Study Speech & Language Therapy, why & how to study
A Speech & Language Therapy degree will teach you about speaking and hearing, and you’ll learn how to help those who suffer from related issues.
Speech & Language Therapy is concerned with the identification and treatment of issues to do with the ear and voice.
This subject area means you can help people in a medical capacity without having to study comprehensive Medicine. If you're interested in studying a medical subject, but don't fancy devoting more than three years of your life to completing a degree, Speech & Language Therapy may be an ideal route to follow.
Speech & Language Therapy includes courses on audiology, speech therapy and aural & oral sciences. Undergraduate degrees on offer in the UK include:
- Speech and Language Therapy BSc
- Aural & Oral Sciences BSc
- Healthcare Science (Audiology) BSc
- Audiology BSc
- Language Pathology BSc
- Speech and Language Sciences MSc
Options may include an integrated foundation year. All courses include experience of professional practice, some may offer a placement year. Study abroad may be available.
Entry requirements for a Speech & Language Therapy degree at a university typically range from 112–160 UCAS points. This could include the qualifications below.
- A Levels: AAB–BBC
- BTECs: DDD–DMM
- Scottish Highers: AAABB–AAAB (Advanced Highers: AAB )
- International Baccalaureate: 36–30
- Universities will usually ask that you have studied: one A Level (or equivalent) in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics or psychology
Other good subjects to have studied include:
- An additional science subject, or science at GCSE level (or equivalent) is required by some universities
Experience that would look good on your application:
- Experience of working with typical client groups to build your interpersonal skills, such as volunteering in a school or nursery or with charities helping people with hearing or learning difficulties
- Shadowing related occupations, such as an audiologist or a speech and language therapist
- Independent research into the subject through reading, or accessing media produced by professional bodies like the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) or British Academy of Audiology
Other requirements for this subject include:
- Pass in the practical element of sciences
- Because you'll be working with children or vulnerable adults, you'll need to complete Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks (PVG scheme in Scotland)
Typical modules for courses in this subject include:
- Speech, language and communication disorders
- Dysphagia, voice, motor speech disorders, dementia
- Applied phonetics and phonology
- Biomedical sciences, ENT/neurology/brain and behaviour
- Autism spectrum disorder, learning disability, child mental health, cerebral palsy, cleft palate
- Anatomy and physiology for speech and language pathology
- Linguistics: introduction to language and communication
- Acquired motor speech disorders and augmentative and alternative communication
Assessment methods vary from module to module, with coursework often taking up to 50% of the degree. Assessments may include:
- Practical tests
- Online self-assessment
Speech & Language Therapy allows you to find out how human speech and hearing systems work, where you learn methods of treatment for aural and oral disorders.
- Professional competences in your chosen discipline, and experience of working with clients such as young children
- Experience of working across a wide range of settings
- Knowledge of the latest developments in clinical practice
- Interpersonal skills
- Analytical and critical thinking
- Problem solving
- Research skills
- Report writing
- ‘Speech and language therapist’ is a protected title, gained only through accredited training. Degrees must be approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the RCSLT
- Audiology is part of the NHS Practitioner Training Programme, with approved and accredited degrees in Healthcare Science (Audiology) across England and Wales
Speech & Language Therapy graduates can expect an entry-level salary of around £25,500 (NHS Band 5).
Mid-career, a speech and language therapist could earn up to £53,000 in a managerial role (Band 8a). Audiologists may be paid an average of £30,000 as a hearing aid dispenser, which could include working for high street companies, or up to £45,839 as an experienced audiologist (NHS Band 7).
Most jobs are in the healthcare sector, in either the NHS or a private company.
- Speech and language therapist
- Medical practitioner
- Medical research scientist
If you have a first degree in another science discipline, you can take a graduate-entry pre-registration course at undergraduate level to qualify as a speech and language therapist. Examples of taught master’s and research degrees at postgraduate level include:
- Speech and Language Sciences MSc
- Advanced Audiology MSc
- Language Pathology MSc
- Audiology PhD
- Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences MPhil/PhD
Other subject areas that might appeal to you include:
If you’ve got any questions about studying Speech & Language Therapy, you can email our experts at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to hear from you!