Unit description

Introduces communication as a construct, its purposes, alteration across the lifespan and use in different contexts. Essential characteristics of disorders of communication and swallowing and the associated impact are explored. Students examine the Scope of Practice (populations, services, purposes, approaches) in Speech Pathology and how this is situated in relation to other allied health professions.

Unit content

Topic 1: Dimensions of communication and context dependant changes.
Topic 2: Changes in communication across the lifespan.
Topic 3: Disorders of communication and swallowing.
Topic 4: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and Children and Youth version (ICF and ICF-CY) frameworks (World Health Organization, 2001 and 2007).
Topic 5: Impact of communication disorders within the ICF and ICF-Y frameworks.
Topic 6: The Scope of Practice in Speech Pathology and the Code of Ethics.
Topic 7: Competency-based Occupational Standards for Speech Pathologists (CBOS).
Topic 8: Roles within Speech Pathology and Inter Professional Practice settings.
Topic 9: Behaviours that constitute appropriate professional behaviour within allied health practice.
Topic 10: Basic skills for Speech Pathology clinical practice (observation, recording, sampling and report writing).
Topic 11: Reflection and learning.
Topic 12: Multimodality and Interprofessional Practice.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Gillam, RB, Marguardt, TP & Martin, FN, 2011, Communication sciences and disorders: From science to clinical practice, 2nd edn, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, San Diego.
  • Speech Pathology Association of Australia, 2000, Code of Ethics, The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Ltd, Melbourne.
  • Speech Pathology Association of Australia, 2003, Scope of Practice, The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Ltd, Melbourne.
  • Speech Pathology Association of Australia, 2011, Competency-based Occupational Standards for Speech Pathologists: Entry Level, The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Ltd, Melbourne.
  • Speech Pathology Australia, 2006, Competency Assessment in Speech Pathology (COMPASS Assessment Resource Manual and COMPASS Assessment Booklet), The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Ltd.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 x 1 hour (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 2 x 1 hour (12 weeks)
Field work 8 hours (3 days over the session)
Exam: closed book50%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
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Commencing 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

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