2021 start
PG Certificate
PG Diploma

Language and Communication Impairment in Children

Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

This online course will develop your understanding of speech, language and communication, and build on your existing skills.
Image of two postgraduate students from the Department of Human Communication Sciences in library

Course description

This 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 course is delivered online, by distance learning, so you can gain a specialist qualification without having to leave your current job.


Core modules

PGCert, PGDip and MSc:

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

PGDip and MSc:

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

Optional modules

Optional modules for PGDip and MSc levels only may include:

  • Communication Diversity and Difficulties
  • Literacy: Difficulties and Intervention
  • Case Study
  • Research Methods B
  • Speech Difficulties

For Communication Diversity and Difficulties, you can choose up to two specialist topics for assessment, such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Developmental Language Disorder
  • Language and Behaviour
  • Language and Environment
  • Literacy Difficulties
  • Early Years
  • Adolescence
  • Multilingual Contexts


We provide material online for weekly study across the full calendar year.

There are 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.


MSc: 2 or 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

For the PGCert/PGDip: a degree-level professional qualification, or a first degree, plus at least two years’ experience of working with children.

For the MSc: minimum 2:1 honours degree and two years’ relevant work experience with children.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

Fees and funding

Two-year course

For the two-year version of MSc Language and Communication Impairment in Children please use our course fee lookup tool.

Three-year course

The fee below applies to the three-year version of MSc Language and Communication Impairment in Children.

Dr Jenny Thomson

My research investigates how children’s language and literacy develops and what happens when that process goes wrong. A particular interest is the impact of digital technology on development. My research and teaching constantly enrich each other.

Dr Jenny Thomson
Teaches on: PG Cert/Diploma/MSc Speech Difficulties; PG Cert/Diploma/MSc Language and Communication in Children


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

Apply now


+44 114 222 2405

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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.