Speech and Language Therapy - MSc
Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.
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....
The students are here running our conversation group. So that's a group for people with Aphasia who have a communication difficulty, and so they're providing opportunities for our clients to have good quality conversations with people who know what it's like when you have difficulties with communication. We put on activities based around a topic each week, so that might be quizzes or exploring music, exploring drawing, and it's all designed to facilitate conversation and encourage interaction between our members. Aphasia presents differently in every one, so we might work with people who have word finding difficulties, specific difficulties with their speech and speech sounds. So really, we work across the board with a different number of needs and we have the resources and facilities to help support them with that. It's not an area that lots of people are aware is part of speech and language therapy, and it's useful to actually have the experience of how we can support clients who have Aphasia to actually be able to implement the supportive techniques and therapies that we discuss in lectures. I'm currently on placement at the Trans Voice Clinic as well. We work with clients who are wanting to feminise their voice, so they have different goals for their therapy. The really wonderful thing with working with trans clients is these are people who genuinely want to have a change in their voice and their communication confidence, and we allow them to have that space to get those skills. It is one of my favourite days on placement. As a therapist it is really rewarding to know that you are helping them in a journey that is so massive and personal for them. So if someone is in the middle of transitioning and they've got a very deep voice, they'll be perceived as male, which can really affect their self-esteem.
Whereas if we help them with that voice, we can help raise the pitch and the resonance to make it more feminine, and then that will help their self-esteem. There are lots of files on my computer with directions and exercises and goals that, to me, without sounding corny, spell a little bit of hope. I hope it's not just finding your voice, it's finding your identity. And that's what these sessions help me do. My placement is giving me loads of confidence, this year I am a lot more hands on than I was last year. This year, everything's just kind of clicked into place. Placements are a big part of why I chose to study at BCU. Not a lot of universities offer this opportunity and I think it's really important in order to help develop our practice and develop on them skills that you can't necessarily build just with lectures. One of our members used the phrase small victories every day, which I really liked, referring to using the strategies from our clinic and I think that sums it up nicely. Sometimes I never remembered, now the brain saying, Hi, Wow, I remember this. So there's better, better now really better.
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.
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.
This course is accredited by:
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 SLTs 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 Postgraduate Taught Experience 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
Join us on campus where you'll be able to find out more about your course, learn about postgraduate finance and get an insight into studying at BCU. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.
Next Event: 29 June 2024
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
Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.
Starting: Jan 2025
- Full Time
- 2 years
- £9,250 in 2024/25
Sorry, this course is not available to International students.
January 2025 applications
Please note: applications for this course close on 31 May 2024.
If you're invited to attend an interview, you will be notified of the outcome by 31 July 2024.
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.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
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.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
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.
All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.
You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.
You are expected to become a student member of the Royal College of Speech and Therapists whilst undertaking this course. Student membership is currently free (October 2022).
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.
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 into 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
Course in Depth
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.
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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 accredited by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)
Health and Care Professions Council
This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, and will give you eligibility to apply for registration if you successfully complete the course.
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.
Facilities & Staff
We have invested over £400 million in our facilities, including an upgrade to our Skills and Simulation facilities at City South Campus. We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that you may come across in the workplace. These resources are essential in offering you a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.
These are set up to look like typical hospital wards, with four-six bays. Depending on the topic in hand, different manikins can be used as patients and relevant equipment is provided to practise clinical skills. Some of the manikins are interactive and can simulate different scenarios e.g. some allow you to cannulate, check pulses, intubate etc, and some can talk to you. One ward is often used as an adult ward, and the other as a child ward.
These rooms also allow for scenarios to be set up for other professions such as dietetics, paramedic science and social work.
The Operating Theatre and Recovery Suites
The operating theatre and recovery suite gives you the sense of what it would be like in a real surgical environment.
These spaces emulate the full surgical journey from anaesthetics, through surgery and into recovery. ODP students can practice a range of skills including gowning, hand washing, preparing instrument trays, and working with a patient. Nurses and midwives may experience a surgical placement and need to go to theatre or be part of the midwifery team involved with caesarean sections. Many other Allied Health Professionals may also see patients in recovery if necessary.
Home Environment Room
This space is used to simulate non-clinical settings, as not everything health professionals deal with is hospital based. This is used for simulations of home visits and home births. It also houses soft matting and a bubble machine that are used by the Learning Disability Nursing team.
Assisted Living Space
This space replicates a flat and is used for scenarios such as home visits. The sitting room area provides a different space to practise skills and simulations and work with service users and other students.
This specially designed kitchen has different areas where you can practice cooking, cleaning, boiling the kettle etc., with someone who has actual or simulated visual impairments. There are adapted devices to help, and simulation glasses for you to wear to experience visual impairments.
This is a space for physiotherapy students to use, with various equipment to practise client meetings.
Radiotherapy Planning Computer Suite
Our computers allow you to plan hypothetical treatments, in terms of angles and directions, ensuring that radiotherapy reaches where it is needed on a patient’s body.
Radiography Image Interpretation and Reporting Stations Computer Suite
These facilities allow you to view and analyse x-rays.
VERT - Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training
This room contains 3D technology to view virtual patients and look at trajectories for treatment.
This room contains the same bed/couch used when patients are given radiotherapy treatment. While students of course do not administer radiotherapy in this room, it does allow them to practise adjusting the equipment to make sure both it and a patient would be in the correct position to receive treatment.
This room allows for small group teaching in a central area (large boardroom type table) with five small telehealth booths down either side. These are to allow all our health professions students to practise delivering healthcare and advice remotely, either over the phone or on a video call. This addition to our teaching reflects moves in the sector to offer more flexible access to healthcare services, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the Midlands Imaging Academy Hub, funded by Health Education England. These expanded facilities will mean we can further develop our courses and expertise in radiography and imaging.
Speech and Language Therapy Resource Room
Our Speech and Language Therapy Team have developed a collection of tools, books and resources to help you learn and understand the implications of a speech or swallowing limitation. You can practise one to one client meetings and clinics and use the video recording equipment to review role play scenarios.
Ultrasound simulation suite
You have access to a wide range of Ultrasound simulation equipment to develop your clinical skills and aid in training. The equipment includes two ultrasound machines with a range of phantoms, scan training stations and eve body works.
Dr Wouter Jansen
Senior Lecturer and Joint Programme Lead (MSc Speech and Language Therapy)
Wouter is one of the course leads for the MSc Speech and Language Therapy and lectures on all 3 SLT programmes offered by the university. He teaches (clinical) linguistics, phonetics, and research methods and is currently the module lead for SPR7003 The Science of Speech, Swallowing and Hearing, SPR7004 Understanding Human Communication and...More about Wouter
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...More about Gillian
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...More about Victoria
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...More about Claire
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...More about Melanie
Lesley Ann Docherty
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...More about Thomas
Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy
Richard qualified as a speech and language therapist from Newcastle University. He has worked with teenagers and adults with autism, learning disabilities, and mental health difficulties in several psychiatric settings. Most recently he worked on an acute rehabilitation trauma unit with patients with acquired neurological conditions (e.g. spinal...More about Richard