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PhD, MPhilSpeech & language therapy

Research opportunities

We run a well-established Doctoral Training Centre in Communication Disorders. This multidisciplinary DTC focuses on a wide range of aspects related to the diagnosis and treatment of people with communication problems. The supervisory pool spans across all four University Faculties, which provides students access to the highest level of academic expertise as well as a significant pool of technical resources, including labs for speech & movement analyses, signal processing; systems for eye tracking, or EEG.

Students can study an MPhil over one year or a PhD over three years. They also have the option of studying on a part-time basis.

All students enrol in a research development programme. PhD students will collect sufficient credits to graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD).

The programme is designed to support them with their research. It'll also help them improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • the knowledge & intellectual abilities to conduct their research
  • the personal qualities to succeed in their research & chosen career
  • the standards, requirements & conduct of a professional researcher in their discipline
  • working with others & communicating the impact of their research to a wide range of audiences

Students are located within the supportive environment of the faculty’s Graduate School, and have frequent opportunity to interact with staff and fellow students during our regular research meetings which provide the necessary peer support to successfully complete their studies.

The centre currently supervises research students with backgrounds in SLT, linguistics, medicine, (bio)engineering and computing. These include:

Margaret Muir (SLT)
Auditory perceptual features of conversational speech and the relationship between intelligibility, severity and non-speech oral movements of the tongue and lips in post-stroke dysarthria

Alexander Barbour (Bio-Engineer)
An EEG investigation into prosodic deficits in people with Parkinson's Disease

Rebecca Wagstaff (SLT)
Language production in Parkinson’s Disease: an investigation into the characteristics and underlying linguistic and cognitive mechanisms

Tolulope Ijitona (Signal Processing Engineer)
Acoustic-based Assistive Technology Tools for Dysarthria Management

Aisling Egan (SLT)
Perspectives of the Management of Dysphagia and Mealtime Difficulties in Dementia

Revathy Nayar (Computer Engineer)
Machine Learning based Phoneme Mis-Pronunciation Detection and Classification systems to develop Mobile Application based Tools For Children’s Speech Therapy

Louise McKeever (SLT)
Speech Motor Control in Children with Autism

Huiyi Wu (Signal Processing Engineer)
Development of a diagnostic tool for voice disorders through the application of neural networks

Theofano Tikka (ENT registrar)
Development of a Risk Calculator for Head and Neck Cancer

Mirihagalla Kankanamalage Inoka Udayangani Sirimanna (SLT)
Investigation into the quality of life for repaired cleft lip and palate adolescents Sri Lanka.

Nameeka Shahid (SLT)
Validation of instruments to measure the impact and participation of Urdu speaking patients diagnosed with dysarthria living in Pakistan.

Tom Starr-Marshall (SLT)
Differentiating Inconsistency in Phonological Planning and Motor Planning Deficits Using Acoustic and Kinematic Measures.

Manali Sharma (Linguist)
Aphasia in Hindi-English Bilingual Speakers


NameAreas of expertise
Joanne Cleland 
  • Speech sound disorders in children, cleft lip and palate, Down’s syndrome
  • Persistent speech sound disorders
  • Motor speech disorders in children
  • Instrumental phonetic techniques for the assessment and treatment of speech disorders 
Wendy Cohen 
  • Speech disorders in children and adolescents
  • Voice disorders in children and adolescents
  • Communication disability in those with an associated genetic condition
  • Clinical Education and Professional Development 
Anja Kuschmann 
  • Developmental and acquired motor speech disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Foreign Accent Syndrome
  • Prosody and intonation
  • Speech intelligibility
  • Acoustic and perceptual analyses of speech
  • Use of technology in Speech and Language Therapy
Anja Lowit 
  • Motor speech disorders
  • Prosody
  • Voice
  • Bilingualism
  • Telehealth

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

2019/20 entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

Scotland/ EU

  • £4,327

Rest of UK

  • £4,327
International students
  • £13,550


Have a look at our scholarship search for any funding opportunities available.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

We strongly advise you contact one or more potential supervisors or the Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Marc Obonsawin, before completing the online application. Please click on the ‘Supervisors’ tab above for further information. Then, when you are ready, you can complete the online application.

Entry requirements

We look for students with a first or a 2:1 UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in speech and language pathology or a related subject.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts & certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 250 to 1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area & topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.


You'll need to identify your research supervisor before you finalist your application, preferably as early as possible.

When you've identified a potential supervisor, based upon how well your research interests match theirs, drop them an email to introduce yourself.

In the email, make sure you attach a draft of your research proposal along with a copy of your CV for the supervisor to look at.

Don't worry about how rough your research proposal may be at this stage – you'll have help from the School of Psychological Sciences and Health to refine it.

If your chosen supervisor is available to work with you, they'll confirm this and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus; our online application system.

If you accept our offer, you'll then be sent a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Support & development

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a friendly and supportive study environment for all our research students studying subjects within Humanities & Social Sciences.

Our staff will support you through your studies and you'll become part of a community of students who get involved with out workshops, seminars and competitions.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.


We have a great careers service that can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our careers service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have loads of different support for all students here at our University. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Discover more about speech & language therapy