Master of Speech and Language Pathology course

Master of Speech and Language Pathology course

Macquarie University Hospital

Speech pathologists are in high demand across a variety of sectors, including health, education, disability, aged-care, private practice, and research.

Course overview

The Master of Speech and Language Pathology (MSLP) at Macquarie University is a comprehensive educational course that enables professional practice with people who experience communication and swallowing disabilities, i.e. professional practice in speech pathology.

The MSLP is accredited by Speech Pathology Australia (the peak professional body for speech pathology in Australia), and graduates of the MSLP are eligible to practice as speech pathologists in Australia.

Education in the MSLP includes academic coursework and placements in speech pathology workplaces. Academic coursework delivers cutting-edge knowledge on communication and swallowing disabilities, and explores its application in speech pathology practice. Professional placements provide opportunities for students to participate in, plan, and implement speech pathology services in a variety of workplaces. Placements are offered alongside academic coursework for the full duration of the course.

Students entering the MSLP have:

  • knowledge in the areas of linguistics and psychology
  • a track record of sound academic achievement in prior bachelor-level study
  • are well-prepared for professional work in speech pathology.

The MSLP is two-years in duration (or equivalent part-time). See full details about entry requirements, course structure and course requirements.

Course themes and strengths

Applying linguistics in speech pathology practice

Language spans biology, cognition, and culture, and is the most powerful resource for human communication. The richness and complexity of language means that speech pathologists must have a deep understanding of Linguistics, and its relationship with communication disability.

In the MSLP, we support students to apply knowledge about the nature, organisation, and functions of human language to professional practice with communication disabilities. The MSLP is the only speech pathology course in Australia housed in a Department of Linguistics, and a curiosity about language pervades our approach to speech pathology practice.

Relevant units of study: SPTH8851, SPTH8836, SPTH8837, SPTH8853, SPTH8854.

Multilingualism and speech pathology practice

Australia is a multicultural nation with substantial linguistic diversity, encompassing many communities where people have competencies in more than one language (i.e. they are multilingual). Speech pathologists must embrace this diversity in order to provide high quality services for multilingual people.

In the MSLP, we explore the opportunities and challenges for speech pathology practice posed by multilingualism. In doing so, we seek to harness the linguistic abilities of our students to build capacity in our profession to provide responsive speech pathology services for multilingual people.

Relevant units of study: SPTH8854, SPTH8851, SPTH8836, SPTH8837, SPTH8839.

Fostering professional reasoning and expertise

Professional reasoning involves using complex thinking skills to reach well-informed decisions. For speech pathology practice, this means gathering, interpreting, and synthesising information about communication and swallowing disabilities, high-quality research evidence, and the realities of frontline service provision.

In the MSLP, we support students to develop explicit and systematic professional reasoning skills, fostering the development of professional expertise and excellence in speech pathology practice.

Relevant units of study: SPTH8839, SPTH8831, SPTH8832, SPTH8833, SPTH8834.

Outstanding professional placement experiences

Competency in professional practice requires tailored opportunities to participate in, design, and implement professional skills. In the MSLP, we provide students with diverse and supportive learning experiences in speech pathology workplaces, including hospitals, community health centres, schools, disability service providers, and private practices across the Sydney metropolitan region and rural and remote areas.

Students complete six professional placements, and a minimum of 90 placement days. These placements commence in the first weeks of the course and culminate in placements that closely resemble work as an autonomous certified practising speech pathologist. The diversity and volume of professional placement in the MSLP provides outstanding preparation for work in all sectors employing speech pathologists.

High quality and unique on-campus facilities

Learning and teaching activities in the MSLP take place in the Australian Hearing Hub, with dedicated classrooms and learning spaces. The Australian Hearing Hub also houses the MQ Health Speech and Hearing Clinic. It offers a range of services for children and adults with communication and swallowing disabilities, and is a registered NDIS service provider.

Speech pathologists from the MQ Health Speech and Hearing Clinic provide inpatient and outpatient services in the Macquarie University Hospital. These facilities and speech pathology services are unique to Macquarie, and provide exceptional learning experiences for MSLP students.

Professional engagement and collaboration

Course staff are certified practising members of Speech Pathology Australia, and have substantial experience in, and knowledge about, speech pathology practice.

Course staff are deeply invested in supporting the needs of practising speech pathologists, other related professionals, and people with communication and swallowing disabilities, and welcome opportunities for collaboration.

Research strengths and higher degree research

Course staff have active research programs in a number of areas relevant for speech pathology practice. These include:

  • Linguistic approaches to speech and language disorders.
  • Multilingualism and communication disorders.
  • Stuttering and its assessment and treatment.
  • Measurement of language and communication.

Upon completion of the MSLP, students may be eligible to commence a research degree, such as the Master of Research at Macquarie. By completing a research degree following the MSLP, you can contribute to the research evidence supporting speech pathology practice, and develop expertise in a particular field of study.

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