Module code: ENG3173

Module Overview

One of the primary clinical roles of the biomedical engineer is the assessment and remediation of physical impairment. 

Prosthetics and orthotics are key technologies and clinical practices of assisting patients to restore appropriate body functions in the modern healthcare industry.

Similarly, neural implants offer ways to reconnect to functionally impaired nerves.

This module provides a comprehensive overview of the assessment of functional impairments, and understanding the role that prosthetics (both physical and neural) and orthotics play in rehabilitation.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

XU Wei (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 8

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 26

Tutorial Hours: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Completion of the progress requirements of FHEQ Level 5

Module content

  • An understanding of the basic parameters of gait and the gait cycle

  • Kinematic and kinetic analysis of gait in the sagittal plane.

  • Kinematic and kinetic parameters of normal gait

  • Pathological gait and its characterisation

  • An overview of three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic analysis of gait.

  • An overview of gait analysis tools

  • Introduction to prosthetics and orthotics

  • Brief introduction to assessment procedures for lower limb amputees

  • Principles of operation of inner soles; AFOs and KAFOs. Introduction to spinal bracing.

  • Current prosthetic socket attachment methods and future trends such as osseo-integrated implants

  • Principles of operation of lower artificial limbs, with particular reference to developments in prosthetic Ankle and knee joints e.g. C-leg and etc.

  • Engineering science supporting the design and development of the prosthetic limbs.

  • Basic surgical aspects in relation to the prosthetic limb attachment.

  • A consideration of ethical considerations facing the clinical engineer

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAMINATION (2 HRS) 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The coursework assessment has been divided into two parts 1) to assess module learning outcomes in terms understanding the scientific principles and methodologies of human movement measurement and usage of the human movement system, and 2) a report regarding the prosthetic socket development. The exam has been design for student to demonstrate their knowledge in both human movement, prosthetic and orthotic rehabilitations and ability of applying the knowledge and skills in interpreting an engineering related clinical problem and presenting a solution clearly with scientific/engineering justifications.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Clinical rehabilitation coursework  [ Learning outcomes 1, 2 ,3]     (32 hours)          {30%}

  • Examination               [ Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ]     (2 hours)               {70%}

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative verbal feedback is given in tutorials

Written feedback is given on the coursework assessments

Module aims

  • An understanding of the application of engineering principles for the evaluation of patients and for the development of products and systems for the remediation of disability for patients with physical and neurological impairments
  • An understanding the role of human movement measurement technical in the clinical rehabilitation, especially for lower limb amputees.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Give qualitative and quantitative descriptions of the “normal” gait cycle – SM1B, SM3B, T, C, K CPT
002 Understand the measurement methods and quantitative analysis of gait - SM1B, SM3B, T, P PT
003 Identify symptomatic gait and describe the associated pathology - SM2B, EA2 K, P KP
004 Describe the state of the art in external prosthetics and orthotics equipment - SM1B, SM3B, K, T, P KPT
005 Describe the application of engineering science for the clinical rehabilitation, in particular for the lower limbs.– EA2, EL1, C, K, T KCT
006 Understand the state-of-the-art prosthetic joints development and applications and be able to define the limitations inherent in the current approaches. C, T, EA2, EA4B CT
007 Understand the ethical considerations, regulations and standard to be applied in healthcare industry – EA4B, EL1,T, P PT

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:

Introduce human movement analysis system with worked examples. This is delivered through both lectures and a lab demonstration with links to a coursework.

Introduce prosthetic and orthotics, the clinical application of the lower limb prosthetic joints, design and development of lower limb prosthetic joints, medical and surgical aspect of  lower limb prosthetic joints.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 4 hours lecture per week x 9 weeks

  • 2 visits (in groups) x 2 weeks

  • 2 hours revision lectures

  • Gait and prosthetic coursework

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: ENG3173

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Biomedical Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2020/1 academic year.