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The University of Southampton

AUDI1012 Biopsychosocial Basis of Audiology

Module Overview

Within this module you will be encouraged to reflect on your role as an audiology healthcare professional and the experiences of hearing impaired people beyond simply considering the changes to the functions and structures of the auditory system. Central to this module is the international definitions and classifications for functioning, disability and health (ICF). Within that context, we will consider questions such as how health conditions can affect us and what it means to live with a health condition. In particular, you will learn about (1) how an individual’s health condition can lead to changes in body structure/function, to activity limitations and to participation restrictions; and (2) how those are affected by contextual factors including personal factors. We will explore other health conditions/states that can be associated with hearing loss, the role of personal values/choices and the physical, social, cultural, attitudinal and health policy environment in which people live and conduct their lives, with a particular focus on Deaf culture. These issues will be considered both within the current state of audiological healthcare as well as looking forward to future developments in audiological science, considering how these will impact our current understanding of living with health disability and functioning in the context of the ICF. In order to achieve that, we will explore a broad range of issues related to biology (including relevant anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the human body, from the cellular level to the level of whole body systems), health psychology, sociology, public health, health ethics and beyond! This module together with Introduction to Hearing Science & Technology also includes a series of sessions on academic skills across the year in order to support you make the transition to undergraduate study in a scientific discipline.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • A - Explain the international definitions and classifications for function, disability and health (ICF) including how a health condition can lead to biological, psychological and social changes, how that can be influenced by a range of personal and environmental factors and the importance of this for the provision of health care.
  • B - Describe how certain audiological health conditions and commonly associated comorbid conditions manifest and interact at biological, psychological and social levels within the context of the ICF.
  • C - Describe and debate current and possible future trends in audiology science and clinical practice from a range of perspectives, including biology, health psychology, public health, culture, ethics and policy.


Topics covered in this module will include: • World Health Organisation classification systems and the international definitions and classifications for function, disability and health • Biopsychosocial effects of audiological disorders • Basic chemical, cellular and tissue level organisation of the body and the structure and function of a cell • Basic anatomy, physiology and pathology of the body and the cellular, tissue and system response to disease, explored through audiological case studies, in the context of the ICF. E.g. explore the skeletal system in the context of osteoarthritis with a focus on the audiological impact, such as hearing aid insertion and handling. This format will be repeated across relevant and common syndromes, disorders and diseases. • Conditions associated or comorbid with hearing loss, including vision loss, vestibular disorders, cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease • Deaf culture, community and values and their interaction with the ICF. • Advances in audiology including inheritance (e.g. DNA and genetics including carrier status, clinical genetics) and therapies to achieve regeneration of mammalian auditory hair cells and restoration of their function (e.g. genetic, stem cell and molecular therapies) • Public health in the context of audiology (e.g. factors that affect the health, inequalities of health, how those factors may be addressed such as through screening, prevention and surveillance programmes, relevant statistical concepts and evidence based medicine) • Academic skills (co-ordinated with the sessions in Introduction to Hearing Science and Technology) including scientific writing, developing assignments, literature searching, referencing, academic integrity and critically evaluating information from various sources

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The main teaching methods will be lectures, seminars, workshops and debates in a formal classroom setting. These sessions will be a combination of taught content and group work. Group work will involve discussing salient issues with feedback from each group to the whole class. Semester 1 will primarily involve encountering new issues and Semester 2 will involve synthesising, discussing and debating current and future issues relating to the biopsychosocial basis of audiology. You will work on a formative task in semester 1, the feedback from which will help prepare you for a summative assignment in semester 2. You will need to work in your own time and in timetabled independent learning sessions in order to supplement lectures and group work. You will be able to meet with the Module Lead for assistance as and when required.

Preparation for scheduled sessions48
Wider reading or practice52
Follow-up work52
Completion of assessment task100
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

International Classification of Function Disability and Health (ICF).

Towards a Common Language for Functioning, Disability and Health..



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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