Speech pathology is the clinical science concerned with the assessment, treatment and management of communication and swallowing disorders in infants, children and adults.
Speech pathologists work with people of all ages who are experiencing communication and/or swallowing disorders as a result of illness, injury or disability. Speech pathologists may work in a range of education and health sectors including playgroups, kindergartens, schools, universities, nursing homes, hospitals and community health centres. They may work in the public sector or build their own speech pathology practice in the private sector. Speech pathologists may work as a sole therapist or as part of a larger interdisciplinary team (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors, audiologists and psychologists). They may work directly with the client and their family, providing individual guidance and goals, or they may devise and implement group therapy sessions.
This profession may be of interest to those with a scientific or linguistics background who are interested in working with people.
The Master of Speech Pathology course is designed to provide comprehensive training in all aspects of speech pathology and to produce graduates who are ready to enter the profession. The first year of the course provides the scientific background in anatomy and physiology, articulatory and acoustic phonetics, linguistics, speech and language disorders, clinical practice and processes. The second year builds on the specialised knowledge acquired in first year, develops clinical skills and introduces students to research methods in the field. The course consists of formal lectures, seminars, practical work and student presentations along with a substantial clinical component. Students will be scheduled for approximately 400 hours of supervised clinical work at various health-care and educational facilities in metropolitan and rural areas in Victoria. The clinical work will occur throughout the semesters alongside the lectures as well as block placements during the semester breaks. Please see the Course and Subject Handbook for more information about the subjects and the time commitment.
The Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology offers a Master of Speech Pathology degree, which is a two year full-time course. Completion of this degree qualifies you to work as a speech pathologist.
The Master of Speech Pathology degree allows students to gain both theoretical and clinical skills in the areas of communication and swallowing disorders, with a focus on these disorders across the lifespan. Students who show an aptitude for research may be considered for PhD studies in the department.
The course is the graduate level entry professional degree for speech pathologists with exposure to Australia’s best academic and clinical teaching across paediatric, adolescent and adult populations.