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SPE1054 : Introduction to Speech and Language Pathology

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Linda Jose
  • Lecturer: Ms Helen Raffell
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of this module are to provide an introduction to:
1.       Models of health and disability within society
2.       Key developmental and acquired disorders of speech, language and communication
3.       The wider effects of speech, language and communication (including participation in education and employment, effects on wellbeing)
4.       The value of studying clients with communication difficulties in terms of increasing our understanding of normal development and variation and normal speech and language processing.

There will be opportunities to observe clients with communication difficulties, with both live/direct observation and use of video resources. There will also be opportunities to meet with service users.

For students studying the clinical programmes (BSc Speech & Language Therapy and Masters of Speech & Language Sciences), the HCPC Standards of Proficiency are of relevance. The primary focus of this module is 12.12 with students taught foundation knowledge that helps them to understand developmental and acquired impairments of speech, language and communication. Swallowing impairments are not considered in this module. The module contributes to the students’ understanding of the sociology of health and disability, building the foundations for the application of the knowledge to speech and language therapy (12.10). The module also aims to increase students’ awareness of the psychosocial consequences of communication difficulties, giving them an increased understanding of what they need to evaluate when they work with clients and their families (7.9, 13.17). Again the effects of swallowing difficulties are not considered.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus will cover key client groups as specified within the HCPC Standards of Proficiency and RCSLT clinical guidelines. Topics will include:
- International Classification Framework (ICF) (World Health Organisation)
- Views of health and disability
- Developmental impairments of speech production
- Developmental language impairments including developmental language disorder and delay, phonological delay and disorder and disorders of literacy
- Disorders of fluency:- stuttering, cluttering, late onset dysfluency
- Motor speech impairment:- developmental motor speech disorders, acquired motor speech disorders (dysarthria and apraxia)
- Developmental special needs:- autistic spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, learning disability, ADHD, visual impairment, aided communicators
- Acquired language impairment:- aphasia, apraxia, right hemisphere communication impairment, traumatic brain injury, dementias

In relation to the RCSLT curriculum guidance, the Speech and Language Pathology modules allow the students to demonstrate the applied knowledge of the full range of speech, language and swallowing difficulties and their speech and language therapy management. This introductory module focuses on the the aetiology, typical characteristics and presenting features of speech, language and communication and the interaction between speech, language and communication and social interaction/inclusion, health, psychosocial wellbeing, education and employment across the lifespan. The following clinical areas are introduced: 1. Acquired cognitive communication disorders 2. Acquired language disorders 3. Acquired motor speech disorders 4. Acquired neurological conditions (stroke, dementia) 7. Fluency disorders 10. Language disorders (adults and children)13. Neurodevelopmental conditions and/or learning disabilities 14. Speech sound disorders and 15. Voice disorders and voice modification. Students also have a broad introduction to health psychology and societal approaches to wellbeing and health.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion223:0046:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Semester 1, weeks 1-11 Lecture material & quiz for each topic
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Semester 2, week 1-10 (approx one hour lecture, 30 min discussion & quiz)
Guided Independent StudySkills practice22:004:00Campus Clinic observation 1 Adult & 1 Paed. Two hours per observation, one per semester
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities221:0022:00Weekly reading on each topic needed for participation in discussions and workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Meet the expert clients/service user session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:0010 x communication profiling workshops in sem 1 (involving facilitated video observation)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion200:3010:00Sem1& Sem2 topics post Qs & points of interest in relation to reading/lecture ahead of synch lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Semester 1, week 10 - re. assessment Semester 1, week 8 - re. assessment
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity102:0020:00Semester 1, weeks 2-11 Completing communication profiles
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study152:0052:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Semester 1, week 1, Introduction to Module
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will provide an introduction and overview of each key area within the syllabus. Students will then use structured guided reading, learning activities and self-study to consolidate their knowledge. Students have an opportunity within groups to discuss clients and consider the personal and social impact of communication difficulties. The opportunity to observe clients with speech, language and communication difficulties will support their understanding and provide them with opportunities to observe and describe the features of different developmental and acquired disorders.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation151A50Group present communication profile
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A50Students would select a topic of interest to them (from a choice of 4). 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will allow students to pursue a particular area of interest in greater depth and allow consideration of either the wider consequences of speech, language and communication difficulties for a particular client group, an issue related to the characterisation of health and disability within society or what the study of speech and language difficulties reveals about normal development and language processing. Students will be provided with a choice of four topics. These will include topics in format of: i) Compare and contrast the wider consequences of disorder A versus disorder B ii) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of labelling clients as having disorder C iii) Discuss the implications across the lifespan of disorder D iv) Discuss the value of studying disorder E in relation to our understanding of normal processing related to X. These topics ensure that the student needs to demonstrate a breadth and depth of understanding and need to move beyond personal experience of a disorder.

Reading Lists