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Course content

For those taking this module as part of pre- or post-registration audiological training or career development, the module is intended to provide fundamental academic and practical preparation for clinical work in the assessment and management of vestibular disorders. This will build on knowledge of the auditory system and auditory disorders to include the development of a contextual understanding of the anatomy and physiology of balance system, vestibular pathologies and their biopsychosocial consequences, the various forms of clinical assessment and various management techniques. Importantly, the module will also enable you to develop your clinical reasoning skills.

For those taking this module as part of a non-audiology healthcare programme, the module is intended to provide a first step on the path to developing and extending your clinical knowledge and skills in the context of balance disorders.

The module will combine traditional lecture-based, problem-based and practical learning techniques.

Module Aims

• Knowledge about the balance system generally and the vestibular system in particular, disorders of the vestibular system, the impact of the disorders on those suffering from them, and techniques used to assess and manage the vestibular system.

• Cognitive skills regarding the identification and critical evaluation of information from a variety of sources including the research literature) in order to make evidencebased, patient-centred decisions and recommendations.

• Pre-clinical practical skills in carrying out audio-vestibular assessments and management techniques using specialist equipment.

• Skills in collaborative working and learning.

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the physical, biological and psychosocial processes involved in specific vestibular disorders and the differential diagnosis of them.
  • Critically evaluate the scientific evidence base behind vestibular assessment and rehabilitation methods.
  • Critically evaluate information from a variety of sources (including the research literature and national guidelines) in order to make evidence-based, patient-centred decisions and recommendations.
  • Demonstrate mastery of effective self-directed learning and scientific communication.


1. Physical, biological and psychosocial processes.

2. Patient interview and ‘bedside’ patient assessment including postural examination, eye-movement examination and vestibular-specific tests.

3. Videonystagmographic tests (including ocular motor and vestibular tests) and other objective tests.

4. Differential diagnosis (e.g. peripheral vs. central lesions).

5. Functional assessment, rehabilitative techniques and measures of benefit.

Visit the Assessment and Management of Vestibular Disorders - Masters Module page on the University of Southampton website for more details!




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