries, veins, lymphatics, respiratory tract, thorax and diaphragm - Cardiac output, venous return, dynamics of circulation, blood pressure, blood gas transport, control of ventilation, gas exchange, lung volume, respiratory function, mechanics of respiration Psychosocial Science An introduction to the key principles of psychosocial sciences will be provided within a biopsychosocial framework. This will involve reviewing the application of key psychosocial issues and theories that are related to the practice of Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Podiatry within a holistic manner and within the context of care. The key topics that will be covered may include: - Health and illness beliefs and cognitions - Identity and Supported Self-management - Depersonalisation, dignity and general empathy - Loss and Coping - Models of health behaviour and readiness to change

Special Features

Shared teaching is a key feature of Foundations of Health Sciences. Students from different professional programmes including Podiatry, Occupational Therapy and Healthcare Sciences will attend lectures alongside those from Physiotherapy. Where appropriate, input from service users or representatives of service user groups will be sought to enhance the teaching and learning activities on this module. Profession-specific sessions will encourage students to think about this foundation learning in the context of physiotherapy practice.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This shared module will use a blended-learning approach, with a range of teaching and learning activities. You will be directed to attend lead lectures, practical anatomy classes and/or seminars which are identified as essential to underpin your knowledge and future practice. You should also develop the skills and initiative necessary to manage your own independent learning as part of your professional responsibility.

Blended Learning55
Practical classes and workshops2
Independent Study103.5
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

LWW Health Library Online (Access free at the point of use during studentship).

Acland's video atlas of human anatomy. (Access usually free at the point of use during studentship).

Elaine Marieb & Katja Hoehn (2018). Human Anatomy and Physiology. 

Anatomy.TV (Primal Pictures Online) (Access free at the point of use during studentship).



Assessment tasks


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Re-write and Re-viva 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


White lab coat for use in Anatomy classes. (this lab coat will also be needed for later modules).

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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