Key features

This module has been designed for health care clinicians that provide assessment and treatment to patients with a neurological impairment known as hypertonia.

The module is open to all health professionals as a stand-alone module or part of the MSc Advanced Professional Practice Neurological Rehabilitation pathway. 

The module is delivered by an expert interdisciplinary team that will focus on hypertonia management that is pertinent to health professionals aiming to improve service delivery. 

Postgraduate students participating in this module will develop a critical understanding of hypertonia, contemporary assessment methods and evidence-based management approaches. Students will have the opportunity to focus on specific patient populations or aspects of hypertonia relevant to their practice such as dystonia or spasticity.

Module code




FHEQ Level 

Level 7 - masters degree


Face to face delivery at Plymouth*

* Please note ADV778 teaching will be delivered face to face in person. There is no option for online attendance. Please ensure you are able to travel to Plymouth to attend all 4 days of teaching. 

Summary of Module Content 


  • Hypertonia/spasticity/dystonia (focal, regional/segmental, systemic).
  • Hypertonia in specific populations (e.g. paediatrics, dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis, ABI).
  • Clinical guidelines and policy to inform evidence-based practice.
  • Clinical features and differential diagnoses (spasticity, dystonia).
  • ICF and the impact of hypertonia on the patient.
  • Clinical application of theory to practice to aid service improvement plans.


  • Assessment practice and critical evaluation of multi-disciplinary clinical outcome measures.
  • Introduction to lab-based outcomes using contemporary facilities and equipment.


  • Holistic multi-disciplinary management of hypertonia.
  • Postural management of people with mild, moderate and severe hypertonia.
  • Patient education and self-management.
  • Stretching, strengthening, splinting and electrical stimulation.
  • Pharmacological management of spasticity.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, the learner will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the pathophysiology of hypertonia and evaluate the impact of hypertonia on the control of sensorimotor function.
  • Demonstrate a critical and evaluative understanding of the assessment and management of hypertonia based on a client-centred holistic approach.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of hypertonia on service users and their carers, and be able to apply this understanding to service delivery and improvement.
  • Demonstrate the application of learning and the use of clinical reasoning skills through critical reflection on relevant clinical case scenarios.


The assessment for this module is a written assignment.

Module dates

26, 27 March and 16, 17 April 2024
Occasionally, delivery dates might be subject to change – always check with the module lead or Professional Development Unit.
Please be aware that all modules run to minimum numbers.
In the event that there are low numbers, this module may be rescheduled to an alternative date.
Some modules are also subject to maximum numbers.

Entry requirements

You will normally be a healthcare professional with a first degree or a related academic degree, BSc (Hons) at 2:2 or above or European first cycle equivalent. Clinicians without a degree but with appropriate experience may be eligible to apply. Overseas students require an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.


Module lead

Admissions information 

Additional information and documentation required for the application process.
  • Application forms. 
  • Change of name forms.
  • Pre-course information.
  • Downloadable guides.
  • Student card.
Admissions information Additional information and documentation required for the application process.Access to application forms, download guides and confirmation information. Visit our admissions homepage.
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You can contact the Professional Development Unit with any queries

Prospective student enquiries:
Current student enquiries:
Professional Development Unit, Level 4 Rolle Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom.
Monday – Thursday 8:30–17:00 and Friday 8:30–16:30.