Entry requirements and training (speech and language therapist)

This page has information on the entry requirements and training needed to become a speech and language therapist.

To practise as a speech and language therapist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To register with the HCPC, you first need to successfully complete an approved degree (which takes three or four years full time or up to six years part time). There are also some postgraduate programmes which usually take 2 years. A degree apprenticeship standard in speech and language therapy has also been approved. 

Courses in speech and language therapy may have different names, including:

Courses differ but all involve a lot of practical work with patients.

To get on to an speech and language therapy degree course you usually need:

or alternative qualifications, including

If you already hold a relevant first degree, you can apply for an accelerated postgraduate programme in speech and language therapy. These courses usually last two years.

Each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully. Wherever you study, you will need to show that you have an understanding of speech and language therapy. It is a good idea to spend some time with a registered speech and language therapist to see what the work is like.

Once you’ve successfully completed a programme approved by the HCPC, you are then eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. Once registered as a practitioner, you’ll be required to retain your name on the register by keeping your knowledge and skills up to date and paying an annual retention fee.

A degree apprenticeship in speech and language therapy has been approved. This will offer an alternative route to registration with the HCPC. There are no nationally set entry requirements for degree apprenticeships - this will be down to the employer offering the apprenticeship - but you will typically need level 3 qualifications as you will be studying at degree level. Apprenticeships will be with employers, with study at university and vacancies will appear on the NHS Jobs website and the Government's Find an Apprenticeship website.

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