Course Outline

SPX412 Exercise in Neurological Rehabilitation and Mental Health

Course Coordinator:Suzanne Broadbent ( School:School of Health - Sport and Exercise Science

2024Session 5

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course is required for 4th year Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology students to become accredited as Exercise Physiologists with ESSA. You will add to your knowledge of chronic conditions and will further develop skills in evidence-based practice for neurological and neuromuscular conditions, and mental health. You will focus on neurological/neuromuscular examination, clinical assessments for neurological and mental health clients, exercise management and multidisciplinary care for neurological and mental health clients in varied healthcare settings.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Blended learning activities included tutorials, case study analyses, simulated learning scenarios and guest speaker workshops. This workshop will run daily each morning of the intensive for 3 hours . 15hrs Week 1 3 times
Tutorial/Workshop 2 – Blended learning including simulated activities, case study skills, exercise assessments and programming for special population groups and workshops. This workshop will run daily for each day of the intensive in the afternoon. During some days, the student cohort may be split into 2 groups each afternoon dependent on the class size. 20hrs Week 1 3 times

Course Topics

  1. Neurological and mental health conditions including stroke, spinal cord injuries, traumatic and acquired brain injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, dementias, intellectual disabilities, anxiety and depressive disorders.
  2. Medical and allied health management of neurological and mental health conditions.
  3. Physical examination, sensory and movement analysis for neurological conditions; identifying signs and symptoms prior to exercise.
  4. Medications used for neurological and mental health conditions; effects and interactions.
  5. Selecting and applying exercise for neurological and mental health conditions; evidence-based practice.
  6. Identifications of signs and symptoms during exercise and recovery.
  7. Modifying exercise in response to neurological pathologies, mental health conditions, physical function and task demands.
  8. Exercise progression with neurological and mental health clients.
  9. Safety and contraindications with neurological and mental health clients.

What level is this course?

400 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Explain the roles, skills and scope of practice of an exercise physiologist in neurological rehabilitation and mental health, with regard to multidisciplinary care, referral and discharge within the Australian health care system. Empowered
2 Apply knowledge of pathophysiology's, medical, surgical and allied health management of neurological and mental health conditions within the scope of practice of an exercise physiologist. Knowledgeable
3 Apply clinical decision making to undertake physical examinations, clinical assessments and exercise management appropriate for neurological rehabilitation and exercise for mental health. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
4 Demonstrate recognition of signs and symptoms of neurological and mental health conditions before, during and after exercise. Knowledgeable
5 Identify contraindications to exercise for neurological rehabilitation and mental health and apply knowledge by taking appropriate action. Knowledgeable
6 Apply scientific research and current clinical guidelines to clinical decision-making in neurological and mental health exercise physiology practice. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


SPX231 and SPX300 and SPX411 and SPX402 and enrolled in Program SC304


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

It is assumed that you will build upon your knowledge of neuroscience and neural control gained in Motor Control and Learning, your skills in musculoskeletal assessment gained in Exercise in Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, and your skills in clinical history taking, record keeping, physical examination, clinical assessment and evidence-based clinical decision-making gained in 3rd year and 4th year Practicums.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Feedback in the second week of the intensive (Week 2 of session) can be given through self-paced online learning (quizzes and case-based questions involving clinical decision-making). This feedback can inform Task 1, the group Oral Examination.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Oral Group 50%
40 minutes
Refer to Format In Class
All 2 Examination - not Centrally Scheduled Individual 50%
120 minutes
Refer to Format In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Case Study Oral Examination
Students must demonstrate understanding of the clinical history, consultation planning, physical examination skills, referral and diagnostic testing, neurological and mental health assessments within exercise physiology scope of practice, signs and symptom identification, and appropriate exercise prescription required for clinical decision-making to work with a neurological or mental health client. Students must also demonstrate their ability to search the literature to support evidence-based practice.
Product: Oral
The group is expected to divide the task between students, to allow equal contribution from all students. You may choose to have students "role play" the "exercise physiologist" and "client" to demonstrate physical assessments, exercises and stretches. You may also use some equipment provided by the examiner to demonstrate your exercise program. You may bring written summary notes into the examination room, to refer to during the exam. This exam will be conducted in the 3rd week of the intensive block. You will be provided with group feedback. A statement of equal contribution for all group members must be submitted to the Course Coordinator prior to the examination.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​Apply clinical reasoning and critical thinking to a case study scenario.
1 2 3 4 5 6
Demonstrate understanding of the role and scope of practice of an exercise physiologist in neurological rehabilitation or exercise for mental health.
1 2 4 5
Demonstrate skills and competencies in physical examination, neurological/mental health assessment, identification of signs/symptoms/contraindications to exercise.
2 3 4 5
Apply knowledge of the condition to review and gather evidence and information from scientific literature, including peer-reviewed research and current clinical guidelines or position stands, as part of the clinical decision-making process.
2 3 6
All - Assessment Task 2:Written Examination
To demonstrate critical knowledge of neurological and mental health pathophysiologies, signs, symptoms, medication effects and interactions and contraindications to exercise.
Product: Examination - not Centrally Scheduled
Individual written closed-book examination. To be conducted at the end of the 3rd week of the intensive block.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​Correct answers to the questions will demonstrate: 
Knowledge of the aetiology, characteristics, and physiological and biochemical mechanisms contributing to neurological and mental health conditions.
2 6
Knowledge of the medical, surgical, pharmacological and allied health treatments of a range of neurological and mental health conditions.
1 2 4 5 6
Knowledge of signs, symptoms and contraindications of neurological and mental health conditions before, during and after exercise, and the selection of appropriate actions during rehabilitation and general exercise prescription.
2 4 5 6
Application of knowledge of the specific mechanisms of action of differing modalities of rehabilitation exercises.
1 3 6

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Janet H. Carr,Roberta B. Shepherd 2010 Neurological Rehabilitation 2 Elsevier India

Specific requirements

Goniometers, small and medium

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
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  • Student Conduct
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