Clinical Speech and Language Studies
What is Clinical Speech and Language Studies?
To speak and write, to listen and learn, to be understood, the abilities most fundamental to human communication and interaction can be impaired by a wide range of conditions, from stroke to cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and autism. Speech and Language Therapists work with people of all ages and assess, diagnose and treat individuals with a variety of communication and swallowing disorders. Since communication and swallowing difficulties affect every aspect of a person’s life, the work of the speech and language therapist is multi-faceted and therapists work in a variety of settings, from schools to hospitals and other clinical settings.
To embark on this exciting professional career, as a speech and language therapist, you will complete a four years honours degree in the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies. You will study the core areas of speech and language pathology, linguistics, psychology and the baisc medical sciences, such as anatomy and physiology. You will also engage in supervised clinical practice across a range of settings.
Clinical Speech and Language Studies: The course for you?
Studying speech and language therapy opens up a huge range of opportunities and allows you to apply your unique talents and interests to this fascinating area of study.
This course will appeal to you if you have an interest in how speech, language, communication and swallowing works and how these areas may be affected in either children or adults. You will enjoy this course if you like a variety of teaching, learning and assessment approaches, such as lectures, problem-based and case based learning and clinical practice
Clinical Speech and Language Studies @ Trinity
When you decide on a career as an allied healthcare professional, you need to ensure you have the best academic and clinical preparation to succeed. Aligning yourself with one of the top ranking universities in the world, is an ideal foundation for your career path. The Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies is the longest-established, accredited undergraduate programme in speech and language therapy in Ireland. The team involved in the delivery of this course, enjoy national and international recognition in teaching and research, and are experts in their respective fields. You will be part of a stimulating and exciting teaching and learning environment and enjoy a curriculum that is both research led and practice driven.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
You might be surprised to learn that the knowledge and skills developed while studying Clinical Speech and Language Studies equips graduates to work in a wide range of interesting and challenging contexts.
Whilst graduates emerge with an in-depth knowledge of their discipline, they will have developed transferable skills that provide a strong foundation to engage with society and the workplace. Graduates develop the ability to think independently, act responsibly, communicate effectively and develop continuously. Graduates are ethically minded, resourceful and are ready to embrace challenges and innovations in their chosen specialty. They become key stakeholders in the development of the speech and language therapy profession in national and international healthcare contexts.
Graduates from this course are highly sought after and valued by employers in healthcare and educational contexts.
Your degree and what you’ll study
The four-year honours degree course comprises an integrated programme of theory and practice. The key strands within the curriculum are: Speech and Language Pathology and Swallowing Disorders, Clinical Practice, Linguistics, Psychology, Research and Basic Sciences (e.g. Anatomy and Physiology).
Much of Year 1 (Junior Freshman) is focused on foundation studies that provide a context for understanding typical communication and swallowing behaviours. The emphasis in Year 2 (Senior Freshman) is on understanding and assessing the strengths and needs of the client population served by the profession, together with studying speech sciences, psychology and linguistics. Year 3 (Junior Sophister) places emphasis on the application of this knowledge to intervention in clinical contexts. You will also study neurology, psychiatry, discourse analysis and further develop your research skills. In Year 4 (Senior Sophister), students are provided with the opportunity to integrate knowledge skills and competencies, acquired through the four years. Students prepare to become practitioners and researchers and complete an independent research project.
Clinical activities and placements provide an important learning context from the start of the course. The department has access to a wide range of service settings and clinics, in which to place students e.g. hospitals, schools, clinics, rehabilitation centres. During term time, an average of one day per week is reserved for clinical work. You will also be required to undertake clinical practice outside term time.
The course employs a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies. Both continuous assessment and end of year exams are undertaken across the four years. The range and diversity of assessment formats account for varying student learning styles.
Whilst the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies has a strong international network, the nature of the professional course – in terms of the clinical practice requirements – precludes study abroad at undergraduate level. However, students get an opportunity to engage in international summer schools, in the summer vacation period.
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): www.iaslt.ie. Graduates who wish to work in the UK should contact the UK Health Professionals Council: www.hpc-uk.org. 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: www.asha.org or the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists at: sac-oac.ca/
What our graduates say
Sarah Rowland, Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), Dublin
“During an enjoyable four years of study, I acquired the foundation knowledge and tools to shape my development, qualify as a Speech and Language Therapist. My learning highlights were periods of clinical practice, where I had the opportunity to work under supervision of Speech and Language Therapists in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals and adult rehabilitation units. These supportive clinical learning environments afforded me the opportunity to put theory into practice and develop clinical reasoning skills, a sense of professional identity and recognise the need for continuous life-long learning. Having graduated in 2015, I am currently a member of a multi-disciplinary health care team, working on swallowing and communication disorders in the Elderly. The service provides both inpatient and day Hospital Care for the elderly in the Dublin area.”
What our current students say
Heidi Kavanagh, Dublin
“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.”
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