The Functional Face [M8]

Location: Hawkwood College, STROUD
Duration: 3 days
Price: £845 (non-residential) £945 (residential*)
Entry criteria: Module 2
Next delivery: 16—18 March 2018
Leader: Louise Hull

As W.G.Sutherland said 'The difference between spinal technique and cranial technique is like the difference between an automobile mechanic and a watch maker. We do not force anything into place in the reduction of the lesion. We have something more potent than our own forces working always in the patient towards the direction of normal.' Contributions of Thought p112 1967 edition.

The Functional Face offers the opportunity to experience not only delicacy of palpation, but precision in treatment and trust in the self correcting principle of the body.

Course Content

  • Embryology of the face
  • Bony anatomy of the face – you will have the opportunity to learn the bony anatomy by building the bony face in a small group using model disarticulated specimens.
  • Anatomy and function of the speed reducers as a gearing system between neurocranium and face.
  • The eye, orbit and relation to the sphenoid and face, including clinical relevance
  • How does the face adapt to physiological and unphysiological patterns of motion in the neurocranium, and how this influences occlusion.
  • Anatomy and physiology of the nasal sinuses, and their function as a series of pumps that rely on motion for normal health and drainage of sinuses. Includes treatment approaches.
  • The anatomy and function of the mandible and TMJ, relationship of TMJ function and dysfunction to occlusion. Includes treatment approaches.
  • The ear and the relationship of the eustachian tube to temporal and sphenoid bones. Includes treatment approaches to improve drainage and function of the middle ear.
  • The mouth, anatomy and function of the tongue and muscles of mastication, relationship to hyoid and anterior fascias. Sucking, swallowing, speech. The voice, osteopathic considerations and treatment approaches.
  • Common mal occlusion problems will be discussed in an osteopathic context. The interface between osteopathy and dentisty will be covered on another course.

Course Format

The course includes a balance of lectures, workshops and practical sessions and moves at a comfortable pace.

Our experienced tutors will gently guide and help you to develop your palpatory skills. Working with like-minded colleagues in a group of 4 with 1 tutor enables you to discuss and share your learning experiences and to make sense of what you are feeling, and to discuss clinical relevance. Intra-oral approaches to treatment will be included in practical sessions.

Course Details

This course is run approximately once every 2 years in the UK.


All our courses meet the new CPD requirements and include communication, consent and improving your clinical skills and knowledge to help you in osteopathic practice.

Alternative Dates

Hawkwood College
16 - 18 March 2018 £845 (non-residential)
£945 (residential*)
Hawkwood College
13 - 15 March 2020 £895 (non-residential)
£995 (residential*)

* Residential accommodation at Hawkwood is in shared rooms, a limited number of singles are available at a supplement and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.


Will I need to have done other modules before this?

Yes, you must have attended Module 2: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field.

Will I learn to treat the TMJ and jaw?

Yes this commonly painful area will be addressed on the course with detailed anatomy and useful handholds.

Will my current level of anatomy be sufficient?

We provide a pre-course study pack to help you refresh your knowledge before the course

Will there be support after the course if I want to discuss patients presenting with conditions of the face?

We have a new mentoring scheme that takes place in small friendly groups all over the country so we can support each other and continue to learn together and share our discoveries.

What next?

Join the SCCO Mentoring Scheme: an opportunity to work with and share learning experiences with like minded and experienced colleagues.

Write an assignmentThe SCCO membership pathway requires 3 written case study assignments. Writing this case study is an excellent way of reviewing and consolidating your learning from the course.

Other courses: Choose another modular course to continue your journey on the SCCO membership pathway.

Osteopathic Practice Standards & CPD

Learning Outcomes & Assessment Criteria
On completion of this course you should be able to:
To achieve the learning outcome you must demonstrate the ability to:
1 Describe the Embryology of the face, motion patterns, bony anatomy and its relevance to treatment. Articulate, analyse and interpret examination findings with reference to the face, the cranial base and the whole body in a practical setting offering an informed explanation of the functional significance of their findings. Demonstrate your working knowledge of living anatomy by accurate hand placement to influence and improve function of the region and the ability to communicate your treatment plan and process.
2 Demonstrate and articulate palpatory and therapeutic skills developing sensory skills with their patient interaction. Apply diagnostic/ interpretive osteopathic skills in a practical setting. To reflect-in-action during a therapeutic encounter using self correction modifying according to the patients' tissues.
3 Understand consent and communication with the patient and health and safety responsibilities with intraoral work. Demonstrate a professional approach to the communication of consent, placing value on the patient- practitioner relationship and shared decision making processes.
4 Demonstrate application of knowledge, skills, experience to select, integrate and apply appropriate therapeutic techniques to meet the patients need. Provide osteopathic care for a diverse range of patients that is underpinned by an extensive range of cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills. Demonstrate an ability to interpret palpatory findings within a patients tissues in diagnosis and treatment and be guided by the needs of the tissues using centering and grounding refined psychomotor skills. Take full responsibility for managing all aspects of their care, centered on their needs as a person and your duty of care as a professional.
5 Use your knowledge, skills, experience and initiative to select, integrate and apply appropriate therapeutic techniques from a comprehensive range, in order to meet the patient’s treatment needs. Integrate new skills and knowledge into your osteopathic management. Select from a diverse range of therapeutic techniques in order to construct and implement a coherent treatment plan that responds to the patient’s specific needs. Competently provide effective osteopathic care within a chosen specialism. Reflect on the impact of your experiences on your development as an osteopath. Understanding the role of Osteopathic medicine in the context of the facial viscera and cranial nerves. Critically defend your decisions, backed by research-based evidence as appropriate.
6 Manage patients and monitor outcomes in a manner that is responsive to the complex and dynamic needs of the patient over time and ensures best care. Construct, implement and monitor osteopathic management plans for your patients and adapt them in response to clinical evidence and patient needs over time. To be able to reflect on your management with the patient and discuss the therapeutic changes treatment offers.
7 Confidently operate as an autonomous practitioner in complex health care settings, demonstrating mentoring and leadership skills. Critically reflect on your role and practice as an osteopath and your responsibility to your patients to provide the best patient-centred care possible.
Student Learning
Type of LearningLearning ActivityNLH*
Scheduled Learning Hours Lectures 5
Practical classes 11
Workshop 5
Scheduled online activities  
Guided Learning Directed reading & research 1
Reflective portfolio development  
Peer assisted learning 2
Independent Learning Unguided reading from defined reading list  
Assessment preparation (optional) (12)
Tutor defined project / Dissertation activity  
Autonomous Learning Reading from non-specific sources  
Reflection on clinical experiences  
Placement Clinical observations  

* Notional Learning Hours

CPD Requirements: Mapping to the OPS
OPS Theme OPS Mapping
  1 2 3 4 5  6
Communication & Patient Partnership    
Knowledge, Skill & Performance  
Safety & Quality in Practice  
CPD Standards  
CPD activities are relevant to the full range of osteopathic practice See above mapping exercise          
Objective activities have contributed to practice Peer review/Observation          
Case-based discussion activity          
Seek to ensure that CPD activities benefit patients Communication/Consent activity          
Maintain CPD documentation Certificate of attendance/Overview document provided to student