SPCHSCI 713 : Anatomy and Physiology for Speech Language Therapy


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Anatomy and physiology of speech, language and hearing, including the respiratory, phonatory, articulatory, auditory and peripheral and central nervous systems underlying spoken communication. Application of this knowledge is through manipulation of human models and supported computer laboratories.

Course Overview

Through weekly lectures, labs and tutorials this course in neuroscience related to speech, language, swallowing and hearing provides a foundation in the necessary basic neurosciences for graduate studies in speech and language therapy. The course assumes some basic knowledge of human biology and human anatomy, particularly anatomy of the brain. However, because of the varied backgrounds of students, the material presented will increase in complexity as we progress through each topic. It will build on the introductory sessions held in the orientation week and you should refer to your notes from those sessions when needed.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Differentiate the anatomical and physiological components of the brain and nervous system associated with speech, language and hearing (Capability 1)
  2. Describe the structure and function of the outer, middle and inner ear related to the process of hearing (Capability 1 and 3)
  3. Identify the cranial nerves and their functions (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Identify the structure and function of the muscles of the face, mastication and deglutition (Capability 1 and 3)
  5. Indicate the structures and function of the larynx and pharynx pertaining to the production of voice and protection of the airway (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
The nervous system 25% Individual Coursework
Larynx & pharynx 25% Individual Coursework
Neuroanatomy of speech & hearing 50% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
The nervous system
Larynx & pharynx
Neuroanatomy of speech & hearing


The programme runs a tuākana-teina model between the second year and first year of the course. There is a timetabled hour once a week where students can get together, and a student nominated to help run the programme, from each year. We encourage support and a positive relationship between the students, and the students and staff. If we have Māori or Pasifika students, this may be done with them in particular. We don't have a dedicated coordinator, as we are a small course and are not on the same campus as the larger part of the school which does have a dedicated position for tuākana. We may call upon their resources if we see it can work out.

Learning Resources

Seikel, J.A., King, D.W. & Drumright, D.G. (2016). Anatomy and Physiology for Speech, Language and Hearing. (5th ed.). New York: Cengage Learning.
• Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W. & Paradiso, M.A. (2006) Neuroscience. Exploring the Brain. (3rd ed.). Baltimore, Maryland: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
• Kandel, E., Schwarz, J. & Jessell, T. (2000) Principles of Neuroscience. (4th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
• Bhatnagar, S.C. (2002). Neuroscience for the Study of Communicative Disorders. Baltimore, Maryland: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
These websites contain graphics and movies that show aspects of anatomy of the brain and nervous system, the structure and function of the larynx and physiology of hearing, and speech production.
http://sig.biostr.washington.edu/projects/da/ (home link for page below)
Voice and Speech Production
Ear Anatomy and Physiology
(graphics/movies showing cochlear anatomy and transduction in 3D).
Basic Physiology and Anatomy Refresher Text
The following chapters may be useful to those needing to refresh their memories on some basic anatomy and physiology.
Marieb, E N. (1991). Human Anatomy and Physiology. Benjamin Cummings.
Unit 1: Chapters 1-4 Organization of the Body
Unit 3: Chapters 11, 12, 15, and 16 Regulation and Integration of the Body

Special Requirements

In addition to the weekly lectures and tutorials, there is an optional (not obligatory) opportunity to observe in the ORL (otorhinolaryngology) operating theatre. Students will be allocated a Monday afternoon (in pairs) to attend the ORL operating theatre at Starship Children's Hospital.

The experience is designed for you to observe pharyngoscopy, laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy; allowing you to directly experience the anatomy you will be learning throughout the semester. It will all be projected onto a monitor so you have an excellent view of the anatomy in real time. Each week will be slightly different (depending on who is being operated on).

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 3 hours of lectures, a 2 hour tutorial each week, in addition to 5-6 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 1-2 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation. The observation in the operating theatre is 3-4 hours - but this is scheduled to occur once in the semester and attendance is optional.

Other Information

Additional teaching staff in this course  (who can all be contacted through the Course Coordinator) are: 
Angela Tsai Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
Dr Abin Kuruvilla Mathew Speech Science, Faculty of Science
Dr Anna Miles Speech Science, Faculty of Science
Mr Colin Barber Otolaryngologist, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Digital 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.


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.

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.

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 at 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.

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.

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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 16/02/2020 10:18 p.m.