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Postgraduate Diploma in Dysphagia


Course Title Postgraduate Diploma in Dysphagia
Qualification PG Diploma
Duration One Year (Part-Time)
Next Intake September 2022
Close of Applications Applications are closed and will re-open in October.

The aims of the course are to provide qualified Speech and Language Therapists/Speech-Language Pathologists with opportunities to advance their academic knowledge and professional practice skills in the field of dysphagia. It provides additional clinical skills and theoretical knowledge to already qualified Speech and Language Therapists. It does not serve as initial qualifications to practise as a Speech and Language Therapist.

Applications are currently closed for the 2021/22 academic year. Applications for the 2022/23 academic year will open in October 2021 and will remain open until April 30th 2022. Successful applicants will start in September 2022. Late applications will not be considered and there are no other enrolment dates.

Course Structure

This part-time course takes place over 6 weeks within the academic year. Each week consists of five full days of teaching. Students must attend Trinity College Dublin for these teaching weeks. Additional assignment work, self-directed learning, and clinical work must be conducted outside of these weeks.

Further information about the course structure is available in the General Course Handbook 2020-21 and General Course Handbook 2021-22 . Classes are designed to facilitate overseas students and those in employment. Students attend classes on campus for one week per month. This allows students to use the remaining weeks to travel or work. This can be seen in the date schedule for the 2020/21 and 2021/22 years.


Learning Outcomes

The programme has six learning outcomes as follows:

  1. Excellence in clinical practice through extending and enhancing their existing theoretical knowledge base with a critical awareness of new insights and developments within their chosen clinical specialist area.
  2. An ability to apply their existing scientific literacy skills to research and clinical practice.
  3. A comprehensive understanding and mastery of concepts, information and techniques relevant to research methodology.
  4. An ability to design and implement, with a degree of autonomy, and with due regard to ethical considerations, small-scale research studies in their chosen clinical specialist area. These studies will add to the existing professional knowledge base.
  5. An ability to communicate confidently with peers on their area of expertise through formal presentations and with the wider scholarly community through oral presentations and published articles.
  6. Sustained intellectual interest and critical thinking as professionals through application of scientific literacy skills in the pursuit of lifelong learning.

Clinical Placements

Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma will complete a clinical placement as part of their qualification. This will comprise 80 hours of clinical work (both face-to-face client contact and supportive work such as report writing). Applicants who have not already completed a qualifying course in dysphagia will have to complete additional preparatory work. At least 40/80 clinical hours must be from client contact. Placements are organised by the Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies, but applicants who already have a placement site arranged when entering the course will also be facilitated. Clinical placements must be agreed with the Department. In addition to clinical placement hours, students must also complete a set of dysphagia clinical competencies.


Students will take the following modules:

  • Advanced Clinical Skills: Dysphagia
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Reflective Practice: Assessment
  • Reflective Practice: Intervention
  • Research Methods 1 (quantitative focus)

For further information about the content of each module, refer to the 2020-21 Module Handbook and 2021-22 Module Handbook.

MSc vs PG Diploma

Applicants who are unsure whether the MSc or PG Diploma option is best suited to them should consider visiting the MSc page. The primary difference between the two programmes is that the PG Diploma does not have a research component i.e. there is no dissertation. The PG Diploma is completed in half the number of weeks compared to the MSc. In the PG Diploma, students take two Reflective Practice modules instead of Research Methods 2 and 3 in the MSc programme. Dysphagia-related teaching, clinical placement, and clinical competencies are identical between the MSc and PG Diploma.



We accept applications from any person who meets the criteria below.

  • Qualification: You must be a qualified Speech and Language Therapist or Speech-Language Pathologist. Your qualification must accredit you to practise in the country where you qualified. In some countries, accreditation is given by the government, a national professional association (e.g. ASHA, RCSLT), or both. In countries where the government and the national professional association accredit qualifications, your qualification must be recognised by both organisations.
  • Grades: You must hold an honors undergraduate degree with an overall grade of II.1 or higher.
  • References: During the application process, you will be asked to supply two the names and details of two academic referees. These are two lecturers (full-time members of academic staff and not visiting or casual lecturers), provide a written reference letter for you. They will be contacted automatically by TCD Academic Registry when you apply. We cannot accept referees who are clinical or managerial positions, only academic references are acceptable. We require references that are dated and they should be from within the past 12 months.
  • English: If you are a non-native English speaker, you need to meet specific English language requirements. There are a number of English language tests that you can take and these are listed here Note that if you are taking the IELTS exam, you must take the academic IELTS and you must score both an overall grade of 6.5 or higher and have a minimum score of 6.5 in each band. Results from English language tests are valid for two years only. Applications that do not meet language requirements will not be considered for course entry.

Further Advice before Applying

  • Applicants from outside the EU will require a study visa to attend the MSc programme. These are issued by the Irish government and can take some time to process, so apply early. The visa required for the programme is a ‘long stay study visa’. Further information can be found here.
  • Those taking English language tests should be aware that test centres often take a long time to issue results, so we encourage applicants to take their English language proficiency examinations as early as possible.
  • Any official documentation from the university where you received your undergraduate degree and professional qualification (e.g. degree certificates, transcripts of results) that are not in English must be translated into English and certified by an official translation agency as a true copy.
  • As indicated, the PG Diploma will only run with a minimum of five applicants. We will typically be able to advise you whether your strand will run by July 31st at the latest.
  • Accommodation in Dublin can be difficult to find. The university offers some support in this regard and further details can be found here. We can also put applicants in contact with one another (and usually with students who are already in the course), which has been helpful in the past.

Fees and Scholarships

Fees for the course are handled by the Academic Registry and can change from year to year. Current fees are listed here. There are different fee structures depending on whether you are an EU or non-EU applicant. Please note that EU status is not automatic by citizenship. For details about whether you qualify for EU fees, see this page. The fee structure also depends on whether you take the course as a full-time or part-time applicant.

The Department of Clinical Speech and Language Studies do not offer scholarships or fee discounts. Trinity College Dublin however sometimes have scholarships for which you may be eligible to apply. These can be found here. If you are not eligible for any of these scholarships, you may consider investigating whether the government of your home country has any scholarships available.


Contact Us

You may like to visit the Admissions page or the Graduate Studies page.

If you still have questions, you can contact our Executive Officer (Mr. Brendan McFadden) at: