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 carried out 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.

Course overview

If you want to become a speech and language therapist and have a degree in a related subject (such as 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 assess, diagnose and treat children and adults with a wide range of speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties. It is a varied and deeply rewarding career.

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

Exit awards

MSc (285 credits, plus 60 credit research dissertation); alternatively, students may choose to exit with a PgDip (285 credits).


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.


Module topics include: linguistics, lifespan studies, a range of speech, language and swallowing disorders in children and adults and clinical placement modules.

Completion of the full MSc also requires a dissertation (60 credits).

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (Nov 2020) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

Not available


Placements are organised by the clinical placement team. Semester placements take place across our local catchment area of Lothian, Borders, Fife, Forth Valley and Tayside.

Summer placements take place each year of the programme and are mainly located more widely throughout Scotland. It is sometimes possible for students to have a summer placement elsewhere in the UK or overseas, but this cannot be guaranteed. 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 to be eligible for registration with the professional body in their own country.

Entry requirements

Upper second class degree or above is required preferably in a relevant subject, such as biology, psychology or linguistics. Experience of working with/ caring for/supporting people with communication impairments, for example through professional or voluntary work, is essential. 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

This course is highly competitive with limited places. We advise applicants to apply early in order to be considered.

More information and contacts

View specialist facilities film

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2021/22 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU and on 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
September 2021
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies

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