Speech Therapy

The work – Language and Speech Therapy

The work is creative and challenging it involves helping others to find their potential socially educationally and vocationally by allowing them to communicate with others.  Speech and language therapists diagnose, treat and support those suffering from speech disorders.  People of all ages are treated but most of the work is with children.  Their clients may have problems from birth such as cleft palate or have special educational needs.  Clients may have problems with speech arising from an injury or an illness such as Parkinson’s disease or be suffering from the after effects of a stroke.  A speech therapist will work closely with other medical professionals such as doctors, psychologists Occupational and music therapists, teachers and social workers.


Entry and Training – Language and Speech Therapy


To qualify within language and speech therapy you undertake a three year or four year degree course.  The course is very much science based includes subjects such as anatomy pathology child development neurology phonetics and linguistics. Psychiatry sociology and psycholinguistics along with special needs and speech pathology.


Clinical practice is an important part of the course. Students spend placements of one day a week and additional longer periods in language and speech therapy departments.  There is currently a shortage of speech therapist’s in Ireland and there are many vacant posts.


Two year postgraduate courses are available for students with degrees in other subjects, however a relevant degree in science or languages is often required. It is best to check with individual institutions.


It is essential to check individual college entry requirements they may vary.  A list of institutions and their requirements are available from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2 White Hart Yard , London SE11NX Tel 02073781200. Website www.rcslt.org.


  • University of Ulster – The Faculty of Social sciences in University of Ulster Jordanstown campus offers a BSc. (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy
  • Republic of Ireland – IASLT The Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists Is a recognised professional association of Speech and language therapists working at national and international level – www.clubi.ie/iaslt/


Trinity College Dublin – The school of Clinical Speech and Language studies in the Faculty of health Sciences at Trinity.  The School of Clinical Speech and Language Studies.


Adult Entry – Language and Speech Therapy


There is no upper age limit for entry to the profession.  All applicants must take the normal route of a three or four year degree course.  There are no part-time employment based routes.


Personal Qualities


  • Good powers of observation
  • Able to motivate clients of all ages
  • Powers of persuasion – for instance encouraging clients to continue with an exercise or persuading parents to continue with an exercise at home
  • Able to work on own initiative in a one to one situation with a patient whilst still work effectively as part of a team.


If you are in any way unsure as to your career direction, you make an appointment to see a qualified and impartial career guidance practitioner throughout on this website, see the links above and on the left hand menu.

Ruth Sears – April 2009

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy