BMedSci (Hons) Speech: Frequently asked questions


How do I know if I want a career in speech and language therapy?

This is a difficult question and depends very much on your own aspirations. Speech and language therapists work with people who have speech and language difficulties. This includes both children and adults and there is a wide range of speech and language difficulties such as cleft palate, stammering, learning disability and adults who have had strokes. Generally, you would need to enjoy working with people in settings such as hospitals and schools, be interested in the study of linguistics, biology and psychology and also have an interest in the process of communication.

What A-Level subjects should I take?

An ideal combination to take would be psychology, biology and english language as this would provide an excellent foundation for the subjects studied in the degree. Subjects that are considered as sciences are maths, biology, physics, chemistry, geography and psychology.

How do I apply?

All applications need to be made through UCAS.

Are late UCAS applications accepted?

At present, late UCAS applications are not accepted.

Will I need to attend for an interview?

If the UCAS application is accepted then applicants are asked to attend the department for an open day. At the open day, applicants are expected to complete some short listening and writing tests in addition to attending a short individual interview.

I am a mature applicant, can I still apply?

Yes, mature students are encouraged to apply. Mature students need to meet the entry criteria through completing A-Levels or an Access course related to psychology and biology. Mature students with previous degrees are encouraged to contact the department to discuss the suitability of their qualifications.

Do I need to gain some experience of speech and language therapy before I apply?

Yes if possible. All applicants are encouraged to find out about speech and language therapy and if possible to gain some experience. Gaining direct experience such as shadowing a speech and language therapist can be difficult. Therefore a broad range of experience is considered. This can include visiting a speech and language therapy department, talking to a speech and language therapist, watching a speech and language therapist at work, reading about speech and language therapy through books or web sites and undertaking voluntary work with children and adults who have speech and language difficulties.

Is the BMedSci Speech a modular course?

The BMedSci Speech is not a modular course. Students have to complete the entire degree and are not able to choose modules as students would do in a modular degree.

How long is the course?

The course is a four year undergraduate course.

Does the BMedSci Speech lead to a qualification as a speech and language therapist?

Yes, students who graduate from this degree do so with a certificate to practice as a speech and language therapist. Therefore, it is important that students who enter onto this degree are committed to a career in speech and language therapy.

Where do speech and language therapists work?

Speech and language therapists work in many areas including paediatrics, adult learning disability, adult neurology, voice disorders, stuttering, management and post graduate education and research. This can be across the NHS, education and independent sectors and in many locations, e.g., hospitals, schools and clinics.

What can I do to find out more about Speech and language therapy?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to find out as much as they can about Speech and language therapy and people with communication difficulties. In addition to the website for the Royal College of Speech and language therapist (RCSLT), the following websites are very informative:

The British Stammering Association

I CAN (a charity for children and adolescents with communication difficulties)

Afasic (a charity that helps children and young people affected by speech, language and communication impairments).

The Stroke Association

There are several books that may be of interest to people interested in a career in Speech and language therapy. These are:

  • A Career in Speech and Language Therapy by Jannet A Wright and Myra Kersner, published by Metacom Education PO Box 48508, London NW4 4WP
  • Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, published by Jonathan Cape Ltd Publishers. This is an easy to read novel about a boy with autism and how he perceives the world around him.
  • The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominque Bauby, published by Fourth Estate. This memoir describes one man’s experiences of ‘locked in syndrome’ which left him unable to communicate. It describes his painful struggle to learn to communicate by blinking with his left eye.
  • The man who mistook his wife for a hat by Oliver Sacks, published by Picador. This is a fascinating book focusing on neurological impairments and how they affect people’s behaviour.

Why consider applying to the BMedSci (Speech)?

The BMedSci (Speech) is a four year degree course with high academic and clinical standards. We offer research led and inter-disciplinary teaching and learning involving different learning pedagogies ranging from Inquiry Based Learning to more traditional teaching methods. Staff in the department are specialists in their fields and research active through publication of research papers and books and leading and collaborating on world class research projects.

The use of multi-media is a strong feature of our curriculum where students interact with visual resources of real life patients enabling a solid understanding of the links between the theory of speech science and the implications of this for working with patients. The majority of clinical placements take place in semester time for one or two days per week and are therefore integrated with the other aspects of the curriculum. Clinical placements take place with both qualified Speech and language therapy staff in the department and in services in Sheffield and other regional areas.