Module code: ENGM187

Module Overview

This module introduces the student to the methods through which principles of engineering mechanics and applied mathematics are used to analyse the human body in movement and in equilibrium and to quantify processes in biological systems such as musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.

The student will be required to undertake an individual project on processing of experimental data to analyse the dynamics of human body in movement. The student is expected to synthesise information from the lectures and from the open literature in order to conduct this project. The use of computer programming in conducting the analysis is highly encouraged.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

CIROVIC Srdjan (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 33

Tutorial Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Normal entry requirements for the Biomedical Engineering MSc degree programme.

Module content

  • Application of vector algebra and coordinate transformations in motion analysis: segment and joint angles from marker positions.

  •  Calculation of linear and angular velocities/accelerations from discrete sets of (marker) position data. Treatment of noisy experimental data.

  •  Analysis of overall body movement in walking and running. Simple models to estimate ground reaction force and energy expenditure in locomotion.

  •  Statics of the musculoskeletal system: joint moment, joint reaction forces, muscle forces and bone-on-bone forces in equilibrium.

  •  An overview of methods of resolving indeterminacy due to redundant muscle action.

  •  Dynamics of the musculoskeletal system: joint moments and joint reaction forces in motion.

  •  An overview of the mechanical properties of bones and soft tissue.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 60
Coursework COURSEWORK 20

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

that they have developed an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of mechanics and their application for the analysis of the human body in equilibrium and motion, by solving a set of quantitative problems and carrying out a project on the analysis of the dynamics of human body in movement.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Examination                  [ Learning outcomes 2,3,4 ]                            (2 hours)                 {60%}

·         Coursework                  [ Learning outcomes 2,3,4 ]                            (8 hours)                  {20%}

·         Individual project            [ Learning outcomes 1, 3,4,5,6 ]                    (8 hours)                  {20%}

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative verbal feedback is given in tutorials.

  • Written feedback is given for each of continual assessment reports.

Module aims

  • A systematic understanding of the theory and methods of analysing the functioning of the human body from the perspective of mechanics, with an emphasis on the musculoskeletal system.
  • A set of analytical skills which will enable them to perform quantitative analyses in certain fields of biomechanics.
  • A critical awareness of the limitations of existing theories and future challenges.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate an awareness of the issues at the forefront of musculoskeletal biomechanics. K
2 Identify dominant underlying mechanical principles governing the behaviour of human body performance for a range of  situations. KC
3 Represent the entire human body, or its parts, as a mechanical system to a level of simplification appropriate for specific analytical tasks. C
4 Apply laws of mechanics and appropriate mathematical methods to perform quantitative analysis of the musculoskeletal system in equilibrium and in motion in order to determine: key kinematic parameters, loading in muscles and joints, and energy requirements for locomotion. CP
5 Critically evaluate current approaches in biomechanics, in particular those to do with analysing human movement, joint loading under multiple muscle action, and energy optimisation in locomotion. ) C
6 Independently continue to advance their knowledge of the subject from the body of literature in order to tackle new and emerging problems. T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Give the student an extensive overview of the problems and analysis methods in the field of biomechanics through a combination of lectures covering the theoretical foundations and tutorial sessions focusing of quantitative problem-solving skills.




Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM187

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biomedical Engineering MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.