Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to H1K512
Tied to H1K509
Tied to H1K514


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The course explains the theoretical considerations required for the quantification of human motion and the evaluation of anatomical joints.
  • The course will review practical solutions in current usage for the restoration of biomechanical integrity.


  • Historical review of biomechanics and basic human anatomy
  • Functional anatomy and body dynamics
  • Functional adaptation of bone
  • Mechanism of muscle contraction
  • Mechanics of the human body and joint mechanics
  • Force measurements and analysis
  • Structure, function and mechanical properties of hard and soft tissues
  • Tribology of natural joints
  • Biomaterials Corrosion, degradation and biocompatibility
  • Soft and hard tissue replacement
  • Tribology of artificial joints
  • Fixation methods and future trends

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • an appreciation of the complexities of the human musculoskeletal system;
  • an understanding of modelling of loading through joints;
  • an understanding of acquisition methods for bio-mechanical data;
  • an understanding of the design of natural and artificial synovial joints;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • an ability to describe the basic structure and function of bone, muscle, articlular cartilage and tendon/ligament;
  • an ability to use basic mechanical models of soft tissues;
  • selection of materials for bioengineering applications.
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Lectures to cover module content.
    • Assignments to underpin lectures.
    • Examinations to assess knowledge, understanding and application.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Lectures 19 weekly 1 hour 19
    Tutorials 19 weekly 1 hour 19
    Preparation and Reading 112
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Examination Component Weighting: 67%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Written Examination 2 hours 100%
    Component: Assignments Component Weighting: 33%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Assignment 3000 words 100%

    Formative Assessment:


    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University