SPCHSCI 736 : Topics in Communication Disorders in Adults


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Advanced study of speech-language therapy (SLT) in adult populations including working with Māori, bilingualism, progressive conditions, palliative care, lifelong disability and ageing effects on audition and language. It includes highly specialised theoretical and clinical approaches which underpin the content, with implications for SLT practice in the New Zealand context being the predominant focus. Involves an individual management plan for a client resulting in a substantial individual report.

Course Overview

Through weekly lectures and tutorials at the Grafton Campus, this course in the advanced study of speech language therapy will focus on communication disorders in adult populations. It will be taught in conjunction with SPCHSCI 733 Audiology for Speech Language Therapy and it will build on knowledge gained from other courses (including clinical practice).  

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: SPCHSCI 723 Restriction: SPCHSCI 741

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 explain how te Tiriti o Waitangi and Maori rights as tangata whenua apply to SLT practice (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  2. Apply knowledge of bilingual aphasia to the recommended management of a client (Capability 1, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Critically evaluate the use of evidence-based practice in speech-language therapy (Capability 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6)
  4. Analyse and apply the effectiveness of treatment for clients with cognitive communication disorders, auditory processing difficulties, motor speech disorders and/or progressive conditions (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Critically appraise the range and extent of communication difficulties for clients with lifelong disabilities and/or mental health concerns (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Working with Māori 15% Individual Coursework
Bilingual aphasia 25% Individual Coursework
OSCE 10% Individual Test
Final Exam 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Working with Māori
Bilingual aphasia
Final Exam


This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which began almost 30 years ago and 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. The Tuākana Programme values manaakitanga (kind and caring interactions), tautoko (support), mana (reciprocal respect), ako (learning and teaching), whanaungatanga (relationship, kinship, sense of family connection) and hononga (connection).
We encourage all Speech Science students to engage in the Tuākana Programme through shared tutorial support with your classmates.
Read more here:

Key Topics

1. Working with Māori whānau
2. Bilingual aphasia
3. Auditory processing in adults
4. Lifelong disability
5. Cognitive communication disorder
6. Managing motor speech disorders
7. Ethical decision-making in progressive and palliative care

Special Requirements

Students must pass the OSCE (over 50%) in order to complete the MSLT Practice Programme and graduate as a speech-language therapist.
Students will need to attend Te Tuhi Cafe (off campus) for the tutorial on Lifelong Disability. 

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

There is a break in the SPCHSCI 736 teaching while MSLTPrac students are away from campus for their five-week block placement.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including lectures and tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
Attendance on campus is required for the OSCE and exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

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.

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.

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 11/11/2021 10:56 a.m.