To practice as a speech and language therapist (SLT) in NHSScotland, you must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). You will need to study an approved pre-registration programme, which can take three or four years full-time. Courses differ but all involve a lot of practical work with patients.
In Scotland the following universities offer undergraduate programmes in speech and language therapy:
The minimum academic entry requirements for these degree courses vary, but most universities in Scotland require SQA Higher AABBB grades, including English and science subjects, such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. A pass in SQA National 5 grade A - C is also required if these subjects are not achieved at SQA Higher grade.
Wherever you study, when you apply you will need to show an understanding of speech and language therapy and if possible some knowledge about the types of people you might be working with. It is a good idea to spend some time with a registered SLT to see what the work is like or volunteer with an organisation working with people with communication support needs. While studying, you will also be able to join the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).
Entry requirements vary depending on the university, college or provider. Specific entry requirements, including other accepted qualifications, are provided on each university website.
To apply for a speech and language therapy programme, you must use the UCAS application process.
You can visit the HCPC website for a full list of approved speech and language therapy programmes across the UK.
Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) – Access to Health & Life Sciences (SCQF Level 6) or Access to Allied Health: Specialised Programmes (SCQF Level 6)
These programmes are for adults returning to education, perhaps changing career or seeking to gain the equivalent university entry qualifications needed for a speech and language therapy undergraduate programme. There are no formal entry qualifications, but applicants should have a good standard of general education and have been away from formal education for a minimum of 2 – 3 years.
Successful completion of the course could lead to:
- A degree in speech and language therapy by applying to universities that participate in the SWAP partnership programme
- HNC Applied Sciences
Please visit the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP) website for more information.
If you already have a relevant degree and healthcare experience, you can take a postgraduate diploma or masters in speech and language therapy. These courses usually take two years. The HCPC website provides details of approved postgraduate programmes in the UK.
Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
You will require a satisfactory (PVG) check to show that you are suitable to work as a speech and language therapist. This scheme is managed by Disclosure Scotland.