SSEH2250 Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Sport Science; Sport Science, Exercise and Health major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
In this unit students are exposed to a broad range of topics in the field of biomechanics, ranging from Newton's laws, aerodynamics, clinical gait analysis and tissue mechanics. The biomechanical basis of movement is studied with special focus on sport techniques and the musculoskeletal system. The unit is complemented with practical laboratories to provide students with an applied understanding of how biomechanics can be used to influence both athletic and clinical populations. From both a theoretical and practical approach, students learn how biomechanics can be applied to sport, exercise and rehabilitation settings. For example students are shown how to improve an athlete's performance, reduce an individual's risk of injury and prevent/manage pathological gait disorders in clinical/special populations.
Students are able to (1) describe movement from a biomechanical perspective; (2) understand how kinematic and kinetic variables relate to 2D movements; (3) link basic muscle mechanics to exercise rehabilitation programs; (4) understand the characteristics of normative and pathological gait; (5) comprehend how the internal and external forces associated with movement interrelate in optimal performance; (6) understand how external forces act on the body while in water; (7) learn the methods used to develop proficient lifesaving, survival and competitive swimming strokes; and (8) develop competencies in basic aquatic skills (i.e. common swimming strokes).
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) mid-semester evaluations; (2) short answer final examination; and (3) practical assessment (practical and laboratory sessions). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Jacqueline Alderson and Dr Machar Reid
Contact hours
lectures 2 x 1.5 hrs per week; labs: 1 x 1 hour per fortnight; practical aquatic session: 1 x 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]

Hamill, J. and Knutzen, K. Biomechanical Basis of Human Movement, 3rd edn: Williams & Wilkins 2009

Richards, J. Biomechanics in Clinic and Research: Churchill Livingstone 2008

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.