Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit is concerned with biomechanics which is the study of the function and the structure of biological systems using the methods of mechanics. Biomechanics is central to understanding many major diseases and conditions that significantly impact global health, and is routinely applied in the design and development of medical devices. The underpinning principle which is referred to several times in this unit is that biological systems adapt to normalise their mechanical environment. They are able to do this because mechanical forces are sensed by tissues, and deviations from 'normal' result in biological changes that affect structure.

This unit introduces students to the far-reaching field of biomechanics in health and disease, and provides students with new skills obtained through coursework, laboratories and assignments.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) describe the structure and function of key biological systems; (2) evaluate the role of material behaviour in different health and disease states; (3) evaluate the role of blood, its components and movement in cardiovascular health and disease; (4) evaluate the mechanisms of the heart and their role in cardiovascular health and disease; (5) explain how biological systems respond to mechanical stimuli; (6) apply computational methods (fluid mechanics) to analyse fluid flow in biological systems and interpret results; (7) apply computational methods (solid mechanics) to analyse displacements, stresses and strains in biological systems and interpret results; (8) design and execute experiments that assess biomechanical function and interpret results; and (9) write concise reports using appropriate discourse conventions.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) project and (2) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ben Zwick
Unit rules
Enrolment in 62550 Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical Engineering specialisation
or Chemical Engineering specialisation
or Mechanical Engineering specialisation)
Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
and 96 points
and ENSC2004 Engineering Mechanics
Advisable prior study
ENSC2004 Engineering Mechanics
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
practical classes and lab classes: 2 hours per week
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.