SPE1015 : Physiological Foundations for Speech and Language

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kai Alter
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1. To introduce the student to the major physiological systems of the body.
2. To demonstrate the integrative nature and interdependence of physiological systems.
3. To assist the student in understanding the physiological mechanisms relating specifically to speech and hearing.
4.To provide the student with core knowledge essential for understanding clinical concepts relating to speech and language disorders that will be encountered later in the course and by a practising speech and language therapist.

This module contributes to a degree qualification in BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Sciences leading to a vocational qualification in Speech and Language Therapy.

Outline Of Syllabus


A summary of the lecture topics covered in the course is as follows

INTRO                         Introduction
                                    Organisation of the course
                                    Concepts of Physiology
                                    Physiology as it relates to speech

CCM                               The cell membrane
                                    The cell membrane
                                    Membrane transport
                                    Body fluid compartments
                                    Electrolyte concentrations

CVS                               Cardiovascular system
                                    Functional elements of the cardiovascular system
                                    Blood flow
                                    Mechanical activity of the heart
                                    Control of the cardiovascular system
                                    Circulation and the brain

Resp                               Respiratory system
                                    Functional elements of the respiratory system
                                    Lung volumes and ventilation
                              Pulmonary gas exchange and ventilation perfusion relationships
                                    Chemical and neural control of breathing
ET                               Excitable tissues
                                    Membrane potential
                                    Action potential
                                    Nerve conduction
                                    Excitation contraction coupling
                                    Muscle contraction

NS                               Nervous system
                                    Receptors and receptive fields
                                    Touch, pain and temperature
                                    Neurophysiology of speech perception

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture158:0058:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide basic mode for gaining knowledge and understanding.
Self study to consolidate learning and understanding of lecture material.
Preparation of a formative essay will prepare students for style of questions in the examination.
Seminar to troubleshoot learning difficulties and support revision.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A100N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Final Examination: Test of Physiological knowledge acquired during the course.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.