Speech and Language Therapist BSc - Level 6

Speech and Language

This occupation is found in a variety of contexts, including the NHS, local authorities, voluntary, community, and social enterprise sector (VCS) organisations, the education and justice sectors and in independent practice. Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council and are uniquely qualified to provide speech, language, communication and eating, drinking and swallowing therapies. They work in many settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, in the community, within charities, schools, and peoples’ homes. There are opportunities throughout your career to specialise and move into leadership, training and research roles. You would also work closely with teachers and other health professionals, such as doctors, nurses and psychologists. You may also supervise the work of speech and language therapy assistants.

Skills and knowledge

To become a Speech & Language Therapist you will need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of psychology
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently


To become a speech and language therapist you’ll need to train and study at degree or postgraduate level. A degree apprenticeship may also be available through your employer.



Routes into this job

You may be able to do a speech and language therapist degree apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship will take around 4 years to complete.

If you already have a relevant degree it may be shorter and you may be able to gain a masters qualification as part of the apprenticeship.

If you are already working as a speech and language therapy assistant you may be able to apply to do the degree apprenticeship with your current employer. You would need to meet all their entry requirements for the apprenticeship.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has more information on this apprenticeship.


You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

You'll need a degree in speech and language therapy that's approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

If you've got a relevant degree, you could do a 2-year fast-track postgraduate course in speech and language therapy.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has useful resources to help you prepare for a career in speech and language therapy.

You may be able to get additional student financial support through the NHS Learning Support Fund.


You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

or alternative qualifications, including:

- BTEC, HND or HNC which includes science
- relevant NVQ
- science-based access course
- equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications

You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in the health or care sector before you apply for a course.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.

You may also find relevant volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

Career progression

Once you’ve qualified, you’ll have annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) check-ins to discuss your career aspirations and plan how you can achieve them, so you’re always moving forward. You may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice such as cleft and lip palate, people with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) or learning disability. With further training, you could move into teaching and research or become an advanced clinical practitioner.

Advanced Clinical Practitioner - Level 7

Advanced Clinical Practitioners are experienced clinicians who demonstrate expertise in their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners manage defined episodes of clinical care independently, from beginning to end, providing care and treatment from the time an individual first presents through to the end of the episode, which may include admission, referral or discharge or care at home. They carry out their full range of duties in relation to individuals’ physical and mental healthcare and in acute, primary, urgent and emergency settings (including hospitals, general practice, individuals’ homes, schools and prisons, and in the public, independent, private and charity sectors). They combine expert clinical skills with research, education and clinical leadership within their scope of practice. Advanced Clinical Practitioners work innovatively on a one to one basis with individuals as well as part of a wider team. They work as part of the wider health and social care team and across traditional professional boundaries in health and social care.