MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Language and Communication Impairment in Children (LACIC)

Department of Human Communication Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

Develop your career with a postgraduate qualification from one of the UK's leading centres for research in this field.

We understand how important it is for you to keep developing and improving the service you provide. We also know how hard it can be, as a busy professional, to commit to a full-time course.

Our roster of flexible, online courses is constantly developing to stay in line with the demands of your job. Everything we teach is based on the very latest world-leading research.

About the course

This part-time course, delivered online, by distance learning, brings you up to date with the latest research in your field.

We'll show you how to make research part of your practice. And you'll learn skills that will help you collaborate more effectively with other professionals.

The course is for teachers, speech and language therapists, and other professionals working with children with special educational needs.

You'll develop your understanding of speech, language and communication and build on your existing skills.

The timetable is designed to fit around your work commitments and you will gain a specialist qualification without having to leave your current job. You only have to come to the University two or three times a year, at weekends. The rest of the course is taught online. You will have regular contact with your tutors via email.

Some of the world's leading researchers teach on the course. We also invite specialist guest lecturers to share their insight with our students. We have strong links with the NHS, special schools and specialist charities.

Core modules

All students take modules in:

  • Children's Learning
  • Language and Communication
  • Spoken and Written Language
  • Developing an Evidence Base for Practice


  • Research Methods A
  • Research Methods B (optional for PGDip)

Optional modules for PGDip and MSc levels only

  • Case Study
  • Speech Difficulties 1: nature and investigation
  • Speech Difficulties 2: intervention and management
  • Research Methods B
  • Literacy 1: assessments and constructs
  • Literacy 2: difficulties and intervention
  • Developmental Disorders

For Developmental Disorders, you can choose up to two specialist topics for further studies, such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Specific Language Impairment
  • Language and Behaviour
  • Language and Environment
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Auditory Processing Difficulties
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication
  • Dysfluency
  • Dyslexia
  • Multilingual Contexts
  • Early Years
  • Adolescence

MSc students also complete a dissertation.


  • Material is provided online for weekly study across the full calendar year
  • Two or three (optional) study weekends per year in Sheffield
  • Essential reading material is available electronically
  • Online activities support your study and build links with tutors and other students


  • Modules are normally assessed by written assignments
  • MSc students are also assessed on their research dissertation

Apply now

Laura Hayes, Student in the Department of human communication sciences

I'm really interested in working with people with communication difficulties. I love the medical aspect of my course, especially getting to see real structures in the dissection room. It helps it all make sense.

Laura Hayes, postgraduate student in Department of Human Communication Sciences

Key facts

Course duration

  • MSc - 2/3 years part-time (by distance learning)
  • Postgraduate Diploma - 2 years part-time (by distance learning)
  • Postgraduate Certificate - 1 year part-time (by distance learning

Entry requirements

A degree-level professional qualification, or a first degree, plus at least two years' experience of working with children.

Minimum 2:1 honours degree and two years' relevant work experience with children.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Contact the department for the latest fee information for this course.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

How we teach

We have a reputation for high-quality research in the field of human communication and its disorders. That research informs our teaching.

We have links with the NHS, special schools and specialist charities to ensure that what we teach you is in line with current developments in the field. We work with other departments across the University including the School of Education, the Department of Psychology, the Department of Computer Science and the School of English Language and Linguistics.

Your career

This course provides professional development training. Courses such as this one can also lead to careers in university teaching and research.

Criminal records disclosure

A UK criminal records disclosure from the UK Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is not a requirement for this course unless you want to take part in clinical observations. If you are unsure whether you need one, please contact the department for advice.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 2405