Introduction to Biomechanics

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
12 January 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C611 Sports and Exercise Science (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C614 Sports Performance and Coaching (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module provides an introduction to Biomechanics – the study of human movement and the causes of that movement. Biomechanics is used to understand the techniques athletes use to improve performance, it can be used to understand injury and injury prevention, and how sports equipment aids performance.

In this module we re-cap maths areas such as trigonometry and basic vector algebra, followed by Newton's laws of motion, kinematics of motion and how they relate to sport. Levers will be taught to understand the concept of torques along with an understanding of the anatomy for movement. We will also look at how we capture sports and biomechanically analyse their movement. At the end of the module you will undertake a mini-project, collect data, analyse it, and write it up using the techniques/skills you have acquired.

Module aims

1. To provide students with a broad understanding of biomechanics.
2. To give students the opportunity to engage actively with activities and class worksheets provided during lectures, labs and classes.
3. To enable students to develop their problem-solving skills by using relevant techniques.
4. To equip students with an ability to gather and present data appropriately.
5. To enable students to develop confidence in presenting solutions and findings to an audience with no specialist knowledge of biomechanics.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student is expected to be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles of trigonometry and how to resolve vectors and calculate angles.
2. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the basic techniques to use numerical method to solve equations.
3. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of basics of vector algebra, kinematic of motion (both linear and angular) and measurement system.
4. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of Newton’s laws of motion and force.
5. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of levers and moments of force (torque).
6. Record, analyse, interpret and present scientific data relating to the capture and analysis of a sporting movement.
7. Synthesize, interpret and present scientific information from a range of sources.
8. Understand how potential and kinetic energy calculations help to understand performance and fuelling strategies of athletes.

Module information


Introduction to vector and vector quantities. Geometrical and algebraic Vector arithmetic and introduction to vector calculus.
Introduction to physical quantities in mechanics. Concepts of variables in motion, the measurement system and their conversion. Kinematics of linear motion. The relationship between distance, time, velocity and acceleration.
Introduction to Newton's laws of motion. Concept of force, momentum and energy in mechanical systems. Concept and calculation of Moments of forces.
Introduction to levers and the mechanics of joints and muscles
Introduction to kinetic and potential energy
Introduction to video analysis and data collection
Introduction to the mini - research project

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, you will have practised the following transferrable skills:

1. To improve your critical and multidisciplinary thinking;
2. To develop your IT skills by learning to work in Excel to solve numerical problems with the use of statistical tools;
3. To enhance your communication skills in class discussions;
4. To develop your personal plan of setting targets and time management to undertake coursework and exam;
5. Enhance your research skills, by collecting data yourself, analysing this data, and then report on this data.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competences to study at undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner. Every attempt is mate to create a cultivating, welcoming and inclusive module and classroom environment, where learning is tailored around the Millennial learners' experiences and preferences. This module further aims to improve the students' sense of belonging, incorporates a hands-on and problem-based approach to learning, and by decolonising the curriculum via the means of diversification it also aims to improve the sense of belonging and engagement of BAME students. This module will be delivered by a 1 x 2-hour lecture and a 1 x 2-hour class. The 2-hour class will become a 2-hour lab twice a term (4 x 2-hour labs in total). Handouts for classes will be made available prior to the event, allowing students to work along remotely. All lecture notes and exercises are placed on Moodle for easy student access. Listen Again is also used as part of learning support in which students can review the recordings at a later date.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   IA178 - Online Moodle Assessment 1    16.67% 
Coursework   IA178 - Online Moodle Assessment 2    16.67% 
Coursework   IA178 - Mini Project - Presentation  21/03/2024  16.66% 
Coursework   IA178 - Mini Project - Scientific Paper Format  11/04/2024  50% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 180 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment Moodle quizzes in week 5 and week 17. The pre-lab quizzes will be approximately 10 multiple choice question answered during the first 15 mins of the lab practical using Moodle quiz. They will be based on information in the handout (which students will be instructed to have read prior to attending the lab). This will ensure that students are appropriately prepared for the first MCQ assessment in week 6 and week 18. Summative assessment Two online Moodle assessments (2 x 10% each, 20% in total) - these will consist of approximately 40 questions (or questions totalling 40 marks) that will test the students' grasp of material covered during lectures. Mini-project individual presentation and write-up (40%) - this is a research project where students will collect data, analyse it, and write it up and present it using the techniques/skills acquired over the module. The individual research proposal (week 16) will be formatively assessed via email to provide feedback before applying for ethical approval (week 18). Data collection for the project will take place between weeks 21-23. Students will analyse their data in class and present their study, individually, via the means of a recorded video. This presentation is assessed (10 mins, 10%) and students will be able to use the feedback from this for their individual write-up (scientific paper format, 1,500 words, 30%) in week 28. Faser timed exam (3 hours, 40%) – will include multiple choice questions, short answer and essay style questions. Reassessment strategy Failed timed exam - Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with existing coursework mark to create a new module mark. Failed coursework - Resubmit a piece of coursework (1,500 words) which is re-aggregated with existing exam mark to create a new module mark. If the oral presentation has been failed or has not been attempted, students will also be required to submit a pre-recorded individual presentation of no longer than 10 minutes. The weighting will be divided equally between the assignment and the presentation. The reassessment task will replace the coursework component and will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met. Failed timed exam and coursework - Resit the exam, resubmit one piece of coursework (1,500 words) and an oral presentation (if it has been failed or has not been attempted) which are aggregated to create a new module mark.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
60% 40%


Coursework Exam
60% 40%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Miss Mahbi Razavi, email: sr23233@essex.ac.uk.
Mahbi Razavi - sr23233@essex.ac.uk
Kate Smith - catsmith@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Austin Tomlinson
University of Birmingham
Available via Moodle
Of 64 hours, 58 (90.6%) hours available to students:
6 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

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