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    2024 start September 

    Speech and Language Therapy

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

    Qualify as a speech and language therapist. Study topics ranging from anatomy to psychology, and put your knowledge into practice on a series of clinical placements.
    Human communication sciences clinic in action

    Course description

    This course qualifies you to practise as a speech and language therapist. When you graduate, you’ll be able to work in a range of settings including schools, hospitals, care homes, nurseries, clinics and clients’ homes. 

    You will study a wide variety of difficulties that adults and children can have with communicating and/or eating, drinking and swallowing. Topics range from anatomy and physiology, and their relationship with speech and language pathology, to the psychological and sociological factors that can affect communication.

    The course also gives you practical knowledge of how to assess communication or eating, drinking and swallowing difficulty, identify suitable interventions and manage an individual's case. You will learn how to base clinical decisions on the latest research and work with carers, teachers and family members to support the people you are working with. You will also complete pre-registration eating, drinking and swallowing competencies.

    This training will be put into practice and developed through a series of clinical placements, both within the University of Sheffield’s in-house speech and language therapy clinic and in a variety of health and education settings. The course is led by a supportive team of clinical and research specialists, including speech and language therapists, psychologists, audiologists, linguists, information technologists, and medical practitioners.


    This course is approved by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council.


    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.

    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. It addresses the following topics: speech sound / phonological development, language production and comprehension, development of pragmatics abilities, 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 two 1500 word assignments.

    Developmental differences in speech, language and communication

    This module aims to give a detailed overview of the developmental differences in children's speech, language and communication (including literacy) abilities. The module profiles these developmental differences in children and adolescents, and includes learning difficulties, autism spectrum conditions and other neurodevelopmental differences. The module examines these developmental differences in the context of the diverse environments children grow up in. The impact of these developmental differences on children's lives as they grow older (eg. educational experiences, learning and well-being) are highlighted. Other perspectives are explored such as those of the parent/carer.

    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.. 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 with paediatric and adult clients with communication and or eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties across a range of settings..

    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 high quality research evidence with clinical expertise and service users 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 and apply 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.

    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


    2 years full-time (five days a week)

    3 years part-time (three days a week)

    Part-time study days

    Study days for part-time students vary by semester. The standard pattern is given below. There may be circumstances during the course where study days differ from this, but we will inform you in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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


    You will learn through lectures, workshops, tutorials, supervised clinical placements and self-directed learning. We use a case-based and inquiry-based approach, as well as small-group teaching, to give you an interactive learning experience.


    Placements start in semester one and carry on throughout the programme. During semesters one and two, placements run alongside teaching, so that you can link the topics you are studying to clinical practice. You will then spend part of the summer each year on clinical placements.

    Full-time students also spend four weeks (20 days) on clinical placement over the summer at the end of level one and five weeks (25 days) in the summer of level two.

    Part-time students also spend 20 days on clinical placement over the summer at the end of level one, then 15 days in the summer of level two and 15 days in the summer of level three.

    Usually, summer placements also take place over three days a week, on the same days of the week as semester two of that year – so you would complete 20 days on placement in the summer of level one over seven weeks, for example. However, these dates can be more flexible over the summer, if a different schedule would be more suitable and this can be arranged with your placement provider.


    You will be assessed through exams, coursework, evaluation of your clinical practice and, in your final year, a dissertation.

    Your career

    Graduates from this course are able to register with the Health and Care Professions Council and practise as speech and language therapists.

    Speech and language therapists are in high demand, and there are plenty of opportunities to specialise in areas such as mental health, stammering, hearing impairment, learning difficulties, eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties, or neurological impairments.

    Many of our graduates have gone on to successful careers within NHS trusts, schools, charities, private practices or the justice system. Others choose to go on to further postgraduate study and a career in research.

    Student profiles

    Charlie Gascoyne PGT Student

    Charlie Gascoyne, Speech and Language Therapy

    Charlie Gascoyne MMedSci Speech and Language Therapy

    “The most rewarding thing for me studying at Sheffield was the support of the university and how enjoyable it was working alongside a diverse group of people, who were all excellent at helping each other and sharing ideas to benefit the whole cohort” explains Charlie.

    A woman in a graduation cap and gown

    I’ve begun my SLT journey working in acute stroke wards, but as for the future? Watch this space!

    Abigail Yates BMedSci Speech and Language Therapy

    Abigail was drawn to a career as a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) after realising what a difference they make to people’s lives. She explains what she enjoyed most about our in-house placements, and how she landed a graduate job in her second year hospital rotation!

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree.

    We may consider your application if you have a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree and your practical experience is particularly strong.

    DBS disclosure and health screening

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

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Applicants should apply during the application window for the year that they hope to join the course.

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

    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.

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

    Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide individual and specific feedback to applicants who are not shortlisted for interview or who do not receive an offer for a place on the course. 

    Health clearance

    If you are infected with hepatitis C or HIV, or if you have a disability, medical condition or learning difficulty, including dyslexia, you must disclose this on your UCAS form. All potential students with significant support needs will be individually assessed to ensure that the University is able to support them on the Medicine course.

    All new students will undergo health screenings known as an Occupational Health Check, which may require an individual assessment. This is to ensure that you meet the fitness to practise standards detailed on the Higher Education Occupational Practitioners (HEOPS) guidance and is in accordance with the Department of Health National Guidelines

    Occupational Health Checks

    We offer support to students with additional needs, for example, through the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service or Student Support Services. You can find out more about the network of support services we provide. A very small number of conditions might, on health and safety grounds, affect your registration with the appropriate regulatory body and your ability to practise in certain clinical situations.

    General Medical Council – Conditions affecting study or practice

    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

    You'll receive an occupational health screening, immunisations and a DBS check on our professional programmes. These will be covered by your tuition fee. We recommend that you subscribe to the DBS update service within 30 days of your disclosure being issued (which you would need to pay for). You would need to pay for any additional DBS checks that may be required if you do not subscribe to the DBS update service.

    Clinical placements are a compulsory element of the degree, which means that there will be an additional expense for travel and accommodation (where applicable).

    If you are a UK student you will be able to apply for reimbursement for excess travel expenses and dual accommodation costs for placements from the NHS Learning Support Fund. In order to claim, the total cost of your daily return travel from your normal accommodation to your practice placement site must exceed the cost of your usual daily return travel to university.

    If you travel to placement in your own motor vehicle, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate insurance cover for all risks associated with its use (i.e. this includes obtaining business use on your insurance policy). This cannot be reimbursed.

    For EU and international students the additional placement costs will be self-funded.


    Eligible English domiciled students on pre-registration postgraduate healthcare courses can apply for funding from Student Finance England using the undergraduate funding process. You can access this support even if you have received loans to study an undergraduate or postgraduate course before. More information can be found on the government and NHS websites:

    Further information about the undergraduate funding available can be found on our government loans and support web pages.

    If you live in one of the devolved nations, you may be able to access support from your funding provider. Awards and eligibility criteria vary.

    As a postgraduate student, you cannot apply for undergraduate scholarships.

    NHS Learning Support Fund

    Eligible students may also be able to apply to the NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF).


    Applications for 2024 entry have now closed. Applications for 2025 entry will open in September 2024 and close in December 2024.


    +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.