The Diploma/MSc in Speech and Language Therapy takes place in a lively department engaged in a variety of teaching, clinical and research activities. We are the largest speech and language therapy department in the country and have a long established reputation in providing undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The department places a great deal of importance on clinical work. The in-house clinical facility, the Compass Centre, runs a number of clinical activities and projects, including intensive courses for children who stammer. There are also close links with Connect - the communication disability network, which provides an innovative service for people who have had strokes or accidents resulting in dysphasia. The department provides a base and a resource for research students working on a wide range of language and communication problems.
This is a two year intensive course of study that leads to the award of postgraduate diploma in speech and language therapy and licence to practise as a speech and language therapist. It will appeal to those who have a first degree, are interested in pursuing a professional qualification and have a desire to work with people with communication disabilities. There is also the option to extend academic studies to MSc level by completion of a small piece of research within three years of attaining the diploma.
The programme comprises 10 modules dispersed evenly over the two years.
The first year of the programme establishes the foundations of hearing, speech and language.
It explores the nature of speech, communication & swallowing disabilities in children and adults.
The students study 5 modules of 15 or 30 credits.
Students are equipped with the knowledge to understand the process of human communication in the social and clinical context.
From term 2, students attend weekly clinical placements in a variety of settings, culminating in a block placement in the summer period.
Speech & Language Sciences
The study of linguistics to underpin understanding of normal & impaired language. (20 credits)
The study of anatomy & physiology. The study of neurology & disorders of the ear, nose & throat. (10 credits)
Processes of normal development, including speech & language acquisition, as a frame of reference for assessing communication disabilities. Consideration of change through intervention. (15 credits)
Speech communication & swallowing disabilities
Developmental speech disorders; stuttering; voice disorders & laryngectomy; cerebral palsy; cleft palate; swallowing disorders. (15 credits)
Professional studies (A)
Foundations of SLT, conceptual frameworks & range of approaches to intervention. (30 credits)
The second year of the programme explores the nature of cognition, language & communication disabilities in children and adults.
The students study 4 modules of 15 credits and one of 30 credits.
Students continue to attend weekly clinical placements in a variety of settings culminating in a block placement in the summer period.
Research & Evidence-based Practice (1)
Research methods to underpin academic & clinical enquiry. (15 credits)
Hearing & Speech Sciences
Knowledge, understanding & application of the mechanisms & components of hearing & speech at the articulatory, acoustic & audiological levels. (15 credits)
The study of language processing, brain & behaviour to underpin intervention. (15 credits)
Language, Cognition & Communication Disabilities
Acquired language disorders; developmental language impairment; learning disabilities; deafness & hearing impairment; autistic spectrum disorders; mental health disorders. (15 credits)
Professional Studies (B)
Conceptual frameworks & processes of intervention. (30 credits)
Optional MSc Conversion
Students who attain the postgraduate diploma have the option of extending their academic studies to MSc level within 3 years of attaining the diploma.
Research & Evidence-Based Practice (2)
Students are encouraged and supported to conduct a small scale research project in an area chosen by the student. This provides direct experience of designing and carrying out research, preparing students for a research oriented approach to therapy and for participating in research on language and communication. (60 credits)
Students attend clinical placements from the second semester in year1 onwards. They form an essential component of the clinical training. Clinical placements allow students to observe a range of communication disabilities and encourage the relation of theoretical understanding to clinical practice. Clinical placements offer students the opportunity to observe and administer a range of assessment, therapeutic and management strategies and are essential for developing the professional and interpersonal skills necessary for practice as a Speech and Language Therapist.
A variety of teaching methods are employed including large group lectures, small group workshops, tutorials, laboratory work, student centred learning and clinical
supervision. The modules on Hearing & Speech Sciences and Language Sciences offer considerable opportunity to work in the departmental Phonetics Laboratories with access to high quality facilities.
Other Exit Routes
A system of additional exit routes is available to some students. These will allow the students to complete a course of study leading to an academic qualification but insufficient for them to be recommended for professional practice as a Speech and Language Therapist. It should be emphasised that the purpose of the postgraduate programme remains to prepare students for clinical practice. Exit routes are only made available where the student is unable to complete the clinical components of the programme. This will be indicated by a failure to successfully complete the Professional Studies module (Intervention module) in any single year. Exit routes will also be made available where it is considered that it would be detrimental to the student to pursue the course of clinical training. The decision for a student to exit from the clinical route will be made after discussion between the student, the personal tutor, clinical tutor and programme director.