Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Career profile: Speech and language therapist

Career profile: Speech and language therapistGet the lowdown on what the job involves, what qualifications you need and how long it takes to train.

A what?

A speech and language therapist (SLT) treats speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to help them communicate to the best of their ability. They may also work with people who have eating and swallowing problems.

On the job

As a speech and language therapist you will work closely with teachers and health professionals including doctors, nurses and psychologists. You may have to move around from hospitals, health centres, schools and patients' homes.

There are a range of problems you would treat in a day, from working with a child who has a stammer or a learning difficulty to helping someone cope with a speech or language difficulty caused by illness or accident.

Course entry requirements

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs passes (or equivalent) and two A-levels, or three Scottish Higher passes, however some universities may require three A-levels or four Scottish Highers.

The universities normally specify GCSE subjects such as English language, biological or other science, maths or a foreign language. One or more A-levels may also be specified.

Alternative qualifications are also considered, for example access courses. Applications are also welcome from applicants who left full time study some time ago, but they will usually need to provide evidence of recent academic study and/or relevant experience at an appropriate level.

You will need to check with each university as it will differ.

What does the training involve?

Training consists of a three or four-year degree course accredited by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. The courses will include a balance of both theoretical and practical components. Graduates then receive the certificate to practice which is needed to work as a speech and language therapist in the NHS.

If you have an appropriate first degree, you can also qualify by taking a two-year postgraduate qualification.

Related links

(Information taken from NHS Careers)