Access to Speech Therapy
Speech therapists diagnose, assess and look for solutions to communication disorders, working with adults, children in schools, hospitals and the community. To become a Speech Therapist you will need a BSc. (Hons) degree in Speech and Language Therapy. You will then need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The three or four-year degree will involve a lot of practical work with service care users.
What are the university entry requirements for a speech and language therapy degree?
To apply to universities for Speech and Language Therapy, you should have, or be working towards achieving a relevant Access to HE Diploma in Health Science. Or, alternatively, 3 A Levels with at least one in a science area (Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Geography or Maths). Universities can advise on their particular entry requirements and they also publish these on the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website.
With the A Level route, you may also be expected to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs. With the Access to HE Diploma route, you are normally only required to have 2 GCSEs in English and Maths at Grade C or above. Access to HE Diplomas are normally aimed at adults 18+ returning to education or wishing to change to a new career. There are no upper age limits. The Diploma qualification is viewed as being equivalent to 3 A Levels. Access to HE can be studied from home via online learning or at a local college/academy.
To gain the required level of practical skills and technical competence to become a Speech Therapist, the time on your degree programme will be spent between theory and clinical practice. The theory part will be based within the university setting where you will have contact with other students and your tutors, and attend seminars and lectures. Clinical practice is where you will undertake supervised speech therapy placements within hospitals, schools and out in the community.
What does a speech and language therapist do?
Speech and language therapy provides treatment, support and care for those who have difficulties communicating. They also help with problems relating to eating, drinking and swallowing.
Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are allied health professionals. Just like in most areas of healthcare, they work in conjunction with others to find the best outcome for the patient. They work with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors. There are around 17,000 practising SLTs in the UK working in a wide variety of settings.
What personal attributes are needed to become an SLT?
Good communication skills and patience are both needed to become a Speech and Language Therapist. You will need to be able to think creatively and individually tailor treatment programs for patients. Interpersonal skills are vital for pulling together all the relevant information from parents/carers, teachers and other professionals that will enable you to form a bespoke treatment plan for each Service Care User.
What are the pay and working conditions like?
As a newly qualified SLT, your starting salary will be around £22,000 (Band 5) rising up the pay scale annually to £28,500. As a specialist SLT, you can earn between £25,783 and £34,530 (Band 6). Typical salaries for advanced or highly specialised SLTs range from £30,764 to £40,558 (Band 7). The Government have recently announced a 6.5% increase across health sector employees over the next 3 years.
Did you know?
- Speech and Language therapy is most common special educational need in children aged between 4 and 11 years old.
- More than half of children in some areas of the country start school with underdeveloped speech, language and communication skills.
- Around 20% of the population may experience communication difficulties at some point in their life.
- You can make a difference!
How is your degree funded?
Studying to become a Speech Therapist allows you to you to apply for the standard student support package in the form of a student loan. Scholarships, bursaries or grants may also be available for example, through the university or your place of work.
If you would like to complete an Access to HE in Speech Therapy with Academy Online Learning and obtain the level 3 Access Diploma in Health Science Professions for university entry, please complete the online enrolment form or contact us for more information by phone or email. Studying and achieving this qualification provides a flexible way of study as it is fully online and is recognised and accepted by UK universities.
What units will I study on the Online Access to Speech Therapy Course?
This gives you an opportunity to shine when you are invited for an interview at the university. You will research the university and look at the syllabus and the combination of academic and practical experience and delivery. You will address your own transferable skills and put them to use when writing your UCAS application. You can produce a practice UCAS form prior to submitting your application to UCAS. All the research relating to this unit needs to be contained in a portfolio. You can take this with you to demonstrate that you have carried out detailed research of the course that you have applied for.
There are many diseases and consequently many causes of diseases. Identifying the prevalence of diseases comes with the notion of patterns in society where disease is prevalent. You will be looking at the nature of diseases and the changing patterns across society over time. By identifying diseases and causes, steps can be taken to reduce a disease. Public Health Agencies play a clear role in this; you will be given the opportunity to discover how effective these agencies are in promoting health.
There are many different methods involved in research and you will be introduced to some of these, for example; Correlations, Experiments, Observations, Case Studies Questionnaires and Surveys. You will be given the opportunity to develop your own piece of research in a standard report format.
This can be awarded against a level 3 essay. In essay preparation, you will be expected to research a topical area and present an argument, analysis or evaluation, demonstrating that you can use the evidence you have researched to present ideas and empirical evidence to support the claims that you are making.. The set of writing conventions relating to an essay can vary depending on the subject area. You will be asked to read the question carefully so that you know what the question is asking. In identifying the key words you will be able to see what the main idea is behind the title. You will be able to demonstrate your ability to select relevant material.
Psychology Units (Graded)
This involves the localisation and function of the brain. The different methods of investigating the brain are considered, whereby the strengths and weaknesses of those methods are addressed. You will be given the opportunity to look at the interaction between the brain and behaviour in an example of day to day living.
Health Units (Graded)
This unit relates to communication between health care professionals and clients. Here you will be able to explore the different ways of breaking down barriers of communication and how some barriers are more difficult than others to eradicate. You will develop an understanding of the importance of listening skills and how empathy is a focal point of the client /nurse relationship. There are many forms of communication used to convey confidential information. There is a focus here to show how any breaches of confidentiality can have serious consequences.
There are a range of physiological disorders identified here in this unit. You will be made aware of at least three different disorders in detail from the onset and the processes involved in the diagnosis of the disorder including the tests involved in identifying the disorder and remedies to address the disorder and the care strategies used to support the individual on recovery. The roles and responsibility of health care specialists is also important in the speed of recovery and palliative care.
Biology Units (Graded)
The main theme in this unit is to develop an understanding of the hormone system and the endocrine glands. You will be looking at the principles behind homeostasis and feedback mechanisms involved in as blood sugar control. You will also look at the actions of hormones and the understandings of molecular processes in steroid and peptide action. You will be illustrating and giving accounts of the endocrine system and identifying the specific organs associated with the system. There will be an opportunity to discuss the medical use of synthetic hormones such as HRT.
Here you will be given the opportunity to explore the components and function of a balanced diet. You will be directed towards looking at what happens when there are deficiencies of a particular nutrient and you will be given the opportunity to identify common forms of malnutrition. Whilst collecting your evidence you will be explore the Alimentary Canal, identifying and locating the structure and function of the Digestive System and the processes involved in the digestive process.
This addresses the understanding of genetic inheritance including simple Mendelian crosses where you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding with illustrations and give a robust account of autosomal dominant recessive patterns and co – dominance. You will need to be able to draw and interpret a Punnett square and calculate probabilities for a variety of monohybrid or dihybrid crosses and recognise inheritance patterns. There will be an opportunity to research and understand the chromosomal basis of sex determination and explain the intra species variations as a result of features such as the environment.
The skeletal system is the primary focus of attention in this unit where you will be given the opportunity to understand the function and structure of the skeletal system, the different joints and movement possibilities relating to joints. You will locate the regions of the spine and identify a number of bones in the human body. You will explore the muscle fibre action in detail and the mechanism involved in sliding filament theory.
This introduces the basic structure and function of the nervous system including the peripheral nervous system the autonomic nervous system and it’s subdivisions. You will also be given the opportunity expand upon your research and look at the nature of nerve impulses and the importance of action potential and the myelin sheath. You will also look at the principles of synaptic transmission, the direction of transmission and the effects of synaptic inhibition.
This looks into the organisation and structure of the body considering tissue types and DNA. You will study the various blood components, the roles and relate this to the circulatory system as a whole. You will cover the blood flow within them, the dynamics of the heart in relation to the needs of the body as well as the differences between plasma and tissue fluid.
This unit looks at homeostasis and the kidney as a homeostatic organ. You will be researching the kidney’s role in the balance of water, salt and pH and the effects of the environment on a cellular level. There will be an opportunity to give a detailed account of the kidney and illustrate its function in relation to the body. Kidney replacement is also a topical area. Malfunction diagnosis is a key consideration and point of investigation.