The Bachelor of Speech Pathology is a 4-year program that prepares students to assess and manage individuals who have difficulty communicating and/or swallowing. The course encompasses all aspects of communication including speech, language, reading, stuttering, voice, multimodal communication and non-verbal communication (including the use of signs, symbols and gestures). Speech pathologists also work with people who have difficulties swallowing.
In order to qualify for the degree, students will undertake over a 1,000 hours of professional practice education. This will enable students to meet entry-level clinical competency standards for Speech Pathology Australia. Practice education begins in the first semester of first year and continues through each semester with increasing time. In the fourth and final year, professional practice is a major component of the course.
Speech pathologists work in a variety of ways including providing individual therapy, working in small groups, working within a classroom, becoming involved in home-based programs, providing workshops and working in multi-disciplinary hospital teams. They have a central role in giving expert advice, treatment and direction to clients, carers, and other professionals. A speech pathologist is often an important member of an early intervention team, an aged care services team, a medical and rehabilitation team, and a school therapy team. A number of speech pathologists also work in private practice.
High achieving Bachelor of Speech Pathology students can undertake honours in the third and fourth years, provided they meet admission requirements.