SPCH13010 - Dysphagia across the Lifespan

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit will advance your competency in the assessment, analysis, planning and treatment of swallowing disorders across the lifespan. You will consider the aetiology, diagnosis and treatment of swallowing in the context of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework. Evidence based practice will provide the foundation for your learning in all stages of diagnosis and treatment.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

  • ALLH11009 Research Methods for Health Professionals OR ALLH12007 Research Methods for Health Professionals
  • ALLH12006 Evidence Based Practice for Health Professionals
  • SPCH12007 Speech Pathology Work-Integrated Learning 2
  • SPCH13004 Communication Disorders Across the School Years
  • SPCH12003 Functional Anatomy of the Head, Neck and Thorax


  • SPCH13001 Speech Pathology Work-Integrated Learning 1
  • SPCH13003 Neurogenic Communication Disorders 1

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 3 - 2022

Term 1 - 2023 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. Practical Assessment 50%
2. Practical Assessment 50%

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

No previous feedback available

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: Have Your Say Casual conversation In class
The changed focus in this unit was really beneficial as students found this practical approach to learning helped them put theory into practice.
It is recommended that the lecturer continue to weave in practical activities with theoretical application to enhance and deepen students' understanding and knowledge of the practice area.
Action Taken
Experiential learning continues to form the basis of the major part of this unit's curriculum.
Source: Have Your Say
The paediatric component of this unit would benefit from some adjustment to the PowerPoints in order to gain better flow of information.
It is recommended that the lecturer review the PowerPoint content material for paediatric dysphagia to reduce repetition and ensure information is building on previously covered material.
Action Taken
The PowerPoint lectures for the paediatric component have all been reviewed and streamlined.
Source: Student verbal feedback in class.
Having actors coming into class has been helpful for increasing experiential learning opportunities and developing verbal scripting ability.
It is recommended that opportunities continue to be provided for students to learn from a variety of delivery methods to increase depth of understanding and knowledge regarding the clinical theory of dysphagia and its application in diagnosis, planning and intervention.
Action Taken
Source: Lecturer self-reflection
Explore adding more time in class dedicated to clinical documentation to improve assessment performance in this area and meet time deadlines.
It is recommended that the allocated teaching time for clinical documentation be reviewed to ensure students are receiving adequate write-up practice post role play scenarios.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the mechanism of a safe swallow and its variation across the lifespan
  2. Analyse swallowing behaviour using both formal and informal assessment techniques, and make appropriate recommendations for the management and rehabilitation of a swallowing disorder
  3. Provide information and counselling to clients and others, as appropriate, about the swallowing disorder and its implications for safety, nutrition, and hydration
  4. Work ethically, making independent decisions within an interprofessional team.

Range of Practice Areas:

  • Adult - swallowing
  • Paediatric - swallowing
The learning outcomes in this unit contribute to the development of clinical and professional competencies as outlined by Speech Pathology Australia.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
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
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment