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MSc Speech and Language Sciences

This MSc is an accredited professional programme leading to qualification as a speech and language therapist (SLT).

This 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.

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Speech and Language Therapy at UCL

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Speech and Language Therapy at UCL: Employer Perspectives 

Applying for Intake 2018 

Application

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.

Application deadlines
All applicants
20 April 2018

Candidates are not normally accepted without interview. Interviews will take place in mid-May.

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.

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

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. 

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.

This programme is a full-time course with extended term dates.  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. 

During terms 1 and 2, you can expect to be in college 9am – 5pm for 3 days per week (with 1 hour for lunch), and on placement for another whole day in most weeks.  There is one full day of private study most weeks, which you will need to prepare for your placement and coursework assignments and carry out any additional reading.

Example timetable from a week in year 1, term 1

 MonTuesWedsThursFri
MorningLecturesPrivate StudyLecturesLecturesPlacement
AfternoonWorkshopsPrivate StudyTutorialsLecture
Workshop
Placement
Clinical Placements

Clinical placements start in the first term and carry on throughout the programme.  The placements are closely linked to classroom learning.  You will have on-going placements that you attend one day a week over terms 1 and 2 of both years (October to March).  These placements allow you to see changes in clients over a period of time and to develop your skills gradually over a longer period of time, supported by your university clinical tutorials and visiting tutors.  You will also have block placements which you attend between 3 and 5 days per week over a number of weeks. These take place in spring (4-5 week block end of March to mid-May) and in summer (2-3 week block in July).  The block placements are an opportunity to really focus on your clinical and professional skills development, supported by experienced SLTs and college tutors.

Core purpose and values

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.

Values

The values of the Course are aligned with those set out in the following codes: 

· the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics

· the RCSLT Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

· the NHS Constitution

Modules

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

YEAR TWO CORE MODULES

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Teaching Staff

(NB: staff may occasionally be absent for a term or more on research or other leave)

Rachel Rees

 

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
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
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
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.

Kathleen Cavin
Kathleen Cavin is a part-time Teaching Fellow on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences. She teaches on the Professional Studies module and also lectures on Narrative Interventions on Management of Communication Difficulties module.   She works for the NHS as the manager of the Early Years' Speech and Language Therapy Service in Camden and has previously worked in a variety of settings including language resource bases, special schools and units for children with hearing impairment. She has a special interest in working with children with Developmental Language Disorder in mainstream schools and nurseries.  Kathleen is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

 

Janet Collier

 

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.  Janet is a

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Michael Dean
Michael Dean is a speech and language therapist and senior teaching fellow in the Department of Language and Cognition. His role in the MSc Speech and Language Sciences course includes lectures on cognitive neuropsychology and sentence processing and therapy, professional studies tutorials and workshops, and research project supervision. He works in the UCL Communication Clinic, with a caseload of adults with acquired communication difficulties (mainly aphasia) and as a practice educator to students on placement in the clinic. Before joining UCL, Michael worked in the NHS, in adult in-patient neurological rehabilitation with some experience in more acute settings. Prior to training as an SLT he completed postgraduate and postdoctoral research in cognitive psychology.

 

Bronwen Evans

 

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
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
Alex Perovic is a senior 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

 

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

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.

Nicola Sirman

Nicola Sirman is a part-time Teaching Fellow on the MSc Speech and Language Sciences.  She teaches on the Professional Studies module for Year B which involves clinical tutoring and supporting students on their adult clinical placements.  She started working at UCL in 2012 as a Research Assistant on the Better Conversations with Aphasia project with Dr Suzanne Beeke.

Nicola also works as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for the NHS in a community hospital on the South Coast.  Her clinical specialisms lie in adults with progressive neurological conditions and adult dysfluency.

Nicola obtained her MSc in Speech and Language therapy in 2009 and she is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Christina Smith
Christina Smith specialises in swallowing and swallowing disorders. She teaches this topic area and also works with adults with acquired swallowing difficulties as part of her NHS job. Christina’s research interests are in swallowing and motor speech disorders and she uses a variety of research methods. Christina is the Admissions Tutor for the MSc Speech and Language Sciences.

 

Debi Vickers
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
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

Amy Waters is 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.

What people say about us

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:

Employer Quotes


Quotes from employers (cited in Nicklin 2013)

Employer Quotes 3

 


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:

Employer Quotes 2
What our graduates say about us
Ben Meadows: MSc Speech and Language Sciences 2014-16

Ben Meadows

"There are many reasons why I was attracted to the MSc in Speech Sciences at UCL. The course provided a standard of teaching that any graduate is proud to say they participated in. The whole dynamic between the taught modules, tutorials, clinical placements and the opportunity to pick the brains of leading clinicians and academics equipped me with the knowledge, skills and ability to apply this as a confident therapist.

I feel that one of the most valuable and unique aspects of the UCL course is the number and variety of clinical placements. I had the opportunity to apply the evidence based learning received to key client groups, including; paediatrics, acquired communication disorders, dysphagia and adult learning disabilities. This also provided me with the chance to network with the SLT community. As with all graduates, finding a job is the next step….I feel the working relationships developed during my placements with UCL enabled me to secure jobs in my preferred field.

Finally, the research project was a great way to learn how to critically appraise journal articles to then apply to clinical practice. The supervision was nurturing and I have the pleasure of continuing to work with UCL as I am co-hosting MSc student research projects at my current work place.

I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to pursue a career in Speech and Language Therapy.

I am currently working as a Speech and Language Therapist in a Behaviour Support Service within a community Adult Learning Disabilities team 3 days a week and in a specialist education centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities 2 days a week."

Alicia Houn: MSc Speech and Language Sciences 2013-15

"After finishing my undergraduate degree in my home state of California, I had a desire to pursue my studies in speech and language therapy abroad. I was attracted to UCL's MSc programme because of it's focus on rich immersion in both theory and clinical practice in a diverse setting. From the beginning, I was impressed by the course's organization and the vibrant academic teaching staff, who shared their expertise alongside, often, their invaluable experience as therapists themselves. This instilled in me a value and appreciation for a person centered approach underpinned by strong research evidence. It also made our lectures more enjoyable, as it was clear how what we were learning would be directly applicable to our future patients' treatment day to day.

I also truly enjoyed the clinical placements. I had the opportunity to learn in such a diverse range of settings (e.g., an acute ward in a hospital, neurorehabilition unit supporting adults in the community, mainstream school, health centre, etc.) with a range of different populations. I felt like I was given just the right amount of support I needed to get the most out of these experiences and thoroughly enjoyed working with my supervisors, or practice educators, who were generous in sharing their feedback, knowledge, and resources. I felt that the course did an excellent job at giving me a range of placement opportunities, with children and adult patients, to learn and develop my own personal interests in the field. 

I would recommend this MSc to anyone who is passionate about developing a strong foundation for themselves as a speech and language therapist. I now work as a pediatric speech and language therapist at United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County."

Sarah Hayward: MSc Speech and Language Sciences 2014-16

Sarah Hayward

"I was attracted to UCL in part due to the research project, which is an integral part of this MSc course, but also by the enthusiasm and dedication of the tutors whom I met at open day. They demonstrated a passion for the profession which included, a commitment to finding potential students with the right personal qualities to be effective clinicians, in addition to focusing on the academic skills required.

I began with an interest in anatomy and physiology, psychology, autism spectrum conditions and the developmental aspects of communication however during the course I developed other areas of interest such as dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. I particularly enjoyed lectures from both visiting clinicians and researchers at UCL, who are experts in their fields, and are actively developing the evidence base for the profession.

Tutorials allow students to receive peer and tutor feedback and to problem solve areas of practice concurrently with their clinical placements. They also promote the development of presentation skills. Opportunities are provided for working with other students on group projects and in joint placements.

This course offers a wide range of clinical placements including world leading centers of excellence. Placements are embedded in the course structure and allow opportunities to put theory into practice and to develop professional skills whilst working with clients and carers.

The placements prepare you for your first job through opportunities to work alongside a number of SLT’s in different roles. Lectures aimed at preparing for work ensured that I was confident and fully prepared for interviews. At UCL you will focus on the professional skills needed to develop your own style of practice and to critically examine the evidence base.

The research project allows students the opportunity to explore a topic of interest in depth whilst developing research skills valuable to working in an evidence based profession.

My experience at UCL has been invaluable in preparing me for my current role at Oxleas NHS Trust working in early years and based in community clinics and a child development centre. I hope to be involved in adult education and research in the future and look forward to combining my vocational and academic interests."

Samantha Sim: MSc Speech and Language Sciences 2014-16

"As an international student, I was initially drawn to the course primarily because of its globally outstanding reputation. However, I gradually grew to appreciate the key strengths that challenged me to develop my skills and confidence as an aspiring Speech and Language Therapist (SLT). Besides the opportunity to consolidate my learning through the various platforms provided, I also found great satisfaction in being able to develop my interest in aphasia within the research project component of the course. I have also been consistently inspired by educators, including guest lecturers, who are both highly accomplished academics/clinicians in the field, and extremely passionate in what they do. The course also attracted like-minded colleagues, some of whom have become close friends. I have learnt a great deal from them through collaborations during lectures, tutorials and projects. Looking back, the MSc Speech and Language Sciences has indeed given me a "starter toolkit" – foundational skills and knowledge that I will take with me throughout my career.


I now work as an SLT under National Council of Social Service, an umbrella body for social service organisations in Singapore. I will be seconded to different organisations (e.g. special education schools, community hospitals, charities) in order to gain varied clinical experience and exposure."

Karyn Rehbock: MSc Speech and Language Sciences 2014-16

Karyn Rehbock

"I completed my first degree in Linguistics while still living in South Africa, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the course, I had no idea what I could do after I finished it. Luckily for me, I met a Speech and Language therapist who was changing people’s lives and I had a lightbulb moment, “that’s what I want to be!”

So I set forth with a dogged determination to pursue my dream, and when one dreams, one must dream big- UCL was the only course for me. I packed my bags and made straight for London.

What initially drew me to UCL was a combination of factors; the friendly, encouraging staff, the fact that I would graduate with a Masters degree as opposed to a Post Graduate diploma (thus opening up a wealth of opportunity) and the excellent reputation that UCL has for producing Speech and Language therapists of the highest quality.

What I didn’t anticipate was all the other things that I would get to experience over the course of my two years there, the friends I would meet, the chance to get my researched published, to have clinical placements at some of the best hospitals and clinics in London, the incredible clients I would work with and the endless opportunities to meet inspiring academics, clinicians and researchers.

I am now working for one of the largest NHS Trusts in the country, in a busy community paediatric service, where I now have the opportunity to change lives. Whenever I get asked, “where did you study?”, I respond with a great sense of pride, “at UCL” and then I go on to continue living my dream."

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.

Student Achievements

Many of our students produce very high quality projects that are awarded prizes, lead to publication or presentation at a conference.  Below we've highlighted some of the MSc Speech and Language Sciences students' achievements.

Publications

Friedland, J. & Mahon, M. (in press) Sister talk: investigating an older sibling’s responses to a younger sister’s verbal challenges. Discourse Studies.

Rees, R., Fitzpatrick, C., Foulkes, J., Peterson, H., & Newton, C. (2017) Can explicit training in Cued Speech improve phoneme identification? Deafness & Education International, 19 (1) 13-21.

Rehbock, K. and Martelli, S. (2016) Postnatal ontogeny of the hyoid and tongue on human and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) cadavers – implications for the relationship of the skeletal and muscular components of the hominoid supra-laryngeal vocal tract. Proceedings of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (PESHE) 5: 201.

Cowpe, E., Hanson, B. & Smith, C.H. (2014) What do parents of children with dysphagia think about their MDT? A qualitative study.  BMJ Open 4, 10 e005934

Smith, C. H., Jebson, E. M., & Hanson, B. (2014) Thickened fluids: Investigation of users' experiences and perceptions. Clinical Nutrition, 33(1), 171-174.

Rankin, E., Newton, C., Parker, A. & Bruce, C. (2014) Hearing loss and auditory processing ability in people with aphasia. Aphasiology 28(5), 576-595.

Smith, C.H., Teo, Y. & Simpson, S. (2014) An observational study of adults with Down syndrome eating independently. Dysphagia 29, 52-60.

Newton, C., Acres, K., Bruce, C. (2013) A comparison of computer-delivered and paper- based language tests with adults who have aphasia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 22 (2), 185-197.

Govender, R., Breeson, L., Tuomainen, J., Smith, CH. (2013) Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation after Head and Neck Cancer: Are we hearing the patient’s voice? Our experience with ten patients. Clinical Otolaryngology, 38, 433-437.

Rossiter, C. & Best, W. (2013) “Penguins don't fly”: An investigation into the effect of typicality on picture naming in people with aphasia, Aphasiology, 27:7, 784-798.

Collis, J. and S, Bloch. (2012) "Survey of UK speech and language therapists’ assessment and treatment practices for people with progressive dysarthria." International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 47(6): 725-737.

Project Prizes

2016-17

British Aphasiology Student Project Prize

Runner-up prize awarded to Samantha Sim: Comparison of Language Abilities Measured by Self-rated and Performance scores in Stroke Patients.

2015-16

Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Student Prize

Helena Thornley: The Influence of Emotional Valence on Word Recognition in People with Aphasia.

Samantha Sim: Comparison of Language Abilities Measured by Self-rated and Performance Scored in Stroke Patients.

Claire Tarplee Project Prize

Joanna Friedland: Sister talk: investigating an older sibling’s responses to verbal challenges.

Karyn Rehbock: The postnatal ontogeny of the hyoid and tongue in humans and chimpanzees (pan troglodytes): implications for the musculoskeletal components of the hominoid vocal tract and their functions.

2014-15

Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Student Prize

Nichola Briggs: Preliminary evidence for modality specific attention impairment in post-stroke aphasia.

Philippa Clay: Making the community integration measure accessible for people with acquired communication difficulties.

British Aphasiology Student Project Prize

James McGoldrick: Assessing the Text-level Reading Skills of Adults with Aphasia.

Claire Tarplee Project Prize

Melanie Bowles: How do Speech and Language Therapy Students Learn Clinical Decision-making on Placement? Students' and Practice Educators Perspective.

Jelena Sakure: Question-Answer Sequences in Teacher-Pupil Talk: A Case of One Deaf Child and her Hearing Impaired Teacher.

2013-14

Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Student Prize

Rosalind Thompson: Formulaic language and right-hemisphere brain damage: a quantitative analysis.

Rachel Lee: Measuring Change in Aphasic Conversation Over Time: A Mixed Methods Evaluation.

Claire Tarplee Project Prize

Rachel Branciamore: What is the link between language and numeracy in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Katie Powell: Semantic Neighbourhood Density Effects in Adults Who Do and Do Not Stutter.

Essay Prizes

2016-17

British Aphasiology Student Essay/Case report Prize

Nicolina Hansard recieved a special commendation for her case-report.

Conference Presentations

2016-17

Helena Thornley presented her MSc project at the British Aphasiology Society’s Research Update Meeting in Leeds, 27 April, 2017. Her work was also presented by one of her supervisors, Caroline Newton, at the Science of Aphasia in Geneva, 11-14 September 2017. The paper was entitled “The influence of emotional valence on word recognition in people with aphasia.” (Newton, Thornley & Bruce).

Nichola Briggs presented her MSc project at the International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, 14-16 December 2016. The paper was entitled “Preliminary evidence for modality-specific attention impairment in post-stroke aphasia” (Briggs, Bruce & Newton).

Karyn Rehbock presented her work as a poster at the 6th Annual Meeting of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution in Madrid, 14-17 September 2016.

Careers

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. 

 

Contact
Contact Information

For further information about the course, please contact the Programme Administrator:

msc-sls-admin@pals.ucl.ac.uk

+44 (0)20 7679 4201

Open Days

The next open day will be on Tuesday 27th February 2018 at 5.30pm.

To attend please sign up on Eventbrite.

FAQs

Why do I need experience of speech and language therapy and/or with people with communication difficulties?

We're looking for people who are really committed to becoming speech and language therapists, as this is key to success on the programme.  We also want to be sure that you have made the right career choice before starting the course.  Gaining relevant work or voluntary experience will help to develop your confidence and comfort in interacting and working with people who have difficulty communicating.  It will also enable you to show us that you really understand the role of the speech and language therapist in one or more settings.

What type of experience do you look for?

We look for candidates who have done work experience/voluntary work with a speech and language therapist (SLT) or with people with communication difficulties.  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.  Ideally you should try to get some experience with both children and adults.  We recognise that it can be difficult to secure direct SLT experience so please look for alternatives such as working or volunteering in schools, clubs, support organisations and combine this with some SLT experience e.g. attending an SLT taster day at an NHS Trust, shadowing a local SLT for a day. 

Good places to ask are: your local speech and language therapy service (NHS, local authority or independent practice), schools, charitable organisations such as The Stroke Association, Parkinson’s UK, Headway, The National Autistic Society.  The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) website has some useful information about gaining relevant experience.

How much experience do I need to have of speech and language therapy and/or with people with communication difficulties?

We recommend at least 25 days of paid or voluntary work with people 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).  This work can be full-time or part-time and it should have been completed in the previous 12 months.
Of course it's not only the number of days, but also the quality of the experiences and the way you have reflected on the experience that are important.  Make sure you show us this in your application.

  How many weeks of teaching and placements are there on the programme?

The programme is full time over 25 months, with 8 weeks of holiday per year (2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and 4 weeks in the Summer). Term dates vary and the programme doesn’t follow the typical UCL term patterns.

In terms 1 and 2 there are 10 weeks of teaching (including one day a week on placement). In term 3 there is less direct teaching as you are given some private study time to revise for exams. There are 2-3 post-exam teaching weeks in late June/early July in both years.

Overall you will attend 19 weeks of placement across the two years (well above the RCSLT recommendation). These will be a mixture of one day a week ongoing placements (terms 1 & 2) and block placements in spring and summer (see below). Employers have told us that the high number of placement hours is a key strength of the programme, as placements really prepare you well for your future career.

When do the placements take place?

Clinical placements start in the first term and carry on throughout the programme. The placements are closely linked to classroom learning. You will have on-going placements that you attend one day a week over terms 1 and 2 of both years (October to March). These placements allow you to see changes in clients over a period of time and to develop your skills gradually over a longer period of time, supported by your university clinical tutorials and visiting tutors. You will also have block placements which you attend between 3 and 5 days per week over a number of weeks. These take place in spring (4-5 week block end of March to mid-May) and in summer (2-3 week block in July). The block placements are an opportunity to really focus on your clinical and professional skills development, supported by experienced SLTs and college tutors.

Can you choose your placements?

You will be able to give some preferences but these can’t always be guaranteed. Placements are allocated by the placements team, with the main aim of making sure that each student gets experience in a range of different settings over the course. Our excellent links with a large number of placement providers in the London area enables us to do this. However the offers from placement providers vary from year to year, so we cannot guarantee a specific placement will be available. Factors such as health needs or caring responsibilities are also taken into consideration in the placement allocations process.

How do you choose your final research project?

In the second year you will carry out a research project. We have a wide range of projects and students can list their three top choices of project. In general students get their first or second choice. There are research facilities in the building and on the UCL campus and we have links with NHS partners and are sometimes able to offer joint projects. As you progress through the course you will get more idea of what you would like to do.

Is assessment more coursework based or more exam based?

Assessments are spread out over the year and are in a range of formats including coursework, multiple choice tests, exams, oral tests and vivas. Where possible the programme team have made the assessments similar to tasks you would do in an SLT job role e.g. service presentations, case reports, case based exam questions. The assessments aim to test how to apply the knowledge gained from teaching to a case or clinical scenario.

How long should my personal statement be?

We advise you to use the 3000 characters provided, alternatively one side of A4 no smaller than point 12 in your chosen font.

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 can fall in the last week of August or the first week of September depending on the academic calendar.

Do I have to have an interview for the programme?

Yes. We interview shortlisted applicants.  More details about interviews will be added to the website soon.

How many applications do you normally receive?

In past years we have received around 300 applications for approximately 60 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. 

During terms 1 and 2, you can expect to be in college 9am – 5pm for 3 days per week (with 1 hour for lunch), and on placement for another whole day in most weeks. There is one full day of private study most weeks, which you will need to prepare for your placement and coursework assignments and carry out any additional reading.

You’ll probably also need to do some work in your own time, in the evenings or at weekends.

Are there any options for studying this programme part-time?

At this time we don't offer a part-time route for this programme.  However, this is something we are looking at for the future.

I'm a parent.  Will I be able to fit studying for this programme around my childcare responsibilities?

We have had several successful graduates from the programme who are parents, so that in itself should not put you off.  However, the programme is intensive, and you must be able to commit 5 full days a week, plus study time in the evenings or weekends.  The key thing to consider is what support you have to help look after your children on a regular basis.  Remember also that our terms are quite long and you might have to attend placements during typical school holiday periods (eg Easter).  We do try to take childcare and other caring responsibilities into consideration when allocating placements.

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'm a mature applicant and I don’t have a degree but I have relevant experience can I apply?

To be eligible to apply for the course, you have to hold an honours degree at a 2.1 or above (or the equivalent if you are an overseas applicant).

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 (or the equivalent if you are an overseas applicant).

I'm worried about the science content of the programme as I haven't done biology since GCSE?

There will be lots of support on the course. You don’t need to worry as long as you are a motivated learner. There will be strengths and weaknesses across the cohort. We operate a peer tutoring scheme for some subjects where students who have a first degree in the subject act as peer tutors for the rest of the cohort.

Do I have to show evidence of recent study?

No, but you do have to be motivated to get back into study and you may want to do an A-level, or other relevant qualifications, to help with that.

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 may have information on sources of funding for international students.

What is the starting salary for a Speech and Language Therapist?

An NHS Band 5 Speech and Language Therapist can expect a salary of £22,128 -  £28,746 with an additional London weighting of 20% (minimum £4,200 per year) for inner London, 15% (minimum £3,553 per year) for outer London and 5% (minimum £970) for the fringe of London. These figures were downloaded from https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/about/careers-nhs/nhs-pay-and-benefits/agenda-change-pay-rates on 5th October 2017.

If you have further queries please contact msc-sls-admin@pals.ucl.ac.uk

International Applicants

Read more information for international students and testimonials on our Faculty webpage.

Graduate Stories

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Anna Sowerbutts: MSc SLS Graduate

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Hannah Roberts: MSc SLS Graduate

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Jonathan Bose: MSc SLS Graduate

Case Study: Discover how the programme is preparing Naomi Proszynska for a career as a speech and language therapist.

Job Profile: Speech and Language Therapist.