SPCH12003 - Functional Anatomy of the Head, Neck and Thorax

General Information

Unit Synopsis

You will develop an understanding of the functional anatomy and physiology relevant to communication and swallowing. Topics covered include surface anatomy and the anatomical relationships of bones, muscles, blood vessels and nerves within each of the pertinent body regions. You will be required to demonstrate your understanding of the application of these topics to speech pathology practice.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


BMSC11010 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1 OR BMSC11007 Medical Anatomy and Physiology 1 and BMSC11008 Medical Anatomy and Physiology 2 

SPCH11001 Introduction to Communication and Swallowing Disorders

SPCH12008 Phonetics OR SPCH13005 Acoustics and Phonetics

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Term 2 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Case Study 50%
2. Online Quiz(zes) 10%
3. Practical Assessment 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 80.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 62.50% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Teaching team reflection
Weekly quizzes, with a small overall unit total, have the potential to become tedious
Is is recommended that the teaching team re-evaluate the total number of quizzes in the unit.
Action Taken
Quizzes were done every 2 weeks, rather than weekly, with email reminders prior to and when the quiz was open for completion on Moodle
Source: Teaching team reflection and student feedback
Face to face tutorial classes with two distinct sessions covering foundational anatomy knowledge and clinically relevant case studies are helpful in consolidating learning
It is recommended that tutorial sessions continue to be delivered with a similar format to keep high student engagement and bridge the gap between book and clinical knowledge.
Action Taken
Tutorial sessions commenced with anatomy review and ended with case studies discussing the functional aspect of the weekly anatomy content
Source: Student feedback
Weekly case studies are helpful in understanding the functional aspect of speech pathology
It is recommended that relevant topical case studies continue to be an integral part of weekly tutorials.
Action Taken
Case studies remained an important part of weekly tutorial sessions
Source: Teaching team reflection and collaboration with head of course - speech pathology
Case study viva may not be the most appropriate way to assess knowledge in an anatomy and physiology unit. Written assessment (on a case study) may be more appropriate
It is recommended that the case study assessment be changed from an oral to a written assessment.
Action Taken
Source: Student evaluation
Weekly case studies provide a functional understanding of theoretical anatomy
It is recommended that weekly case studies align with weekly anatomy content to provide a functional understanding of the anatomy relevant to speech pathology.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Define the skeletal structures, innervation and musculature serving respiration, phonation, mastication and swallowing, articulation and resonance, and hearing
  2. Describe the functional importance of each structure/muscle/nerve relative to respiration, phonation, mastication and swallowing, articulation and resonance, and hearing
  3. Explain the relationship between structure and function of the speech, hearing and swallowing mechanism as it pertains to clinical practice in speech pathology

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Case Study
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
3 - Practical Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10