EXERSCI 731 : Physiotherapy Healthcare


2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Students will apply specialist knowledge about the regulation of the practice of physiotherapy in New Zealand supporting professional, legal, ethical, evidence-based and culturally safe practice. Knowledge and skills include Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori models of health, government legislation and health strategies, whānau-centred care, interprofessional practice, teamwork, effective communication, and developing a critical consciousness to promote equity in healthcare delivery.

Course Overview

Students will develop a research and evidence-informed understanding of the principles underpinning the regulation and practice of physiotherapy in Aotearoa New Zealand. Students will apply specialist knowledge about the regulation of the practice of physiotherapy in New Zealand supporting professional, legal, ethical, evidence-based and culturally safe practice.
Students will understand the relevance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and be able to apply the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the practice of physiotherapy. They will learn the concepts of whakapapa, whānau, whakawhānaungatana, mana, mauri, tapu, wairua and reo and how they shape the healthcare experience of Māori. Small group discussions and case scenarios will be used to identify areas of inequity in healthcare access and health outcomes for Māori and Pacific people in NZ. They will develop their own critical consciousness at a personal, professional and organisational/ structural level and critique how these can be addressed to improve health equity. Māori models of health and the role of physiotherapy in Māori healthcare services will be explored alongside Pacific models of health, such as the Fonofale model.

Students will develop a range of skills to enable whānau-centred care, effective goal setting, client education and appropriate communication with peers and other health professionals. The interdisciplinary nature of healthcare and physiotherapy will be discussed and the physiotherapists’ roles and responsibilities in the health care team will be explored. Evidence-based reflective practice tools will be used to enhance the students’ reflective practice skills and provide a framework for critical analysis of their own assumptions, communication approaches and clinical practice. There will be a strong focus on health equity, interprofessional practice, teamwork, developing safe and effective care for patients from diverse communities, effective communication, and developing a critical consciousness to promote equity in healthcare delivery.

Course Requirements

Corequisite: EXERSCI 732-734

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of a physiotherapist in Aotearoa/New Zealand. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  2. Develop and evaluate professional, legal, ethical, evidence-based and culturally safe practice, based on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori models of health and Hauora and Pacific models of health and wellbeing. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Critically reflect on own health beliefs, cultural and social views and understand how these influence delivery as a health care practitioner. (Capability 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Develop cultural safety and cultural responsiveness in order to deliver healthcare that is culturally safe, effective and respects Māori and other cultural worldviews and hauora. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Identify and analyse challenges in equitable access to healthcare in the NZ setting and evaluate personal, professional and organisational/structural opportunities to improve health outcomes for Maori and other groups who experience inequitable access to healthcare services, social determinants of health and who experience poorer health outcomes. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Apply a critically conscious, reflective approach to practice. (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  7. Demonstrate the promotion of client and whanau-centred care to support health equity alongside interprofessional practice, teamwork, advocacy and communication. (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 35% Individual Coursework
Presentation 30% Group Coursework
Test 25% Individual Test
Discussions 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Must obtain a pass grade (50%) in the course 


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

Key Topics

Module 1: Introduction to the course and to physiotherapy

Module 2: Health equity and physiotherapy

Module 3: Māori models of health and Matauranga Māori

Module 4: Pacific models of health and Pacific world views / knowledge

Module 5: Biopsychosocial and biomedical models of health

Module 6: Legal, ethical and professional responsibilities of a physiotherapist in Aotearoa NZ

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 72 hours of lectures and workshops,  36 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 42 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including lectures and workshops to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including workshops will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events including group discussions.
Attendance on campus is not required for the test.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.


Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities including tutorials to complete components of the course.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is not required for the test.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement throughout the course.
This course runs to the University semester timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

A large proportion of the material relevant to the six course modules can be found on the course Canvas page. Additional key readings (articles, reports and books) can be found on the course reading list. 

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

The course will have an increased focus on integrating the content within the clinical environment. In addition, the online MCQ test will be changed to a short answer test in line with student feedback.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 04/11/2022 01:29 p.m.