MSc/Diploma/Certificate Language and Communication Impairment in Children (LACIC)

Department of Human Communication Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

Develop your career with a postgraduate qualification from one of the UK’s leading centres for research in this field.

I’m really interested in working with people with communication difficulties. I love the medical aspect of my course, especially getting to see real structures in the dissection room. It helps it all make sense.

Laura Hayes, Postgraduate Student in the Department of Human Communication Sciences

About the course

Course description 2017

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.

Laura Hayes, MMedSci Clinical Communication Studies

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)

Examples of optional modules for PGDip and MSc levels only:

  • Case Study
  • Speech Difficulties 1: nature and investigation
  • Speech Difficulties 2: intervention and management
  • Research Methods B
  • Literacy 1: assessments and constructs
  • Literacy 2: difficulties and intervention
  • Developmental Disorders

For Developmental Disorders, you can choose up to two specialist topics for further study, such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Specific Language Impairment
  • Language and Behaviour
  • Language and Environment
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Auditory Processing Difficulties
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication
  • Dysfluency
  • Dyslexia
  • Multilingual Contexts
  • Early Years
  • Adolescence

MSc students also complete a dissertation.


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.

Course duration

  • MSc - 2/3 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 grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

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Fees and funding

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Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

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

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Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 2405

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.