SPCHSCI 701 : Dysphagia for Speech Language Therapists


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Assessment, analysis and intervention for children and adults with dysphagia. This is a fully online course for qualified Speech-language Therapists.

Course Overview

Speech Science at The University of Auckland offers an e-learning course on dysphagia for speech-language therapists that meets NZSTA requirements for dysphagia training.

Through online content, this paper comprises a range of theoretical and practical topics in the field of developmental and acquired swallowing disorders. The course will build on the knowledge you have of anatomy and physiology of swallowing; introducing the processes of assessment, differential diagnosis and intervention procedures and treatment regimes.

This course is designed as a professional entry-level qualification covering all aspects of swallowing and feeding rather than an advanced professional development course for dysphagia-trained therapists.

Course Requirements

Restriction: SPCHSCI 721

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
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe normal swallowing to a patient or health professional. (Capability 1 and 4)
  2. Interpret how a patient’s aetiology might impact on swallowing function. (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Apply knowledge of swallowing physiology across the ages to identify when it’s not normal. (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Synthesise the clients information and how it impacts on eating and drinking to make effective clinical decisions. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Describe the roles and responsibilities of all the professionals in the dysphagia team. (Capability 1, 4 and 5)
  6. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of assessment, VFSS, clinical evaluation, oro-motor assessment, observation assessment and case history. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  7. Demonstrate principles of cultural competence and te Tiriti o Waitangi aspects of dysphagia assessment and management, including how this might impact on the life of the individual and their family/whānau. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Critical appraisal 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment of dysphagia 20% Individual Coursework
On-line VFSS practical 10% Individual Coursework
Management case study 20% Individual Coursework
Online test 40% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Critical appraisal
Assessment of dysphagia
On-line VFSS practical
Management case study
Online test


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

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/science/study-with-us/maori-and-pacific-at-the-faculty/tuakana-programme.html

Key Topics

  • Safety
  • Biomechanics - normal mature swallow, development and sensory
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Instrumental assessment (VFSS)
  • Planning and ethics
  • Management

Special Requirements

Students are required to complete the Academic Integrity course and will be automatically enrolled. You will see ACADINT.A01 as one of your current courses in Canvas, if you have not already completed it. Failure to complete the academic integrity course will result in a "Did Not Complete (DNC)" recorded on your academic record and automatic re-enrolment in the course. A DNC will be recorded on your transcript for each semester/quarter/academic year you fail to complete the course. Completion of the course is a requirement in order for any degree, diploma or certificate to be conferred or awarded.

There is no direct patient contact or assessment in this course.

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 10 hours per week of self-directed learning, reading and thinking about the content and work on assignments and test preparation. 

Delivery Mode


The course will not include live online events such has group discussions/tutorials/lectures.
Attendance on campus is not required for the test.
Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement.
This course runs to the University semester/quarter 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.

  • Groher, M. & Crary, M. (2016) Dysphagia: Clinical Management in adults and children. Mosby. 

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.

Each week we will be in contact with you about the activities and learning for the week to come. Please do get in touch with us if you have questions or concerns. We encourage you to keep up with the schedule for the course, as the assignments do require time to prepare for and complete.

Other Information

As well as this course outline, there is a set of general principles that apply to all Speech Science courses. There is a document titled “Speech Science General conditions for 700-Level Courses”. This document covers aspects of academic integrity, marking, communication and e-mail. Please ensure that you have read this document, as you will be assumed to be familiar with its content. Please read this document for all general information about marking and assignment submissions, as well as communication with staff and additional support.

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 28/10/2022 12:47 p.m.