Postgraduate Taught

PgDip/ MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Pre-Registration)

If you want to become a speech and language therapist and have a relevant degree (eg in linguistics or psychology), this course could open up a fascinating new career path for you. It is the only postgraduate pre-registration course in speech and language therapy offered in Scotland.

As a speech and language therapist you will give life-changing treatment and support and care for children and adults who have difficulties communicating and/or swallowing. It can be a very varied and deeply rewarding career. This course will enable you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and to practise as a speech and language therapist in the UK.


Why QMU?

  • The course is the only postgraduate pre-registration course of its kind in Scotland.
  • You will be taught by an expert team of clinical practitioners, linguists and researchers. We have specialists in all key clinical areas.
  • Through our Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre, QMU has done pioneering work in the area of speech sciences. In the 2014 REF exercise (a UK-wide evaluation of research quality and impact) our 92% of our research in speech and language was classed as world-leading or internationally excellent (92%).

Course overview

As a speech and language therapist, you will assess, diagnose and treat children and adults with a wide range of speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties.

On this course you will undertake both theoretical and practical learning through a range of taught academic modules and supervised clinical placements.

Exit awards

PgDip (285 credits)/ MSc (285 credits, plus 60 credit research dissertation)


To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules. To qualify to work as a speech and language therapist in the UK, you must complete the PgDip (2 years, full-time). You can then choose to additionally study for the full MSc by completing a master’s dissertation (this usually takes six months when studying full-time and one year part-time).

Teaching, learning and assessment

Teaching will include a mix of lectures, tutorials, student-led seminars, clinical placement experience, case study analysis and individual project work. Emphasis will be placed on integrating clinical and university-based learning opportunities and on independent study. Your performance will be assessed by a combination of assignments, examinations and practical assessments.

Teaching hours and attendance

Each module will require you to attend classes and carry out independent work. Your attendance at placement is compulsory and your attendance at QMU-based modules is expected. 

Classes may be spread over the whole week, except for placement days when you will be off campus. This is a full-time course, with the expectation that classes, independent study and placement together require 35 - 40 hours of dedicated time each week.

Class sizes

We expect 25-35 students on the course each year.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

The course is accredited by the HCPC and adheres to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) curriculum guidelines.


  • Foundations for Speech and Language Therapy (0 credits)
  • Manual Handling (0 credits)
  • Non-Clinical Placements (0 credits)
  • Within-semester Clinical Placement 1 and Summer Clinical Placement (10 credits)
  • Within-semester Clinical Placement 2 (10 credits)
  • Within-semester Clinical Placement 3 (10 credits)
  • Linguistics 1: Introduction to Linguistics (15 credits)
  • Neurology for SLT and Audiology (15 credits)
  • Linguistics 2: Clinical Linguistics (15 credits)
  • Adult Acquired Language and Cognitive Communication Disorders (15 credits)
  • Dysphagia (Developmental and Acquired (15 credits)
  • Professional Practice for SLT 1 (15 credits)
  • Disorders of Speech and Fluency (15 credits)
  • Developmental Disorders of Language and Communication (15 credits)
  • Linguistics 3: Linguistic Processing and Variation (15 credits)
  • Intellectual Disability, Physical and Sensory Impairment (15 credits)
  • Motor Speech Disorder, Voice Disorder, Cleft Lip and Palate (15 credits)
  • Biological and Behavioural Science for SLT: Typical Processes (30 credits)
  • Professional Practice 2 (30 credits)
  • Research Methods (30 credits)

If studying for the MSc, you will also complete a dissertation (60 credits ).

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (September 2019) but are subject to change. In the event that modules are changed, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

Not available


  • Pre-clinical placements in nursery, primary and adult social care settings (12 days)
  • Placement 1 —Year One, Semester Two (10 days)
  • Placement 2 —Year One, Summer (17 days)
  • Placement 3 — Year Two, Semester One (10 days)
  • Placement 4 — Year Two, Semester 2 (10 days)
  • Placement 5 — Year Two, Summer (17 days) 

Placements are organised by the clinical placement team. Semester placements take place across our local catchment area of Lothian, Borders, Fife, Forth Valley and Dundee. Summer placements mainly take place throughout Scotland, although it is sometimes possible for students to have a placement elsewhere in the UK or overseas. Students are responsible for any travel or accommodation costs incurred during placements. Although every effort is made to arrange summer block placements to suit students’ circumstances, this is not always possible and students must be prepared to be flexible about placement location and timing.


Our graduates have excellent employment prospects. Most go on to work within the NHS across a range of settings including clinics, schools, hospitals and the community although an increasing number also take up appointments in private organisations. Some graduates have gained research posts and some have gone on to achieve higher degrees. 

International applicants should be aware that whilst RCSLT has a reciprocal agreement with a number of countries, students may have to undertake some additional study/examinations in order to be eligible for registration with the professional body in their own country.

Entry requirements

Upper second class degree/master’s level degree in a relevant subject, such as biology, psychology or linguistics, is required. Experience of working with people with communication impairments, for example through professional or voluntary work or shadowing a speech and language therapist, is desirable. Evidence is required of research into the profession.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 8.0 with no individual element below 7.5.

Criminal Records Check: A satisfactory criminal records check will be required.

Application deadline

01 May 2020. This deadline has been extended to the 15th of July. This course is highly competitive with limited places. We advise applicants to apply early in order to be considered.

More information and contacts

Contact Admissions or contact Siobhan Mack on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU and on practice placement
2 years full-time to attain the PgDip, with an additional 6 months (full-time) or 12 months (part-time) to attain the MSc
Start Date
January 2021
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies

Image Image

A student Story (see bottom pf page for more)

Monia Molina - MSc Speech and Language Therapy (Pre-Reg) "My lecturers did a great job in making sure we were all perfectly conscious of the policies and rules that regulate our profession and to which we must respond. They taught us how fundamental is evidence-based practice for speech and language therapy and how to keep ourselves up to date independently." Read my story