Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search


Clinical speech and language studies

B.Sc.(Clin. Lang.); 4 years full-time; 34 places; 525*

What is Clinical Speech and Language Studies?

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) enable people with communication and/or swallowing difficulties to achieve their maximum potential.

Communication difficulties can occur at any stage in a person’s life. SLTs commonly work with children and adults who may have difficulties in speech, language, voice, or swallowing due to developmental delays/disorders or adult-onset conditions (e.g. stroke, dementia). SLTs also work with people with communication (and/or swallowing) difficulties associated with physical impairments (e.g. cerebral palsy), learning difficulties (e.g. intellectual impairment) or mental health disorders. They frequently work as part of a team (including, e.g. a psychologist, a doctor, an occupational therapist, or social worker) and work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community settings, schools, or in specialist clinics.

Is this the right course for you?

This course will appeal to you if (i) you have an interest in how speech, language, communication and swallowing works and how these areas may be affected due to developmental delays or acquired impairments, and (ii) you have an interest in areas such as psychology, linguistics, biomedical sciences and speech and language disorders. While an interest in science and language is important, it is critical that you are people-oriented, highly motivated and are open to a collaborative problem solving approach to learning. Visiting a Speech and Language Therapist at work is a good way to find out whether this is the profession for you.

Why study Clinical Speech and Language Studies at Trinity?

The Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies in Trinity is the longest established accredited undergraduate programme in speech and language therapy in Ireland. Staff who are involved in the delivery of this course, enjoy national and international recognition in teaching and research, being experts in their respective fields of linguistics, psychology, and speech and language pathology. Students who are engaged in this programme of study are provided with the opportunity to engage in a stimulating and exciting curriculum addressing the many facets of this area of study. Graduates from this course have become pioneers in their areas of clinical expertise, and continue to develop the subject area through high quality research and innovation.

What will you study?


Major theoretical components include linguistics, psychology, biomedical sciences and speech and language pathology. Teaching and learning methods include lectures, tutorials, workshops, and case-based learning, as well as small group teaching to address learning goals, incorporating aspects of problem-based learning. At all stages of the course, you will take part in problem-based learning which provides students with carefully-designed, structured problems to meet learning needs. Students work individually and in small groups to research how to ‘solve’ or address the problem (termed the ‘problem resolution’). The theoretical component of the course is assessed in a variety of ways, including continuous assessment and end-of-year exams.


Clinical activities and placements provide an important learning context from the start of the course. The department has access to a wide range of settings in which to place students (e.g. hospitals, schools, clinics, rehabilitation centres), to ensure that students are exposed to many clinical contexts during their education. During term time, an average of one day per week is reserved for clinical work which takes a variety of forms, including on- or off-site clinical placements, practicals and workshops. Principles and approaches to clinical work are also covered in lectures. You will also be required to undertake clinical practice outside term time in some years of the course. All clinical work is evaluated and assessed.


In first year, you will be introduced to the areas of language acquisition, speech sciences, human development and biomedical sciences (e.g. anatomy and physiology). These courses are a foundation for later years of study, and include modules in Clinical Practice, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Linguistics, Phonetics (the study of vocal sounds), Psychology, Anatomy (the study of the structure of the human body) and Physiology (the study of how the body works). Also, in year 1 you will get the opportunity to meet with people who have communication difficulties, in preparation for future clinical work.

In second year, you will learn about the nature and assessment of disorders of speech, language, communication and swallowing and you will learn about frameworks and tools for evaluating abilities and skills in each of these areas. You will also take modules in Speech Sciences, Linguistics, and Cognitive and Neuropsychology. Also, in year 2, you begin some clinical placements.


In third and fourth years, the theoretical component of the course focuses on therapy approaches and overall clinical management of clients attending SLT services. You also continue to study aspects of Psychology (e.g. Counselling), Neurology, Psychiatry, Linguistics and Ethics. Additionally, in years 3 and 4 you learn about Research Methods, with an opportunity to conduct your own research project on some aspect of human communication. In your final year, you get to write up this project as a dissertation.

The clinical component takes on greater significance in the final two years of the course. By the end of the fourth year, you will be expected to participate fully in assessment and diagnosis of a range of clinical presentations, and engage in therapy planning and implementation. Clinical work is supervised by practice educators, with students learning the skills of self-evaluation and reflection during the supervision process.


On graduation, your qualification from Trinity is recognised as a licence to practise as a Speech and Language Therapist in Ireland. Those holding the degree are eligible to apply for statutory registration with CORU and membership of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT): Graduates who wish to work in the UK should contact the UK Health Professionals Council: Graduates of the course, who wish to work in another European country, will have to apply for government approval in that country. If you are considering applying for professional recognition to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist in the US or Canada, you should contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at: or the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists at:

For more detailed information on your career prospects, visit the professional associations’ websites at: and:

Further information | Tel: +353 1 896 1496

Graduate Profile

Heidi Kavanagh

I had trouble filling out the CAO form because I had such a wide range of interests, but Clinical Speech and Language Studies is so impressively diverse, it has allowed me to explore almost all of them. Whether it’s working with children or older people, in a school or in a hospital, moving from lectures about sign language or psychology, to working with donor bodies in anatomy, there’s never been a dull day. Trinity has opened a whole new world for me, with its vibrant community and passionate lecturers.

Course Options


B.Sc.(Clin. Lang.)


4 years full-time

Points Required


Number of Places


CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is


Minimum entry points required are 525*
More information on minimum entry points

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here

Leaving CertificateOD3/HD3 Mathematics
In addition: HC3 In one of English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Russian or Spanish HC3 In one of mathematics, applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, physics/chemistry or agricultural science
GCSE Grade C Mathematics
In addition:
GCSEGrade B In one of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C In one of English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Russian or Spanish
GCSEGrade B In one of English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Russian or Spanish
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C In one of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics
See Precautions against infectious diseases
GARDA VETTING:Students will be required to undergo Garda vetting. See for further details.
Other EU examination systemsSee


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

Mature Student – Supplementary Application Form

Read the information about how to apply as a mature student then select the link below to complete the TCD Supplementary Application Form for mature students.

Clinical Speech and Language Studies, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 01/FEB/2016

Non-EU Applicants

  • Clinical Speech and Language Studies, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 30/JUN/2016
  • CAO code (Central Applications Office code) is