Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • NHS
  • Education Authority
  • Private sector
  • Stroke Association Northern Ireland

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Learning Disability Support worker
  • Autism Therapist
  • Support Worker

Overview

Important notice – campus change This course will move campus from September 2019 onwards.

The highly competent graduates from this course are passionate about their profession and compassionate to their clients and their families

Summary

This course aims to produce highly competent, passionate, compassionate speech and language therapists who practise safely and effectively. You will gain knowledge and understanding of communication and eating, drinking and swallowing problems and how these problems impact on your client's ability to live a full live, as well as affect their family. You will learn how to assess such problems and how to work with the person to improve or maintain their communication and eating, drinking and swallowing abilities, with the intent to improve their ability to engage fully in their life.

You will be supported to develop skills of team working, clinical reflection and presentation skills during the in-house university modules as well as when out on placement. You will also develop your research skills in order to ensure that your management of people with a communication problem is current and based on good evidence.

You will experience a fully co-ordinated three year course where all aspects of theory and practical experience are carefully integrated together. Your assessments will also develop your ability to integrate theory with practice as a speech and language therapist. This will happen in well-supported, logical steps across the three years.

You will be facilitated in your learning by a welcoming, collegiate community of speech and language academics and your peers in class. In addition, you will learn in an academic department (School of Health Sciences) with other health professional students which helps prepare you fully for working in an inter-professional manner.

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About this course

In this section

About

The programme meets the needs of those who wish to gain a professional qualification in speech and language therapy together with a good foundation for postgraduate study, involvement in research, and continuing professional development. This programme is recognised by the Professional and Statutory bodies for speech and language therapists (SLTs) in the United Kingdom.

Graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). HCPC is the statutory body which regulates the profession and allows graduates to practise as an SLT in the UK. Graduates are also eligible for full membership of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

There is a strong focus on the application of current theory and evidence to the development of practitioners with good clinical skills. Graduates are fit for purpose to work with people of all ages with communication problems and who are able to use and contribute to research in the area of speech, language and communication. Practice placements are therefore an integral part of the programme and are enhanced by a range of University-based and placement-based support and learning opportunities.

There is also a distinct eating/drinking/swallowing stand through this programme. Graduates will have completed 100 SLT-supervised clinical hours across the three years in predominantly eating/drinking/swallowing placements. This is in addition to 480 plus SLT-supervised clinical hours in a range of child and adult settings where Speech and Language Therapists work.

Attendance

Three years full-time.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Knowledge and Skills for Personal & Professional Development

Year: 1

This module provides opportunities to learn in an interprofessional context. Students will acquire skills for both academic and practice based learning. It will provide them with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on issues relating to professional practice and personal development within a supportive environment.

Biological Sciences

Year: 1

This module provides students with the fundamental understanding of human anatomy, physiology and physics of sound to enable subsequent learning on communication and swallowing disorders.

Developmental Clinical Linguistics

Year: 1

This module will enable the student to develop an understanding of a range of communication-driven difficulties in children. The student will draw on their background knowledge of developmental foundations, linguistics and anatomy and physiology, as this applies to the communication needs of children. Students will apply their knowledge of linguistics, developmental foundations, anatomy and physiology from semester one to the analysis and interpretation of clinical data and in using this data to consider appropriate evidence-based management for children with SLCN.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Year: 1

This module enables the student to develop a sound knowledge of good practice for planning and delivering an appropriate service to children with speech, language and communication (SLC) and eating, drinking and swallowing (EDS) needs associated with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual Disability and other conditions such as Hearing Impairment and Cleft Palate and/or Velopharyngeal Dysfunction.

This module enables students to see how children actively contribute and shape their own development through meaningful interaction with others and how the study of atypical development and individual difference contributes to theory and practice. The health and educational settings within which assessment, diagnosis and intervention takes place forms the context for learning and teaching in this module.

Linguistics for Speech and Language Therapists

Year: 1

This module aims to introduce and develop the skills of the SLT student in the area of linguistic transcription and analysis with particular consideration of communication difficulties. Through practical and experiential learning opportunities the student will develop the core skills essential for gathering linguistic data to facilitate deductive and analytical thinking in this area.

Developmental Foundations

Year: 1

This module aims to provide students with the appropriate background knowledge and understanding of the range of developmental parameters of the typically developing child and young person, as they become a competent communicator, including early feeding skills. Such knowledge and understanding will contribute to the student's ability to make informed judgements and reason clinically about atypical development in feeding and communication.

Professional Practice 1

Year: 1

This module is the students' first practice placement. Following their observation sessions prior to semester two and their subsequent preparation for placement sessions, they will be supported to participate in all aspects of practice with children who have a range of SLCNs and EDS needs, under the direct guidance of a Practice Educator during the block placement. Students will be expected to draw from all previous and current modules, as appropriate to the SLC and EDS needs of their caseload. By the end of the placement, they will expected to demonstrate a range of basic professional and practice competencies which can be transferred to subsequent placements.

Year two

Health Science Research

Year: 2

The module develops research knowledge and skills for using published evidence to inform practice and for designing and conducting research and clinical audit post-registration. The focus is on research design and qualitative and quantitative methods appropriate for healthcare research. A series of lectures and seminars will develop research knowledge and its application in using and producing research evidence. Workshops will provide practical experience of research activities including data analysis. In addition, course specific seminars will provide guidance on the development of a research idea and presentation of an outline research proposal.

Neuroscience

Year: 2

This module aims to develop students' knowledge and intellectual curiosity about contemporary neuroscience as it impacts on Speech and Language Therapy. Students will be able to read papers in this area with an appreciation of the methods of investigations, while examining the complex relationship between neural organisation, cognitive functioning and behaviour.

Enhancing Participation: Acquired Neurology 1

Year: 2

This module provides SLT students with an understanding of communication and swallowing needs in adult populations, focusing on the client's experience, presenting features of communication and swallowing disorders, and the SLT's role at each stage. It develops students' knowledge of neuropathology related to specific conditions, clinical skills in analysis and reporting of clinical data, in order to assess and reach a working diagnosis.

Vocal Health

Year: 2

This module provides speech and language therapy students with theoretical and practical knowledge and skills for the evaluation and management of voice disorders.

Advanced Clinical Linguistics

Year: 2

This module focusses on the use of linguistics as a clinical tool for speech and language therapists. The module provides insight into core linguistic concepts, psycholinguistic models and an introduction to the linguistic tools that may be exploited in clinical contexts. Students are encouraged to develop and refine their analytical skills through inquiry-based and problem-based learning methods.

A Focus on Fluency

Year: 2

This module provides the student with the appropriate knowledge, understanding and critical evaluation skills to assess, diagnose and manage children and adults with disorders of fluency. The module will encourage the student to evaluate and reflect on various assessment and treatment options, taking on board the wider context, to ensure that management of clients with disorders of fluency is evidenced based, effective and user focused. Teaching methods include lectures which incorporate a practical slant to enable application of theory to practice.

Enhancing Participation: Acquired Neurology 2

Year: 2

This module builds on Speech and Language Therapy students' knowledge of adult clinical populations and develops their understanding of the principles and practices of speech and language therapy in these populations. It provides the foundation for students' development of professional skills that they will apply in their placement module.

Professional Practice 2

Year: 2

This module allows the student to apply academic knowledge to the clinical situation with a range of Adults in a variety of clinical settings integrating theory through case based learning. It allows students to develop their clinical effectiveness and professionalism with adults with communication and swallowing needs.

Year three

Research Project

Year: 3

In this module students will develop research skills by undertaking a research study on a topic related to practice. Each student, with support, will have an opportunity to undertake one of the following types of research project: (i) a systematic critical review to inform practice;(ii) a research protocol involving the design of a research study or health promotion activity or (iii) a research report involving the collection and/or analysis of data to produce evidence to inform practice. Lectures and clinics, supplemented by online material, will provide the theoretical knowledge and guidance required to undertake the research task. Workshops will provide support for practical skills such as systematic searching for literature, using critical appraisal tools and data management and analysis.

Advanced Management: Adult

Year: 3

This module builds on previous learning to give students a current understanding of the evidence and issues pertaining to speech and language therapy practice in the areas of acquired neurological disorder and voice. It equips them with the skills to evaluate evidence in these areas and apply it to practice.

Advanced Management: Children and Young People

Year: 3

This final year module focuses on fostering evidence-based understanding of the current issues in disorders of speech, language, communication and eating, drinking and swallowing needs in children and young people. The broader perspectives of the provision of evidence-based services, collaborative working, service user focus and efficacy of management will be advanced.

Professional Practice 3

Year: 3

This module supports students to advance their clinical effectiveness, diagnostic skills and professionalism through practice placement. It encourages them to reflect on their level of independence in preparation for clinical block placement in semester 2 and ultimately independent clinical practice.

Professional Practice 4

Year: 3

This module allows the student to apply academic knowledge to the clinical situation with a range of Child Groups in a variety of clinical settings. It allows students to advance their clinical effectiveness and professionalism to a level of competence for independent practice as a Speech & Language Therapist. It encourages the student to recognise and apply evidence based practice.

Professional Development & Employability

Year: 3

This module allows the student to evaluate their clinical thinking, skills and professionalism in preparation for the work environment and continuous professional development.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBB to include a grade B in one of the following: English (or modern foreign language), mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, geography,life and health sciences, applied science or health and social care.

BTEC

Overall BTEC award profile DDM (to include a unit profile of 9 distinctions) in a relevant BTEC.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 at Higher level. Specific subjects include Highers in one of the following: English, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Language*, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Geography. *A modern foreign language is acceptable provided English, Maths and Science have been passed at grade O3 at Ordinary level. Plus English and Mathematics grade H6 at Higher level or grade O4 at Ordinary level.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile profile pass with an overall mark of 70%, including 70% in each level 3 module to include two level 3 modules from maths, biology, physics, chemistry, psychology. NICATS maths (25 credits) 1 & 2 or GCSE grade C maths.

GCSE

GCSE Profile to include English language, mathematics and a science at grade C/4.

Essential/key skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 8.0 with no band score less than 7.5.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Those interested in a career in the profession are strongly advised to make themselves familiar with the work of a Speech & Language Therapist before application either through visiting a speech and language therapist at work or through video material. Careers information is available on the website of the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists: http://www.rcslt.org

Satisfactory performance in the HPAT-Ulster selection test is also required. More information on the Health Professions Admissions Test (HPAT-Ulster) can be found at www.hpat-ulster.acer.edu.au Please note that there is a cost to undertake the test.

Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in 'regulated activity' involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI. The cost for this is payable by the applicant and is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed by http://www.accessni.gov.uk.

You will also be required to demonstrate good health prior to commencing the course. You will therefore complete a health declaration form which will be screened by Occupational Health who will confirm your medical fitness to undertake the course. Following the screening, you may be required to undertake a vaccination programme. You will be liable for the cost of both the health screening and vaccinations. Costs will be confirmed.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of the different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). Examples of acceptable combinations include:

2 A-levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

2 A-levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma]

A-level and BTEC National Diploma

For further information contact Faculty Office staff:

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6098

E: facljn@ulster.ac.uk

Teaching and learning assessment

The SLT academic team has developed creative, clinically-applied, research-focused student learning methods. In the National Student Survey (NSS), our final year students scored us at 100% for making the teaching interesting, challenging them to give their best, for explaining thing, and for creating opportunities to apply what they have learnt (2017 NSS).

Additionally, it is important to us, and our NHS SLT colleagues, that students’ clinical placements are excellent. Our final year graduates also scored their placement allocation as being 100% fit for purpose and also judged at 100% that their clinical placement educators understood how placement related to the broader requirements of their course (2017 NSS).

Our External Examiners also commend the range of assessments that we use. ‘The range of assessment methods caters for a variety of learning styles, thus affording all students the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of the aims and intended learning outcomes’ External Examiner 2015.

In addition they commend the type of assessments,

‘There is an appropriate range of innovative and authentic assessment methods that demonstrate effective student learning on this programme. The outcomes provide evidence of integration of theory with practice, and comply with external regulatory body requirements (HCPC and RCSLT)’ External Examiner, 2016.

We continue to work with our student body to improve the feedback and learning on all assessments. To that end, it is a partnership - a collegiate community of learning.

Exemptions and transferability

If you can provide evidence of previous relevant study you may be considered for exemptions from specific modules. It should be noted that exemptions are limited. This is because of the closely integrated, hierarchically designed structure of the degree. In addition, we need to provide evidence for all learning outcomes, specific to the degree, in order that the UK Regulator's Standards of Proficiency are met.

If you do not wish, or are not eligible, to proceed to registration as a Speech and Language Therapist, you may be considered for transfer into another award programme without the eligibility for being registered with the UK Regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • NHS
  • Education Authority
  • Private sector
  • Stroke Association Northern Ireland

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Learning Disability Support worker
  • Autism Therapist
  • Support Worker

Career options

Most graduates currently find employment within the NHS, the Education sector and increasingly in the Charities and Voluntary sector. There are a range of opportunities for speech and language therapists, working both within Health and Education. Opportunities for speech and language therapists exist throughout the UK, Ireland and other parts of the world, although graduates are likely to have to meet specific requirements for professional recognition/registration in other countries and may require some experience within the UK first. There are many opportunities for postgraduate study as full-time and part-time students since the area of communication problems and their management is a rapidly growing area of research and continuing professional development.

Work placement / study abroad

Clinical placements are an integral part of the development of a speech and language therapist. The clinical experience on this course is designed around your academic preparation for that placement. So, in Year 1, your focus is on children and young people, and you are therefore out in late Spring on a child and young persons' SLT-placement. You are on placement for a 'block period' of four to five days a week for five weeks.

In Year 2, your focus is on adults and acquired communication and eating, drinking and swallowing problems. You are on placement in late Spring on an acquired neurological and adult learning difficulties persons' SLT-placements, for a 'block period' of four days a week for five weeks.

In Year 3, you have a focus on adult clients in Semester 1 for six weeks followed by an adult-orientated SLT-placement for six weeks, four days a week. You then focus on children and young people in Semester 2 for six weeks, followed by a children and young persons' SLT-placement for six weeks, four days a week.

It is useful to note that all of these placements are run in partnership with Northern Ireland Health Trusts' SLT services. All of the above are SLT-supervised clinical placements where your clinical placement educators have had the opportunity to be trained in your learning needs and our goals of the placement.

Although all placements are in Northern Ireland, in order that you can experience a broad range of settings and clients, you may need to travel a distance to placement or reside locally to that placement. This may incur additional personal expense.

Professional recognition

Health and Care Professions Council, the (HCPC)

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.

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)

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

Academic profile

The SLT students are taught by a range of experts, and at the core, there a specialist team of six highly qualified SLTs. The profiles below give you an introduction to three of them.

Dr. Orla Duffy is a clinical expert in how we use our voices effectively with a particular interest in professional voice users. Her publications extend into the areas of identification of research priorities for health professions, facial movement in Parkinson’s Disease and voice training for call centre workers and teachers. Her external roles include Member of National Directors of Placement Education in SLT Committee, RCSLT research champion and external examiner at Newcastle University. She is the Placement Co-ordinator for this programme.

Dr. Lynda Kennedy is a specialist in the area of clinical linguistics. Her research interests are around the linguistic and psycholinguistic aspects of typical and bilingual language acquisition, developmental and acquired communication problems. She is a member of the Ulster Centre on Multilingualism and has led in the development of a language outreach programme for Newcomer pupils in NI (in collaboration with Barnardos NI.). She is Year 2 Tutor.

Rosalind Gray Rogers is an expert in developing academic and professional standards both for Speech and Language Therapy courses and for wider health-related programmes. Her passion is working with people with an acquired language problem called ‘aphasia’. She lectures on this on the course, as well as the area of neuroscience. She was Chair of RCSLT’s UK Council. She is Course Director of this programme.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Unfortunately, Ulster University is not it in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland or Wales due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland. For more info click here.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/undergraduate/funded-courses

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Eleanor Gildea Award: This prize is awarded for the highest mark in the final year Project module

Additional mandatory costs

Additional costs include - AccessNI Check, Health Screening, Membership of Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, Placement Expenses, Uniforms.

Membership of Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists - you will be required to join the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. The cost of student membership will cost approximately £110 for the three years.

Placement Expenses - students may incur expenses during periods of placement. Some placements may be outside Northern Ireland and will incur additional costs.

Uniforms - as part of your course, you will be required to purchase a uniform during the first week of the semester. 2015/16 costs were approx £100.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Course Director: Rosalind Rogers

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6137

E: r.rogers@ulster.ac.uk

Faculty office regarding admissions and application process:

Julie Nesbitt

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6192

E: jh.nesbitt@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Health Sciences