Spoken and Written Language

Course code HCS6025
15 credits

This module focuses on the nature of spoken and written language development and difficulties. The relationship between speech, language and literacy is explored. Topics include speech and literacy development, phonological awareness, reading and reading comprehension, writing, spelling, and cross-linguistic issues. Theoretical models and practical applications to supporting literacy development in pre- and school-age children will be studied. Students can choose to either follow introductory units in phonetics and speech development if new to these topics or extend their existing knowledge of phonetics and examine connected speech and prosody.

Suitable for:

Speech and language therapists, teachers and other professionals.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students are expected to be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between spoken and written language development.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of literacy models.
  • Use psycholinguistic approaches to investigate children’s speech and literacy.
  • Analyse children’s speech, reading and spelling data.
  • Critically evaluate theoretical perspectives and studies in the field.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of children’s speech and literacy development and training studies to practice.
  • Use research evidence to support arguments in academic writing.

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-day study block in Sheffield.


The module runs twice a year, starting in late September and in April of each year. The module runs over a period of 12 weeks. This 15 credit module should take about 150 hours to complete (including preparation for the assignment). See timetable for the year.


Part A (30%): A speech and spelling data exercise; and Part B (70%) a 2,000 word assignment

Associated programmes

CORE Module on:

PGCert/PGDip/MSc Language & Communication Impairment in Children

PGCert/PGDip/MSc Speech Difficulties

Fees and funding for the module

Fee information 

Fully funded places available for NHS employees in Yorkshire and the Humber and East Midlands, please email hcs-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk.

How to apply for the module

Please visit our how to apply page.

Help for applicants with disabilities

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