Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
Speech and language therapists play a unique role in supporting individuals who have communication and swallowing difficulties to achieve and live life to their full potential. Our new MSc in Speech and Language Therapy will provide you with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience required to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Inter-professional learning opportunities are embedded throughout your studies, enabling you to develop essential core skills which will support you to succeed within a dynamic professional landscape.
Speech and language therapists support people of all ages who have communication and/or swallowing difficulties. Delivered at the West Midlands’ only training site for speech and language therapists - and the largest provider of qualified staff to the NHS and social care professions - this course is designed to prepare you to achieve excellence and professional autonomy in clinical practice.
You will learn through a variety of formats, including workshops, interactive lectures, and simulation sessions, which are run in state-of-the-art facilities on our Edgbaston campus. We are currently the only UK SLT course to offer extensive simulation opportunities and expertise.
Throughout the course, you will develop your understanding of research and evidence-based practice, so that you will be able to understand current debates in the field and contribute to the future development of the speech and language therapy profession.
You will undertake a number of clinical placements, during which you will be immersed in all aspects of clinical practice. Towards the end of your final clinical placement, you are likely to be managing your own caseload of clients, and you will have the option to participate in a number of extracurricular activities, including an opportunity for international exchange. Our graduates work as speech and language therapists in a wide range of settings in the NHS, but also in schools, for charities and in private practice.
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to offer student finance to those applying to study pre-registration postgraduate healthcare courses.
You must have an Honours degree with a 2:1 or above in a relevant subject (for example, linguistics/languages, psychology, education, human biology).
Please note that we may ask to see your undergraduate degree transcript and in some cases, will request further information about the content of individual modules.
You will also need GCSE Mathematics and English Language at Grade C/4 or above.
Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 8.0 with no subtest below 7.5, in line with the HCPC English language requirements for speech and language therapists.
All places will be subject to a satisfactory enhanced DBS check and a satisfactory Occupational Health check.
Any offer of a place is subject to satisfactory performance at interview.
Applicants must normally have evidence of formal study in Higher Education within the last 5 years. However, we are sometimes able to waive this requirement if a candidate has a significant amount of professional experience in a relevant field, for example healthcare, social care, or education.
Starting: Jan 2022
Sorry, this course is not available to International students.
The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks. There are likely to be costs associated with attending placement and there may be opportunities to pay to attend conferences to extend your learning and development. Costs specific to the MSc in Speech and Language Therapy course are outlined below:
It is a requirement that you become a student member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, the professional body for speech and language therapists during your time as a speech and language therapy student at BCU. Student membership costs £41 per year via direct debit (correct on 25/10/2019). Membership includes monthly delivery of the Bulletin magazine, online access to the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders and Professional Indemnity Insurance.
It is recommended that students wait until they have started the course before purchasing any books, as individual module coordinators may make particular recommendations and students may also be able to borrow the books they need from the University library as required.
The MSc Speech and Language Therapy course features a range of bespoke teaching resources provided through online Moodle sites, including worksheets, support notes and quizzes. You will also be expected to access additional literature sources (i.e. scientific journals, government publications), as part of your directed and self-directed learning. You may wish to print some of this teaching material and literature and take account of the additional cost of doing so. All students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
For practice learning opportunities, you will be expected to adhere to the BCU HELS Faculty Dress Code and/or the dress code for the relevant placement provider(s). Occasionally, uniform will be provided. Should you wish to discuss any concerns in connection to this prior to starting the course, please contact the course leads in the first instance.
We understand that it is difficult to obtain work experience in the current situation and the restrictions in place. If you are unable to obtain work experience relevant to your course, this will not affect your application. If you do want to gain some experience to help prepare you for your course, there are other options available. The UCAS website details a range of alternative activities that you might want to consider.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
Evidence-based professional practice
This is one of the two inter-professional modules in the programme, delivered by registered healthcare professional tutors and other specialists from Birmingham City University. This module will emphasise the underpinning philosophies of inter professional collaboration and communication within health and social care, enabling shared learning across professional boundaries and facilitating the contextualisation of the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to deliver optimal care within a dynamic healthcare environment.
The science of speech, hearing and swallowing
Speech and language therapists need a sound knowledge of the physiology and anatomy underlying communication and swallowing. They use this knowledge in appraising their clients' communication and swallowing needs, in managing their clients' needs, and in their evaluation and development of the evidence base. In addition, SLTs need a detailed understanding of the production, acoustics, perception, and development of speech, both in relation to people with typical speech abilities and those with developmental or acquired speech disorders.
Understanding human communication and development
SLTs draw on linguistics and the social sciences (psychology and sociology) in appraising their clients' communication needs, and in evaluating the impact of communication and swallowing needs on clients' lives. Speech and language therapy management draws on theories from psychology and linguistics. A good understanding of the social sciences and linguistics is also essential to clinicians in the appraisal of the evidence base for the services they offer, and in their ability to develop this evidence base in the future.
Acquired speech, language and swallowing difficulties
Appraisal is a core element of speech and language therapy practice and broadly encompasses the range of activities that a speech and language therapist might undertake when profiling a service user’s communication and swallowing skills and needs. Data gathered during the appraisal phase is used to inform decisions about intervention and management, and so it is essential that assessment processes are transparent, accurate, effective and efficient. Partnership working is key and speech and language therapists therefore need to be able to build and sustain collaborative therapeutic relationships with service users, families and carers and work with others in order to achieve meaningful outcomes for all.
Developmental speech, language and swallowing difficulties
This module will explore the theory and practice pertaining to the appraisal of individuals presenting with developmental communication and swallowing difficulties, as required for clinical practice. You will be introduced to the concept of clinical reasoning and provided with opportunity to practise this in relation to a range of clinical scenarios. Building on theory and models introduced in UHCD and SHSS, you will critically evaluate clinical data and learn to interpret and integrate assessment findings in order to inform future actions. As with all speech and language therapy management, the importance of working in partnership with others during the appraisal process will be emphasised throughout.
Intervention, management and outcomes
This module will explore the theory and practice pertaining to management planning with and for clients throughout the lifespan, as required for clinical practice. You will explore the value of speech and language therapy practice, critically considering the benefits of intervention at universal, targeted and specialist levels. Building on your study of psychology, sociology and health promotion in year 1, you will learn how speech and language therapists can best support service users and others to access and engage with interventions in order to ensure positive outcomes for all. You will also consider how to effectively facilitate self-management and the development and practice of others.
Consolidating professional practice
This second inter professional module will consolidate the links between your personal and professional development, whilst encouraging and enhancing a lifelong commitment to the concept of continuous quality improvement in a dynamic and ever-changing health and social care environment.
Through a flexible provision, you are encouraged to reflect critically upon your personal experiences as well and health and social care practice, and to appraise and apply concepts from the literature on best practice to issues of relevance for your profession and the needs of the service user.
This module focuses on pursuing excellence in healthcare and encouraging the development of advancing practice-led applied knowledge and skills for students to be able to lead service development effectively and efficiently.
MSc healthcare professional project
This double module forms the final component of your Healthcare Professional MSc. It provides you with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a topic of interest in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review, or an Audit or Service Evaluation linked to practice.
The focus of this module is on facilitating independent, critical study in your professional practice discipline. It will also serve those of you who wish to embark on Doctoral studies in the future. This module involves 400 hours of study.
The MSc in Speech and Language Therapy will be delivered full-time over two years, with each year comprising of 45 weeks of learning (including your clinical placements). You will supported to develop your knowledge, skills and practice through a range of methods including interactive lectures, workshops, role play, simulations and seminars. Assessment points are spread throughout the course, enabling you to demonstrate your capabilities and competence in a range of ways, including assignments, workbooks, vivas and ongoing assessment in practice.
This course has been approved by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)
After graduating, you could progress on to studying a PhD or undertake specialist additional study relevant to your area of practice.
Once you graduate from our course you will be eligible to apply to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work as a speech and language therapist. You'll have a range of career opportunities available to work as a speech and language therapist in hospitals, community health centres, mainstream and special schools, care homes, nursing and residential homes, young offenders' institutions, prisons and clients' own homes. You'll also have the option to work in independent practice once you have gained some experience, and to work abroad.
In applying for your first job you’ll be able to draw particularly on the experiences from your block clinical placements, during which students are immersed in all aspects of clinical practice.
Speech and language therapists practise in a range of settings. Placements on the MSc Speech and Language Therapy course are therefore designed to maximise your exposure to a wide range of speech and language therapy contexts and provide you with opportunities to develop your knowledge, skills and experience in the real-life setting.
In year 1, you will have opportunity to observe clinical practice in a variety of clinical settings, as well as become more comfortable working with individuals presenting with communication and swallowing needs across the lifespan.
In year 2, you will undertake a one week health promotion placement and two (eight week) block clinical placements, during which you will be immersed in all aspects of clinical practice. Towards the end of your final clinical placement, you are likely to be managing your own caseload of clients, and you will have the option to participate in a number of extracurricular activities. There will also be opportunities for international exchange. Our graduates work as speech and language therapists in a wide range of settings in the NHS, but also in schools, for charities and in private practice.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.
We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.
These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge learning facilities.
In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.
For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.
Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.
The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.
Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.
The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.
It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.
We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.
We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.
The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.
The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.
You will have access to all of the University’s libraries.
The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:
Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.
The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.
A range of specialist staff teach on the MSc Speech and Language Therapy course - including Speech and Language Therapists, Linguists, Psychologists and Physiologists.
Tom is a psychologist who teaches the psychology strand that exists across several modules within the BSc and MSc Speech and Language Therapy degree course. This includes aspects of developmental psychology, social and cognitive psychology as well as applying psychotherapy to speech and language therapy practice. Having gained a distinction in research methods at Masters degree level and as a result of completing a PhD using mixed methods at the University of Sheffield (Department of Human Communication Sciences), Tom also contributes to the research methods teaching of which include Qualitative and Quantitative research methods.
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