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    MSc PG Certificate PG Diploma
    2024 start September 

    Acquired Communication Disorders

    School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health

    Examine the impacts of disorders on communication skills, including aphasia and dysarthria, and conditions such as dementia and traumatic brain injury, so that you can provide specialist support.
    MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert Acquired Communication Disorders (distance learning)

    Course description

    This course focuses on speech, language and communication difficulties associated with conditions such as aphasia, dysarthria, dementia and traumatic brain injury. It is taught both online, by distance learning, and via face to face lectures These are delivered in one and two-day study blocks and also available to access virtually.  Students can attend in person or access learning online.

    The course is designed to give you specialist knowledge and skills to support people with acquired speech, language and communication difficulties.

    You will explore the latest research into acquired communication disorders, the most up-to-date assessment methods and interventions, and how to use evidence to inform your practice. You will cover impairment-focussed approaches to analysing acquired communication disorders, and topics in neuropsychology and psycholinguistics, as well as functional approaches and the influence of social factors.

    The course is aimed at speech and language therapists or pathologists, as well as linguists, psychologists and other related professionals, such as those working with adults with acquired disorders. Alongside our full-time study options, we offer a range of part-time options so you can fit your studies around your other commitments.

    Students on the PGDip and MSc programmes study a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, so they can keep up-to-date with the latest findings and use this to inform their practice. MSc students apply these skills to their own research project, which includes designing experiments, analysing data and reporting results.

    This course does not lead to a qualification to practise as a speech and language therapist or pathologist.


    A selection of modules is 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.

    Acquired Language Disorders : Analysis and Intervention

    This module offers a study of the nature of acquired language disorders, including aphasia, traumatic brain injury and dementia, from a range of analytic perspectives including neuropsychological, psycholinguistic, psychosocial, and socio-interactional. The module also focusses on current research into clinical intervention for clients with these conditions. The usefulness and clinical utility of different analysis, assessment and intervention approaches are discussed and evaluated by applying critical analysis skills to the different approaches. Students will gain knowledge of current research into both theoretical aspects of acquired language disorders and the latest developments in clinical assessment and intervention.

    15 credits
    Acquired Speech Disorders : Analysis and Intervention

    This module offers a study of acquired speech disorders and intervention for these disorders. It covers primarily dysarthria (motor speech disorder) but also includes other types of disorder, such as dyspraxia (motor planning disorder). Motor speech disorders of sudden onset as well as those linked to degenerative conditions are covered. A range of approaches to the analysis of, and intervention for, these disorders are discussed including neurophysiological and functional approaches. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is covered. Students will gain a critical understanding of current research into theoretical aspects of these disorders and clinical developments in assessment and intervention.

    15 credits
    Methods in Clinical Linguistics

    Students will receive a grounding in methods relevant to the linguistic study of communication disorders. (1) Introduction to clinical phonetics and linguistics. (2) Analysing atypical speech, including: instrumental techniques for the analysis of speech production (eg accoustic analysis, electropalatography); transcription of atypical speech; normal and atypical prosodic systems; speech perception; phonological interpretation; speech processing models. (3) Analysing atypical language: Conversation Analysis and pragmatics; grammatical and semantic analysis. Students will focus on analytical methods relevant to their own research and will be encouraged to reflect on the theoretical assumptions underlying the methods in question, and to be aware of alternative approaches.

    15 credits
    Developing an Evidence Base for Practice

    This module develops knowledge, understanding and skills for the promotion of evidence based practice for practitioners in education, health and social welfare contexts. Students will be introduced to levels and types of evidence, develop skills in framing questions about their practice, searching and reading the literature, and in critical analysis. Students will develop skills in evaluating their own practice.

    15 credits

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    • 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


    This course is mostly taught online. Study blocks for each module take place on campus at regular intervals throughout the academic year. They include lectures, tutorials and practical workshops and are held over one to three days.

    Attendance at study blocks is normally compulsory. However, for part-time, distance learning students not based in the UK, it is recommended but optional.

    Full-time students can also attend other lectures, seminars and practical workshops offered by the School of Allied Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery.


    You will be assessed through written assignments. MSc students are also assessed through a dissertation.

    Your career

    Graduates leave this course with knowledge and skills that can help them develop their career in the NHS or private sector, or specialise as a speech and language therapist. It’s also great preparation for a PhD.

    This course does not lead to a professional qualification that would allow you 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.

    Fees and funding

    The course fee for full-time Overseas applicants is below. If however you apply for the part-time distance learning MSc you pay the annual Home fee (listed below) over two or three years, depending on the length of the course you chose.


    You can apply now 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.