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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SPSC2309 Skill Acquisition, Motor Learning and Rehabilitation

20 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Dr Sarah Astill

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21


SPSC1031Motor Control:Foundations

This module is mutually exclusive with

SPSC2131Skill Acquisition and Motor Learning

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module examines theoretical and practical principles of motor skill learning, and examines the applications of these across a range of sports/activities, and movement disorders. The key aspects of the study of motor skill learning include: Experimental Design Issues, Measurement techniques (kinematics, EMG, FMRI), theories of motor skill acquisition, pedagogical considerations, including constraints, feedback and practice regimes, imagery and eye movements. In addition, the module examines the principles of neuroplasticity and how these can be applied to movement skill rehabilitation.


Students will specialise in theoretical and experimental issues related to motor learning in elite and clinical populations. The module will provide a more detailed explanation of the underpinning theories that guide coaching/teaching/ learning of sports skills and current trends in rehabilitation.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- Explain and discuss the prominent theories of motor control and learning that guide research and practice;
- Identify, and explain the role of important variables that aid acquisition, retention and transfer of movement skills;
- Apply knowledge to develop a training plan designed to enhance motor skill learning;
- Critically discuss the role of methods used to enhance the acquisition, retention and transfer of movement skills and in neurorehabilitation;
- Collect, analyse and interpret data depicting motor skill learning;
- Critically discuss the application of motor skill learning principles to support neurorehabilitation.

Skills outcomes
- Managing Knowledge: collecting, selecting, organising and interpreting data, data evaluation and synthesis, use of IT skills;
- Managing Self: planning, time management, independent study;
- Managing Interrelationships: teamwork and cooperation, decision taking, learning from others, peer reviewing;
- Presentation Skills: visual presentation of data, scientific writing.


- Measuring Learning: Outcome and Performance Measures
- Measuring Learning: Retention and Transfer
- Hierarchical and Neurocomputational Theories of Motor Learning
- Motor Skill Leaning Theory: A Dynamical Systems Perspective
- Constraints and Non-Linear Pedagogy
- The Learning Environment: Structuring Practice
- The Learning Environment: Providing Feedback
- Focus of Attention
- Motor Imagery and Human Computer Interfaces
- Eye Movements and Training Paradigms
- Neural Substrates of Motor Learning
- Exercise and Neuroplasticity
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Stroke
- Parkinson’s Disease

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours10.00
Private study hours158.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Background reading, seminar preparations and working on coursework:
- 60 hours: 3 hours reading per lecture
- 9 hours: 3 hours reading per lab/practical
- 10 hours formative MCQ’s
- 3 hours: 3 hours per tutorial
- 76 hours - student directed coursework

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Students' progress will be monitored via guide questions used for laboratory sessions, and formative worksheets associated with labs, which students peer mark and discuss with demonstrators.
- A range of MCQ’s associated with lecture and lab content to be completed for ‘homework’. Students will be alerted to their score and can discuss content with the teaching team (see below).
- Additional tutorials will be available to those students wanting extra assistance. All staff offer 2 hour consultation hours /week as a minimum.
- Students are encouraged to post on a tutor led blog that addresses gaps in knowledge to check understanding

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Case StudySkill training plan (4 pages).25.00
Poster PresentationGroup poster presentation.25.00
In-course MCQMCQ25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)75.00

Failure to complete the coursework to pass standard will result in a V code being appended to the final module mark.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Exam with advance information on questions1 hr 25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)25.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2020 08:19:16


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