Speech, Language and Communication Science

Develop your understanding of speech and language

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

The UK has an ageing population and increasing numbers of children with communication difficulties, meaning the demand on speech and language therapy services is greater than ever. Alongside this growing need has been the development of the Associate Practitioner's role in supporting people with communication needs.

Our course focuses on developing tomorrow’s skilled speech and language therapy associates.

Graduates of this course have the opportunity to enrol on the BSc (Hons) Human Communication Science (Top-up); a new, one year course, that provides the option for graduates from the Foundation Degree to study a ‘top-up’ year and graduate with a BSc, which then makes it possible for students to consider the opportunity for further postgraduate training in numerous professional areas, including speech and language therapy, teaching and various fields of psychology.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Experience engaging learning opportunities from research active academics and qualified practitioners in the field
  • Undergo simulated competency tasks before putting your learning into action during placements in a variety of health and social care settings
  • Observe, examine, assess and engage with communication needs
  • Shadow and receive mentoring from registered practitioners whilst on placement

What opportunities might it lead to?

Speech and language therapy is undergoing a period of change, where much therapy is now provided by assistants who work with individuals with communications needs in a variety of settings. Our course produces the knowledge, training and experience to enter the speech and language profession or a related discipline at the associate practitioner level.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • pre-schools
  • schools (including special schools)
  • acute healthcare
  • elderly care
  • rehabilitation

The course has helped in every single way. It has laid the foundations that I continue to build on in my everyday job. It’s given me the skills and the knowledge that I can apply in my job that sets me out from the rest.

Bethan Scrivens, FdSc Speech, Language and Communication Science

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
2 years full time, 3 years part time
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
64 points from A levels. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a* part time: £4,000 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a* part time: £4,110 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a** part time: £8,000 p/a**
2017/18 entry: full time: £12,600 p/a** part time: £8,400 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5566
School of Health Sciences and Social Work
Programme specification


Health Sciences and Social Work

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

You will begin the course by studying the stages of human speech development. You’ll also cover human anatomy for patient assessment and begin your introduction to working in a health or social care environment. You will also attend a placement to begin developing clinical and professional skills.

Core units in this year include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology Applied to Clinical Practice
  • Early Human Development
  • Clinical Skills One and Two
  • Working in Health
  • Evidence-Based Practice

Year two

This year covers a more in depth look at human communication needs and related impairments such as sight and hearing. You’ll gain the required clinical skills in diagnosis and treatment using a variety of therapeutic procedures.

Core units in this year include:

  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs and Management
  • Improving Health Services
  • Sight and Sound
  • Introduction to Research
  • Altered Physiology

Teaching and Assessment

Face-to-face learning via lectures, seminars and practical work will make up the majority of your campus-based learning. However, you will also be expected to apply the theoretical and practical components of the course to your clinical placements in a variety of service settings.

How are you assessed?

On this course there is a varied blend of assessment methods as well as a placement, which you’ll use to showcase your abilities to future employers. Here’s how we assess you:

  • research project reports
  • in-class tests
  • online assessment
  • academic written work
  • objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)
  • presentations
Kevin Borrett

Tutor's view

Kevin Borrett
Course Leader

The skills and knowledge acquired on this course apply across a variety of fields in health, social care and education in both public sector, private sector and charitable employment. It gives a flavour of the opportunities available in order for you to decide the further education or career path you wish to follow once qualified.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Centre for Simulation in Health and Care

Our aim is to enhance your learning and experiences through the use of innovative technologies. You’ll practise profession-specific skills in a safe and supportive environment, as well as experience the types of clinical and informal healthcare situations that you’ll encounter in the workplace. The Centre is used to simulate real-life scenarios – a great way to prepare you for the real thing during placement.

Supervised Work Placements

Supervised workplace experience is a key component of the course and we anticipate that placements will be within acute and community NHS Trusts, education (mainstream and special education), and with a wide range of health and social care services. Our Faculty of Science Placement Office will help you secure work placement opportunities.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

You will be expected to pay for travel costs to and from your placement. The NHS may meet some of the costs incurred.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Speech and language assistants work with a variety of individuals in numerous settings. This qualification is also suitable for a range of other support roles involving children and adults with special needs, including senior teaching assistant posts in schools and colleges. It could also enable you to access further study in order for you to qualify as a speech and language therapist.

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

Supervised workplace experience is a key component of our course and some of your time will be spent in practice placements. If you’re a full-time student we anticipate that your placement will be within acute and community NHS Trusts, education (mainstream and special education settings), and with a wide range of health and social care services. Whereas if you’re a part-time student your placement will usually be with your existing employer, although observational visits to other agencies will be undertaken.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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