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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Campus Attendance
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  • Semester 1Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Campus Attendance


Occupational Therapy: OTHY102 Musculoskeletal Structure and Function for Occupational Therapy AND ALHT106 Psychology for Allied Health

Physiotherapy: BIOL126 Human Biology 2 AND ANAT102 Physiotherapy Anatomy 2 AND ALHT106 Psychology for Allied Health

Speech Pathology: SPHY102 Anatomy and Physiology for Speech Pathology AND ALHT106 Psychology for Allied Health


Physiotherapy: PHTY209 Neuroscience for Physiotherapy

Occupational Therapy: OTHY200 Neuroscience, Neurodevelopment

Speech Pathology: SPHY200 Neuroscience Speech Pathology

Unit rationale, description and aim

Allied Health professionals require knowledge of neuroscience to understand typical human functioning, nervous system dysfunction and neural recovery. This provides a platform for client-centred interprofessional practice. In this unit, students will study the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Students will use this knowledge to understand the impact of neurological dysfunction and the subsequent effects of neuroplasticity for individuals with neurological conditions. The aim of this unit is to enable students to develop a solid foundation in neuroscience knowledge applied to discipline specific and interprofessional practice.  

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Describe in detail the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO2Apply knowledge of neuroscience to explain the clinical presentation of nervous system dysfunction.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO3Apply principles of neuroscience to the assessment and management of individuals with neurological conditions.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11
LO4Recognise and respect the roles of the interprofessional team in relation to individuals with neurological conditions.GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC9, GC11


Topics will include typical and atypical structure and function: 

Central and peripheral nervous system  

  • Brain structure and function 
  • Brainstem and cranial nerve structure and function 
  • Spinal cord structure and function 
  • Vascular supply of the brain 
  • Autonomic nervous system  
  • Development of the brain and spinal cord 
  • Medical imaging 

Sensory systems 

  • Somatosensation 
  • Vision 
  • Auditory  
  • Vestibular  
  • Taste 
  • Smell 

Motor systems 

  • Motor learning and control 
  • Primary and secondary motor pathways 
  • Basal ganglia
  • Cerebellum  

Neurological organization

  • Pain
  • Language and speech
  • Swallowing
  • Memory, emotion and motivation

Functional impact of nervous system dysfunction and interprofessional assessment and management of disorders such as:

  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Spinal cord Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Teaching and learning approaches for this unit include lectures, tutorials, practical sessions and applied learning such as case studies, reading/viewing material and self-directed learning. Lectures provide an opportunity to present relevant information in a structured framework. The practical sessions provide experiential learning with activities related to neuroscience and collaborative learning using a range of learning materials such as models and software. The tutorials give an opportunity for application of information to complex scenarios and case studies and to gain an understanding of other discipline roles to foster interprofessional practice. Students are expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities, demonstrating respect for the individual as an independent learner.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

The summative assessment tasks in this unit are designed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Students will be assessed on an individual basis in the examinations. 

The mid semester examination will assess students' knowledge of the neuroscience content and the application of knowledge to explain nervous system dysfunction and through multiple choice and short answer questions. 

The case-based assessment will examine students interprofessional collaboration within the context of a neurological condition. It will develop the ability to work effectively with other health professionals while drawing upon discipline specific roles when required, to enable optimal health outcomes for the client.  

The final examination will assess students’ knowledge and application of neuroscience content presented across the semester. This examination will allow students to demonstrate understanding through a range of question types that may include multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Mid semester exam  

This exam will assess student’s knowledge through multiple choice and short answer questions providing feedback to inform assessment 2 and 3.


LO1, LO2

Case-based assessment 

Enables students to apply knowledge and application of neuroscience, both discipline specific and inter-professionally.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

End of semester exam 

Provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate an understanding of nervous system structure and function, and the discipline specific and interprofessional assessment and management of a person with nervous system dysfunction. The examination may use a range of question types including multiple choice, short and extended response questions. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W. & Paradiso, M. A. (2020). Neuroscience : exploring the brain (Enhanced 4th ed.).  Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Felten, D.L. & Maida, M.E. (2018). Netter’s neuroscience coloring book. Elsevier.

Lundy-Ekman, L. (2022). Neuroscience: Fundamentals for rehabilitation (6th ed.). Elsevier.

Schwartz, J. T. M., Siegelbaum, S., Hudspeth, A. J., Mack, S. & Kandel, E. R. (2013). Principles of neural science (5th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Vanderah, T.W., Gould, D.J. & Nolte, J. (2021). Nolte’s The human brain : an introduction to its functional anatomy (8th ed.). Elsevier.

Young, P.A., Young, P. H., & Tolbert, D. L., & Young, P. A. (2015). Basic clinical neuroscience (3rd ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

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