Speech And Language Therapist

Job Description:

Speech and language therapists help people with speaking and communication problems and those with eating and swallowing difficulties.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

As part of your day-to-day tasks, you could:

  • talk to clients, observe them and use tests to assess specific difficulties
  • help a patient who has had a stroke to learn to speak again
  • support families to communicate with loved ones who have had a brain injury
  • plan and develop therapy programmes
  • help children and adults with eating difficulties to learn how to swallow
  • work with children with language delays or disorders
  • support clients through treatment
  • work closely with colleagues like doctors and teachers


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Speech and Language Therapist in the UK, you typically need to complete a recognised degree program in Speech and Language Therapy. While specific subjects are not typically required for entry into a degree program in Speech and Language Therapy, having a strong foundation in certain subjects can be beneficial in preparing for your studies and career. These subjects include:

  1. Biology: Understanding the human anatomy and biology is important, as speech and language therapy often involves knowledge of the respiratory, vocal, and neurological systems.
  2. Psychology: A background in psychology can be helpful in understanding the cognitive and emotional aspects of speech and language disorders.
  3. English Language: Strong language skills, including an understanding of phonetics and grammar, are important for speech and language therapists.
  4. Mathematics: While not as directly related, a good grasp of mathematics can help in data analysis and record-keeping.
  5. Additional Sciences: Courses in chemistry or physics can also be beneficial for understanding the physical aspects of speech and the instrumentation used in assessment and therapy.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering


You’ll need a degree in speech and language therapy.

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


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.


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 public hospital trust for further advice.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 38-40 hours of work. You could be required to work between 8am and 6pm.

You could work at a school, in a public or private hospital, at a health centre, in a nursery or at a client’s home. Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could specialise in areas like:

  • helping children with special educational needs
  • helping eating, drinking and swallowing disorders (dysphagia)

With further training, you could move into teaching and research. You could also become self-employed and run your own business.