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    MSc PG Certificate PG Diploma
    2023 start September 

    Acquired Communication Disorders

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

    This MSc develops your knowledge of the most up-to-date approaches and theoretical and clinical issues in the field of acquired communication disorders.
    Image of two postgraduate students from the Department of Human Communication Sciences in library

    Course description

    This course is for speech and language therapists/pathologists, linguists, psychologists or others with a relevant background who have an interest in acquired communication disorders such as aphasia, dysarthria and the communication difficulties secondary to dementia or traumatic brain injury.

    You'll develop your knowledge and skills of evidence-based practice so that you can effectively support people with acquired speech, language and communication difficulties.

    The MSc will provide you with an up-to-date understanding of the main theoretical and clinical issues and approaches in this field and the implications of these findings for clinical intervention.

    What will you learn?

    On the course you’ll develop:

    • an understanding of current research and recent clinical developments within acquired speech and language disorders, including aphasia, dysarthria, and the communication difficulties associated with dementia and traumatic brain injury
    • an understanding of both impairment-focused analytic approaches to these disorders, including neuropsychological and psycholinguistic perspectives, and functional approaches, including communicative, psychosocial and interactional perspectives
    • knowledge of current intervention methods in the treatment of acquired communication disorders that draw on both impairment-focused and functionally-focused approaches
    • competency in quantitative and qualitative research design and methods relevant to analysing and carrying out intervention for these disorders

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    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Core modules


    • Acquired Language Disorders
    • Acquired Speech Disorders
    • Methods in Clinical Linguistics
    • Developing an Evidence Base for Practice

    PGDip and MSc:

    • Same four modules as for the PGCert
    • Research Methods A
    • Research Methods B (optional for PGDip)


    Dissertation/Research Project

    Optional modules

    Students on the PGDip and MSc also take optional modules, from a range offered both within the department and across other departments in the University.

    Examples of optional modules for PGDip and MSc levels only:

    • Communication Diversity and Difficulties
    • Spoken and Written Language
    • Literacy: Difficulties and Intervention

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.

    Online postgraduate open day - Wednesday 26 April 2023


    • MSc: 1 year full-time or 2/3 years part-time by distance learning
    • Postgraduate Diploma: 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time by distance learning
    • Postgraduate Certificate: 1 year part-time by distance learning


    The course is mostly taught online, but study blocks that last one to three days per module take place at regular intervals throughout the academic year and attendance is normally compulsory. During study blocks, you'll take part in lectures, tutorials and practical workshops. Full-time students may also attend lectures, seminars and practical workshops offered in the division and the Health Sciences School.

    For part-time, distance learning students not based in the UK, attendance at study blocks is recommended but optional.


    All modules are assessed by written work.

    Your career

    Graduates continue to develop their career both within the NHS and the private sector, as well as going on to specialise as speech and language therapists. Some graduates have alternatively gone onto further PhD training in clinical research.

    Please note that this course does not lead to a professional qualification to practise as a speech and language therapist.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject, eg speech and language therapy/pathology, linguistics, education or psychology

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

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

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

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


    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

    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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