Woman talking and letters coming out of her mouth

BScSpeech & Language Pathology

Why this course?

Speech and language therapists assess and treat a wide variety of speech, language and communication problems. Our course, which provides a route into this profession, is the longest established in Scotland and one of the oldest in the UK.

The four-year Honours degree programme covers four subject areas:

  • speech and language pathology
  • linguistics and phonetics
  • psychology
  • medical sciences

You'll take part in work placements throughout the four years.

What you’ll study

You'll take part in theoretical and practical studies throughout the course as well as placements in schools, nurseries, hospitals and other settings. You'll carry out two research investigations in Year 4.

Work placement

Clinical placement is a core part of every year of the course. From the first semester, you'll be out and about in nurseries and primary schools, observing young children’s development and education. You’ll also visit care homes, and begin to reflect on communication skills and strategies with residents who have communication impairments. Towards the end of first year, you’ll have a one-week block placement in a speech and language therapy service.

In years 2 and 3, placements are arranged over two days per week for eight weeks, and in Year 4 this increases to two days per week for 10 weeks plus a one week block placement at the end of the year. You'll have placements in services for both child and adult clients. University-based tutors are assigned for each placement to support your individual learning.

There are also a number of highly specialised one-off placement experiences offered throughout the course, often in partnership with specialist medical facilities.

Major projects

Bringing together learning and skills from various modules on the course, in Year 4 you'll develop your own idea for a research investigation that would benefit the profession.

You're assigned a tutor to provide individual support in working towards the Honours project.

Facilities

You'll have access to a speech research laboratory facility which houses equipment designed for the recording and analysis of speech. Specific software allows the investigation of many aspects of speech, in particular, voice and prosody.

The speech lab also provides a course-specific study space with access to clinical intervention materials. The lab supports our clinical speech and language research staff with interests in prosody, bilingualism, developmental phonology, motor speech disorders, sociophonetics, articulation in Down’s syndrome and voice disorders.

In addition to fundamental research into the nature and management of speech disorders, investigations focus on the validation of new phonetic measurement techniques for clinical use. We have close links with Glasgow Dental School, the English Language Department at Glasgow University and practitioners within the NHS.

Anatomy is taught at Glasgow University, where you'll have access to specialist facilities. The module is taught by an enthusiastic and award-winning specialist teacher, whose newly-published book (2014) is tailor-made for our students.

Student competitions

In 2014, our students took part in the inaugural Health and Social Care Team Challenge, organised by NHS Education for Scotland. This involved working closely with students from other health and social care disciplines at universities across Scotland to create solutions for the care of a person with dementia. Aimee McGoldrick (a third-year Strathclyde speech and language pathology student at the time) was in the winning team. 

Three student prizes are awarded each year:

  • the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Prize (£300) is awarded for outstanding coursework related to Aphasia
  • the Anderson Prize (£100) is awarded for the best Advanced Study paper on a topic related to children, or to adults with learning disabilities
  • the Maxwell Bequest Prize (£100) is awarded for the highest-graded dissertation each year

Students who have shown sustained excellence in clinical practice (as demonstrated in the University-based assessment of clinical practice in Years 3 and 4) are awarded Merit in Clinical Practice upon graduating.

Summer research internships

For several years, members of staff have supported students towards success in the University’s highly selective Summer Research Internships, which offer paid experience and training in relevant research within the University setting.

Past speech and language therapy student interns have gone on to win competitions for the posters they have produced. A 2013 intern, Fiona Cameron, was invited to take her poster first to the Scottish Parliament and then to the British Conference of Undergraduate Research in London.

Open days & events

We have a special information day for potential applicants in October each year. We’ll give lots of information about the course and hints and tips on how to impress with your application form. Practising speech and language therapists will be there to talk about their jobs and answer your questions.

Every year in spring we hold an event for those holding offers and their families.

Accreditation

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of eligibility for entry to the HCPC register as a speech and language therapist.

http://www.hpc-uk.org/education/programmes/

Course content

Year 1

Personal Development and Professional Practice 1

This is the first of four classes supporting development for professional practice. It includes placements in Early Years settings, primary schools and care homes. There's a key focus on developing the range of communication skills central to the work of speech and language therapists.

Phonetics: Theory
In this class, you'll learn how voice and speech are produced, and the importance of this knowledge in speech and language therapy. The organisation of sounds in different groups of speakers will be discussed in depth, with a particular focus on the English language.
Phonetics: Production & Transcription

Small-group, practical classes provide you with in-depth training in the skill of accurately transcribing the speech sounds of typical and disordered speakers using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Linguistics 1: Pragmatics and Psycholinguistics

Classes on pragmatics (use of language and communication in context) will cover theories, developmental norms and clinical application. Clear links will be made with the application of this knowledge in making decisions about how to assess and manage clients. In psycholinguistics classes, you’ll learn how communication can be broken down into various aspects of linguistic study, as a foundation to understanding communication development and disorders.

Introduction to Psychology

This class introduces you to key findings, theories and debates in contemporary psychology, and encourages you to begin taking a critical approach to research findings and theory in the subject.

There are five key modules:

  • Learning Theory
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Personality
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensation and Perception
Anatomy: Head, Neck and Nervous System

In this lab-based class, you’ll learn about the structure and function of those parts of the head, neck and chest that are involved in the production of speech. You’ll study the functional anatomy of the central nervous system and its role in sensory perception and motor control. This forms the basis for later study of related disorders.

Physiology for Speech and Language Therapy

This module will give you an understanding of the physiological structure of the human body, as a foundation to understanding the development and breakdown of typical behaviour and function. 

Foundations for Inter-professional Practice

You’ll take this class at Glasgow Caledonian University alongside students from a wide range of health and social care disciplines.

You’ll begin to develop an understanding of the importance of working inter-professionally in health and social care. There's a focus on developing the ability to reflect systematically to extend your professional development.

 

Year 2

Personal Development and Professional Practice 2

This is the second of four classes supporting development for professional practice. It incorporates the second year practice placement.

You'll develop your clinical skills from a basic level to directed therapeutic involvement. This includes the further development of reflection, and a holistic approach to client management. There's also a focus on the selection, use, interpretation and application of clinical assessments.

Speech, Language and Communication Needs and Intervention 1 & 2

These classes consider impairments of speech, language, voice, fluency, cognition and autism as they present in children.

They cover assessment, as well as interventions designed to alleviate impairment, develop activity and adapt the communication environment to increase children’s participation in relevant contexts.

The social and legal context of Scottish schools and children’s services is also addressed.

Adult Aphasia, Dysarthria and Voice

This class focuses on three groups of communication disorders as encountered within the adult population:

  • aphasia
  • dysarthria
  • voice
It familiarises you with the presenting features of the disorders, and equips you with the knowledge and skills to exercise your role in assessment, diagnosis and management of these conditions.
Neurology & Paediatrics

This class builds on the foundations built during the first year in anatomy and physiology. There's a focus on a range of neurological and developmental disorders relevant to speech and language therapy practice, covering the origins, presenting features, assessment and interventions associated with each.

 

Audiology and ENT

This class builds on the foundations built during the first year in anatomy and physiology. You’ll cover essential concepts for assessment and practice within audiology. There's a focus on a range of disorders of the ear, nose and throat relevant to speech and language therapy practice, covering the origins, presenting features, assessment and interventions associated with each.

Linguistics 2: Grammar, Semantics and Prosody

Building on first year classes in linguistics and phonetics, you’ll develop your knowledge of linguistic analysis. There's a focus on grammar (structures), semantics (meanings), and prosody (rhythm, stress and intonation). Classes will cover theories, developmental norms and clinical application. You’ll be helped to make the links needed to apply this knowledge in making decisions about how to assess and manage clients.

 

Year 3

Personal Development and Professional Practice 3

This is the third of four classes supporting development for professional practice. It incorporates the third year placement.

By the end of the class you should be demonstrating competence in placement skills, with emerging independence. There should be a developing critical appreciation of the evidence base guiding clinical practice.

Further Studies in Adult Communication Disorders

This class builds on earlier study of adult communication disorders, by covering topics such as aphasia in more breadth and depth, and by extending the scope to disorders such as traumatic brain injury and the dementias.

An important focus is the broader cognitive changes commonly associated with communication disorders in adults. Also, in a progression from earlier study, this class includes study of laryngectomy (surgical removal of the voice-box) and intra-oral disorders.

Communication in Lifelong Conditions

This class will build on your existing awareness, knowledge, understanding and skills, by covering childhood disorders that require specialist interventions: hearing impairment, cleft palate, physical disability and mental health conditions. You’ll also learn about the role of the speech and language therapist in working with adults with learning disabilities. 

Linguistics 3: Sociolinguistics, Bilingualism and Speech Acoustics

This class will build on lunguistic and phonetic knowledge gained in the first two years of the course. You'll learn about sociolinguistics, multilingualism and speech acoustics, and the relevance of these in speech and language therapy. You'll take part in lab based classes to gain practical experience of speech imaging and prosidic analysis.

Fluency, Voice and Counselling

This class focuses on two client groups encountered within the adult population: those with voice disorders and fluency disorders. You’ll learn about the presenting features of the disorders, and you’ll develop the knowledge and skills to take your role in assessment, diagnosis and management of these conditions. You’ll also develop a critical understanding of the key components of selected approaches to counselling.

Introduction to Research Design and Analysis

In this class, you'll join others within the faculty to be introduced to the main features of measurement, research design and statistical analysis.

The module will present concepts, issues and debates within research methods. It will cover inferential testing and statistics, as well as qualitative research methods.

Year 4

Personal Development and Professional Practice 4
This is the last of four classes supporting development for professional practice. It incorporates the fourth and final placement, providing you with the opportunity to consolidate your skills and broaden your experience, whilst developing your independence.
Research Investigation

You’ll formulate research questions in an area of individual interest, and design a small scale investigation. You’ll have individual supervision from a tutor to support you, as well as further classes about research methodology in speech and language therapy.

Advanced Study Option 1

In this class, the focus is on critical evaluation of current research within key areas of speech and language therapy, implications for clinical practice and identification of future research needs. Specific areas of study vary, depending on student preference and staff availability.

Continuing Professional Development

This module fosters development of key skills within the speech and language therapy workplace, such as decision-making and prioritisation, consultation and delegation, and inter-professional collaboration.

There's a focus on understanding and managing the challenges and expectations of working as a newly qualified speech and language therapist.

Advanced Study Option 2

In this class, the focus is on critical evaluation of current research within key areas of speech and language therapy, implications for clinical practice and identification of future research needs. Specific areas of study vary, depending on student preference and staff availability.

Assessment

Our assessment methods include:

  • observation of clinical work
  • multiple choice exams
  • short answer questions and essays
  • written and practical assignments, including data analysis exercises

Learning & teaching

Our teaching methods include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials

Our practical work is supported by web-based materials and discussion groups.

You're well supported by the friendly and responsive course team, where the same year tutor continues to support the year group as it progresses through the four years. 

Guest lectures

There are visiting lectures from highly-specialist clinicians on topics including:

  • Hearing impairment
  • Cleft palate
  • Cranio-facial surgery
  • Augmentative
  • Alternative communication

The course is proud of its long-standing tradition of links with Glasgow University, which allows teaching of medically-based subjects such as neurology, audiology and diseases of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) to be taught by expert medical practitioners, often in the hospital setting.

Wherever possible, you're taught by subject specialists in areas such as linguistics, physiology, education and psychology.

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.

Highers

1st sitting: AAAB or AABBB

2nd sitting: AAABB or AABBBB

Required subjects

  • Higher English B
  • Maths and a science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Engineering Science or Computing Science) and another language (eg French, Spanish, Italian, German), all at a minimum of National 5 C/Intermediate 2 C) 

A Levels

Minimum entry requirements: ABB with GCSE English Language C or Literature C, GCSE Maths, a science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Computing) and another language (eg French, Spanish, Italian, German) all at a minimum of GCSE C

Typical entry requirements: AAB with GCSE English Language C or Literature C, GCSE Maths, a science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Computing) and another language (eg French, Spanish, Italian, German) all at a minimum of GCSE C

International Baccalaureate

32 (English HL6, Maths and a science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Technological Studies or Computer Science) and another language (eg French, Spanish, Italian, German) all at a minimum of SL5) 

HND

HND (adult returners): health and social care course: AAB in Graded Units, plus Higher English and passes in Maths, a science and a language as above 

Resit results are not considered. If you do not achieve English Higher at B, Advanced Higher English at B is required.

Additional Information

  • Your personal statement should show knowledge of communication difficulties and the work of speech and language therapists
  • You're expected to undergo an occupational health screening before entering the course. Costs for this will be met by the Scottish Government for applicants for 2016/17. The costs of PVG checks and NHS student uniforms will also be met, but there may be additional costs associated with placement travel. PVG, health clearance and uniform costs are not known for 2017/18 entrants, including those current applicants wishing to defer entry.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS (7.5) with no less than 7 in any of the four components

Deferred Entry

Deferred entry accepted

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

  • 2016/17 - £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2016/17 - £9,000

International

  • 2016/17 - £17,500

Tuition fees

If you're from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales studying an Allied Health Profession Course in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid.

Your entitlement to have your Tuition Fees paid may be affected if you have already undertaken degree level studies and you should contact SAAS for further information.

Living costs

If you're from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales you can also apply to SAAS for a non-repayable Young Students Bursary or Independent Students bursary.

If you’re ordinarily resident in Scotland can apply to SAAS for a living cost loan. Students who are ordinarily resident in England, Northern Ireland or Wales should apply to your home funding body (not SAAS) for your living cost loan.

Your entitlement to Living Cost support may be affected if you have already undertaken degree level studies and you should contact SAAS and your home funding body for further information.

Additional course costs

The costs listed below are required to be met by students on the BSc Honours Speech & Language Pathology.

Please note that advice and guidance on all aspects of student finance, including short-term loans and discretionary funds, is available from our student financial support team.

Start-up & Year 1

  • Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme membership. This is being funded by Scottish Government in 2016/17 but may change in future years
  • You're expected to undergo an occupational health screening before entering the course. Costs for this will be met by the Scottish Government for applicants for 2016/17.
  • Uniforms for NHS placements (4 tops, 4 trousers). This is being funded by Scottish Government in 2016/17 but may change in future years
  • Lab coat
  • Extra travel for compulsory classes at Glasgow University (weekly throughout Year 1)

Year 2

  • Extra travel to 10 compulsory classes at South Glasgow University Hospital
  • Digital recording device
  • Grammar workbook to support compulsory module. The cost is approximately £10

Year 3

  • Speech acoustics workbook to support compulsory module. The cost is approximately £10

Placement costs (relevant to all four years of the programme)

  • Travel costs for compulsory placements in all four years of the course. This is approximately 70 days over four years and may be anywhere in Scotland. It's likely that you'll be travelling at peak times which can cost more
  • Accommodation costs for distant placements

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs

Students are required to purchase the following materials for the course:

  • Lab coats cost approximately £16
  • Year Two Grammar workbook (to support compulsory module) - approximately £10
  • Year Three Speech Acoustics workbook (to support compulsory module) - approximately £10 

Placement & field trips 

  • Year One - extra travel costs for weekly compulsory classes at Glasgow University
  • Year Two - extra travel costs for ten compulsory classes at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital 
  • Extra travel costs for compulsory placements in all four years of study - approximately 70 days in total across Scotland.  Costs will vary and accommodation costs may be applicable.  

PVG scheme (Protection of Vulnerable Groups)

Membership scheme funded by the Scottish Government - though this may be subject to change.

Other costs 

  • Health clearance for NHS immunisations.  Funded by the Scottish Government in 2015/16 - but subject to change.  Costs will vary, but may rise to £400
  • Uniforms for NHS placements (4 tops and 4 trousers) funded by the Scottish Government in 2015/16 - but subject to change
  • Year Two digital recording device. 

Comments 

Scottish Government funding for start-up costs has now been cut.  The department has managed to lobby for funding on an ad-hoc basis - applicable for 2015 entrants.  However, future applicants will most likely need to pay start-up costs.  This could have serious implications regarding widening participation.  The department will look to work with the faculty and/or USSA to address this issue.

How can I fund my studies?

Some Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.

Please note that funding is not applicable to all courses. Please contact SAAS to confirm if your particular course is eligible.

Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Scholarships

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees

Careers

Speech and language therapists are often employed within the NHS. Our graduates have close links with the education and health sectors and many are based in hospitals.

Therapists work with:

  • children and adults who may have lost the ability to communicate at an early age
  • those who have developed communication difficulties following a stroke or brain injury
  • those who have voice disorders, learning disabilities or problems swallowing and chewing

Graduates are eligible to apply to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (essential for employment as a speech and language therapist in the UK).

Employers tell us our graduates stand out, following our specially-designed professional development classes in year 4.

Where are they now?

Recent job titles include:

  • Paediatric Speech & Language Therapist
  • Speech & Language Therapist
  • Speech & Language Therapy Assistant
  • Speech & Language Therapy Support Worker
  • Speech Therapist
  • Speech Therapy Support Worker
  • Youth Worker

Recent employers include:

  • Central Essex Community Services
  • Down’s Syndrome Scotland
  • Erskine Hospital for Ex-Servicemen
  • Mencap
  • National Autistic Society
  • National Health Service

**Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education.

Contact us

Apply

How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of offer
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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