Ready to apply for a speech and language therapy degree? Read our tips on writing a personal statement and preparing for an interview.

Applying and COVID-19

Getting some relevant work experience can make a big difference to your chances of being accepted on a speech and language therapy degree course.

However, during the coronavirus pandemic, access to work experience for prospective students has been in short supply.

Universities that provide speech and language therapy courses understand this situation, so don’t worry if you haven’t been able to secure work experience due to the pandemic.

Your chances of being accepted on a speech and language therapy course will not be affected.

Reading list

These books will give you an understanding of some of the conditions and disabilities a speech and language therapist might help to support.

You can use some of the insights from these books to support your university application.

  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby – A memoir where the writer describes his life before and after suffering a stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome.
  • The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic by Siena Castellon – Advice and tips to help autistic girls live their best lives.
  • A Stitch of Time: The Year a Brain Injury Changed My Language and Life by Lauren Marks – One woman’s journey to regaining her language and identity after a brain aneurysm affects her ability to communicate.
  • Adventures in the Mainstream: Coming of Age with Down Syndrome by Greg Palmer – A father chronicles two of the most important years in the life of his son, who has Down syndrome.
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks – The famous neurologist Dr Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients struggling to adapt to their neurological disorders.
  • My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor – A doctor’s first-hand account of a stroke and the process of recovery.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon – A murder mystery in which the protagonist is 15 years old with Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • Let me finish: A rare insight into living with a lifelong stammer by Paul O’Meara – A memoir about navigating the world as someone who stammers.

Other resources

When writing a personal statement or preparing for an interview to study speech and language therapy, you can draw on the following resources to develop your understanding of the profession and what it means to be a speech and language therapist.

RCSLT resources

External resources

The following service user organisations, charities and support groups offer valuable resources and insights for prospective SLTs:

Writing your personal statement

When writing your personal statement or preparing for an interview at university to study speech and language therapy, you will need to demonstrate your interest and understanding of the profession.

Tips from university speech and language therapy university admission tutors and what they look for when reviewing applications:

  • Evidence of wide and diverse reading to support the applicant’s understanding of their choice, which goes beyond more that ‘what an SLT does’.
  • An explanation of why the applicant wants to train as a speech and language therapist and what makes them suitable for this degree and career.
  • An application specifically tailored to a speech and language therapy course.
  • Evidence that the applicant has undertaken research into the speech and language therapy profession and what they learned as a result.
  • Skills from all parts of life that the applicant can bring to the profession.
  • An understanding of what might be important from a service user’s perspective.
  • An understanding of how the applicant’s personal values align with those of the NHS constitution.

Preparing for an interview

Already been offered an interview? Congratulations!

Here are some of our tips to help you feel confident on the day:

  • We want applicants to feel they can bring their authentic selves to interview and to the world of speech and language therapy.
  • It’s also important to show how your values line up with those in the NHS or in other places SLTs work, such as schools or in independent practice.
  • Do you need adjustments to help you access an interview? Ask the university when you apply.
  • Cost of travel limiting your options? Don’t be afraid to ask if a virtual interview is possible. If not, ask about the policy for covering travel expenses.

Helpful resources

Diversity and inclusion

The RCSLT wants to encourage more students from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds to become speech and language therapists. A diverse profession makes for a stronger profession. A diverse workforce helps us to reflect the communities we serve.

The RCSLT has compiled this anti-racist reading and resources list to support learning on the subject.

Read our joint statement with universities that provide speech and language therapy degrees on how we are supporting equality, diversity and inclusion for student SLTs.

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