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

Develop high-level knowledge and analytical skills, share your professional experience and access current research in your field, on an MSc that brings together speech and language therapists, teachers and other graduate school-based practitioners.

Who is it for?

This course is for school-based professionals who provide support for children with speech, language and communication needs.

Jointly run by City, University of London and UCL Institute of Education, this MSc is a unique collaboration between international leaders in research and professional practice. It brings together speech and language therapists, teachers and other graduate school-based practitioners for collaborative study.

You will gain high-level knowledge and analytical skills, along with the opportunity to share your professional experience and perspectives, while accessing current research in your field. Participating in this programme will help you raise your profile as a specialist and leader in speech, language and communication needs in the school setting.

Objectives

The Speech, Language & Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice MSc will help you:

  • Understand and critically reflect on research and professional practice across both education and health.
  • Develop high-level knowledge of educational contexts and children’s language, social, emotional and behavioural development and needs.
  • Enhance your understanding of research methods and research skills.
  • Complete a research project in a chosen area under expert supervision.
  • Enjoy stimulation and fresh thinking in a community of fellow students, practitioners and research experts.
  • Increase your credentials as a specialist and leader in your field.
  • Improve prospects for higher-grade specialist and managerial posts.

Teaching and learning

You will learn in a dynamic and supportive atmosphere, which encourages participation and the exchange of ideas. Modules are facilitated by experienced clinicians, teachers and leading researchers, using a variety of direct and interactive methods.

Some modules take place in large groups supplemented by small-group discussion or laboratory sessions that provide hands-on experience of statistical analyses.

Specialist modules take place in small groups combining lecturing with student-led discussion and workshop activities, often drawing on participants' professional experiences.

Moodle, the virtual learning environment at both institutions, provides an online platform for sharing module information and interactive learning. These methods support and are supported by self-directed study.

Assessments

Modules are assessed through a diverse range of assignments that may include:

  • Essays
  • Literature reviews
  • Oral presentations
  • Poster presentations
  • Case studies
  • Data analyses.

Assessments require critical evaluation of research on key issues; selective application of theory and research to a particular setting, group or individual in the student's experience; understanding of research methods; and skills in statistical analysis.

Modules

The taught programme comprises:

  • Four core modules.
  • Either one elective module worth 30 credits or two elective modules each worth 15 credits.
  • A research dissertation.

Teaching takes place in three 10-week terms: autumn, spring and summer. Part-time students take one module per term.  Full-time students take two modules per term.

Each module runs over 3 to 5 whole days, 10 evenings or 10 half days. In addition, you will be expected to spend approximately half a day per week reading around the taught sessions, preparing for discussion, or completing short exercises.

You will have up to one year to complete the research dissertation.

Core modules

  • Concepts and Contexts of Special and Inclusive Education (30 credits) (Autumn term, one evening per week)
  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Development (30 credits) (Summer term, one evening per week)
  • Language Learning and Development (15 credits) (Spring term, two whole days in January and one whole day in March)
  • Foundations of Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis (15 credits) (Spring term, five whole days)

Elective modules

Elective modules are chosen from many available at both institutions and timing depends on module choice. Popular electives include:

At UCL IOE:

  • Autism: Research and Practice (30 credits)
  • Inclusive Pedagogy (30 credits)
  • Literacy Development (30 credits)
  • Literacy Practice in Writing and Comprehension (30 credits)
  • Psychology for Special Needs (30 credits)
  • Reading and Spelling Difficulties (30 credits)
  • Understanding Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia) (30 credits)

At City, University of London:

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Early Identification and Psychological Development (15 credits)
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Therapeutic Approaches and the Evidence Base (15 credits)
  • Child Protection: Working together with Risk and Resilience (15 credits)
  • Cognitive Communication Impairments (15 credits)
  • Developmental Language Disorder (15 credits)

Download the relevant programme specification

Career prospects

This MSc qualification raises graduates’ profile as a specialist and leader 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 that this MSc does not lead to professional qualification as a speech and language therapist or teacher.


Visit the Speech, Language and Communication Needs in Schools: Advanced Practice - MSc page on the City, University of London website for more details!

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