Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours

Speech and language _assessing child


‌Over the four years of this degree, students gain the knowledge and skills to assist a wide variety of people with communication and swallowing disorders. The Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours (BSLP (Hons)) is a highly regarded, professional degree with a strong practical focus. UC students are able to utilise excellent onsite resources including clinics and research facilities.

Features of the Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology(Hons) at UC

  • Qualification recognised in Australia and the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada
  • Accredited by the New Zealand Speech–Language Therapists' Association
  • Highly employable graduates
  • Fieldwork accounts for 25–50%, depending on year of study
  • Students have the opportunity to undertake work with people of all ages at clinics on campus, nationally and overseas.

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Specific requirements

Entry into the Intermediate Year

The Intermediate Year is open to all students with University Entrance. A background in science is recommended.

It is possible to take five of the Intermediate Year courses at other universities. Please note that no other university offers the equivalent of CMDS161 Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech & Hearing Mechanism, CMDS113 Introduction to Communication Disorders and CMDS162 Neuroscience of Swallowing & Communication. If you intend to do this you should seek approval of your course of study from UC's College of Science Student Advisor in advance.

Entry into the Professional Years

The first year is followed by the Professional Years. Entry into the Professional Years is limited and is based on completion of the compulsory 100-level courses (or equivalents), academic merit (normally a B+ or better grade average) and fluency in English. Relevant work experience may also be considered.

Applications for entry to the First Professional Year close on 1st October. Late enrolments will be considered if places are still available.

If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place in the First Professional Year, your completed courses can usually be credited to a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Health Sciences or Bachelor of Arts.

Qualification structure and duration

The Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours requires a total of 480 points.

The Intermediate Year

Your first year, also known as the Intermediate Year, comprises a minimum of 120 points or eight compulsory 15-point courses (or equivalent). The Intermediate courses may be taken in one full-time year of study or accumulated over more than one year.

The Professional Years

  • First Professional Year courses focus on speech and language development and disorders, evidence-based practice and audiology. You have the opportunity for practical experience, working with a range of clients.
  • In the Second Professional Year you continue studying different types of communication disorders, work with practising therapists and complete coursework in a hospital setting.
  • In the Third Professional Year you take more advanced courses and research work is also included. About half of your year will be based in the field, with you spending more time taking responsibility for the assessment of clients and the planning, management and evaluation of therapy programmes.


Fieldwork accounts for about 25% of the year's work in the second year, 30% in the third and 50% in the final year. You have the opportunity to undertake work with people of all ages at clinics in Christchurch and throughout New Zealand and overseas.

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours

Year 1 IntermediateYear 2 First ProfessionalYear 3 Second ProfessionalYear 4 Third Professional
    Compulsory courses
    Compulsory fieldwork
(1) Students must take one of the following: MAOR 165; TREO 110; TREO 111; SCIM 101/MAOR 172; HLTH 106.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).

Subjects and courses

Compulsory courses

Compulsory courses in your first year include anatomy and physiology, introductory linguistics, psychology, statistics and communication disorders. Students must select one course on Māori culture, language or health.

And one of the following:

Further study

Postgraduate qualifications include:

Career opportunities

The speech–language therapy profession offers a range of career opportunities. Graduates are highly employable as clinicians both in New Zealand and overseas. The BSLP(Hons) is recognised in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada. 

You can work with people or computers, in a research laboratory, a private clinic or a government agency. You can work with language-delayed children in a school setting or with elderly stroke patients in a large hospital or nursing home. You can be an entrepreneur, developing and marketing new communication devices and tests, or building your own private practice.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours. For information on the facilities, staff and resources visit the Department of Communication Disorders.

For more information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students) or visit the Liaison Office’s course planning page (new students), or a College of Science Student Advisor (advancing students).

Johnny Lee

Soo Jeong (Johnny) Lee

'This degree is pretty much everything I always wanted to do...'

Kenny Ardouin

Kenny Ardouin

'To be able to be a part of the moment where someone is able to communicate is incredibly powerful...'