Person 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.

Please read our important information about the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme. This is for all applicants applying for courses which involve placement opportunities (working with children or vulnerable adults).

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.


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.

Student competitions

Four 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
  • the Excellence in Clinical Medical Studies (£100) is awarded for best overall grade in second year for B6106, B6229 and B6230

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


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.

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 and Physiology for Speech and Language Pathology

In this class, run by BioMedical Engineering, you will learn all about the structure of the major body systems with a focus on the upper body, together with an understanding of physiological function. This forms the basis for later study of related disorders.

Specialised Anatomy for Speech and Language Pathology

This class will give you a more detailed understanding of the anatomical structures of the body that relate to the production of speech. You’ll learn more about the head, neck, and chest along with related disorders. You’ll study the anatomy of the central nervous system and its related disorders.

Engaging with Profession Study

This class will engage students as autonomous learners and responsible professionals in training. It will facilitate their active engagement in the process of their own development: in terms of learning, values and awareness of social, cultural and political contexts impacting on healthcare, social care and education.

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.

Aphasia, Dysarthria and Dysphagia

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

  • aphasia
  • dysarthria
  • swallowing disorders
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 continues the investigation of adult communication disorders, by covering topics such as Apraxia of Speech, 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, Multilingualism and Speech Acoustics

This class will build on linguistic 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 prosodic 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.


Our assessment methods include:

  • observation of clinical work
  • objective structured clinical examinations
  • multiple choice exams
  • peer assessment
  • 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
  • craniofacial surgery
  • augmentative and alternative communication
  • literacy
  • dementia

The course is proud of its link to specialist medical practitioners at the Glasgow Royal infirmary which allows the teaching of medically-based subjects such as 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

Required subjects are indicated following typically accepted grades.


Standard entry requirements

1st sitting: AAAB or AABBB
2nd sitting: AAABB or AABBBB

Required Higher subjects

  • Higher English B
  • Maths and a science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Engineering Science or Computing Science) all at a minimum National 5 C or equivalent
  • another language at National 5 C is recommended

A Levels

Typical entry requirements: ABB (GCSE English Language 4/C or Literature 4/C, GCSE Maths, a science (Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Computing) at GCSE 4/C; another language at GCSE 4/C is recommended)

Irish Leaving Certificate

223333 or 22233 in the ILC, including English. Ordinary levels include a science, and maths. Another language at Ordinary level is recommended

International Baccalaureate

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

Mature Students

We have a range of options for mature applicants.

Adult Returners with required Highers, A Levels or a degree

  • If you have evidence of these qualifications in the last five years, you do not need to achieve further qualifications
  • If you have the required Highers, A Levels, or a degree but these have not been achieved within the past five years, you should look to achieving 30 credits in a relevant Open University module as evidence of recent qualifications

Adult Returners without the required Highers, A Levels or a degree

You can choose from the following options, according on your circumstances:

  • Highers: three Highers at AAB, including English (at B minimum), plus a Science subject, and any third subject; if Higher English at B grade has been achieved, another Higher such as Psychology should be considered
  • A Levels: AB
  • Open University: 60 credits in a SCQF Level 7 Open University module such as Biology or An Introduction to Health and Social Care or Perspectives in Health and Social Care or Science and health: an evidence-based approach
  • HND: HND in course related to Health and Social Care with A in all graded units (HNCs or professional qualifications are not accepted)
  • SWAP Access Courses: completion of all units in SWAP programme with A grades in written communication, spoken communication and learning ability profiles; ideally this would be in Access to Nursing
  • Pre-entry Access course at the University of Strathclyde: 60% in final grade. Suggested subjects include:
    • Module 1: History or Italian
    • Module 2: English
    • Module 3: Psychology

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.
  • 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 academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?


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

  • £1,820

Scottish/EU undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

Rest of UK
  • £9,250

Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on Integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.


  • £18,450

Dean’s International Undergraduate Scholarship

The Dean’s International Undergraduate Scholarship is open to new international students who will begin a full-time undergraduate course in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in September 2019. The award is a £3,500 scholarship per year for the duration of your degree. All offer holders are eligible to apply for this scholarship

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs

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

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

Placement & field trips 

  • 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 2019/20 - but may be subject to change in the future. Costs will vary, but may rise to £400
  • Uniforms for NHS placements (four tops and four trousers) funded by the Scottish Government in 2019/20 - but may be subject to change in the future
  • Year Two digital recording device

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.


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.

Contact us


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.

    Applications are still welcome from international students (non-EU) and those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  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 decision
    • 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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