Speech and Language Sciences MSc
This MSc is an accredited professional programme leading to qualification as a speech and language therapist (SLT). The programme integrates theory with work-based clinical placements with adults and children with a range of communication and swallowing difficulties. The programme has an excellent reputation, and over 90% of graduates are working in SLT-related posts within six months of qualifying.
MSc Speech and Language Sciences Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016: Satisfaction Ratings
- Key Information
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. UK/EU tuition fees for this programme are funded by the NHS.Accreditation: Health and Care Professions Council, Royal College of Speech and Language TherapistsLocation: London, Bloomsbury
A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Final year students on course for an upper second-class Bachelor's degree can also apply.
Before you submit your application, please download and fill out the following document and attach to your application as a supporting document. This will help us assess your relevant work experience. Summary of Work Experience Form
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Special. Only the IELTS is accepted. Applicants must obtain an overall grade of 8.0 with a minimum of 7.5 in each of the subtests.
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:International equivalencies
- Degree Summary and Structure
What will I learn?
You will learn to apply knowledge from a range of academic subjects to speech and language therapy practice. Innovative and authentic learning methods develop necessary skills such as team-working, assessment and therapy, self-evaluation. The research-based curriculum promotes strong research skills, enabling you to evaluate and add to the evidence-base for the profession. The programme will prepare you well for future leadership roles.
Why study this degree at UCL?
UCL is at the forefront of international research and teaching in language, mind and behaviour, including applied clinical research in speech and language therapy. Teaching and research are supported by a range of resources and facilities including the on-site library, which also serves as the National Information Centre for Speech-language Therapy, and the UCL Communication Clinic, providing therapy for people with speech and language difficulties.
The programme is strongly focused on student participation, with much use of small-group learning. The environment in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences is stimulating, friendly and supportive.
You will be taught by experts in the field, including specialist speech and language therapists, psychologists, linguists and neurologists. Our strong partnership with speech and language therapy services across London ensures the high-quality and clinical relevance of the curriculum.
This programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and accredited by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. This qualification allows you to practise as a speech and language therapist in the UK.
Teaching and Learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, small group tutorials, workshops, supervised clinical placements, practical classes and self-directed learning. Collaborative peer-working features strongly throughout. A variety of assessment methods is used, including coursework, presentations, clinical vivas, written examinations and practice-based assessment on placement.
You will attend both weekly and block placements from the start of the course working alongside qualified speech and language therapists in a wide range of settings including hospitals, community settings, schools, charities. Placements are organised such that each student gains a breadth of experience. You will undertake over 700 hours of supervised clinical practice over the two year course, well above Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy recommendations.
Our core purpose is to educate students to become speech and language therapists able to work to high standards in clinical and research domains.
Graduates from the course will meet the standards described by the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Education and Training and Standards of Proficiency and the accreditation criteria of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
The values of the Course are aligned with those set out in the following codes:
· the RCSLT Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
Students undertake modules to the value of 360 credits.
The programme comprises twelve core modules. Students register for six modules in year one (totaling 165 credits) and six modules in year two (195 credits, including a 60-credit research project).
YEAR ONE CORE MODULES
- Professional Studies 1
- Management of Communication Disorders 1: Language and Cognition (developmental)
- Management of Communication Disorder 2: Speech and Hearing
- Phonetics and Phonology
- Linguistic and Psychological Perspectives
- Research and Evidence Based Practice
YEAR TWO CORE MODULES
- Professional Studies 2
- Management of Communication Disorders 3: Language and Cognition (acquired)
- Management of Communication Disorder 4: Speech, Swallowing and Voice
- Brain, Mind and Health
- Research Methods
- Research Project
There are no optional modules for this programme.
DISSERTATION / PROJECT
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 8,000 - 10,000 words. Students also present their project orally to a group of peers.
- Teaching Staff
Rachel Rees is the programme director of the MSc in Speech and Language Sciences. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and regularly contributes to advances in education practices in the Faculty of Brain Sciences. She worked as a speech and language therapist in the NHS for 20 years, specialising in deafness. Her research interests include the use of Cued Speech to develop deaf children’s language and literacy skills and a psycholinguistic approach to speech assessment, publishing work in these areas. She is a member of the UK and Ireland Specialists in Specific Speech Impairment Network.
Suzanne Beeke is a senior lecturer with a background in speech and language therapy. She is module coordinator for the MSc Speech and Language Sciences research project, and teaches qualitative research methods including conversation analysis, and academic writing and reading skills. Her research interests include conversation in aphasia and dementia, and the design and evaluation of conversation training for people with acquired communication disorders and their family members. Suzanne led the research project that created Better Conversations with Aphasia, a free online resource for SLTs and people with aphasia, which is also used in teaching. Steven Bloch is a senior lecturer in the Department of Language & Cognition. He is Year B coordinator on the MSc in Speech and Language Sciences programme and coordinates the Management of Communication Difficulties 4 module. He is also a speech and language therapist with a background in palliative care, progressive neurological conditions and augmentative and alternative communication. His research interests focus on the analysis of conversation in health and social care settings, particularly communication in end-of-life planning and decision-making. Steven is Editor-in-Chief of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists’ International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. Stefanie Bucher is a speech and language therapist and Senior Teaching Fellow on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences. She coordinates and teaches on the Professional studies module and the practice education programme for Year B. Stefanie has held various clinical posts, the most recent being Clinical Lead SLT at Central Northwest London Foundation Trust. Her clinical interests and specialities include working with adults who have communication and swallowing difficulties from neurological conditions. Stefanie is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds an MA in Higher and Professional Education from UCL’s Institute of Education.
Janet Collier works part-time as a Teaching Fellow on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences, and also continues to work as a highly specialist speech and language therapist in an NHS acute hospital setting with adults with acquired neurological disorders and other conditions affecting communication and swallowing. She coordinates the Management of Communication Disorders 3 module in Year B, and contributes also to professional studies teaching and the practice education programme. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Speech Pathology and Therapy and a Masters degree in Research in Clinical Practice, funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
Bronwen Evans is a Senior Lecturer in Phonetics. She teaches modules in Phonetics and Sociolinguistics across a number of degree programmes and has research interests in sociophonetics, studying how speakers and listeners use and adapt to variation in the speech signal, and second language learning. She is currently involved in a number of funded projects using methodologies from behavioural psychology and neuroscience, and as a result of having a son who tells her that she doesn't say the word 'bath' properly, has become particularly interested in understanding how children develop the ability to use accent variation in speech processing.
Suzanne Jago is a Teaching Fellow on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences. She coordinates and teaches on the Professional Studies module and the practice education programme for Year A. Until recently she worked in the NHS as a highly specialist speech and language therapist in a community clinic and mainstream primary schools. She has a special interest in working with pre-school children with developmental language disorder. Suzanne is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and holds an MSc in Joint Professional Practice: Language and Communication from UCL’s Institute of Education. Alex Perovic is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics. She teaches clinical linguistics on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences and coordinates the Linguistic and Psychological Perspectives module in Year A. Her research focuses on the development of syntax and pragmatics in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome and Specific Language Impairment, in English and cross-linguistically. Alex supervises undergraduate and graduate research projects on topics related to language acquisition in typical and atypical development, in English and other languages.
Stuart Rosen holds the Chair in Speech and Hearing Science at UCL. His research is broadly-based in hearing and speech, with an emphasis on the interface between the two. Over the years he has studied a variety of aspects of auditory perception (speech and non-speech) in adults and children, both in typical and disordered populations (including autism, language disorders and hearing impairment), using a variety of experimental techniques (behaviour, pupillometry, EEG, fMRI and fNIRS. Appropriate to his role as coordinator for one of the research methods modules, he likes nothing better than sitting down to analyse an interesting data set!
Kate Shobbrook is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Year A coordinator on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences. She also coordinates and teaches on the Management of Communication Difficulties 1 module. Kate qualified as a speech and language therapist in 2002. She works with children with speech, language and communication needs, with particular interest in Developmental Language Disorder. She has worked in a variety of settings, including special and mainstream schools, language resource bases and community clinics. Kate currently combines her Teaching Fellow role with clinical work in a secondary school. Kate is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Debi Vickers is a Reader of Speech and Hearing Science at UCL. She teaches a variety of clinically applied research methods modules, including the Research and Evidence-based Practice module on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences. She also runs a masterclass for the Ear Institute on Auditory Implants. She has worked at the University of Cambridge and UCL conducting psychophysics and auditory perception research with hearing-impaired adults and children and for seven years also worked as European Clinical Studies Manager for a cochlear implant company. Her research explores outcomes, candidacy and fitting for hearing aid and cochlear implant recipients. Jane Warren trained as a neurologist in Australia before relocating to the UK and undertaking a PhD in language neuroscience. She is a Lecturer in the Department of Language & Cognition. She teaches anatomy, physiology and neurology on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences and coordinates the Brain, Mind and Health module in year B. Jane’s research focuses on the functional organisation of brain regions supporting language processes in healthy individuals and in people with acquired language disorders. Her current research centres on investigation of higher-order aspects of language comprehension in healthy and aphasic populations.
Amy Waters is a part-time Teaching Fellow on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences course. An experienced paediatric speech and language therapist, she has worked in a range of NHS settings including specialist and mainstream schools, and forensic inpatient units for adults with learning disabilities. Her main interests lie in autism spectrum disorders, the use of counselling skills in the speech and language therapy profession, behaviour support, and parenting /interaction styles. In addition to her UCL role, Amy runs a busy private speech and language therapy practice in her local area, working with children of all ages.
September 2017Accreditation: Health and Care Professions Council, Royal College of Speech and Language TherapistsLocation: London, Bloomsbury
For UK and EU students, tuition fees for this programme are normally paid in full by the Department of Health.
Information about bursaries can be found on the NHS Student Grants Unit website.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students with a strong academic background who are committed to a career as speech and language therapists. You should have a good understanding of the profession and some experience of working with people with communication difficulties. Good interpersonal and communication skills are essential.
- All applicants
- 18 November 2016
Candidates are not normally accepted without interview. Interviews take place in January each year, for entry in the following August/September.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Speech and Language Sciences at graduate level
- why you want to study Speech and Language Sciences at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this rigorous programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
Deadline for Applications
The deadline for entry in 2017 is 4pm Friday 18 November 2016. We do not accept late applications and there is no clearing for this programme.
Following the latest consultation, we can confirm that NHS funding will be available for the 2017 intake.
You can read the consultation outcome here, page 16.
From Health Education England Annual Performance Report 2015/16 UCL Speech and Language Therapy:
The academic year 2015-16 has seen a superb performance by UCL’s Speech and Language Therapy course; a performance rating of 100% is not easily achieved and congratulations are offered to the whole course team.
…such high retention and progression rates are attributed to the excellent support offered to students, along with the diverse and stimulating clinical experience and the high standards of academic learning the course offers.
Overall, this year’s Quality Assurance process has highlighted the excellent preparation for a career in healthcare the course offers students, the high quality of the academic studies environment, strong working links with clinical placement providers, especially in London, and a high standard of students being recruited to the programme who will form the future workforce.
From: University College London MSc Speech and Language Sciences stakeholders’ perceptions of speech and language therapist graduates (independent consultation carried out by Jane Nicklin 2013)
Summary of qualitative findings:
“Overall UCL graduates are overwhelmingly viewed as confident, mature, positive individuals that utilise their knowledge base appropriately in their early careers.”
“When asked specifically about UCL graduates, their professional approach and work ethic was frequently cited. These graduates were also often described as motivated, positive, willing to take on a challenge, assertive or self-confident with a can‐do attitude.”
UCL graduates were overwhelmingly considered to have a strong academic knowledge base and their thorough theoretical preparation was noted as being something that singled them out from other university graduates.
Research is understood, considered and used critically particularly well by UCL graduates. They are noted to seek out research to support their practice and would be well placed to undertake further research.
The findings make clear that the UCL course is highly respected across all stakeholders… Theoretical knowledge and the ability to critique and apply research remains the hallmark of this course. The maturity and the professional qualities that these graduates possess are welcomed and sought after in the workplace.
Quotes from employers (cited in Nicklin 2013)
‘In my experience, UCL postgraduate students are the whole package: theory, practical, maturity, presence, confidence and able to interact with staff and patients.’
‘Excellent team players, essential in a collaborative transdisciplinary setting’
‘The UCL graduates we have appointed in the past year are just superb”
From UCL Centre for Advancement in Learning and Teaching report (2013): MSc Speech Sciences: alumni and student experience of course learning in relation to professional practice:
100% of respondents agreed with the statements:
- The MSc enabled me to think critically in my professional role.
- A strong link was made between theory and practice.
- There were enough opportunities to learn about evidence-based practice.
- My learning experience on the MSc was positive.
‘The MSc has placed huge emphasis on developing our skills as reflective practitioners. ... We have been provided with the tools to critically examine research papers using questionnaires and via group discussion facilitation the implementation of current research developments.’
‘There is a great focus on evidence based practice and I feel very prepared as I go into employment into comparing and reading studies and this is informing my own practice.’
2016 Graduate unsolicited thanks:
I am just emailing to thank you and the MSc teaching (and non-teaching!) staff for all your hard work and the support that you have given my peers and I during the course. Now that the course has finished and we can reflect back on the whirlwind of the last 2 years, it's pretty hard to believe just how much we've learnt and accomplished in that time. It's a credit to the staff how you manage to organise the teaching and help us make it through so much.
I already thought it, but now … I'm applying for jobs, I can really see how I chose the best uni/department to complete my SLT training. The high quality lectures, tutorials, activities, assignments, vivas etc have really prepared us for the outside world and, as intense as it was, I'm grateful for every assessment that we had to do.
Most graduates from this programme go on to work as a speech and language therapist/pathologist with adults and children who have a range of communication and swallowing difficulties. These can include people with autism spectrum disorder, dementia, specific language impairment, learning difficulties or people who have had strokes or head injuries. You can work in healthcare or educational settings, for example in hospitals, specialist centres, the community, schools or justice settings.
Our graduates are well placed to contribute to the evidence base for the profession through further research and to fast track into specialist or leadership positions.
We are committed to your professional development from the start of your studies and UCL pays for you to have membership of our professional body, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy, throughout the course.
Our strong links with employers ensure that you get up-to-date and relevant information to support you in preparing for and securing your first job. Excellent university-based learning and the wide range and number of high-quality clinical placements also puts our graduates at an advantage. As a result many of our students are offered jobs very soon after completing the course.
Graduates from our programme are highly regarded by employers (see testimonials) with over 90% working as a speech and language therapist within six months of qualifying.
Our course equips you with transferable skills relevant to employability, such as: interpersonal and communication skills, oral and written presentation skills, collaboration and team working, critical evaluation, integration and synthesis of information, report writing, behaviour management and change.
- Open Days
We are holding an open evening at 5pm on Wednesday 14th June 2017.
At the open evening there will be a presentation from staff, you will have the opportunity to ask questions, speak to current students on the programme and have a tour of the building.
If you would like to attend please register on Eventbrite.
- What is the deadline for applying for this programme?
- What type of work experience do you look for?
- Why do I need experience of speech and language therapy and/or with people with communication difficulties?
- How much experience do I need to have of speech and language therapy and/or with people with communication difficulties? What type of experience should this be?
- How long should my personal statement be?
- My undergraduate degree is in an unrelated area can I apply?
- What is the start date for this programme?
- Will there be any open days for this programme?
- Do I have to have an interview for the programme?
- How many applications do you normally receive?
- Are there some suggested readings for applicants?
- How many days a week will I need to come into college?
- Are there any options for studying this programme part-time?
- I am a single parent will I be able to fit studying for this programme around my childcare responsibilities?
- It will be difficult for me to get two academic references. Is it possible to send non-academic references?
- I am a mature applicant and I don’t have a degree but I have relevant experience can I apply?
- I am still studying my undergraduate degree can I apply?
- I am an international applicant but I have been living in the UK for many years will I have to pay overseas fees?
- What is the starting salary for a Speech and Language Therapist?
What is the deadline for applying for this programme?
The deadline for applying for the 2016 intake has now passed. Please do not attempt to send in an application for 2016 as we will not be able to consider it. Late applications are not accepted for this course - please do not ask.
The deadline for applying for entry in 2017 is 4pm on Friday 18th November 2016. Applications must be completed, including transcripts, summary of work experience and references by the same deadline.
What type of work experience do you look for?
As well as academic experience we do look for candidates who have done work experience/voluntary work with a speech and language therapist or with clients with communication difficulties. Good places to ask are: your local PCT, schools, charitable organisations such as Stroke association, Parkinson’s disease association, Headway, Autistic society.
Why do I need experience of speech and language therapy and/or with people with communication difficulties?
In order to understand the demands of the course and, ultimately the profession you plan to enter, you must obtain experience working with individuals who have communication difficulties and an understanding of the role of a SLT.
The course is intense and you must have confidence and comfort in working with clients who have difficulty communicating. You must also have a good understanding of the role of a Speech and Language Therapist in one or more clinical setting.
How much experience do I need to have of speech and language therapy and/or with people with communication difficulties? What type of experience should this be?
All applicants must demonstrate relevant work experience. This work can be paid or voluntary and can be full-time or part-time. It should have been completed within the previous 24 months.
We recommend at least 25 days of work with clients with communication difficulties, plus observation of a speech and language therapist at work and/ or time spent talking with a SLT (for example at an open day). Many candidates invited for interview have completed 6-12 months of suitable work experience, including regular contact with a SLT.
It is of course not only the number of days, but the quality of the experiences and the way in which you have thought about what you have seen and reflected on the experience that you will demonstrate in your application.
How long should my personal statement be?
We advise to use the 3000 characters provided, alternatively one side of A4 no smaller than point 12 in your chosen font. Overlength statements will not be read.
My undergraduate degree is in an unrelated area can I apply?
Yes. We have students who have successfully completed the course with undergraduate degrees in many different subjects, including archaeology, law, anthropology, and geography. You can apply if you hold any UK honours degree at a 2.1 or above, or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution.
If you are applying with a qualification from overseas, please look at the UCL website for international students for information on equivalent qualifications.
What is the start date for this programme?
The start date is usually the first week of September depending on the academic calendar.
Will there be any open days for this programme?
There are no events planned at present.
Due to limits on staff time it is only possible for applicants to visit Chandler House on days when there is a planned information session or open day.
Do I have to have an interview for the programme?
Yes. We interview shortlisted applicants during January. You must be available to interview in January if you wish your application to be successful.
How many applications do you normally receive?
We have approx 400 applications each year for approx 50 places on the course.
Are there some suggested readings for applicants?
Yes please click here for suggested introductory readings
How many days a week will I need to come into college?
You must be able to commit 5 full days a week for this programme. Where possible the timetable is arranged to allow private study days but the timetable varies throughout the year. To view a sample timetable please click here.
Are there any options for studying this programme part-time?
No. Due to the nature of this course there are no options for part-time study.
I am a single parent will I be able to fit studying for this programme around my childcare responsibilities?
It would be very difficult to undertake this programme if you are a single parent with no support. You must be able to commit 5 full days a week plus study time in the evenings.
It will be difficult for me to get two academic references. Is it possible to send non-academic references?
We prefer to have academic references where possible but if you have been out of education for some time you can send two non-academic references e.g. from work or a work placement.
I am a mature applicant and I don’t have a degree but I have relevant experience can I apply?
If you do not hold an honours degree at a 2.1 or above you are not eligible to apply for the course.
I am still studying my undergraduate degree can I apply?
We accept applications from those in their final year, who are on course for a 2:1 or above.
I am an international applicant but I have been living in the UK for many years will I have to pay overseas fees?
Your fee status will be determined by the UCL Admissions Office depending on your length of stay in the UK and your residency status. It is often not possible to determine your fee status until the Admissions Office receive your application form and copies of your passport and any other documents needed to make a formal assessment of your fee status.
The international office website which may have information on sources of funding for international student
What is the starting salary for a Speech and Language Therapist?
An NHS Band 5 Speech and Language Therapist can expect a salary of £21,909-£28,426 with an additional London weighting of 20% (approx £4,100 per year) for inner London, 15% (approx £3,500 per year) for outer London and 5% (approx £900) for the fringe of London. This information is correct as of August 2016 but subject to change.
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