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Speech and Language Therapy - MSc

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 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....

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.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response 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.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Course is Full for 2021/22 Entry


This course is now full. You will be able to apply to start in January 2023 in early 2022.

Overview

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 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.

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • RCSLT logo

Why Choose Us?

  • Funding - Allied health profession students will receive at least £5,000 a year in additional funding for maintenance and associated study costs. Download the funding FAQs
  • We have been training SLT's for over 50 years and have a strong track-record in the field, with students on our undergraduate speech and language therapy course recently rating us 100% for overall satisfaction in the 2021 National Student Survey
  • Developed in partnership with local partners (including service users, local service providers and other health professionals), this course will provide you with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to apply for registration as a speech and language therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • You will have opportunities to directly interact with, and learn from, service users and carers, thereby supporting you to work collaboratively with key partners from early on in your career
  • You will develop effective team working and communication skills through inter-professional learning, projects and placements enabling you to facilitate group education and to work within a multi-disciplinary team
  • You will learn about business and innovation alongside clinical and health promotion topics, helping you to become an effective practitioner within the ever-changing healthcare environment
  • You will study in our £71 million home for the School of Health Sciences, where you’ll have access to state-of-the-art facilities including two specialist SLT clinic rooms, a SLT resource room, mock clinical environments and online simulation learning
  • This course is approved by the HCPC and the RCSLT

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

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.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Jan 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 2 years
  • £9,250 per year
  • Applications Closed

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

DBS check

You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

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). This may involve the purchase of new items of clothing and/or shoes.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

There may be some costs for travel or temporary accommodation associated with placements. The NHS Learning Support Fund can help with these costs. Information about what the fund covers and eligibility criteria can be found online: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-learning-support-fund

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

This course is now full. You will be able to apply to start in January 2023 in early 2022.

Applying for a place on the course

'In order to apply for a place on the course, you will need to complete the online application form, and as part of this provide a personal statement. Applicants who meet the entry requirements and submit a satisfactory personal statement will be invited to attend an interview and course information event, which is an opportunity for you to find out more about the course and the university.

Throughout the selection process we are looking for you to:

  • Demonstrate insight to speech and language therapy as a career and as a profession
  • Reflect on your previous academic study and practical experience and how this has prepared you for the course and the profession
  • Be able to understand and apply the values of the NHS Constitution 

Selection interviews will be held on the afternoons of the days listed below. If we invite you to an interview you will also be able to attend a course information event during the morning of the day of your interview:

  • Wednesday 31 March 2021
  • Thursday 29 April 2021
  • Wednesday 12 May 2021
  • Wednesday 26 May 2021
  • Thursday 17 June 2021
  • Wednesday 23 June 2021
  • Friday 25 June 2021 
  • Wednesday 30 June 2021
  • Friday 2 July 2021
  • Monday 5 July 2021
  • Wednesday 7 July 2021

Course in Depth

Level 7

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Course Structure

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.

RCSLT logo
RCSLT

This course has been approved by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)

Employability

Employability

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.


Placements

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

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Facilities and Staff

Our Facilities

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.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

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.

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.

Hospital Ward

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.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

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.

Biomedical Laboratories

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.

Simulation Mannequins

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.

Mary Seacole Library

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.

Computer Facilities

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:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

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.

Our staff

Dr Wouter Jansen

Senior Lecturer and Joint Programme Lead (MSc Speech and Language Therapy)

Wouter lectures on the BSc Speech and Language Therapy degree, and also acts as Admissions Tutor for this course. He teaches (clinical) linguistics, phonetics, and research methods and currently leads two modules: SPR5018 Appraising Communication and Swallowing Needs, and SPR6015, the final year research and evidence-based practice module for SLT students. Wouter's academic background is in linguistics, especially phonetics and phonology.

Wouter has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Groningen (cum laude, 1997; equivalent to an MA in the pre-2002 Dutch HE system). He has a PhD in Linguistics, also from the University of Groningen (completed in 2004; supervisors: Dicky Gilbers and John Nerbonne). Wouter was a Lecturer in Linguistics at University College Dublin in 2003-2004, and taught a module on advanced phonological theory at University College London in 2004-2005. In 2005-2006 he was a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics in the department of Clinical Language Sciences at Leeds Metropolitan University. Wouter joined Birmingham City University as Senior Lecturer in Clinical Linguistics in 2006.

More about Wouter

Gillian Rudd

Senior Lecturer and Joint Programme Lead (MSc Speech and Language Therapy)

Gillian has extensive experience of supporting children and young people with a wide range of communication needs and additional expertise in supporting children and adults presenting with fluency disorders. She promotes a person-centred, solution-focused approach in both her teaching and practice.

Gillian is actively engaged with local and national specialist and professional networks and is keen to support student involvement in activities across the profession. She is also a member of the Speech and Language Therapy Admissions Team, supporting student recruitment through interviews, Open Days and events.

More about Gillian

Victoria Lundie

Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead for BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy

Victoria has been a part of the SLT teaching team at BCU since 2012. She is joint course lead for BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy and has specific responsibility for student experience as a part of this role. 

She is part of the placements team working with two colleagues to ensure that students and placement educators have a positive placement experience.

More about Victoria

Claire Hartley

Senior Lecturer

Claire Hartley is a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and Senior Lecturer (in acquired communication difficulties) at Birmingham City University. She is also the Programme Director for the Return to Practice in SLT Programme. Her interests include aphasia, motor speech disorders, simulated practice in SLT, and working with service users. She is a Better Conversations Champion, Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT) Certified clinician and Chairs the Central Neuro Rehab CEN. She also supervises the department's placements with the Stroke Association.

More about Claire

Melanie Packer

Lecturer/ Placement Coordinator in Speech and Language Therapy

Melanie Packer has always demonstrated a keen interest in communication. After graduating from Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, in 1994, Melanie spent a number of year working for television companies based in Birmingham. In 2000, Melanie’s interest shifted from the media to human communication. By 2006, Melanie had retrained as a speech and language therapist.

More about Melanie

Lesley Ann Docherty

Senior Lecturer

Lesley Ann qualified in 2001 from UCE and worked at Selly Oak Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital until joining the University in 2014. She worked in the Stroke Unit and supported patients in the Burns Unit and ITU. Lesley Ann currently holds an honorary contract at a local NHS hospital.

More about Lesley Ann

Dr Thomas Hopkins

Senior Lecturer in SLT, Research Coordinator and Deputy Chair

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.

More about Thomas