Assessing and Analysing Cleft Palate Speech

Course code HCS6111
(15 credits)

This unit examines issues in speech development and speech processing in individuals with a cleft lip and/or palate. It explores the ways in which the development of speech in the presence of a cleft may differ from typical speech development, and it assesses the contributions of phonetic, phonological and psycholinguistic theory to our understanding of speech processing in individuals with a cleft.

Suitable for

Speech and language therapists and other professionals with a special interest in children with cleft palate.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Describe the ways in which early vocalisations and speech development associated with cleft palate might differ from typical pre-speech and speech development
  • Describe the range of atypical speech patterns associated with cleft palate or non-cleft velopharyngeal dysfunction in relation to a range of contributing factors
  • Transcribe, and to account for, atypical speech patterns in the context of perceptual and mechanical constraints
  • Analyse complex speech data using phonetic, phonological, and psycholinguistic approaches 
  • Evaluate how instrumental and perceptual techniques are used for diagnosing atypical associated with cleft palate/non-cleft VPD
  • Review all the available evidence in a complex speech data set in order to make a provisional differential diagnosis

Teaching Methods

The module content is delivered online and includes guided independent study, using online reading material available from the University Library. Students are supported by University tutors via online discussion boards and email. 

Online learning will be supplemented by an optional 2-3 day study block in Sheffield.


The module starts in late September /early October of each year. The module runs over a period of 12 weeks, and this 15 credit module should take about 150 hours to complete (including preparation for the assignment). See timetable for the year.


A 3,000-word speech data analysis assignment.

Associated programmes

Module on PG Cert/Dip/MSc Speech Difficulties

Fully funded places may be available for NHS employees in Yorkshire and Humber, and in East Midlands, please contact us for more information.

How to apply for the module

Please visit our how to apply page.

For more information email: