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Congratulations on securing your place at Brunel

We’re looking forward to meeting you - either in person or online - and introducing you to life at Brunel. To help us get started, we’ve put together a short activity and some further information to help you prepare for your course - including a snapshot of the topics you’ll cover and useful resources. If you have any questions please email chmls-tpo-physio@brunel.ac.uk.

Your pre-arrival activity 

We would like you to complete a short activity before you join us. We will discuss your answers in one of your first tutorials. Your work will not be officially assessed, but we are hoping it will generate lots of group discussion. 

Please read the information below about reflective practice, and then complete the task as described. 

What is reflective practice? 

Reflective practice is ‘the process of reviewing an episode of practice to describe, analyse, evaluate and inform professional learning; in such a way that new learning modifies previous perceptions, assumptions and understanding, and the application of this learning to practice influences treatment approaches and outcomes’ (CSP, 2002). 

Reflective practice is a way of exploring and explaining events, which may lead to changes in everyday work practices. 

Reflective practice is an essential component of a physiotherapist’s lifelong learning (continuing professional development) and should be commenced as a student. 

So, what will developing my reflective practice allow me to do differently? 

In order to learn (i.e. make long-term changes to your perceptions, assumptions, understanding and behaviours) from an event or experience, you need to personalise the event so that it is relevant to your own situation and context. 

Reflective practice is the process by which to achieve this, and it can enable you to turn any event into a learning experience. It will allow you to: 

  • Critique the quality of your practice 
  • Highlight your strengths and successes 
  • Identify areas for development 
  • Bridge the gap between theory and practice 
  • Demonstrate your accountability and professionalism 
  • Facilitate change (personal and organisational) 
  • How can I reflect on my experiences? 

Reflection doesn’t have to be complicated. One very simple model of reflection is Driscoll’s What model. This model is based on three questions - What? So what? Now what? By asking ourselves these three simple questions, we can begin to analyse and learn from our experiences. 

Please reflect on your interview to join Brunel’s physiotherapy programme. How do you think it went? What went well? What could you have done better? Use the points below to guide you. Please bring your completed reflection to your first HH1703 Professional Development tutorial. 

1. What? (This is the description & self-awareness level. All questions start with the word what e.g. What happened? What did I do? What was I trying to achieve? What was good/bad about the situation?) 

2. So what? (This is the level of analysis and evaluation. All questions start with the phrase so what? e.g. So what is the importance of this? So what more do I need to know about this? So what have I learnt about this?) 

3. Now what? (This is the level of synthesis. All questions start with the phrase now what? e.g. now what could/should I do? Now what do I need to do? Now what might be the consequences of this action?)

We also advise you to take a look at the information below. Completing wider reading and getting familar with what you'll be learning, will help prepare you for academic life at Brunel.

Sample coursework questions

Example of Rehabilitation module:

  • Identify the agonists and antagonists primarily responsible for producing a deep squat.
  • Identify how the type of muscle work occurring on both the descent and ascent phase of movement, state the range of movement at the hip and knee and the range of muscle work undertaken. Finally identify the planes and axes of movement.

Example of Rehabilitation and Pathophysiology modules:

Eighty year old Mrs T with generalised osteoarthritis had a total hip replacement 10 days ago. Today her hip muscle strength has been rated as 3/5 on the Oxford Scale. Her hip range of movement has been measured via goniometry as:

Flexion – 75o Extension – 15o Abduction – 25o

Internal rotation and external rotation – ranges are acceptable for her age. 

  • Explain how her pathology has resulted in the need for hip surgery.
  • Identify some functional difficulties Mrs T may currently be experiencing
  • Design an exercise programme to address both her strength and range deficits. 
  • Identify the movement pattern associated with risk of dislocation in patients post total hip replacement surgery.

Example of Respiratory module:

Mr W. is asthmatic he relies on daily medication of Becotide and Ventolin prn, via inhalers. During an asthmatic episode Mr W becomes breathless and notices it’s harder to breathe.

  • Referring to the pathology explain his symptoms.
  • Referring to his medication identify how these drugs either relieve or prevent his symptoms.

Example of Respiratory and Rehabilitation modules:

Because of his asthma Mr W has adopted a sedentary life. Consider whether it was necessary for him to do so and identify factors which may have guided his decision. As a consequence of his sedentary behaviour Mr W’s cardio-respiratory fitness (aerobic capacity) is low and his risk of cardiometabolic disease has significantly increased as has his waist-line; he now has a BMI of 33.

  • Identify the physiological changes to his skeletal muscle fibres which have occurred as a consequence of sedentarism and which have contributed to his low cardiorespiratory fitness.
  • Design an exercise programme to address Mr W’s low fitness – remember to refer to the FITT principles, fitness guidelines, and to take account Mr W’s BMI.
  • Identify what methods you might use and skills you might draw on to keep an habitual non-exerciser like Mr W on track.
  • Identify the chronic cardiometabolic morbidities which become less likely as Mr W gains fitness.

Example of Anatomy and Rehabilitation modules:

  • Identify the origins and insertions of the largest hip extensor in the human body. 
  • Identify the direction of fibres and relationship to other anatomical structures.
  • Identify the blood and nerve supply to this muscle giving nerve root values, and suggest functional activities in which this muscle acts as a prime mover. 
  • Repeat this process for gluteus medius and minimus identifying any differences in function.

Reading list 


  • Palastanga, N. and Soames, R. (2018).Anatomy and Human Movement. Structure and Function (7th edition). Churchill Livingstone Elsevier


  • Heywood, V and Gibson, A. (2108). Advanced Fitness Assessment And Exercise Prescription 8th Edition. Human Kinetics
  • Marieb, E and Hoehn, K. (2018) Human Anatomy and Physiology. Pearson International 10th edition
  • American College of Sports Medicine (2017),ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. 10th edition .Philadelphia, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins Bandy.W, Sanders.B


  • Main E and Denehy L (Editors) (2016) Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Adults and Paediatrics (5th edition) Elsevier


  • VanMeter, K and Hubert, RJ (2018) Gould’s Pathophysiology for the Health Professions 6th edition. Saunders.

Free Physiotherapy e-books