Speech & Language CPD

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
New Horizons in Aphasiology

Course unit fact file
Unit code HCDI61441
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This distance learning CPD unit is accessed via distance learning and provides SLTs working with acquired language disorders to build on the depth of their knowledge of aphasiology. The New Horizons in Aphasiology module will allow students to explore, in greater breadth and depth, current main theoretical and clinical issues in three specialist areas:

  • Language Recovery in the Brain.
  • Connectionist Modelling and Aphasia Therapy.
  • Sentence and Discourse Therapy in Aphasia.

A range of teaching opportunities will be used, including interactive on-line teaching material and quizzes.  On successful completion of the course, students will have attained specialist knowledge required to write and implement a therapy management plan for a person with aphasia.


The unit aims to:   

  • Provide students with opportunities to gain in-depth knowledge about the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of language recovery.  
  • Provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and understanding to case studies, including scan data (such as MRI).
  • Provide students with a variety of opportunities to gain theoretical understanding of connectionist modelling and to develop practice-focused therapy plans based on this knowledge.
  • Provide students with opportunities to gain theoretical understanding of sentence and discourse approaches to aphasia assessment and management and to these approaches carried out with patients who have aphasia.  

Provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, to self-evaluate and to receive feedback from tutors.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching processes will primarily involve accessing eLearning resources and online support from the course tutor.  The eLearning content is based around three aspects of delivery:

1. Presentation of the content, including narrated presentations, text to read, images and diagrams, and video footage of both patients and professionals.

2. Interactive content including quizzes, case studies and matching activities.

3. Collaborative tasks. These include ‘Learning Journal Tasks’ which allow the student to access an online space where they can make a record of their reflections and findings and ‘Discussions’, which involve asking students to contribute to an online discussion forum, moderated by the online tutor.

At the end of each part of the unit, there is a formative quiz to check on the student’s understanding of knowledge and theory, which must be passed before progressing to the next part of the unit.  Each of the 3 parts of the unit will have relevant materials posted on Blackboard to assist the student’s evaluation of their own independent learning.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a systematic and critical understanding of the main principles of language recovery in the brain and apply this knowledge to case studies.
  • Apply the principles of connectionist modelling to the evaluation and design of aphasia therapy.
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and practical understanding of the methods required for sentence and discourse therapy and apply this to relevant case studies.  

Intellectual skills

  • Manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources appropriate to the field.
  • Apply the theoretical knowledge they have learned to case studies of people with aphasia and apply their understanding to a management plan.

Practical skills

  • Perform structured observation and accurate recording of assessment data relevant to this client group.
  • Score relevant assessments and interpret standardised scores and apply findings to a management plan.
  • Interpret brain scan findings and be aware of the implications to recovery from aphasia using these findings. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Effectively communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions and record these in a comprehensive management plan.
  • Exercise initiative and personal responsibility and demonstrate the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
  • Reflect and comment on their own performance, identifying strengths and making constructive suggestions for improvement where appropriate.   

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback from the on-line quizzes will be automated and immediate, recommending which areas of study require further work, allowing students to self-evaluate their work and understanding. 

A summative mark and detailed, individual tutor written feedback will be provided following the submission of the written assignment. 

Throughout the unit, students will have the opportunity to self-evaluate their work and understanding against shared peer work using both the Discussion Board tool and during problem-based learning activities in tutorials. 

Recommended reading

Christiansen, M & Chater, N. (Eds.). 2001.   Connectionist psycholinguistics.  Ablex Publishing, London. 

R.G.Daniloff, R. G.  (Ed.). 2002.  Connectionist approaches to clinical problems in language. Therapeutic and scientific applications.  Lawrence Erlbaum, London.

B. Stemmer, B.  & H. A. Whitaker, H. A.  (Eds.).  2008.   Handbook of the Neuroscience of Language.   London: Academic Press.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Paul Conroy Unit coordinator

Return to course details