Master of Speech Pathology
- CRICOS Code: 073115G
What will I study?
The course consists of formal lectures, seminars, practical work and student presentations along with substantial clinical component. Students will be scheduled for approximately 400 hours of supervised clinical work during the two-year course at various health-care and educational facilities in metropolitan and rural areas in Victoria.
Sample course plan
View some sample course plans to help you select subjects that will meet the requirements for this degree.
Sample course plan - Master of Speech Pathology
The Master of Speech Pathology is a fixed, full-time course. Students must successfully complete all subjects as outlined below.
Explore this course
Explore the subjects you could choose as part of this degree.
- Determinants of Good Health6.25
Determinants of Good Health
This subject is a compulsory subject within the Master of Speech Pathology. It provides a critical overview of public health historical development, conceptual underpinnings and practice in the following domains.
History and distinguishing features of public health and population health
The historical development of public health is traced. The distinguishing features of public health, emphasising the health of groups and populations rather than a focus on the health of an individual, are presented and explored. Key points of transition in the health of populations over time are identified. The scientific disciplines that make up the toolbox of modern population health are described.
Determinants of the health of individuals, groups and populations
Determinants of health affecting the health of individuals, and populations are identified, recognising that social determinants work in concert with environmental and biological factors. The health of indigenous people in Australia is examined and resources provided to assist in understanding common influences on the health of indigenous people world-wide. The increasing importance of health and human rights locally and globally is discussed, including an examination of the ethical frameworks relevant to public health practice.
Strategies and Systems
Major strategies and approaches to public health including health protection, health improvement and health care quality assessment are presented, with illustrations from local and international experience. The elements and function of health systems are defined and the roles of principal public health agencies internationally and nationally are described.
Achievements and challenges
The significant achievements in public health from the late 20th century through to the 21st century are identified and emerging challenges and possible solutions are explored, including in relation to indigenous populations.
- Clinical Processes A12.5
Clinical Processes A
The Clinical Processes A subject introduces skills for effective and accurate communication, and provides an introduction to the psychological and emotional aspects of clinical practice. This subject covers professionalism, ethics, history taking, and clinical communication skills (listening skills, empathy, informational and affective counselling). This subject is structured around 12 workshops, and includes group discussions/activities, videos, and role play.
- Communication Across the Lifespan12.5
Communication Across the Lifespan
This subject will provide an overview of the multiple determinants of communication skill development across the human lifespan, ranging from communication development in the prenatal period and early infancy through to communication changes that occur with ageing. The many facets of communication will be addressed including: What is communication? How do we communicate? What distinguishes human communication from other communication? What are the theories and origins of human communication? In this subject, you will be introduced to the idea that communication changes across the lifespan. We will address how communication competency develops and changes during early infancy through to old age. The many factors/ determinants that can impact on, or change, communication skills will be highlighted. Maintenance of communication across the lifespan will also be introduced within this context, as well as factors which impact on communication breakdown. You will apply your knowledge gained in this subject to analyse examples of human communication and to produce an essay on a selected communication topic.
- Linguistics and Phonetics12.5
Linguistics and Phonetics
This subject introduces students to the structure and sounds of English. The course provides an introduction to morphology, syntax, semantics and psycholinguistics, with an emphasis on developing skills for analysing language. The course provides an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet, illustrates its uses as a transcription tool and provides instruction in both broad and narrow transcription of speech. Students will be introduced to the acoustic analysis of speech sounds, and will gain an understanding of how the acoustic structure of sounds is related to their perception.
- Speech Disorders Across the Lifespan12.5
Speech Disorders Across the Lifespan
In this unit, speech production development and speech production disorders from infancy through childhood to adolescence and adulthood will be presented. In relation to disorder, Developmental, Syndromic/Genetic, Neurodegenerative/Movement and Acquired speech production disorders will be the focus of study. Traditional and current approaches to the investigation of speech disorders across the lifespan will be included. The unit will focus on the description, assessment, differential diagnosis and treatment of speech disorders. The course will also cover the impact of speech disorders on impairment, activity and participation (using the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health framework) within the context of school achievement and peer, family, and work relationships.
- Language Disorders Across the Lifespan12.5
Language Disorders Across the Lifespan
In this unit, language disorders from infancy through childhood to adolescence and adulthood will be presented. Both developmental and acquired disorders will be the focus of study. Traditional and current approaches to the investigation of language disorders across the lifespan will be included, as well as the importance of multicultural factors. The focus will be on the description, assessment, differential diagnosis and treatment of developmental and acquired language disorders. The course will also discuss the characteristics of different language disorders within the context of academic achievement (literacy) and family, peer and work relationships.
- Swallowing and Voice12.5
Swallowing and Voice
This unit adopts a socio-cultural framework, to explore the physiology, assessment, diagnosis and management of voice and swallowing problems across the lifespan. Across the lifespan, individuals may experience problems with ingesting food and liquid and with voice production. Individuals with these problems often present to speech pathology. This subject will provide a broad overview of the systems that underpin voice production and swallowing. This will focus on the anatomy and physiology (to compliment material taught in Year 1, Semester 1) of vocal mechanism and the swallowing mechanism, where breakdown occurs and evidence based intervention strategies. This unit places the patient at the centre of the discipline with a focus on vocal function, voice disorders and treatments, swallowing function, disorders and treatments and the psychosocial components of both.
- Speech Pathology Practice 16.25
Speech Pathology Practice 1
This first clinical practice subject introduces students to the speech pathology clinical setting including the management of clients and patients presenting for assessment and/or intervention. Clinical placement settings may include hospitals, community clinics, early intervention and specialist centres, schools, private practices, university clinics, residential aged care facilities and other relevant settings. A variety of clinical experiences will be offered including initial observation, followed by increasingly ‘hands-on’ experiences with infants, children, young people and/or adults throughout the clinical placement. In particular, this subject covers establishing rapport with clients, developing observational skills, interviewing, case history taking, and listening to and recording information accurately. To support student learning, students also attend workshops held at the University during semester. Topics include introduction to CBOS (2011) and COMPASS®, adult learning, peer learning, supervisory styles, reflective practice, clinical reasoning and case-based discussions.
- Clinical Processes B6.25
Clinical Processes B
The Clinical Processes B subject continues from knowledge and skills gained in Clinical Processes A, from Semester 1. The student will develop their clinical communication skills (listening skills, empathy, informational and affective counselling) and apply these to the professional context. This subject will build upon skills of self-review and reflection that were established in Clinical Processes A. This subject will provide opportunities for students to plan management strategies for a range of simulated cases. It will involve development of skills such as planning session goals, and accurately reporting on clinical sessions. Clinical Processes B will provide an introduction to the principles of evidence based practice, and critical appraisal of the literature. This subject is structured around 12 workshops, and includes group discussions/activities, videos, the use of standardised and ‘simulated’ patients and role play.
- Planning and Integrating Intervention6.25
Planning and Integrating Intervention
This subject will discuss the rationale for different approaches to intervention in relation to evidence based practice. Goal setting and defining therapy outcomes will be discussed. In addition the evidence base for key ingredients such as dose and intensity will be discussed and the differences between efficacy and effectiveness and evidence vs practice will be debated. The subject will draw on students’ prior knowledge and clinical practice experience in the discussion of clinical reasoning in professional practice. The subject will involve lectures, self-directed and group learning.
- Speech and Language Disorders - Advanced12.5
Speech and Language Disorders - Advanced
This unit will focus on advanced issues in the diagnosis of speech, language and swallowing disorders from childhood to adulthood. There will be an emphasis on presenting and supporting students to problem solve real-world clinical dilemmas regarding the use of existing best practice classification systems to refine diagnoses for clients. In particular, clients with complex co-morbid conditions will be presented. The subject will also cover the importance of, and processes for, working with other health professional colleagues in the measurement and interpretation of evidence to guide their diagnosis for speech, swallowing and language disorder.
- Speech Pathology Practice 212.5
Speech Pathology Practice 2
This subject builds on the knowledge obtained in the prerequisite subject AUDI90032 Speech Pathology Practice 1. The subject expands the student’s knowledge of speech pathology clinical settings and introduces the student to more complex cases. The clinical settings for this subject may include hospitals, community clinics, early intervention centres, specialist centres, schools, private practices, university clinics, nursing homes and others. Students will be allocated to 4 week placement during the semester. Students can anticipate a rural placement during this subject OR AUDI90039 Speech Pathology Practice 3. This will be at the personal expense of students.
A variety of clinical experiences will be offered but increasingly the student will be expected to engage with and actively participate in assessing and managing infants, children, young people and adults. In particular, the student will be expected to independently take histories, have highly developed observational skills and to use this information to be able to select the appropriate diagnostic methods and tests as per the setting, client problem, age and any other relevant variables. In addition, the student will be able to identify and differentially diagnose problems, identify co morbidity and suggest appropriate referral options. Intervention goal setting, planning and the ability to execute intervention will be developed. To support the student’s learning, workshops including problem-based learning case discussions, will accompany the clinical placement experiences.
- Research for Hearing and Speech Sciences6.25
Research for Hearing and Speech Sciences
This subject will introduce students to research design in the behavioural sciences and provide the basic statistical tools and concepts for analysing relevant experimental data.
- Disorders of Fluency6.25
Disorders of Fluency
This subject will provide theoretical knowledge on disorders of fluency in adults and children. The subject will address the onset of stuttering in early childhood and its natural history. Evidence based treatment approaches for children, adolescents and adults will be presented and discussed.
- Complex Case Models in Speech Pathology12.5
Complex Case Models in Speech Pathology
This unit focuses on problem based learning to build student competencies in working with complex, multifaceted clinical cases. The content will focus on a range of issues across the lifespan including neurological diseases, diverse cultural backgrounds, mental health, behavioural difficulties, pre-intentional and multimodal communication, diverse socio-economic backgrounds, adolescent development and health, aged care and hearing loss. Students will be required to integrate information from a variety of sources, apply knowledge acquired in previous units, address professional issues that arise during complex cases and communicate their ideas clearly and effectively in both written and oral format.
- Professional Issues and Practice6.25
Professional Issues and Practice
This unit explores the principles underpinning professional practice in speech pathology. This subject will introduce students to key professional issues that have the potential to impact ethical and professional practice within private, public and research settings. Broad ethical principles will be addressed and will be considered in relation to ethical professional practice, marketing, privacy principles and the communication of speech pathology services to consumers. This subject will equip students with practical examples using case studies. It will address issues affecting speech pathology practice including current funding sources, private health insurance, the role of the professional national association (Speech Pathology Australia - SPA), and practice management issues.
- Speech Pathology Practice 312.5
Speech Pathology Practice 3
The final clinical practice subject will consolidate the knowledge in Speech Pathology Practice 1 and 2. The subject extends the student's experience of speech pathology clinical settings and prepares the student for independent clinical practice following graduation. The clinical placements for this subject may include hospitals, community clinics, early intervention centres, specialist centres, school, private practices, residential aged care facilities and other clinical settings. Students will be allocated to 4 week placement during semester. Students can anticipate a rural placement during this subject OR AUDI90039 Speech Pathology Practice 3. This will be at the personal expense of students.
The student will be expected to engage with and actively participate in a variety of clinical experiences, assessing and managing a range of communication and/or swallowing disorders with infants, children, young people and adults. This subject provides the opportunity for students to develop their own personal growth and identity as a speech pathologist. Students will independently select and implement relevant diagnostic procedures and will plan and implement methods for the reduction of communication and/or swallowing difficulties during their clinical placements within this subject. To support student learning, workshops including reflective practice and discussion of clinically-relevant topics, will accompany the clinical placement experiences.
- Independent Studies in Speech Pathology25
Independent Studies in Speech Pathology
Students will carry out a supervised research project in a relevant area of speech pathology. A draft scientific paper will be written describing the outcomes of the project.