The University of Southampton

PSIO6025 (MSc) Foundations and Principles of Physiotherapy Practice

Module Overview

The module aims to develop an evidence-based approach to how an understanding of the foundation sciences influences the physiotherapy management of problems commonly encountered by individuals in clinical practice. The module interfaces with the BSc PPP Module which the MSc students attend; this reinforces their learning.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To develop an understanding of how the foundations of physiotherapy impact on human functioning.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of foundation sciences relating to normal human functioning through the application to clinical problems
  • Use research skills to identify and evaluate evidence underpinning the foundations of physiotherapy practice in relation to clinical problems
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic pathological processes that occur in common conditions & psychosocial impact through the application to clinical problems
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate appropriate related knowledge, skills and professional attitudes to potential clinical environments
  • Use Guided Discovery Learning principles in the independent acquisition and utilisation of knowledge
  • Use effective communication skills in both group and individual situations
  • Work in groups or independently towards the acquisition, application and dissemination of knowledge
  • Reflect technically on learning activities, undertaking self & peer assessments
  • Demonstrate the ability to access information from written & electronic sources
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the psychosocial issues appropriate to clinical problems at the individual, interpersonal and societal levels.


• Basic biological, physical, clinical sciences including epidemiology, natural history, pharmacology and behavioural sciences in function and dysfunction • Basic pathologies and conditions that occur in NMS, RS and Neurology disease • Development of human growth, variations between individual and how health and disease affects human physiology • Mechanisms of pain and dysfunction in inflammatory and degenerative diseases • An understanding of group dynamics and use of group for learning • Refinement of study skills to promote independent and collaborative learning • Development of literary skills to access information from written & electronic sources • Ethical and management issues • Health care policy and the legal and ethical dimensions of practice Learning will be achieved through the study of simulated case studies that will facilitate the GDL process. Examples of such cases at this level to guide the learning of the underpinning professional knowledge might include: • Joe Springer is a 12 year-old athlete with a sprained talo-fibula ligament. • Tony Brown is a retired farmer with severe degenerative changes in both hip joints leading to severe pain and disability • Tessa Frampton is a 79 year-old woman who fell from a step ladder and broke her hip. She lives alone with her dog • Dave Hart is a 55 year-old man with high blood pressure and angina • Zac Knight is a 42 year-old man with viral pneumonia, who is a 20 pack year smoker • Collette McDonald is a 24 year-old woman who sustains a neuropraxia of her dominant arm’s radial nerve

Special Features

Learning will be achieved through the study of simulated case studies that will facilitate the GDL process. You will also begin to develop the requisite professional skills. This module dovetails together with the PPP module that the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy students undertake. The PPP module provides part of the pre-registration skills that physiotherapists are required to undertake.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Small tutorial groups Clinical skills labs Inquiry seminars Self-directed learning Elaboration on prior learning

Preparation for scheduled sessions112
Total study time171.5

Resources & Reading list

Hengeveld, E and Banks, K. (2013). Maitlands Peripheral Manipulation. 

Additional case based material will be made available to learners on a week by week basis. Additional learning resources will be sourced by students as they engage with guided discovery learning.. 

Petty, N.J. and Moore, A.P. (2012). Principles of Neuromusculoskeletal Treatment and Management. 

Hough, A. (2014). Physiotherapy in Respiratory Care: An evidence based approach to respiratory and cardiac management. 

Churchill Livingstone. (2008). Clinical reasoning in the health professions. 


Stephen Bourke, Graham Burns, (2011). Respiratory Medicine, Lecture notes. 

Journals. • Australian Journal of Physiotherapy • BMJ • Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery • Manual Therapy • Pain • Physical Therapy • Physical Therapy Reviews • Physiotherapy • Physiotherapy Index • Physiotherapy Canada • Physiotherapy Theory and Practice • Spine

West J.B. (1995). Respiratory Physiology- The Essentials. 

Carr J & Shepherd R (2003). Stroke rehabilitation: guidelines for exercise and training to optimize motor skill. 

Mary Anne Broad, Mathew Quint, Sandy Thomas, Paul Twose (2012). Cardiorespiratory Assessment of the Adult Patient, A clinicians guide. 

Delva Shamely (Ed) (2005). Pathophysiology an Essential text for the Allied health professions. 

Carr J & Shepherd R (2010). Neurological Rehabilitation: Optimizing motor performance. 

Physiotherapy for Respiratory and Cardiac Problems (2002). Physiotherapy for Respiratory and Cardiac Problems. 

Harden, B. (Ed) (2004). Emergency Physiotherapy. An on-call survival guide. 

Lennon S & Stokes M (Eds.) (2008). Pocketbook of Neurological Physiotherapy. 

Stokes M Stack E (Ed.) (2013). Physical Management for Neurological Conditions [Formerly Physical Management in Neurological Rehabilitation]. 

Gillian Mead, Frederike van Wijck (2012). Exercise and Fitness Training After Stroke. 

Edwards S (Ed.) (2002). Neurological Physiotherapy: a problem solving approach. 

Aehlert , B. (2002). ECG’s made easy, pocket reference. 

Churchill Livingstone (2002). Chest X rays Made Easy. 

Sue Raine, Linzi Meadows, Mary Lynch-Ellerington (Editors) (2009). Bobath Concept: Theory and Clinical Practice in Neurological Rehabilitation. 

Petty, N.J. and Moore, A.P. (2013). Neuromusculoskeletal Examination & Assessment. 

Low J & Reed A (1999). Electrotherapy Explained. 

Shumway-Cook A and Woollacott MH (2012). Motor control : translating research into clinical practice. 



Group Professional Conversation


MethodPercentage contribution
EMQ 40%
Presentation & Viva 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & 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:

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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