MEDS13007 - Musculoskeletal Sonography

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit introduces you to the principal theory in musculoskeletal sonography with opportunity for lab activities designed to enhance your learning. In this unit you will apply your knowledge of detailed relational anatomy and pathophysiology, and correlate this with new knowledge on sonographic appearance, scanning orientation and scanning skills relevant to the musculoskeletal system. You will demonstrate understanding of the clinical indication of musculoskeletal ultrasound, applying clinical reasoning in planning for the scanning protocol for each individual patient and implementing patient care and safety in performing musculoskeletal sonography. You will interpret static and dynamic musculoskeletal sonographic imaging and create a provisional diagnostic report as well as explaining differential diagnosis and alternative diagnostic studies based on the clinical information.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


MEDS12001 Physics of Ultrasound


MEDS12003 Superficial Structures in Ultrasound


MEDS12004 Sonographic Skills Development 1.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 1 - 2023 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Reflective Practice Assignment 40%
2. Online Quiz(zes) 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 25.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 51.61% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: SUTE feedback.
Students enjoyed the engaging tutorial format used this year, especially the interaction in answering true or false questions and step-by-step guided image interpretation.
Continue enhancing the tutorial style, and ensure scaffolding between weekly content and tutorials.
Action Taken
The tutorial format was continued. Weekly interactive image reading cases were provided on Moodle at least one week prior to the tutorial and students were encouraged to post their answers, which were discussed in tutorials. All answers on Moodle were given feedback by the unit coordinator.
Source: SUTE feedback.
Students felt that there was too much reliance on the prescribed textbook and that the older lectures did not support the textbook content. Students valued the revised format of the newly created lectures in 2021.
Continue with update of lectures in this unit to provide more focus and prioritisation of content. Ensure inconsistencies are removed and content are reorganised.
Action Taken
More lectures have been updated which correlate with the prescribed reading material well. Large amounts of correlated anatomical diagrams were created and provided in the lectures to assist students in understanding the content.
Source: Unit Coordinator reflection, Tutor feedback, and SUTE feedback.
As this is unit is predominantly theoretical, the practical skill component is limited. Musculoskeletal sonography is a specialist area and students are not required to be able to scan independently in this field before starting the placement. Students will need to enhance their practical skills for this over many months in the clinical environment.
Review the unit learning outcomes and assessment strategy to ensure they reflect the entry-to-placement knowledge and skill needs.
Action Taken
Unit learning outcomes and assessment strategy were updated via a Unit Update Proposal following the 2021 delivery to improve fit for purpose.
Source: SUTE feedback.
Students felt that a mid-semester test would assist in pointing out holes in their knowledge in preparation for the end of term test.
Review assessment type, weighting and number.
Action Taken
An additional close-book assessment was added in week 10. Feedback was provided in the written assessment and reflective practice assignment pointing out their knowledge gaps for future study. Weekly interactive image reading cases were introduced on Moodle to provide more practice. Image interpreting question exemplars and their marking criteria were also explained to students in detail in multiple tutorials to prepare them for the end of term test.
Source: Unit Coordinator reflection, Moodle logs and CQUSuccess data
Some students had poor engagement with the unit content until immediately before an assessment item was due.
Consider modifying timing of lab (scanning) sessions to ensure early and regular engagement with the learning content.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE Unit Report and student communication.
Some students felt the lectures are too textbook-oriented and would like to have more real-world applications included.
Adjust the lectures to include more explanation on theoretic contents and their clinical relevance, as well as clinical stories, scanning tips and examples of the unit coordinator's own experience. This may increase the authenticity of the learning experience.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE Unit Report and Unit Coordinator reflection
Some students felt confused about the referencing and academic integrity requirement, even though an ALC workshop and learning resources had been provided at the beginning of term.
Provide more specific explanation on the assessment tasks with more exemplars.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Correlate relational anatomy of musculoskeletal structures with standard static and dynamic sonographic imaging.
  2. Describe clinical indications relevant to sonographic musculoskeletal examinations, patient care and safety considerations, and alternative musculoskeletal diagnostic studies that can be performed.
  3. Critically acquire sonographic imaging of musculoskeletal structures, including image optimisation, using a systematic protocol in a simulated environment.
  4. Interpret static and dynamic musculoskeletal sonographic imaging of normal anatomy and imaging demonstrating variants, artefacts, pathology or injury to create a provisional diagnostic report.

The learning outcomes for this unit have been linked to:

ASAR Required Graduate Competency Outcomes for General Sonography Accreditation Standards 1.2.

1,2,3,4, 5 and 9

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Reflective Practice Assignment
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10