Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module ENGI4627: Biomechanics

Department: Engineering

ENGI4627: Biomechanics

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to H100
Tied to H106
Tied to H108
Tied to H911
Tied to H912
Tied to H913


  • ENGI2221 Solid Mechanics and Structures 2


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module is designed for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes
  • To provide a basic overview of anatomy and physiology relevant to the study of Biomechanics, along with an insight into the methods of characterisation of physiological function and body dynamics.
  • To provide an overview of the mechanical properties of soft and hard tissues (in healthy and pathological conditions).
  • To explore the analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques used for studying physiological solid mechanics (from cell to tissue, to organ level) and human body dynamics.


  • Multiscale overview of biological tissue structure and functions.
  • Mechanics of biological tissues (soft tissues, hard tissue, cell mechanics).
  • Techniques for characterisation of physiological tissues.
  • Constitutive Equations of isotropic, orthotropic bio-solid materials and non-hookean behaviour.
  • Rigid body dynamics applied to the human body.
  • Gait Analysis and Inverse Dynamics.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A basic understanding of functional anatomy and physiology suitable for the study of Biomechanics.
  • An understanding of the constitutive equations used for studying bio-solid mechanics.
  • An appreciation of complexity, benefits and limitations of the models currently used/being developed for studying Biomechanics and Biomaterials.
  • An awareness of the different biological material characterisation methods, from cell to tissue, to organ level.
  • An understanding of the clinical applications of biomechanics (gait analysis, inverse dynamics).
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Analytical methods in Biomechanics.
  • Computational methods in Biomechanics.
  • Ability of comparing different methods to solve the biomechanical problem.
  • The capability to independently analyse the Biomechanical problem.
  • The capability of performing literature search on a specific biomechanics problem.
  • The ability of interacting and communicating with experts coming from different fields (biological sciences, biomedical sciences, clinical medicine) thanks to a common language.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Specialised numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.
  • Appreciation of the assumptions and limitation of constitutive modelling, capability of assessing and quantifying model accuracy.
  • Develop an ability to communicate technical concepts (technical writing) effectively.

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

  • The module content is delivered in lectures and is reinforced by problem sheets, equipping students with the required problem-solving capacity.
  • Students are able to make use of staff 'Tutorial Hours' to discuss any aspect of the module with teaching staff on a one-to-one basis. These are sign up sessions available for up to one hour per week per lecture course.
  • Written timed examinations are appropriate because of the wide range of analytical, in-depth material covered in this module and allow students to demonstrate the ability to solve advanced problems independently.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Typically 1 per week 1 Hour 20
Tutorial Hours As required Weekly sign-up sessions Up to 1 Hour 10
Preparation and Reading 70
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% No

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