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Master of Speech Pathology

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Master of Speech Pathology

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CSU's Master of Speech Pathology provides a flexible study pathway for students with an undergraduate qualification in another discipline, who wish to become speech pathologists.

Applications for study commencing in Session 1 close on 30 September each year.

  • Why study this course?

    Speech Pathology is a fascinating and challenging career with excellent job opportunities. There is a growing need for speech pathology services in Australia as a result of the nation's ageing population, increased incidence of chronic disease and a growing awareness of the importance of early intervention.

    Speech pathologists work with a wide variety of clients including:

    • children with speech, language and literacy difficulties
    • people with sensory or physical disabilities who may require the use of alternative modes of communication
    • people who stutter
    • adults who have acquired communication or swallowing difficulties following strokes or head injuries
    • singers and actors who need help using their voices
    • adults who have progressive conditions such as dementia.

    CSU's Master of Speech Pathology places a strong emphasis on core speech pathology skills, research, workplace learning, family and community engagement, and the development of reflective practice. Students will study introductory subjects within the first year of the course, then extend their knowledge of assessment and intervention, and gain practical experiences with a range of typical and complex clients.

    The course is offered in part-time mode only for the first two years, and there is the option for students to undertake full-time or part-time study after that (a minimum of three years or maximum of four years of study). Students may choose to exit the course after two years with a Graduate Diploma of Speech and Language. Students who graduate with the Graduate Diploma would not be eligible to work as speech pathologists; only students who complete the Masters program will be qualified to work as speech pathologists.

    What will I learn?

    This course focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and management of communication impairments (e.g. speech, voice, language, fluency, multimodal communication) and swallowing disorders.

    Theoretical and clinical subjects build knowledge and skills for speech pathology practice in a variety of contexts. This knowledge is then applied to diagnostics, treatment planning and intervention for individuals of all ages with communication and swallowing impairments. 

    The course has a strong focus on developing students' awareness and skills in working with other health and education professionals, with communities and families. It is also committed to rural and remote health, social justice, cultural safety and issues of access and equity.

    Students will engage with a range of online teaching and learning tools, which may include simulated clients, web-based classrooms and forums. Students are expected to spend 10-12 hours per week engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities for each subject. They will also use on campus facilities at CSU's Albury-Wodonga Campus during skill development and demonstration clinics held as part of residential schools.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of authentic assessments including assessment and intervention plans, case study assignments, reports, workplace learning or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Information technology requirements
    • this course is offered by distance education
    • learning and teaching tools include, but are not limited to, forums, blogs, chat rooms and online classrooms
    • access to reliable, fast internet is essential
    • prior experience in the use of some of the learning and teaching tools would be advantageous
    • candidates should demonstrate a willingness to explore new information and communication technologies.

  • Career opportunities

    This course enables students with an undergraduate qualification in another discipline, such as teaching, early childhood education or nursing, to gain the necessary qualifications and experience to work as a speech pathologist.

    Graduates of the Masters program will be prepared to work professionally as speech pathologists in a wide variety of fields, including schools, community health centres, hospitals, rehabilitation units, nursing homes, private practice and specialist disability services. It is also possible to take on academic and research roles.

    Graduates' job prospects in Australia are strong, especially in regional areas. Graduates are also qualified to work in some international locations. Graduates are advised to explore the requirements for practice in other countries to ensure they meet the criteria.

    Students who graduate with the Graduate Diploma of Speech and Language would not be eligible to work as speech pathologists; only students who complete the Masters program will be qualified to work as speech pathologists.

  • Professional recognition

    The Master of Speech Pathology program at Charles Sturt University is currently not accredited by Speech Pathology Australia. A re-application for accreditation will be submitted for 2018.
    The Graduate Diploma of Speech and Language allows students to exit the program with knowledge and skills in speech and language. The Graduate Diploma exit point is not sufficient for professional practice as a speech pathologist in Australia, therefore accreditation is not being sought for this course.

  • Credit and pathways

    Credit for prior learning and credit for current competencies will be granted to eligible applicants.

    More about Credit

    CSU credit rules apply.

  • Workplace learning

    Workplace learning will enable students to apply knowledge acquired through their studies to support children and adults with communication and/or swallowing difficulties, and their families or communities.

    Students undertake community based workplace learning in the second year of the program, in which they consult with stakeholders to develop and carry out a research project that responds to their needs.

    Students who are completing the Master of Speech Pathology undertake intensive block placements in the third or fourth year of the program. Masters students undertake a paediatric block placement (six weeks) and an adult block placement (six weeks).

    These may occur across a range of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centres, community health clinics, schools and disability organisations. Students will work under the supervision of practising speech pathologists to develop and demonstrate skills in accordance with Speech Pathology Australia's Competency Based Occupational Standards (2011).

    Workplace learning is organised by staff at CSU. When CSU organises the workplace learning experiences, we endeavour to place all students in a region near their place of residence or where they have accommodation available. However, the ability to do so is dependent on the availability of speech pathologists in those regions willing to supervise students.

    SPH515 Introduction to workplace learning in speech pathology
    SPH517 Introduction to workplace learning in speech pathology (year-long subject)
    SPH516 Planning practice-based research projects in speech pathology
    SPH526 Conducting and evaluating practice-based research projects in speech pathology
    SPH524 Issues of ethics, access and equity in speech pathology practice
    SPH525 Advanced workplace learning in speech pathology
    SPH514 An introduction to reflective practice and clinical reasoning
    SPH527 Advanced workplace learning in speech pathology (year-long subject)

  • Subjects

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    The course is designed to incorporate a two year part time, 64 point, Graduate Diploma in Speech and Language [exit point only], plus a further 64 points (full time or part time) to complete a Masters in Speech Pathology (total 128 points).

    The following eight core subjects make up the 64 points of the Graduate Diploma [exit point only] or the first 64 points of the Masters:

    SPH510 Introduction to communication and swallowing
    SPH514 An introduction to reflective practice and clinical reasoning
    SPH512 Assessment and analysis of sensory-motor skills
    SPH511 Introduction to models of communication and swallowing practice
    SPH513 Assessment and analysis of language and cognition in speech pathology
    SPH524 Issues of ethics, access and equity in speech pathology practice
    SPH522 Intervention for sensory-motor impairments in speech pathology
    SPH523 Intervention for language and cognitive impairments in speech pathology

    The following eight core subjects constitute the remaining 64 points of the Master of Speech Pathology. These can be taken as full time or part time sequence:

    SPH532 Integrating research and practice for complex case studies in speech pathology
    SPH534 Cultural competence and community development as speech pathology practice
    SPH515 / SPH517 Introduction of workplace learning in speech pathology
    SPH533 Advanced clinical reasoning for complex case studies in speech pathology
    SPH516 Planning practice-based research projects in speech pathology
    SPH525 / SPH527 Advanced workplace learning in speech pathology
    SPH526 Conducting and evaluating practice-based research projects in speech pathology
    SPH544 Reflection on self, learning and professional practice for speech pathologists

    Professional speech pathology workplace learning experiences are embedded into: SPH524, SPH515 / SPH517, SPH525 / SPH527, SPH516, SPH526.

    Key Subjects:
    SPH512 Assessment and analysis of sensory-motor skills
    SPH513 Assessment and analysis of language and cognition in speech pathology
    SPH514 An introduction to reflective practice and clinical reasoning
    SPH522 Intervention for sensory-motor impairments in speech pathology
    SPH533 Advanced clinical reasoning for complex case studies in speech pathology
    SPH544 Reflection on self, learning and professional practice for speech pathologists

    Enrolment pattern

    Year 1: Session 1
    SPH510 Introduction to communication and swallowing
    SPH514 An introduction to reflective practice and clinical reasoning

    Year 1: Session 2
    SPH511 Introduction to models of communication and swallowing practice
    SPH524 Issues of ethics, access and equity in speech pathology practice

    Year 2: Session 1
    SPH512 Assessment and analysis of sensory-motor skills in speech pathology
    SPH513 Assessment and analysis of language and cognition in speech pathology

    Year 2: Session 2
    SPH522 Intervention for sensory-motor impairments in speech pathology
    SPH523 Intervention for language and cognitive impairments in speech pathology

    Students may choose to exit at this stage, having accrued 64 credit points, with a Graduate Diploma in Speech and Language [exit point only].

    Year 3: Session 1
    SPH517 Introduction to workplace learning in speech pathology (YLS)
    SPH516 Planning practice-based research projects in speech pathology
    SPH532 Integrating research and practice for complex case studies in speech pathology

    Year 3: Session 2
    SPH517 Introduction to workplace learning in speech pathology (YLS)
    SPH526 Conducting and evaluating practice-based research projects in speech pathology

    Year 4: Session 1
    SPH527 Advanced workplace learning in speech pathology (YLS)
    SPH534 Cultural competence and community development as speech pathology practice

    Year 4: Session 2
    SPH527 Advanced workplace learning in speech pathology (YLS)
    SPH533 Advanced clinical reasoning for complex case studies in speech pathology
    SPH544 Reflection on self, learning and professional practice for speech pathologists

    Full-time distance education progression (from year 3, session 1)

    After completion of the first four session part time, the final eight subjects will also be offered as a full time progression.

    This enrolment pattern would result in students completing their studies in three calendar years.

    Year 3: Session 1
    SPH515 Introduction to workplace learning in speech pathology
    SPH516 Planning practice-based research projects in speech pathology
    SPH532 Integrating research and practice for complex case studies in speech pathology
    SPH534 Cultural competence and community development as speech pathology practice

    Year 3: Session 2
    SPH525 Advanced workplace learning in speech pathology
    SPH526 Conducting and evaluating practice-based research projects in speech pathology
    SPH533 Advanced clinical reasoning for complex case studies in speech pathology
    SPH544 Reflection on self, learning and professional practice for speech pathologists

  • Residential schools

    There are three to four subjects in the Master of Speech Pathology that have a residential school component. The residential schools will typically run for two to four days at Albury-Wodonga Campus and provide an opportunity for students to meet other students and teaching staff face-to-face, revise and discuss subject content, and develop and practise clinical skills (e.g. assessment and intervention strategies) prior to commencing any external workplace learning.

    Costs associated with attending workplace learning experiences and residential schools, such as travel, accommodation and meals, are the responsibility of the student.

    The following subjects may have a residential school component:

    SPH524 Issues of ethics, access and equity in speech pathology practice
    SPH523 Intervention for language and cognitive impairments in speech pathology
    SPH512 Assessment and analysis of sensory-motor skills in speech pathology
    SPH513 Assessment and analysis of language and cognition in speech pathology
    SPH522 Intervention for sensory-motor impairments in speech pathology
    SPH544 Reflection on self, learning and professional practice for speech pathologists

  • Admission information

    Students must have completed a 3 year undergraduate degree in any discipline. Students are required to have understanding of linguistics and head and neck anatomy.

    • Linguistics knowledge must include understanding of phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax, at a level equivalent to those provided in SPH101.
    • Head and neck anatomy knowledge must include understanding of structures and functions involved in communication and swallowing at a level equivlanet to that of BMS224. 

    Prospective students will be able to undertake current undergraduate subject offerings in Head and Neck Anatomy and Linguistics in the year prior to commencing the Masters course.

    Applications for study commencing in Session 1 close on 30 September each year.

    Students applying for the Master of Speech Pathology are required to meet the following selection criteria:

    A high level of academic ability through previous studies

    Previous university study:

    A candidate shall hold a minimum three-year undergraduate degree in any discipline

    Prerequisite knowledge:

    Candidates who do not have evidence of knowledge in head and neck anatomy and linguistics will be required to undertake study in these areas prior to applying for the Masters program.

    The following subjects are available via distance education at CSU and cover the required prior knowledge:

    • BMS224 Head and Neck Anatomy
    • SPH101 Speech, Language and Culture

    Alternatively, applicants can undertake equivalent subjects at another university. Subjects from other universities will be considered equivalent if the learning outcomes meet the following criteria.

    Please note that completion of these subjects at CSU or similar subjects at another institution does not provide any guarantee you will be successful in gaining admission to the course.

    Head and Neck Anatomy

    Learning outcomes:

    • identify the structures of the head and neck, specifically the bones, muscles, major blood vessels and nerves of the skull, ear, larynx, pharynx, palate, oral cavity and nasal cavity and portions of the vertebral column and thorax
    • explain the functions of the bones, muscles, major blood vessels and nerves of the skull, ear, larynx, pharynx, palate, oral cavity and nasal cavity and portions of the vertebral column and thorax
    • describe the processes of hearing, respiration, phonation, articulation and deglutition with particular reference to the relevant structures and their functions. 

    Introduction to Linguistics

    Learning outcomes:

    • understand the key terms in phonetics, phonology, morphology and syntax
    • describe place, manner and voice associated with consonant production and height, length, rounding and anterior placement of vowels
    • identify International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols
    • transcribe single words using IPA symbols of Standard Australian English
    • describe types of morphemes, word classes and phrase structures, clause structures and sentence types
    • analyse sentences at word, phrase and clause level through identification of morphemes, word classes and phrase structure, and clause types and structures.

    Candidates will need to provide transcripts detailing the prerequisite subjects undertaken at another university.

    Statement of intent to study the Master of Speech Pathology

    A 500-word statement addressing the following needs to be submitted upon application:

    • an interest in and a commitment to speech pathology
    • prior work, study and life experience that have led to the application to study speech pathology
    • capacity to undertake study at this point in time
    • recognition and utilisation of principles of adult learning
    • previous experience of distance education or online study.
    Interview

    Based on the above criteria, candidates will be selected to participate in a short interview to discuss their statement of intent, the course requirements and their eligibility / suitability for the program. Interviews can be facilitated via phone, Skype or in person.

    Application process
    1. Submit your application online including copies of transcripts, evidence of your prerequisite knowledge and the 500-word statement. If you wish to discuss your eligibility, contact CSU on 1800 334 733 or submit an online enquiry
    2. Applications close on 30 September.
    3. All applications will be considered after the application cut-off date. A shortlist of applicants will be offered interviews. Please note that completion of BMS24 and/or SPH101 at CSU, or equivalent subjects at another institution, does not guarantee you will be offered an interview. If your application has been shortlisted, you will be contacted to make an appointment for a 15-minute interview with speech pathology program staff. Interviews will be held in October and can be conducted in person or via teleconference / Skype. For further information contact CSU on 1800 334 733 or submit an online enquiry
    4. Successful interviewees will be offered a position in the course.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees - please visit the fees and costs page or contact us for current fee information.

    Tax deduction - in some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.

    Alumni discount

    Already studied with CSU? Our 10% Alumni discount applies to this course!
    Find out more

  • Course details

    Campus locations listed for Online students are purely for administrative purposes and have no relevance to the student experience.

    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession1Session2Session3Admission Code
    DirectDistance EducationAlbury-WodongaFPPGYNNOSSP
    DirectDistance EducationAlbury-WodongaCGSYNNESSP

    LEGEND
    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    Students must satisfactorily complete all 16 subjects (128 points).

  • How to apply
    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    This course is not available to international students.

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • About the School
    The School of Community Health

    The School of Community Health aims to work in partnership with communities to provide quality allied health education and research, offering courses in the areas of health and rehabilitation science, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology. Courses are delivered across three campuses at Albury-Wodonga, Orange and Port Macquarie. The School aims to develop future health graduates to work both nationally and internationally, developing specific skills in regional and rural practice. The School uses a range of innovative teaching practices that seek to foster graduates' ability to work in the current and future health environment, and have received citations and awards for excellence in teaching.

  • Preparing for Study

    STUDY LINK

    This School recommends any of the following short, self-paced, online STUDY LINK subjects to students who wish to reinforce knowledge and skills prior to starting at CSU:

    • SSS025 - Introduction to Bioscience

    Any of the following subjects are recommended for students who wish to improve the areas of writing and grammar prior to starting at CSU:

    • SSS024 - Grammar Essentials for Writing at University

    These subjects are particularly useful for those people who feel that they may have knowledge gaps and need a refresher because they have not studied for some time. STUDY LINK subjects are free for CSU Commonwealth-supported students as soon as they accept their offer of a place; small fees apply for others. They are non-credit bearing subjects. A Subject Coordinator assists students with any questions.The full subject list and enrolment forms are on the STUDY LINK website.

  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

    Throughout their studies, CSU students have a responsibility to continue to develop skills in English Language, literacy and numeracy as appropriate to their discipline. This ongoing development will enable students to effectively participate in their course and graduate as competent professionals.

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