BSc Speech and Language Therapy

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"I gained the confidence and drive to succeed in aspects of the course that I found most challenging and group work allowed me to be an effective team member."

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Amy Decaro, Speech and Language Therapy Graduate

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Around 2.5 million people in the UK suffer from a communication disorder. Our course equips you to make a real difference to the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds living with communication and swallowing difficulties.

Combining academic study and clinical practice, this accelerated three-year course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and prepares you for HCPC registration. It’s ranked 6th for Aural and Oral Sciences (Complete University Guide, 2018).

Our extended academic years enable you to cover all the essential components of Speech and Language Therapy a year earlier than many similar programmes.
Our Conversation Partners programme gives you the chance to engage with clients in the community, developing your own communication skills and reflective practice and preparing you for clinical practice.

Overview

Giving you a solid foundation in speech and language therapy, modules are structured around clinical areas such as developmental speech and language disorders, and communication difficulties acquired in adulthood.

You will use problem-based learning to make connections between clinical practice and the core academic disciplines of human biology, psychology, linguistics and phonetics.

As part of the School of Health Sciences, we offer opportunities to develop relationships and clinical practice in a multi-professional environment with students from other allied health professions, nursing, medicine and education.

Our teaching team includes practising SLT clinicians and those with extensive research portfolios, who offer evidence-based expertise in the latest clinical practices. We work closely with a team of service users whose personal experiences link classroom-based learning with real-life clinical practice.

The structure of the course is based on independent and collaborative learning:

  • You will develop your skills by managing your own learning, integrating private study with classroom-based teaching, and applying your knowledge to real cases and clinical scenarios.
  • Students work together in teams, developing the confidence and ability to question, share ideas, discuss and problem solve – essential skills for a successful speech and language therapist.
  • Assessment is via coursework, including a final-year team research project which often leads to co-authorship of research articles.
  • The values of the NHS Constitution will be explored at interview, with successful candidates demonstrating how these are reflected in their own beliefs. 

COURSE STRUCTURE

This three-year full-time degree programme will teach you all the essential theory, methodology and skills you need for a career as a speech and language therapist. It is made up of compulsory modules and substantial learning placements.

Year 1 

  1. The Foundations module will introduce you to, the core concepts and knowledge of SLT in the areas of linguistics, phonetics, psychology, biology and speech and language therapy theory.
  2. Modules about two client groups – disorders of fluency, and developmental speech and language difficulties – help you to develop your understanding of basic approaches to intervention,
  3. You will participate in shared learning with occupational therapy and physiotherapy students and begin to learn about what it means to be a professional in today’s health and social care and educational environments in the professional development module.
  4. You will also undertake two pre-clinical placement modules, including the Conversation Partners programme, where you will develop and refine your communication skills and reflective practice in the community.

Year 2 

  1. Modules cover deafness and hearing impairment, learning difficulties, acquired language and communication disorders, and mental health difficulties.
  2. You will be introduced to research skills, by learning to interpret and appraise data, and to consider how this informs intervention. You will also join physiotherapy and occupational therapy students to study research skills.
  3. The Practice Education 2 module covers clinical skills, an introductory placement and an 8-week block clinical placement.

Year 3 

  1. Modules cover motor speech disorders and disorders of the oral and vocal tract.
  2. You will engage in a team-based research project led by one of our research-active members of staff, and write it up as a dissertation.
  3. You will focus on clinical decision making and session planning.
  4. The Practice Education 3 module involves further clinical skills sessions and an 8-week block clinical placement.

Team research projects

In your final year, you will engage in a team-based project led by one of our research-active members of staff.

You will investigate communication difficulties and related topics at a greater depth, working closely with colleagues and conducting fieldwork.

Topics for recent research projects include lifestyle issues for individuals after strokes; the television-viewing habits and preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities; factors associated with developmental communication problems; and vocal use in relation to changing circumstances.

Some recent projects have been published in academic journals, with students named as co-authors.

Make a difference straight away

We work closely with Connect, a charity focused on reconnecting the lives of people with communication problems after stroke.

As a first year student, you will be paired up with a member of the local community who has an acquired communication difficulty. Throughout the year you will meet with them to develop your skills in communication and supported conversation whilst providing them with meaningful social interactions.

The skills you develop in this early placement will form the foundations of your later clinical practice and we are proud of the benefits of the programme to both students and participants.

After the first year, we work closely with our clinical colleagues in the East of England to provide you with opportunities to develop your clinical skills with different client groups and in different settings.

Your Career

We will provide you with a springboard into the profession. Your career in Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) could take you into:

  • hospitals
  • community health centres
  • schools and nurseries
  • prison services
  • people’s homes
  • the wider community

Many graduates have gone on to have successful careers in health and education settings, some have set up their own practices and others have returned to higher education as academics and researchers.

More information

Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is based mainly upon coursework, including essays, case reports, presentations and your final year dissertation.
You will also be assessed via written assessments, class tests and oral presentations.
Your theoretical and practice-based problem solving and analytical skills will be monitored throughout all of your modules.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT AND DISORDERS

The development of speech and language skills happens with stunning speed over the first few years of life for most children, but some find this a real struggle. Many speech and language therapists work in a variety of settings with children who have these problems, and this will form an important part of your clinical work in future years. In this module, you'll discover how speech and language typically develops, and also look at what happens when problems arise. You'll learn about assessments used, and how to search for and carry out evidence-based intervention. Continuing to follow the degree's integrated Problem-Based Learning (PBL) structure, this module will build upon your knowledge and skills acquired so far to develop key theoretical and practical considerations when working with children with developmental speech and language difficulties.

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DISORDERS OF FLUENCY

Perfectly fluent speech is not very common. We all hesitate, repeat words, change speed, and make false starts at times. So what distinguishes a fluency 'disorder' from normal nonfluency? What are the different types of fluency disorder, and how do they affect the different areas of an individual's life? This module tackles these questions and their implications for the assessment and treatment planning of such disorders in Speech and Language Therapy. Within the degree's integrated, Problem-Based Learning (PBL) structure, you will consider the causes of and risk factors for fluency disorders, and their impact across the lifespan. Building on the concepts introduced in the Foundations module, you will learn how to describe different presentations using appropriate communication sciences terminology. You will study areas of biology, psychology, and sociology that contribute to our understanding of fluency disorders, and the factors influencing clinical decision-making with regards assessment and intervention planning when working with this client group. You will also meet a service user who will give a first-hand account of the impacts of a fluency disorder. A series of five PBL scenarios, each focusing on a different client, provide contextualisation and opportunities for collaborative discussion and application of the relevant concepts. Alongside a firm grasp of disorders of fluency and their clinical management, this module also deepens knowledge of many core academic disciplines underpinning speech and language therapy, providing vital grounding for the study of other client groups which follow on this degree programme. Through PBL, you will continue to develop your verbal and written communication skills, discuss the interpretation of clinical data, and begin to critically analyse approaches to intervention. These skills form the basis of the summative assessment in this module and others to come.

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FOUNDATIONS

This module provide foundation knowledge and understanding of the basics of linguistics, psycholinguistics, phonetics/phonology, anatomy and physiology, normal development and psychology. You will build on this knowledge in future, clinically-oriented modules. As well as getting an overview of the cycle of intervention and development as a Speech and Language Therapy professional, in preparation for future modules, you will develop the skills necessary for effective learning via a Problem Based Learning (PLB) curriculum.

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PRACTICE EDUCATION (SLT) 1

Developing responsive and effective communication skills is key to being a successful speech and language therapist. This module gives you opportunities to reflect on your own communication style and adapt it to create a safe communicative environment prior to experiencing a clinical placement. You will spend time in conversation with both adult and child 'conversation partners', helping you to identify your strengths and aspects of your communicative behaviour that you need to change. You'll develop your observation and reflective skills and learn through a mix of lectures, tutorials, practical activities, and placement experience. You will ideally visit your adult 'conversation partner' on a weekly basis. For the child 'conversation partner' experience you will be placed in a school or nursery setting for 4 weeks.

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Professional Development (PD) is a year-long module that is taken by speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy students together. It aims to provide opportunities for interprofessional understanding and communication to develop between students, and also to encourage each individual to become aware of their professional identity. The module introduces students to generic academic and professional skills and concepts required as health and social care professionals. It is organised into three key themes - transferrable professional skills (including preparing students for success on the course), professional development, and professional practice in context (including wider frameworks of health and social care). Reflective practice, use of portfolios and other tools for continuing professional development will be introduced.

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Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

ACQUIRED LANGUAGE and COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

It is estimated that nearly 20% of the population will experience communication disorders at some time in their life. In this module you will explore the nature and impact of acquired language and communication disorders, and consider the role of Speech and Language Therapists. In particular you'll develop your understanding of stroke, dementia, traumatic brain injury and neoplasm, building on learning in Year 1 modules. You will be assessed through a class test at the end of the module (80%), and phonetics skills practical assessments (20%).

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DEAFNESS and HEARING IMPAIRMENT

Have you ever wondered or experienced what it might be like to be Deaf or to lose part of your hearing? Being able to hear speech and to interpret the human voice in a way that carries meaning is one way of being able to communicate effectively. Many children and adults who are part of the Deaf Community or who have hearing impairments also learn to communicate through sign language. This module focuses on the science of hearing and also how we can optimise communication systems for children and adults who might not have perfect hearing. Through this module, you explore and understand the science of hearing: how we hear (the function of the ear), what we hear when we listen to someone talking (acoustics), how hearing is measured, and how to interpret these measures and graphs (known as audiograms). At the heart of this module however, is developing an understanding of how different levels and types of hearing loss might affect communication and interaction. You will search out ways of assessing and evaluating the impact of hearing impairment on speech, language and communication in infants, children, young people and in the older generation. You will also find out what up-to-date technological equipment is available to improve hearing, for example, new advances in cochlear implants and hearing aids. The module is taught through a range of small group seminars, practicals, and whole group lectures. These are devised to allow you to weigh up the benefits of different communication approaches to support children and adults who have a hearing loss, and should provide you with a strong basic understanding of this specialised field of work.

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LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

How do we help children and adults who have communication needs associated with learning difficulties (intellectual disabilities: IDs; and autistic spectrum conditions: (ASCs) to learn, develop meaningful relationships and function in everyday life? This question lies at the heart of this module. Throughout the module you will discover various approaches to searching out and evaluating evidence-based practice. You'll gain a firm grounding in assessment and therapy methods and their application to this population. You'll also learn how to communicate your ideas, principles and theories by written, oral and visual means. You'll begin with an overview of what it means to grow up with learning difficulties (IDs and ASCs). Then you'll explore how communication develops across the lifespan, from infancy, through pre-school and school-age, to adulthood. You'll discover the nuanced communication profiles associated with different syndromes and presentations and the range of presenting needs. You will build a secure foundation of core concepts such as aetiology, syndrome, augmentative and alternative communication, and the special educational needs. By looking at the different methods and types of evidence, you'll become expert in the different ways of working in this stimulating field. You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, practical seminars, problem-based learning and self-directed study. Lectures include, Language Characteristics, Sign and Gesture, The Meaning of Autism and Special Educational Needs and Disability. You'll also benefit from hearing the stories of parents of children with IDs and ASCs and the experiences of visiting practitioners. As you study you'll put your new knowledge into practice, gaining experience in communicating your ideas in PBL tutorials, as well as through written work and practical workshops.

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MANDATORY TRAINING 2

Mandatory training is a requirement for all Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy programmes, stipulated by the governing professional bodies and our clinical practice partners. As an Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy student, you will be required to complete clinical practice hours as part of your degree. In order to prepare you for this, you will complete a mandatory set of core training sessions to prepare you for safe working within a healthcare environment. You will explore areas such as; basic life support, moving and handling of people, methods to prevent and control the spread of infection, supporting vulnerable adults and children, protecting confidential information, managing challenging situations and fire safety. This core set of skills is required by all healthcare professionals and this module will help to ensure your own safety and that of service users, staff and anyone else you encounter.

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PRACTICE EDUCATION 2

Developing skills of reflection, identifying theory to practice links, clinical skills, and professionalism are all key themes in this module and in the life of a Speech and Language Therapist. You will build on knowledge and skills acquired throughout the course so far by exploring a range of clinical skills in a series of workshops. An introductory clinical placement during the first semester will orientate you to clinical practice through observation and shadowing of a Speech and Language Therapist. You'll find out about the day to day working life of a therapist across a range of settings, reflect on this, and complete activities to develop transferable clinical skills. In the second semester you will go on a block placement in a clinical environment. You will initially be closely supervised by your Practice Educator, but progress to supported independence by the end of your placement.

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Research Study Skills

You'll focus on the value of research to the systematic evaluation of practice. The research component will introduce you to qualitative and quantitative methodologies, using experiential activities to develop your critical appraisal skills. Your professional development is enhanced through further use of the reflective skills developed in Professional Development 1.

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Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

DISORDERS OF THE ORAL / VOCAL TRACT

Helping people with voice disorders is an important part of the work of a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT). Voice disorders are common amongst the adult population and you will learn how to be part of the diagnostic and intervention process. In this module you will apply your knowledge of anatomy and physiology to construct and critique evidence-based interventions. You will explore these concepts in the company of clinical SLTs as well as academics. In addition you will briefly explore craniofacial anomalies, with an emphasis on cleft palate.

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MOTOR SPEECH DISORDERS

"Speech is a remarkable and unique motor accomplishment. It is faster than any other discrete human motor performance and uses more motor fibres than any other human mechanical activity (cited in: Kent, 2000:392)". So, what happens to people if their motor speech production is impaired by genetic or acquired conditions? Throughout this module you will develop your theoretical and clinical understanding of the underlying causes and impact of Motor Speech Disorders and Dysphagia across the lifespan. You will demonstrate your knowledge of normal and impaired anatomy and physiology of speech and swallowing and you will explore and analyse the difficulties arising from motor speech disorders and plan evidence-based interventions. You will begin by considering models of expressive communication and swallowing and you will explore acquired and developmental motor speech disorders, their localisation, their distinguishing deficits, and how to formulate clinical intervention plans. You will learn through the degree's integrated problem-based learning structure which is supported by resource sessions, practicals and clinical skills sessions, many of which are delivered by clinical practice partners. As you study you will check your knowledge and understanding through informal presentations and written work.

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PRACTICE EDUCATION 3

This module builds on skills learned in Practice Education 1 and 2 as well as knowledge acquired throughout the course. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your learning and continue to develop theory to practice links, clinical skills, and professionalism in Practice Education. In weeks 1-12 you will explore a range of clinical skills for use in practice through a series of workshops. Then in weeks 14-21 you will undertake a block placement in a clinical environment. You will progress towards the role of a professional practitioner, assuming greater responsibility for decision-making, planning and carrying out intervention as well as related activities. You are expected to demonstrate a flexible, client-centred approach and provide rationales based on sound clinical reasoning and the relevant evidence base. As the placement progresses the supervisory process should become more collaborative, with the Practice Educator acting as a sounding board for clinical reasoning and planning intervention. Finally, from week 24 onwards, the module will focus on preparing you for different working contexts. This module provides opportunities within a clinical environment for you to develop your responsibility, initiative, autonomy and ability to carry out duties in a professional manner at a Pre-Registration level, and to continue to develop appropriate, high-level interpersonal skills with clients and professionals. Within classroom-based sessions, you will practise the modelling and delivery of a range of intervention techniques relating to the year 3 taught modules, including voice therapy techniques and approaches to dysphagia management.

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RESEARCH DISSERTATION

You'll gain experience of carrying out and writing up a well-defined piece of research. The research will usually be organised around a project carried out by a small team of student researchers, under the supervision of a member of faculty. Your dissertation may be one part of a shared group research project, or a separate project on a related theme in common with the other projects in the team. The size of the student research team will depend on the nature of the research. The learning objectives of this module are to: #Engage critically with the literature relevant to the project topic #Define and execute methodologies relevant to the project, including, where appropriate, collection, organisation, transcription, analysis and interpretation of data #Plan and conduct a review of the literature using electronic and manual searches #Consider the relevance of research to clinical practice #Further develop the skills of enquiry and self-directed learning, group and team roles

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Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • A Level AAB
  • International Baccalaureate 33 points including 6 6 6 at Higher Level
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BBC
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AAAABB or 3 subjects at H2 and 3 subjects at H3
  • Access Course Pass with Distinction in 36 credits at Level 3 and Merit in 9 credits at Level 3 in a Health, Care or Science subject
  • BTEC DDD in a Health, Care or Science subject
  • European Baccalaureate 80%

Entry Requirement

 We look for applicants to have a clear understanding of the profession ideally with relevant voluntary or paid work in health care, an interest in people, a strong academic attainment and a broad academic base.

You are required to have 5 GCSEs at a minimum of grade 4 or grade C including English Language, Mathematics and a Science. (Please note that we are not able to accept Adult Numeracy or Literacy, Key Skills, City & Guilds, Functional Skills or Access to HE credits in lieu of GCSEs.)

General Studies, Critical Thinking, Public Services and AS-levels are not considered.

Applications are encouraged from those with non-traditional qualifications. Applicants with the following qualifications are required to demonstrate 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or grade C including English Language and Mathematics.

Access to Higher Education Diploma in a Health, Care or Science subject Pass with Distinction in 36 credits at Level 3 and Merit in 9 credits at Level 3
Bachelor Degree (hons) 2.1
CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education (Early Years Educator) A
CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development, or Children and Young People's Workforce, or Health and Social Care (including Technical Level) A
Certificate of Higher Education 65%
City & Guilds Advanced Extended Diploma in Health and Care (Health or Care pathway) Distinction
Diploma of Higher Education 65%
Foundation Degree in a Health, Care or Science subject 70%
Foundation Year in a Health, Care or Science subject 75%
Open University (60 credits) in a Health, Care or Science subject 65%

 

We do not consider Apprenticeships, NVQs (any level) or Work-based Level 3 Diplomas (previously NVQs) as meeting the minimum academic entry requirements, although these can be used as evidence of recent study. We will also not consider an applicant who has an academic fail from a health based degree programme, including where an exit award has been achieved.

Due to competition for places on this course, meeting (or being predicted to meet) the minimum academic entry requirements is not a guarantee of selection for interview.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the following level:

IELTS: 8.0 overall (minimum 7.5 in any component)

Interviews

Of the applicants who pass the initial screening stage, the strongest will be invited to an interview.

The interview lasts approximately 40 minutes and follows a multiple mini interview format across four stations. When applicants enter the interview room, they will find a series of four 'stations' to circulate through, spending approximately 7 minutes at each. Interviews explore a range of issues, including the applicant's suitability for the profession and whether the applicant holds the NHS values as reflected in the NHS constitution. Please note that we do not disclose interview questions.

Further information regarding the interview day can be found here.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year. We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Special Entry Requirements

We prefer applicants to demonstrate evidence of recent formal academic study within 5 years of the start of the course.  This is to ensure they are equipped to succeed on this academically rigorous course. 

If you have not studied for an academic qualification within the last 5 years, and particularly where your previous study does meet our entry requirements, do contact our Admissions office (admissions@uea.ac.uk). 

We want to hear from you to assess whether your work, life or previous educational studies are suitable evidence for demonstrating your motivation, potential, knowledge and ability to study the course.  We want you to succeed and an application and offer will only be considered where we believe that an applicant has the potential to complete the course with a good final degree classification. The Admissions Office can also give you advice on further study, if required, that can help you make a future application to the course.

All applicants should note that, due to competition for places on this course, exceeding, meeting (or being predicted to meet) the minimum academic entry requirements is not a guarantee of selection for interview.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Course Open To

UK and EU applicants only.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Service prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Service
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

Please click here to register your details via our Online Enquiry Form.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515