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Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice (MSc)

Course content

This MSc is a joint programme of City, University of London and UCL Institute of Education (IOE). It brings together speech and language therapists, teachers and other graduate school-based practitioners for collaborative study.

About this degree

Taught modules address current research and debates on educational contexts and children's language; social, emotional and behavioural development; and needs. They also enhance students' understanding of research methods and skills in critical analysis, preparing them to undertake a research project in their chosen area.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (90 credits), either one IOE or two City electives (30 credits in total) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

There are four taught core modules - two at the IOE and two at City University, and the MSc Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice dissertation. For the dissertation module students can choose to be supervised at either institution.

  • Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education
  • Foundations of Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis (City University)
  • Language, Learning and Development (City University)
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Development

Optional modules

Students choose either one IOE optional module or two City optional modules to the total value of 30 credits.

  • Autism: Research and Practice
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Early Identification and Assessment
  • Cognitive Communication Impairments
  • Developmental Language Impairments
  • Inclusive Pedagogy
  • Literacy Development
  • Literacy Practice in Writing and Comprehension
  • Promoting Child and Adolescent Psychological Development
  • Psychology for Special Needs
  • Reading and Spelling Difficulties
  • Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

Modules are taught in different ways: a conventional lecture-based approach predominates, supplemented by a variety of activities, for example, group/pair discussions, case study analysis, role play, the use of simulations. Assessment is by written assignments and a dissertation. Some assignments may require data analysis, or written work and a presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice MSc


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


This qualification raises graduates' profiles as specialists and leaders in speech, language and communication needs in the school setting. It is an advantage for teachers and clinicians seeking higher grade specialist and managerial posts. Graduates are also eligible to apply for a research degree (MPhil/PhD) and some research posts.

Please note: this MSc does not lead to professional qualification as a speech and language therapist or teacher.


Depending on their prior experience, graduates of this programme might expect:

  • entry into employment relevant to SCLN.
  • promotion, e.g. to a management position for students with several years' prior experience.
  • progression to higher degrees, e.g. MPhil/PhD for students with a consistently high academic profile.
  • to deliver training to other practitioners at their host institution.
  • publication in professional journals in the fields of language and communication for exceptional students.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The MSc in Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice will enhance the depth and breadth of your understanding of children's speech, language and communication needs (SCLN) and how children's language needs intersect with different facets of their education, relating to policy, school systems and practice and co-occuring problems these children may experience.

This programme provides a springboard for fresh stimulation and reflection on support for children with speech, language and communication needs in a community of fellow students, practitioners and research experts.

There are opportunities within all modules to share theory and professional practice across the disciplinary boudaries of health and education. Participants explore the needs of children with speech, language and communication difficulties from a range of perspectives. The programme seeks to promote effective collaboration between educational practitioners and speech and language therapists.

Visit the Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!





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