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Speech and Language Therapy Postgraduate Diploma/MSc

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  • Objectives
    The aims of the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Speech and Language Therapy are: 1. To provide at a postgraduate level, education and clinical/professional training which: * is underpinned by scholarship, research and clinical practice * uses a variety of teaching and learning methods including self-directed learning * integrates the development of theoretical knowledge with clinical skills across a wide range of client service groups. 2. To provide an intensive postgraduate programme structure which develops the professional competencies necessary to be a speech & language therapist over two years and promotes continuing professional development. 3. To enable students to meet the requirements of the relevant professional and statutory bodies. 4. To foster the development of professional knowledge and clinical skills across a wide range of client groups and presenting communication difficulties. 5. To provide opportunities for self-monitoring and personal development for the formation of reflective practitioners. 6. To produce practitioners who are capable of applying theoretical knowledge to the diagnostic, therapeutic, educative and technical roles of the Speech and Language Therapist within the healthcare, educational and social welfare sectors. 7. To provide clinical placements that meet requirements of the Health Professions Council (HPC) and the Royal College of Speech & language Therapists (RCSLT) ? the profession?s accrediting bodies.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Candidates must hold at least a second class honours degree. A degree in a relevant subject is an advantage, but candidates are selected on the basis of their motivation, social skills, and appropriate academic abilities, rather than the subject of their degree. We regret that graduates with third class honours or pass/ordinary degrees cannot be considered Overseas graduates are required to provide a transcript of their first degree and evidence of their abilities in English if this is not their first language. They are likely to be required to spread the course over three years. Prospective students will be interviewed for suitability in terms of personal and intellectual maturity. They will be expected to show some familiarity with the demands of the Speech and Language Therapy profession and to have observed therapy in hospitals and/or clinics. It is assumed that applicants will have visited as wide a variety as possible of both child and adult speech and language therapy clinics prior to applying. We understand that pressure on clinics has increased in recent years and that opportunities to observe therapy may be hard to find. Nonetheless, it is important that students are well informed of the nature of the profession which you are choosing to enter. Valuable background experience can be obtained in working with preschool children, mentally and/or physically handicapped children/young people/adults and with geriatric and stroke patients. Mature applicants The Department is committed to broadening the social and ethnic range of speech and language therapists. It has always encouraged applications from mature students and people who offer languages or dialects other than Standard English. Overseas Graduates Applicants whose degree is not from a British university are required to provide a transcript of their degree and evidence of their abilities in English if this is not their first language . Our English Language requirements are IELTS 7.5 or TOEFL 630 (Computer score 267).They are likely to be required to take the 'Extended Postgraduate Diploma' which is spread over three years. Thus they follow a one year preliminary course before registering for two further years of Diploma study
  • Academic Title
    Speech and Language Therapy Postgraduate Diploma/MSc
  • Course description
    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.

    Course content

    The programme comprises 10 modules dispersed evenly over the two years.

    Year 1     

    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)

    Bio-medical sciences
    The study of anatomy & physiology. The study of neurology & disorders of the ear, nose & throat. (10 credits)

    Developmental studies
    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)

    Year 2     

    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)

    Language Sciences
    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)

    Clinical Placements

    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.

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