Thinking of doing a speech and language therapy degree at university? Find out about courses available in the UK and how to fund your studies.
In the UK, the title speech and language therapist is protected, so you must complete a registered, accredited degree-level course to practice as a speech and language therapist. This can be at university or as part of an apprenticeship.
University-based degree level courses can be completed at either undergraduate (BSc hons) level or postgraduate (PGDip or MSc) level.
The main differences and requirements for each are:
- Undergraduate (BSc) – requires A level passes in various subjects. These are set by individual universities but, typically, subjects like languages (including English), biology, psychology, or sciences are accepted.
- Postgraduate (PGDip or MSc) – requires a previous degree qualification in a related subject (check with the individual universities) usually a science, language or psychology degree. You will normally be required to have achieved a grade no lower than 2:1 in your previous degree to be accepted.
Undergraduate courses take between 3-4 years to complete depending on the university chosen.
Postgraduate courses usually take about 2 years to complete.
On successful completion, you’ll be able to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to register to practise as an SLT in the UK and to use the protected title.
If you are unsure which route is best for you, contact the individual universities who will be happy to talk through your options.
Supporting equality, diversity and inclusion
The RCSLT is committed to equality, inclusion and diversity across the profession. Read our statement on the ways in which the speech and language therapy profession is embedding equality, inclusivity and diversity into every step of speech and language therapy degrees.
Where can I study?
There are currently 19 universities offering accredited speech and language courses across the UK, so you can choose a place to study that suits you.
Use our interactive map to find universities that offer accredited speech and language therapy undergraduate, postgraduate and master’s courses.
These programmes are approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accredited by the RCSLT.
Click the pin of the university location and the details of the university. Their programmes will then appear in a pop-out box.
You can filter by delivery mode. For example, part-time or full-time study, or undergraduate or postgraduate level.
Funding your studies – England
Visit the GOV.UK student finance pages for basic information about student finance in England.
The guide at The Funding Clinic covers more detailed information about the student loan in England, including the special arrangements for loans for postgraduate students on healthcare courses.
Students who have taken out a student loan are able to access another loan to study these courses. This is not the standard postgraduate student loan but the loan accessed by undergraduate students to cover tuition fees and support living costs.
In December 2019, the Government announced that, in addition to existing student support, from September 2020 students studying the nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects will receive a non-repayable and non-means tested grant of at least £5,000 a year.
We have confirmed that this funding will be available to speech and language therapy students. Funding will be offered to existing students as well as new course entrants.
There will be additional funding available to attract students to the highest-priority subjects based on the Government’s assessment of vulnerability and workforce priorities.
Additional funding will also be available for childcare and to support regional vulnerabilities. Total additional funding could come to as much as £3,000 per year for some students.
Funding your studies – Scotland
In Scotland, students are supported under the general funding system and can apply for bursaries and loans depending on status and income.
Additional allowances are available depending on circumstances such as:
- dependants’ grant for carers
- lone parents’ grant
- disabled students’ allowance
You can also claim travel and accommodation costs for placements.
Visit the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) website or call 0300 555 0505 for more information.
Funding your studies – Wales
This Welsh NHS bursary is only available for students studying in Wales who have committed to work in Wales for two years on completion of their course. The NHS Welsh Bursary Scheme is provided by Student Awards Services.
In addition to tuition fees, the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme includes a bursary for living costs, including:
- a £1,000 non-means tested grant
- a means tested bursary
Students are also supported for costs such as:
- accommodation (while on placement)
- disabled student allowance
- dependents allowance
- parental learning allowance
Visit the Gig Cymru/NHS Wales website or call 029 2090 5380 for more information.
Note for students from Wales considering courses in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland
The student streamlining project was introduced in Wales in 2020. Under the terms of the streamlining project, students deciding to take the NHS Wales bursary commit to work in Wales for a two-year tie in period.
Band 5 posts are advertised as part of the streamlining process. Previously band 5 roles outside of this process have been in short supply. We recommend that Welsh students hoping to return to work in Wales carefully consider the implications of streamlining on their choice of course.
Funding your studies – Northern Ireland
For students who have lived in Northern Ireland for the last three years, the Department of Health in Northern Ireland will pay tuition fees directly to the university. Students can apply for an income-assessed bursary to help with living costs and may also be eligible to apply for a reduced rate non-income assessed loan.
Students from EU countries who are ordinarily resident and studying in Northern Ireland may also qualify for financial support. The amount of bursary available to students will depend on an individual and family’s income.
For further information contact NI Direct on 028 902 577 77 or visit: