Postgraduate Course

MSc Speech and Language Therapy

(Pre-Registration)

MSc Speech and Language Therapy

Overview

The details
Speech and Language Therapy (Pre-Registration)
October 2024
Full-time
2 years
Colchester Campus

We recommend that you apply as soon as you are able to as courses may occasionally close early. This webpage will be updated with any changes to application deadlines. You should also take into account any deadlines for funding applications, such as scholarships.

Are you a graduate who likes working with people? Would you like to become a registered Speech and Language Therapist within two years? If you are keen to become an allied health professional and want to shape the future of speech and language therapy, read on to find out how we can help you achieve those objectives.

There's never been a better time to train as you can now apply for a £5000 grant that you won't need to pay back! There is also an extra £3000 funding available depending on your personal circumstances. You can find more information about eligibility and how to apply on the HSC Scholarships and Funding page.

Speech and language therapists work with people of all ages who experience communication and swallowing difficulties, enabling them to maximise their independence in their social, academic and working lives. Successful completion of our course leads to eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a speech and language therapist; this is essential to register and work as a speech and language therapist.

This is a two-year fast-track programme for graduates with a related degree (psychology; language and linguistics; social science; biological sciences; medical sciences or equivalent). It is a client-focused programme which uses a wide range of teaching methods, including enquiry-based learning to integrate theory and clinical practice. You will undertake practice education placements with speech and language therapists and members of the multi professional teams in which we work.

Our course is continuously developed to reflect contemporary health, education and social care practice. A wide range of stakeholders continue to be involved, in order to ensure that changes in speech and language therapy practice are incorporated in the programme.

The School of Health and Social Care is proud to work closely with our Service User Reference Group (SURG). SURG is made up of service users, carers, and volunteers who generously share their first-hand experiences of health and social care. We work collaboratively with SURG to design our courses to ensure that we truly are putting the needs of patients and clients at the heart of what we do. SURG are involved as part of our course application processes and often form part of our interview panels. This helps us to be confident that we are selecting the right applicants for the course and their future careers. SURG members also support the delivery of our teaching sessions and research activity, which means you'll benefit from an insight into their lived experiences of living with a diagnosis, health condition, or circumstance. You'll find that not only does your clinical knowledge expand, but your empathy, compassion and ability to advocate develops also.

The School hosts a range of pre-registration courses including nursing, mental health nursing, occupational therapy, doctor of clinical psychology, oral health and social work; providing opportunities to interact with a wide range of aspiring health and social care professionals.

If you are already a registered speech and language therapist, please see Continuing Professional Development on our Health and Social Care web pages.

The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.

Pre-registration Eating, Drinking and Swallowing (EDS) Competencies

The RCSLT have developed pre-registration EDS competencies (2021) in partnership with clinicians and higher education institutions to ensure that all pre-registration SLT students have the same level of competency across the UK. These competencies will become mandatory for all pre-registration SLT students who graduate from 2026 onwards.

The RCSLT pre-registration EDS competencies are embedded into our teaching and placement curriculum. Across your academic programme you will have an opportunity to achieve EDS knowledge and practical competencies. This will be supported through a combination of theory-based lectures, practical workshops, e-learning and clinical placements. EDS observations, supervised EDS assessment and management discussions can occur in a variety of placement locations including, hospitals, community services including visiting people in their own home, care homes, pre-school, schools, special education needs provision, mental health settings, secure settings, adult learning disability settings.

Once you have these pre-registration EDS competencies, you will have an enhanced skills set. Common activities a student and EDS trained speech and language therapist would complete, may include, but is not limited to:

  • assessing oral movements
  • carrying out oral care
  • completing infection control procedures including hand washing and decontaminating equipment
  • holding babies
  • helping to position clients
  • assisting and/or feeding clients
  • touching the client’s face and neck during assessment to determine movements
  • travelling to client’s homes
  • being part of difficult discussions with clients and carers
  • talking to the client and carers about the results of an assessment and future management

You will also find that, should you choose to work abroad once qualified, you will be able to evidence EDS training. This will make it easier to work as a qualified Speech and Language Therapist in countries where the RCSLT have a Mutual Recognition Agreement.

Placement information

Placements are an integral part of this course and are sourced for you from across a variety of settings (e.g.NHS organisations, independent/private SLT services, charities, and Schools) and client groups (e.g. paediatrics, adults, etc). Your placements will vary in length and are linked to the objectives of the modules you are studying. You will have a minimum of 150 clinical experience sessions (approximately 75 days). Placements will have different structures which include face-to-face, virtual, via telehealth. If you have significant experience in a particular field, we may not return you to that setting so you have the opportunity to advance your skillset.

Speech and Language Therapy placements tend to fall Monday-Friday and within office hours (e.g between 8am -6pm). To provide the best opportunities, we use a wide network of placements across the Eastern region, which means you will likely have to travel approximately 90 minutes from campus. We allocate students on placements throughout the entire East of England region (e.g. Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk) and surrounding areas. Subject to eligibility, you may be able to claim the NHS Learning Support Fund which provides reimbursement of excess travel (i.e. above your regular commute to campus, and inclusive of costs such as hire cars, etc) or accommodation costs incurred due to undertaking practical training on clinical placement. When you start your course, the SLT Placements Team will collect information about your previous work experience, whether you can drive, and other circumstances in order to aid placing you.

DBS and Occupational Health Checks

This course requires a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) - both of these are organised by the University. Please contact our DBS team or Occupational Health team if you have any questions in relation to these checks.

You will also be required to register for the DBS Update Service (information relating to this service can be found here). You will need to register for this within 30 days of your DBS certificate being issues. The Update Service costs £13 per year, which the University will reimburse. You will need to keep the subscription to this Service active for the duration of your course. If you do not register for the Update Service within 30 days, or your registration lapses, and you later attend placement where this is a requirement, you will have to pay for a new DBS check, which will enable you to sign up to the Update Service. Please contact our DBS team if you have any questions relating to this.

A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS Check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more. Further information about how to obtain an Overseas Criminal Record check can be found on the Gov.uk website.

We continue to recommend Covid and flu vaccination to all of our students. This is to protect both yourself and the vulnerable people that you may meet throughout your placement.

Professional accreditation

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a speech and language therapist.

Recognised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) for the purpose of applying for newly qualified practitioner membership.

Why we're great.
  • Work with partnership organisations to share and develop the evidence base, knowledge and skills.
  • We have a Communications Lab which is exclusively for our Speech and Language Therapy students
  • Provide a wide range of high quality practice placements leading to excellent employment opportunities.

Placement year

In order to prepare you for the workplace, opportunities are provided in practice placements, where you work with speech and language therapists and their teams in a wide variety of settings.

This workplace learning provides essential practical experience of working with service users with communication and swallowing problems.

We are committed to embedding the values of the NHS Constitution into everything we do. They define the behaviours and expectations of our staff and students, underpinning the work we do. Our students and graduates work in a wide variety of locations where these values help shape the underlying principles of excellent care.

Specialist facilities

The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend campus. This course is based at our Colchester Campus only.

We have purpose-built Simulation Wards and Communication Skills Labs at our Colchester Campus to meet the needs of a growing and lively School. View our image gallery and find out more about our Speech and Language Therapy facilities.

Your future

We currently have graduates working in clinical, management and education positions in local Trusts, Hospitals, Schools, care organisations, and Higher Education Intuitions.

Speech and language therapists are employed in a wide variety of contexts including the NHS, education and health and social care.

Find out more about careers in speech and language therapy from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

91% of our postgraduate graduates are in highly skilled employment (Graduate Outcomes 2022)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Our applicants should have:

  • a relevant honours degree (2:2 or equivalent). Degree subjects such as psychology, language, linguistics, social science, biological science, medical science or equivalent are desirable. Applicants with degrees in other subjects may also be considered (please email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for further information).
  • successful performance at interview

You must also have:

  • One satisfactory reference (either an academic reference or a work-based reference). Don't worry if you cannot provide your reference when you make your application, as if we make you an offer you will be able to provide this at a later stage. Your reference should be recent and verifiable, on an official headed document, signed and dated by the referee. If a referee wishes to provide an email reference, it must be sent from the referee’s email account.

    You must also have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) and a Occupational Health Check - both of these are organised by the University.

    For this course, you will be required to register for the DBS Update Service (information relating to this service can be found here). You will need to register for this within 30 days of your DBS certificate being issued. The Update Service costs £13 per year, which the University will reimburse. You will need to keep the subscription to this Service active for the duration of your course.

    If you do not register for the Update Service within 30 days, or your registration lapses, and you later attend a placement where this is a requirement, you will have to pay for a new DBS check, which will enable you to sign up to the Update Service. Please contact dbs@essex.ac.uk if you have any questions relating to this.”

    A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more. Where it is not possible to obtain an Overseas Check a relevant professional reference may be accepted

    The following documents must be submitted with your online application:

    • A personal statement, no more than 500 words in length
    • A current CV
    • Academic transcripts

    International and Self-funding Students

    Applications will be considered from full fee-paying international applicants for 2023 entry. For details on fees please review our fees pages.

    As an international applicant you will be expected to meet the same minimum entry criteria as all other applicants, including evidence of a satisfactory work health check and enhanced criminal clearance prior to the start of the course – please contact us for further information ipl@essex.ac.uk. If you aim to work as a speech and language therapist in a country outside of the UK, you will need to check with the relevant regulatory body of that country to confirm suitability.

    NHS Constitution and Values

    As part of the selection process, students will be expected to demonstrate good knowledge and a clear understanding of the scope of work that a speech and language therapist is required to undertake as well as the significance of the NHS Constitution and its core values (you can find further information on these on the Health Education East of England website and the Gov.UK webpages.

    Interviews

    Interviews will be via Zoom, details of which will be provided in advance.

    Continuing Professional Development

    If you are already a registered speech and language therapist, please see Continuing Professional Development on our Health and Human Sciences web pages.

    International & EU entry requirements

    We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

    Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

    English language requirements

    English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 8.0 overall, with a minimum of 7.5 in each component.

    Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.

    If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

    If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

    Additional Notes

    The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

  • Structure

    Course structure

    Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. These carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore, question, and create powerful ideas. Picked to give you an extensive and in-depth education, they’ll equip you with the specialist knowledge, vital transferrable skills, and the confidence to make a genuine difference to the world around you.

    Attendance at the university is full time, along with your clinical placements.

    We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.

    We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

    Components and modules explained

    Components

    Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

    Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

    Status What this means
    Core
    You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Core with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
    Compulsory
    You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Compulsory with Options
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
    Optional
    You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

    The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

    Modules

    Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

    In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

    Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

    HR 100  4  FY

    The department or school the module will be taught by.

    In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

    The module number. 

    The UK academic level of the module.

    A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

    A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

    A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

    The term the module will be taught in.

    • AU: Autumn term
    • SP: Spring term
    • SU: Summer term
    • FY: Full year 
    • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
    • PS: Spring and Summer terms
    • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

    COMPONENT 01: CORE

    Using Evidence in Health Care Practice
    (15 CREDITS)

    You will have the opportunity to build on your existing knowledge of research by exploring a variety of methodologies. This will prepare you for your second year of study when you will conduct your own original research project in an area of interest that is relevant to health care practice.

    View Using Evidence in Health Care Practice on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 1
    (15 CREDITS)

    Paediatric speech and language therapy focuses on treating children that are experiencing communication and/or feeding problems. This module will develop your understanding of language processes from a linguistic perspective. You will look at the structure and function of normal speech and language; language development and breakdown; and the rationale for clinical analysis and planned intervention studies. You will also be introduced to current research in the field.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 1 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 03: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 2
    (15 CREDITS)

    Building on your knowledge gained from earlier modules, you will further develop your understanding of the structure of language and look at the basic principles of speech and language pathology in children. Key topics include phonological and language impairments; evidence based practice; multidisciplinary working; and assessment tools and techniques. You will also be introduced to a range of skills and concepts fundamental to the practice of speech and language therapy.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 2 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 04: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 3
    (15 CREDITS)

    The aim of this module is to advance your experience and understanding of aspects of speech and language pathology in children. You will be introduced to more specialist areas of study and a number of discreet pathological conditions, their aetiology and presenting characteristics. Language impairment in children will be analysed more deeply and issues related to intervention planning, techniques and appropriateness for treatment will be considered.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 3 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 05: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 4
    (15 CREDITS)

    This final module of Year 1 builds upon and extends the knowledge and skills you have acquired in earlier modules, to develop your experience and understanding of specialist areas of paediatric speech and language therapy. You will explore fundamental concepts such as special needs, cleft lip and palate, hearing impairment and mental health at an advanced level, and have the opportunity to develop your clinical skills through a 5 week clinical paediatric placement.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Paediatrics 4 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 06: CORE

    Interprofessional Collaboration and Development
    (15 CREDITS)

    This module introduces learners to the concept of learning together to promote collaboration in healthcare. Learners are encouraged to work together in interprofessional teams to learn about other professions, enhance interprofessional communication and promote interprofessional team working. The emphasis is on person centred care, the team around the service user and the potential to enhance outcomes through collaborative working. Learners are encouraged to critically consider current policy drivers, research evidence and reflections on personal observations of healthcare to understand barriers and opportunities for team working. The module seeks to begin to develop reflective team workers who understand the value of collaborative working and seek to incorporate this in their further professional development.

    View Interprofessional Collaboration and Development on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 07: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy Foundation Studies 1
    (0 CREDITS)

    What is speech and language therapy? The focus of this module is on broadening your core knowledge and deepening your understanding of the nature and practice of speech and language therapy. You will study five topic areas to ensure you meet the required level of learning to proceed with further study.

    View Speech and Language Therapy Foundation Studies 1 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 01: CORE

    Research Activity
    (30 CREDITS)

    The aim of this module is to further advance your research and problem solving skills enabling you to carry out your own research in your future practice. This will involve the critical appraisal of research from a variety of sources to inform your own practice.

    View Research Activity on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 02: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 1
    (15 CREDITS)

    The focus of this module is on the introduction of the core adult pathology of dysphagia, voice disorders and head and neck cancer. You will study the anatomy, physiology and neurology of the aero digestive tract and develop your understanding of the typical disease process and the impact that problems in this area can have on a patient’s quality of life.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 1 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 03: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 2
    (15 CREDITS)

    What impact does progressive neurological disease have on speech and communication? You consider the answer to this question by examining the effect of conditions such as motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and tumour on adult patients. You will also study the impact of these conditions on a patient’s family and your role in assessing and managing ways to enhance their quality of life.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 2 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 04: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 3
    (15 CREDITS)

    When the area of the brain responsible for language is damaged, for example as a result of a stroke, it can lead to a language disorder known as aphasia. This module looks more deeply at the condition, and the ways in which rehabilitation can be used to enable communication, reduce impact, and enhance quality of life.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 3 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 05: CORE

    Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 4
    (15 CREDITS)

    This module looks at a wide range of communication disorders in adults including learning difficulties, autism, dementia and traumatic brain injury and the methods of reducing their impact through rehabilitation and enabling strategies. You will also consider disorders of fluency and enhance your clinical reasoning skills by examining wider management strategies and potential service improvements.

    View Speech and Language Therapy - Adults 4 on our Module Directory

    COMPONENT 06: CORE

    Foundation Studies 2 - Pathology for Speech and Language Therapy
    (0 CREDITS)

    This module looks at the ways in which disease and disability can lead to speech, language and communication problems in adults. You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the pathology of neurological and oncological diseases, paving the way for further study of the disease process in relation to stroke, progressive neurological disease and cancer in later modules.

    View Foundation Studies 2 - Pathology for Speech and Language Therapy on our Module Directory

    Teaching

    Teaching takes place on campus. Please be aware you will be required to be on campus for between 4-5 days per week in the Autumn and Spring term. In the Summer term, you may have more self-directed study so you may not be required to be on campus so frequently. When you are on placement, you will be expected to commit to 5 days per week..

    • Teaching staff in the School include clinically qualified lecturers in speech and language therapy, adult and mental health nursing, occupational therapy and a range of other health and social care professionals.
    • The multidisciplinary nature of our School and its rapid growth has fostered a dynamic and innovative learning environment
    • Practical skills classes, workshops and placements are used to integrate the theory and practice of speech and language therapy

    Assessment

    You are assessed through a range of techniques including, course work, examination, portfolio, vivas, presentations and essays and research dissertation. All clinical placements are assessed and must be passed in order to pass modules.

    Fees and funding

    Home/UK fee

    £9,250 per year

    For more information about fees and funding for our pre-registration postgraduate courses, please visit our department pages.

    International fee

    £22,400 per year

    What's next

    Open Days

    We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

    • tour our campus and accommodation
    • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
    • meet our students and staff

    If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

    2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

    • Wednesday, March 20, 2024

    Applying

    You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we'll ask you to provide as part of your application.

    We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

    For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply' information.

    A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

    Visit Colchester Campus

    Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


    View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

    Virtual tours

    If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

    At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

    Find out more

    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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