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UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

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Why Study Speech and Language Sciences at UCL?

Teaching at UCL

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.

Students in a Tutorial Group
UCL is at the forefront of international research and teaching in language, mind and behaviour, including applied clinical research in speech and language therapy.
Research at UCL

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Psychology & Language Sciences
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

UCL Language and Speech Science Library

UCL Language and Speech Science Library

Our teaching and research are supported by a range of resources and facilities including the on-site UCL Language and Speech Science library, which also serves as the National Information Centre for Speech-language Therapy.  The Language & Speech Science Library holds a unique collection of books, journals, assessment tests, audiovisual material and student dissertations on all subjects relating to phonetics, linguistics, speech, language and psychology.

UCL Communication Clinic

UCL Communication Clinic

The UCL Communication Clinic is for adults who have acquired communication difficulties, usually as a result of a stroke or brain injury, and who want continuing speech and language therapy. The clinic is in the purpose-built ground floor clinic suite in Chandler House, and is staffed by two specialist speech and language therapists. The clinic provides student placements at various times during the year.

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, neurorehabilitation 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 2014-15

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."