SPCHSCI 723 : Communication Disorders in Adults


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

This course examines theoretical, research and clinical issues in the field of acquired neurogenic communication disorders. It builds on existing knowledge and presents the process of assessment, differential diagnosis, intervention procedures and treatment specifically designed for these conditions. Skills are developed in analysing client-specific approaches, therapeutic programmes and incorporating measures of efficacy into therapy plans.

Course Overview

This course is designed as a professional entry-level qualification covering all aspects of acquired communication disorders in adults. It is a compulsory course for those wishing to become a speech-language therapist. Through weekly lectures and tutorials this course will examine theoretical, research and clinical issues in the field of acquired neurogenic communication disorders. It builds on existing knowledge and presents the processes of assessment, differential diagnosis, possible interventions and treatment specifically designed for these conditions. Skills are developed in analysing approaches, therapeutic programmes and incorporating outcome measures into therapeutic plans.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: SPCHSCI 713

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. Identify and analyse the neurological, physiological and diagnostic basis for the major motor speech disorders. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Identify and critically evaluate the extent to which an acquired language disorder disrupts normal language production and explain how to address the impact of this disruption on the life of an individual and their family/whānau. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  3. Critically utilise the principles of evidence-based practice, the ICF framework and te Tiriti o Waitangi when making suggestions for assessment and intervention. Additionally, identify the significance of te Tiriti o Waitangi and respect for the historical, social, political, economic and cultural significance of tangata whenua. (Capability 1, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Critically evaluate current debates in the literature regarding the description, diagnosis and possible treatment of acquired communication disorders. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Communicate effectively using appropriate context-dependent language and present information clearly and logically. (Capability 1, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Assignment 40% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam


The MSLTPrac programme runs a tuākana-teina model between the second year and first year students in the course. Using a "buddy" or mentor/mentee system, each student is allocated a "buddy" for one-on-one support. In addition, where possible there is a timetabled weekly hour where students can get together as a group to help each other with coursework. We encourage support and a positive relationship between the students, and between the students and staff.  We don't have a dedicated Tuākana coordinator in Speech Science, because we are a small course and are not on the same campus as the larger part of the School of Psychology. All students and staff are welcome  to contact Hineatua Puhatoto Parkinson (atua.parkinson@auckland.ac.nz) who is the Kaiwhakaako Mātai Hinengaro in the School of Psychology, or access the Faculty of Science website: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/science/study-with-us/maori-and-pacific-at-the-faculty/tuakana-programme.html 

Key Topics

A separate document will be available in Canvas providing the week-by-week content for this course.

Learning Resources

Recommended reading:
LaPointe, L.L. & Stierwalt, J.A.G. (Ed) (2018). Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Language Disorders (5th edition). New York: Thieme

Davis, G.A. (2013). Aphasia and Related Cognitive-Communicative Disorders. London: Allyn and Bacon

Freed, D. (2018). (3rd edition). Motor Speech Disorders: Diagnosis and Treatment. USA: Plural Publisher

Special Requirements

Attendance at all lectures and tutorials is compulsory.

The dates provided in the separate course overview indicate the topics that will be covered each week.  

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 5 hours of lectures/tutorial content, 2-3 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 2-3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

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.

Previous students have told us they love the use of client videos to support their learning.  The videos will now be able in Canvas for you to watch whenever you want to. 

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 27/07/2020 02:03 p.m.