Speech and Language Therapy - MMedSci

Study mode: Full-time 

Duration: 2 calendar years

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What is speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapists offer treatment and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking, or swallowing. They usually work with the individual as well as their families and carers. This can take place in the individual's home or in a clinic or hospital. Speech and language therapists who work with children usually do so in the child’s school or nursery in collaboration with teachers and other professionals. For more information about speech and language therapy see the RCSLT webpage.

Why choose Speech and Language Therapy MMedSci at Sheffield?

This course leads to a professional qualification to practice as a speech and language therapist in the UK*. This enables the individual to work in a diverse range of settings and roles, from schools and hospitals to higher education and research. The course is recognised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council.

Programme outline for September 2019 entrymmed image

The Speech and Language Therapy MMedSci is a two-year programme. Its curriculum is informed by the QAA benchmarks for speech and language therapy, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) curriculum guidelines and subsequent HCPC Standards of proficiency and standards of education and training for speech and language therapists. The HCPC and the RCSLT approve and accredit the programme.

The course is designed around six themes: Biomedical Sciences, Communication, Participation and Society, Research Methods, Key Clinical Skills, Professional Practice. The theme structure is intended to enable students to understand the relationships between the course components and to integrate learning across the degree as a whole. The six themes are as follows:

  • In the communication theme, students study linguistics, psychology and how this relates to speech and language pathology.
  • In the participation and society theme, students understand how the study of sociology and social and health psychology impact on speech and language therapy.
  • In the research theme, students develop valuable research skills that are essential to providing evidence based health care.
  • The biomedical sciences theme provides students with an in-depth understanding of anatomy, physiology, audiology and neurology and how to link this medical knowledge to speech and language pathology.
  • Key clinical skills and professional practice themes develop students’ clinical skills and professional competence to enable them to work with a range of clients with communication impairments.

Level one
HCS Biomedical Science
HCS Speech, Language, Communication and Literacy Development in Children
HCS Speech and Hearing Science
HCS Developmental Disorders of Communication
HCS Introduction to Practical Linguistics
HCS Language, Cognition and Communication in Adults 1
HCS Language, Cognition and Communication in Adults 2
HCS Research Methods and Statistics
HCS Professional Practice 1
HCS Participation and Society

Level two
HCS Language Analysis: Sound and Structure
HCS Transition to Professional Autonomy
HCS Evaluating the Evidence Base in SLT I: Principles and Methods
HCS Evaluating the Evidence Base in SLT II: Clinical Dissertation
HCS Key Clinical Topics 1
HCS Key Clinical Topics 2
HCS Professional Practice 2
HCS Professional Practice 3

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Approaches to learning

The course provides an interactive learning experience involving active participation, case-based and inquiry-based learning and small group teaching with an overall emphasis on integrating theoretical knowledge with clinical expertise. Some practical teaching takes place in the University’s human pathology laboratories.

You will learn from a team of clinical and research specialists including speech and language therapists, psychologists, audiologists, linguists, information technologists, and medical practitioners. Throughout the course, you will be working closely with your peers and tutors in a supportive environment.

Your skills will be put into practice through a series of clinical placements throughout the course. We're one of only a few departments of our kind to run an in-house clinic. So as a MMedSci student at Sheffield, you'll benefit from specialist facilities and training. To maximise your clinical skills, you'll go on placements in our clinic and in settings throughout Sheffield and surrounding areas such as Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Assessment of your knowledge and skills uses a variety of methods. These include exams, coursework and evaluation of clinical work. Your dissertation comprises development of a research project in a clinically relevant topic in the second year of the programme.

*Successful completion of the MMedSci programme provides eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It is a legal requirement that anyone that wishes to practice using a title protected by the Health and Social Work Professions Order 2001 is on the HCPC register. For more information please see the HCPC.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements
Graduates with a minimum of a 2:1 degree (or EU equivalent) in any subject, OR final year undergraduate students who we adjudge to be firmly on track for achieving at least a 2:1 final degree result (or EU equivalent).

Work experience
You must have work experience relevant to speech and language therapy.

Language requirements
If you come from a non-English speaking background, you must successfully complete the IELTS (Academic) with an average score of 8 or above, with at least 7.5 in each component. Applicants for the MMedSci will have to complete clinical placements working with clients in English. This requires a very high degree of proficiency in English.

Using a UK SLT qualification to work abroad

The Speech and Language Therapy MMedSci qualifies you to work as a SLT in the UK.

Registration of a UK SLT qualification outside the UK usually requires applicants to make a detailed application to the relevant non-UK body. In some cases, extra short course study (beyond what is offered in the MMedSci Speech and Language Therapy degree) may be required to meet overseas requirements. For further guidance, please seek information from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy (RCSLT). Potential Overseas applicants should check eligibility with their local or national professional accreditation bodies prior to applying for the course.

It is not the responsibility of the University to prepare individual student applications for validation of the degree outside the UK. However, to help students acquire the type of documentation usually required for overseas validation, all students accepted on the course - UK, EU or Overseas - will be expected to maintain their own detailed record of course documentation (course overviews, module outlines, semester timetables) and clinical placements. This information will also be useful for CVs and to develop record-keeping skills for CPD (Continuing Professional Development) – a requirement of all UK Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered healthcare professionals.

How to apply

We will be open for applications from 1st October 2018, for entry in September 2019.

The closing date for applications for the MMedSci 2019 intake is 15th March 2019.

For applicants with disabilities you can find a range of useful information at the University of Sheffield's Disability & Dyslexia Support Service.
For further information The Health and Care Professions Council produce a publication called Health, disability and becoming a health care professional.

Fees and funding

Information for home students (including EU)

The fee for September 2019 entry is £9,250, this may increase with inflation each year.

You can check the fee by using the postgraduate fee look-up tool.

Eligible English domiciled students starting one of these courses will be able to access the undergraduate financial support package from Student Finance England.

Students can access this support even if they have already received loans to study an undergraduate course (see full eligibility criteria).

Applications for the loans will open February/March 2019.

Further information about the undergraduate support package from the Student Loans Company and paying it back is available on our central funding web pages.

Eligible students may also qualify for additional support through the University of Sheffield Bursary Scheme.

Information relating to undergraduate scholarships on the central funding pages should be disregarded.

Students who live in the devolved nations

Each of the devolved nations offers different support for postgraduate courses and have varying eligibility criteria. Below is a summary of the support that is available to eligible students.

Students who live in Wales and study at Masters level can apply to Student Finance Wales for a Postgraduate Master's Loan to support with the costs of the course. Further information about the loan can be found on the Student Finance Wales web site.

Students who live in Northern Ireland and study at postgraduate level can apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland for support with costs. Further information about the support can be found on the Student Finance Northern Ireland web site.

Students who live in Scotland can apply for support at Masters level if an equivalent course is not available in Scotland. Funding for fees and living costs is available. Further information can be found on the Student Awards Agency Scotland web site.

Students who live in the EU

Eligible EU students can apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England to cover the full cost of the tuition fees. Further information about the loans and their repayment can be found on our central funding pages. Online applications will open soon.

EU students are not eligible to apply for a maintenance loan and cannot receive the University of Sheffield Bursary.

Learning Support Fund

Eligible home students may also have access to the Learning Support Fund (LSF), additional funding administered by the NHS Business and Services Authority. Further information about the LSF can be found on their website. EU students cannot apply to this fund.

Information for overseas students

The Overseas fee for MMedSci Speech and Language Therapy 2019 entry is currently £22,600 per year.

You can check the fee by using the postgraduate fee look-up tool.

There are a number of scholarships available to overseas students. The awards you can apply for depend on where you live and the course you want to study.

Information about the scholarships available can be found on our International Scholarships web page.

Information for Overseas students applying to the University

If you have any questions about the funding you are eligible for please contact the Financial Support Team.

There are some additional costs for students associated with this course. These include paying for a DBS check as well as the potential for travel and accommodation costs for placements.

For further guidance:

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions shown further down this page.

Before you complete your application, please read the MMedSci Application Guidance document (PDF)

Please note: All the offers made after interview are conditional on receiving a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Check, and a satisfactory health check.


Admissions Secretary:
0114 222 2405

Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. 1. How do you decide how to shortlist for interview?

    We score online applications based upon specific criteria. Points are awarded across the domains of (i) academic background, (ii) work/volunteer experience, and (iii) quality of Supporting Statement. Successful applicants will be invited for interview at the Department of Human Communication Sciences.

  2. 2. How much experience should I undertake prior to application?

    We set no ‘minimum’ amount of work experience, although you should try to gain some experience working with both adults and children with communication difficulties. Generally, we are much more interested in how you show that you have made the best of your experiences, what you have learned from them, and how they fit into your plan for career/personal development and around your personal circumstances. Undertaking a range of experiences can be a useful way to develop more insight into the role of the speech and language therapist.

  3. 3. Do I need to spend time with a speech and language therapist prior to application?

    No – in fact, this is not possible in some parts of the country. Shadowing existing practitioners can be a useful way to gain insight into the role of the speech and language therapist, but if you are unable to do so, this will not disadvantage your application. However, we will be looking for evidence in your Supporting Statement and your answers at interview that you have gathered information about the role of a speech and language therapist and have a broad understanding of it. Some knowledge and understanding can be developed from reading and internet sources, and then reflecting on your work experiences in the light of this.

  4. 4. My undergraduate degree was in <insert subject>, and I’m concerned that this is not relevant for a career in speech and language therapy. Can I still apply?

    Yes. We accept applications from individuals with any undergraduate degree, as long as they have received (or are expected to receive) a 2:1. If we judge that your undergraduate degree was in a less relevant subject, you may receive fewer points during shortlisting. One way to address this issue could be to complete some further postgraduate study prior to application in a relevant subject (e.g. Human Communication Sciences, Linguistics, Psychology, Healthcare). However, it is important to emphasise that applicants are also awarded points for work experience and quality of Supporting Statement, and therefore it is possible to be shortlisted for interview with a ‘less relevant’ undergraduate degree if these two domains are strong.

  5. 5. I am a final year undergraduate. Can I apply this year to start the year after??

    Yes. You can apply if your transcript of marks to date indicates that you are firmly on track for at least a 2:1 final degree classification. You will also need to provide a reference from your academic tutor in support of this.

  6. 6. I received a 2:2 for my undergraduate degree. Can I apply?

    In some circumstances, we may consider an individual with a 2:2, but only if they either have extensive experience working in a professional role of responsibility (e.g. teaching, social work, allied health profession) or demonstrate exceptional academic achievement at a postgraduate level.

    We ask for at least a 2:1 as an entry requirement to the Speech and Language Therapy MMedSci because undergraduate degree classification is the only indicator we have of applicants’ aptitude for completing a range of assessment formats at Masters level (e.g. examinations, coursework, practical work, observed clinical practice, presentations, vivas, etc).

  7. 7. I have not undertaken any study of science subjects since A-Level. Can I still apply?

    Yes. However, given the intensive nature of the Speech and Language Therapy MMedSci course, applicants who have not undertaken study of science subjects for some time may wish to address this prior to application.

  8. 8. How does the MMedSci differ from your BMedSci programme?

    The broad curricula for speech and language therapy training programmes in the UK, including practice placement requirements, are provided by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). Therefore, the MMedSci covers essentially the same content as the BMedSci, although in two calendar years. Consequently, the MMedSci is considerably more intensive than the BMedSci, including with regard to assessment schedule and range of assessment type. Both courses result in an equivalent HCPC-recognised entry-level speech and language therapy qualification.

    It is important to note that an intensive course such as that of the MMedSci may not suit all learning styles. Individuals with an interest in training as a speech and language therapist following a first undergraduate degree should carefully consider whether a postgraduate clinical speech and language therapy training course such as the MMed will meet their personal, professional and academic requirements.

  9. 9. I have applied for the MMedSci before and have not been successful in being invited to interview. Where am I going wrong?

    As discussed across these pages, the MMedSci admissions process is very competitive and we are unable to invite the vast majority of applicants to interview. Unfortunately, this does mean that we are unable to consider many strong applications from individuals who, when taken in isolation, may have strong academic and work experience profiles.

    If you have been unsuccessful in a previous application, please consider the following:

    • Have you gained experience with a range of (i.e. more than two) clinical populations, including adults and children with communication difficulties?
    • Have you gained experience in a variety of work settings?
    • Have you provided enough detail in your application about the activities that you undertook during your work experience? Have you attended to the key points that we look for in a Supporting Statement?
    • Have you provided evidence of how you meet the profile that we look for in applicants? You can do this by thoughtfully and critically discussing aspects of your work experience in terms of the key points mentioned above.

    Applicants who are shortlisted for interview tend to be those who demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge about communication difficulties with insight into the profession of SLT, thoughtful personal reflection, and an appropriate values-base for work in a healthcare profession.

  10. 10. Do you have any recommended reading for applicants?

    There is a huge range of books, journals and online materials regarding speech and language therapy and communication difficulties, and engaging with any of this is likely to strengthen your application. You may find the following general texts useful:

    Aveyard H. & Sharp, P. (2009). A beginner’s guide to evidence based practice in health and social care. Maidenhead, England: McGraw-Hill.

    Johns, C. (2009). Becoming a reflective practitioner (2nd ed.). Oxford, England: Blackwell.

    Kersner, M. & J. A. Wright, Eds. (2015). Supporting young children with communication problems. London, England: Routledge.

    Wright, J.A. & Kersner, M. (2013). A career in speech and language therapy (3rd ed.). London, England: Metacom.