MMedSci
2022 start September 

Speech and Language Therapy

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

Approved by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council, this course allows you to work in a diverse range of settings and roles as a speech and language therapist.
Human communication sciences clinic in action

Course description

This course leads to a professional qualification to practise as a speech and language therapist. You’ll be able to work in a diverse range of settings, for example schools and hospitals, nurseries, clinics or the client’s home. You might also pursue a role in higher education and research.

Speech and language therapists provide treatment and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communicating, eating, drinking or swallowing. Therapists take a collaborative approach, working alongside the individual’s carer, teacher or family, as well as other professionals.

The course follows six main themes:

  1. Communication – linguistics, psychology and how this relates to speech and language pathology.
  2. Participation and Society – how the study of sociology and social and health psychology impact on speech and language therapy.
  3. Research Methods – develop the research skills essential to providing evidence-based health care.
  4. Biomedical Sciences – anatomy, physiology, audiology and neurology, and how to link them to speech and language pathology.
  5. Key Clinical Topics – develop your professional competence.
  6. Professional Practice – put your skills to work for a range of clients with communication impairments.

What will you learn?

You’ll investigate a range of subjects, including biomedical sciences, psychology, linguistics, communication and research methods. You’ll learn how to assess and manage a range of communication and swallowing disorders.

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 an 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.

Information about applying

  • Deadline for applying: 21 January 2022
  • You'll need to include a personal statement (see below) with your application

    Your personal statement

    In your personal statement (no more than two pages) you must:

    • outline your reasons for applying to train as a speech and language therapist
    • demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the speech and language therapy profession
    • discuss how your academic/professional/personal background has prepared you for this postgraduate course. We welcome applicants who have backgrounds in unrelated fields as long as they can demonstrate their interest for, and knowledge about, speech and language therapy
    • clearly describe and reflect on relevant experiences and research you have undertaken to prepare yourself for this programme
    • provide evidence that your personal values and behaviours align with the NHS constitution

    The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists provides useful resources to help support your university application for a speech and language therapy degree.

    Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted for interview.

    If you are shortlisted, we’ll ask you to come to an interview. Interviews take place in March 2022.

    Accreditation

    Approved by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council

    Modules

    The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

    Year one:

    Biomedical Science

    This module will explore components of anatomy, physiology, and neuroscience that are relevant to the understanding of human communication throughout the lifespan. This will include the respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous systems, the development, structure and function of head, and neck, and the auditory system.

    Speech, language, communication and literacy development in children

    This module will cover children's development of speech, language, communication and literacy from 0 - 18 years. It addresses the following topics: speech sound / phonological development, language production and comprehension, development of pragmatics abilities, psycholinguistic models, early literacy development, the associations between speech, language and literacy, theoretical models of literacy development, understanding drivers and competing theories of how children learn language, bilingualism and the impact on language learning. The lectures will cover developmental norms and trajectories. It will also cover factors which influence typical development. The theoretical basis of the topic will be considered from a multidisciplinary perspective, covering psychology, education, sociolinguistics, and linguistics.

    Speech and Hearing Science

    This module covers key concepts related to the scientific study of speech and hearing. There will be three broad areas covered within the module: articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics, and hearing science. The module will teach concepts relevant to the study of speech and hearing in both healthy and clinical populations. The module will be delivered using a combination of lectures and problem solving classes and will be assessed via a three hour written examination.

    Developmental disorders of communication

    This module aims to give a detailed overview of the speech, language, communication and literacy difficulties found in developmental disorders of communication such as learning disability, autism spectrum disorders and specific language impairment. The module examines developmental disorders of communication in children and adolescents from theoretical and clinical perspectives. The impact of developmental disorders of communication on the lives of children and adolescents with respect to issues of education, behaviour and social development is addressed. Both typical and atypical development is explored. Parents of children with developmental communication disorders offer their perspectives and experiences.

    Introduction to practical Linguistics

    This module will introduce students to the scientific study of the structure and function of language. Students will learn basic linguistic concepts and theoretical constructs with special application to how these ideas help us understand speech in both typically and atypically developing populations.

    Language cognition and communication in adults 1

    This unit aims to introduce students to features of language, cognition and communication in adults which are relevant to the understanding of how normal ageing and neurological damage impacts on adult language, cognition and communication. It aims to equip students with conceptual and terminological framework which underpin research in these areas.

    Language cognition and communication in adults 2

    This module builds on material covered in Language cognition and communication in adults 1 at level 1 which students will cover via online learning and which is not directly assessed.

    It applies conceptual frameworks in the following areas: the communication chain, verbal and non-verbal communication, conversation analysis, grammar, vocabulary, multilingualism, attention, memory and executive function, to people with neurological damage affecting these domains.

    The module covers assessment and diagnosis of language and cognitive deficits affecting communication, which arise due to stroke, traumatic brain injury and progressive neurological conditions including dementia.

    Research Methods and Statistics

    This module is designed to introduce students to research methods and data analysis techniques through a series of lectures and small-group workshops. The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about and employ statistical techniques through the use of practical examples and data collection exercises. Topics covered will include (1) an introduction to research methods and the research process (2) formulating research questions and hypotheses (3) descriptive statistics and presenting data (4) samples and population distributions and (5) statistical tests (e.g., parametric and nonparametric tests; correlational analyses) (6) qualitative methods (7) principles of psychometrics (8) reliability, validity and effect sizes.

    Professional Practice 1

    This module aims to introduce the student to their first experience of clinical placements across paediatric and adult clients across the calendar year. Students learn the clinical methods and skills required for these placements as well as developing their inter-personal and professional competencies. Students then complete a series of placements : 1) a paediatric observational placement; 2) a paediatric placement in the in-house HCS clinic; 3) an audiology placement; 4) an acute hospital orientation; 5) a conversational partners placement with adult clients; and 6) two block placements in the summer vacation, one with paediatric clients and one with adult clients.

    Participation and Society

    This module aims to introduce students to issues related to understanding persons as individuals, and as members of society. Content includes: theoretical models of disability; psychosocial impact of disability across the lifespan; concepts of self and identity; concepts of attitudes and their measurement; health beliefs and behaviours and the role of gender, socioeconomic and cultural factors in healthcare and education. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own experiences, attitudes and interpersonal skills in the context of their impact on interactions with clients, their families and other professionals.

    Year two:

    Language Analysis: Sound and Structure

    This module builds on the linguistic knowledge gained in Introduction to Practical Linguistics, applying and honing students' phonetic observation skills using clinical data. Training will focus on the use of extIPA Symbols for Disordered Speech and VoQS (Voice Quality Symbols), as well as introduce phonological concepts relevant to clinicians such as syllable structure, prosodic structure, and dialectal differences within a language.

    Transition to Professional Autonomy

    This module will address issues relevant to work in modern healthcare and education contexts. It addresses the following issues: Employment (job hunting, CV writing and interview skills, support mechanisms, first posts, independent practice); The healthcare context (Ethics in clinical practice, Caseload management, Clinical governance, professional competencies and professional guidelines).

    Evaluating the evidence base in speech and language therapy 1: Principles and methods

    Evidence-based practice is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient experience in making decisions about the care of individual patients in speech and language therapy. This module introduces the principles and methods of evidence-based clinical practice. Students will (1) critically evaluate the methodological quality of the research using evidence-based practice and (2) apply these conclusions to clinical practice.

    Evaluating the evidence base in speech and language therapy II: Clinical dissertation

    Evidence-based practice is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient experience in making decisions about the care of individual patients in speech and language therapy. Building on the skills and knowledge acquired in Evaluating the evidence base in speech and language therapy I: Principles and Methods, this module will enable students to further develop their knowledge of research methodology appropriate to the study of language and communication. Students will also gain an enhanced understanding of appropriate approaches to research design for evidence based practice.

    Key Clinical Topics 1

    This module aims to equip students with the theoretical knowledge of a range of specific clinical topics in speech and language therapy. These topics include dysphagia, motor speech disorders, voice and neurology across child and adult populations. The themes of assessment, intervention, evidence based practice, standards of practice and clinical ethics and inter-disciplinary working will underpin these topics and enable integration across the topics.

    Key Clinical Topics 2

    This module aims to equip students with the theoretical knowledge of a range of specific clinical topics in speech and language therapy. These topics include a range of client groups and communication difficulties across child and adult populations. The themes of assessment, intervention, evidence based practice, standards of practice and clinical ethics and multi-disciplinary working will underpin these topics and enable integration across the topics.

    Professional Practice 2

    This module aims to consolidate students¿ clinical skills through two long supervised block placements across children and adult clients in semesters 1 and 2. Through these supervised placements, student will develop their professional skills and practice to become more independent practitioners. Students complete a pre-school/schools based placement working with children with communication impairments in Sheffield and a motor speech disorders group placement working with adults with acquired communication impairments in the HCS clinic. The placements are supported by lectures and seminars to prepare students for these placements.

    Professional Practice 3

    This module aims to prepare students for independent practice as a speech and language therapist. Students complete two placements as follows: 1) a summer block placement with adult clients; and 2) a summer block placement with paediatric clients. Placements take place across the NHS, education and independent sector. Students are assessed at the end of the placements to determine their ability to graduate as independent practitioners and work as newly qualified practitioners. Note: some placements may be mixed across paediatric and adult clients

    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.

    Duration

    • 2 years, full time
    • 3 years, part time

    The full-time programme is completed over two calendar years from September to September.

    If you choose to study part time, you'll study over three calendar years from September to September.

    Teaching

    Full-time route

    You'll attend lectures, workshops and tutorials at the University during autumn and spring semesters. Clinical placements also run through semester time. Teaching and placements can take place Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Timetables are provided at the start of each semester. You also complete four weeks (20 days) of clinical placement in the summer of level 1 and 6 weeks (30 days) in the summer of level 2.

    We use a case-based and inquiry-based approach, as well as small-group teaching, to give you an interactive learning experience. You’ll develop theoretical knowledge alongside clinical expertise. Some practical teaching takes place in the University’s human pathology laboratories.

    You’ll 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’ll be working closely with your peers and tutors in a supportive environment.

    Part-time route

    You'll attend lectures, workshops and tutorials at the University during autumn (September–January) and spring (February–June) semesters. Clinical placements also run through semester time.

    You'll then complete four weeks (twenty days) of clinical placement in the summer of Level 1, three weeks (fifteen days) in the summer of Level 2 and three weeks (fifteen days) in the summer of Level 3. Within semester time, you should expect to attend university three days a week on a 9–5 basis to complete teaching and clinical placement. These days vary, according to semester, and are as follows: 

    • Level 1 Semester 1: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 
    • Level 1 Semester 2: Monday, Tuesday and Friday 
    • Level 2 Semester 1: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 
    • Level 2 Semester 2: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 
    • Level 3 Semester 1: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 
    • Level 3 Semester 2: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 

    Summer placements also take place over three days a week. In this case, summer placement days would mirror the semester two days for each year respectively.

    For example, in year one you may attend summer placements on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday over seven weeks to complete twenty days of placement; however, placements can be arranged flexibly over the summer according to your requirements, for example, a block placement or a different part-time structure. Placements can be arranged to take place at any point between June and September (dates to be confirmed). This will be negotiated between you and your placement providers.

    Part-time study is only available for those who do not require a visa to study in the UK.

    Assessment

    We use a variety of methods, including exams, coursework and evaluation of clinical work.

    In your second year (full time) or third year (part-time), you'll complete a dissertation which comprises a systematic review and project proposal relating to a clinically relevant topic.

    Entry requirements

    A 2:1 degree in any subject. Applicants with a 2:2 may be considered if their practical experience is particularly strong. 

    You must have work experience relevant to speech and language therapy. If you are shortlisted, we’ll ask you to come to an interview.

    DBS Disclosure and Health Screening

    You must produce an enhanced DBS disclosure and complete a health screening before starting the course.

    Overall IELTS score of 8.0 with a minimum of 7.5 in each component, or equivalent.

    Part-time study is only available for those who do not require a visa to study in the UK. 

    We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Fees and funding

    Fees for 2 years, full-time route

    Fees for 3 years, part-time route

    Part-time study is only available for those who do not require a visa to study in the UK.

    Additional costs

    Clinical placements are a compulsory element of the degree, which means that there will be an additional expense for items such as Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, travel and accommodation, and clinical material printing costs.

    If you are a UK student you will be able to apply for reimbursement of travel and accommodation costs. For EU and international students the additional placement costs will be self-funded.

    Funding

    At the current time, the funding available for the part-time route is the postgraduate taught masters loan. We'll update this information if there are any changes to the funding arrangements.

    Funding for pre-registration healthcare courses

    Apply

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

    Apply now

    Contact

    hcs-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
    +44 114 222 2405

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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