Speech and Language Pathology
Speech-language therapists/pathologists are professionals who study human communication – how it develops and the many differences and difficulties that children and adults experience.
Speech-language therapists/pathologists work in preschools and schools with children and students who have difficulty communicating and learning. This includes supporting children who stutter, have autism, or have a voice disorder.
Speech-language therapists also work with infants born prematurely and provide services for adults who have lost the ability to communicate or swallow effectively due to stroke, degenerative disease, brain injury, or cancer.
- The Speech and Language Pathology programme at UC is Aotearoa New Zealand's most established, having trained a majority of the country's speech-language therapists/pathologists. The UC degree was the first in the country to be accredited by Te Kāhui Kaiwhakatikatika Reo Kōrero o Aotearoa | New Zealand Speech-language Therapists' Association (NZSTA), the organisation that sets quality standards for speech-language therapy courses in Aotearoa.
- As a hands-on qualification, it will provide clinical experience working with clients of all ages. There are eight clinics on campus and you will also go on placement to speech-language therapy clinics at hospitals, schools, and other facilities nationwide. There are also opportunities for overseas clinical placements.
- Te Kura Mahi ā-Hirikapo | School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing has 12 full-time staff and is a national resource centre for information and continuing professional education in communication sciences and disorders. The Department welcomes a number of distinguished scholars from around the world, including Erskine Fellows who lecture and conduct collaborative research in the Department.
Entry to the Intermediate Year of study (first year) is open to all students eligible to enter the University. The recommended preparation for the Intermediate programme is a science background to at least Year 13 and work experience, including visits to meet people with different speech and language abilities.
A good level of English and any prior knowledge of languages eg, te reo Māori, is also useful.
UC offers a Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours, which develops professional clinical practice and research skills in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders.
Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours
See the Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours for the compulsory courses in the degree.
The first year of the degree is called the Intermediate Year, and includes introductory courses and a large selection of optional courses in a variety of subjects, such as Linguistics, Psychology, and Education.
The Intermediate Year is followed by three full-time years of specialised professional training – the Professional Years.
In the Professional Years, students complete coursework covering a wide variety of topics in normal and disordered aspects of speech, language, swallowing, and hearing. The academic coursework is taken in combination with clinical fieldwork.
Students have the opportunity to undertake their fieldwork with practising therapists and people of all ages and backgrounds in a variety of settings, including preschools, schools, hospitals, and clinics in Ōtautahi Christchurch and throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.
Limited entry to the First Professional Year (second year of study)
Entry to the second year of the Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honours is limited to students who successfully complete their Intermediate Year with high grades, and/or have relevant work experience.
If you are unable to or decide not to continue with a Speech and Language Pathology degree, you can credit completed courses to a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Health Sciences, or Bachelor of Arts.
The speech-language therapy/pathology profession offers a range of career opportunities. Graduates are highly employable as clinicians both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas.
As a graduate of UC's BSLP(Hons) programme, you will be able to work in a variety of settings. You can work with children who have autism or language delays in preschools and schools 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. With further postgraduate study, you can teach at a university, conduct research in a scientific laboratory, or be an administrator.
Perhaps best of all, you can combine several of these to establish a challenging and satisfying career that improves the quality of life for children and adults who experience communication difficulties.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Speech and Language Pathology.
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