Speech & Language CPD / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our distance learning CPD units are ideally suited for speech and language therapists wishing to further their knowledge of in a specialist field.

You should have evidence of higher education study or already be working in the field of speech and language therapy.

If you are a health professional and you are working with one of our specialist populations (such as nurses working with adults with acquired dysphagia), you may be eligible to take one of our courses. Please contact the postgraduate tutor by emailing  pgtaught.slt@manchester.ac.uk if you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply.

Please note that our courses are intended for individuals who already have an appropriate professional qualification and do not enable you to register as a speech and language therapist in the UK.

Detailed unit information can be found further down this page. Please contact us for more information on each course.

Special features

Expert teaching

This course is led by members of the Division of Human Communication Development and Hearing. Course tutors are all clinical experts with a strong record of publications and teaching expertise.

Teaching and learning

Many of the staff involved with our courses are actively involved in research (either scientific or pedagogical research).

Where possible, members of staff teach course units related to their research interests and are in a position to keep their teaching informed and up to date.

All the teaching staff are also clinically trained speech and language therapists or research psychologists with an interest in communication disorders.

Coursework and assessment

If you opt to study for a 15 credit unit, you will be formatively assessed throughout your e-learning experience, with regular multiple-choice quizzes to help you check your understanding of the course content as you progress. You will also complete a summative assessment, consisting of a written 3,000 word assignment. On successful completion of your written work, you will be awarded 15 credits. You will receive written feedback within one month of the submission deadline. The assignment task will vary depending on the unit you choose.

If you opt to take a non-credit bearing version of a CPD unit (currently only available for ‘Working with Adults with Acquired Dysphagia’), you will be formatively assessed with regular multiple-choice quizzes and be asked to engage in online discussions. On successful completion of the unit, you will be awarded a CPD certificate as evidence of your level of study.

Course unit details

All units carry 15 credits at master's level. The 'Working with Adults with Acquired Dysphagia' is available for 0 credits, where there is no final summative assessment.

Please contact pgtaught.slt@manchester.ac.uk for further details of our short courses.

Working with Adults with Acquired Dysphagia (0 or 15-credit options, available Sept-Jan & Feb-July)

Dysphagia can be a challenging and satisfying clinical area to work in. The clinical decision-making involved in dysphagia management cuts straight to the core of our societal and personal values. 

This unit is based on the RCLST dysphagia competencies 2014. You will progress from level A through to C (ie competent in the Clinical Swallow Examination or bedside exam, with knowledge of when to refer to instrumental assessment and/or other professionals).

Although this framework has been superseded by the RCLST 2021 competencies, the teaching content remains relevant to qualified SLTs and other healthcare workers who wish to develop their skills in working with adults with acquired dysphagia.

Please note, the unit does not cover adults with learning disabilities, paediatric dysphagia or highly specialist areas of practice such as tracheostomy management. 

You can work through the theory required for competency in independent assessment and management of eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties. You will access portions of the curriculum, which you can then apply to your everyday practice under the supervision of a more experienced speech and language therapist. 

Practical tasks are set after online sessions and are directly applicable to the content in the online lessons. For example, when learning about the cranial nerves, your practical task will be to carry out and interpret oro-motor examinations with your clients.

As well as support from your clinical supervisor(s) in your workplace, you can access the Discussion Board at any time to start a conversation with your academic tutors and peers.

You will check your progress through access to formative quizzes, and reflect on and evidence your journey to competency in a learning journal.

The distance learning model of the unit means you can learn at your own pace but have access to a tutor when you need one.

The unit is divided in to 20 separate parts and you can choose to study in either Semester 1 or Semester 2 of the academic year. This unit is available as a 15 credit bearing unit or a non-credit bearing unit for which you will gain a Post Graduate Certificate of Completion. The non-credit version requires that you engage in the discussion tasks and complete the formative assessments at the end of each part.

You must be a qualified SLT or registered healthcare professional working with adults with acquired dysphagia, registered with HCPC (or your equivalent governing body). You must have access to a clinical supervisor (a registered SLT or other health professional) competent in assessing and managing dysphagia in adults in your workplace. They will oversee and evaluate the practical learning tasks required to gain competencies in eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.   

New Horizons in Aphasiology (15 credits, available Sept-Jan)

This unit covers current clinical and theoretical treatment approaches in aphasiology for SLTs and other health professionals.

You will explore current main theoretical and clinical issues in two of a choice of three specialist areas: language recovery in the brain; connectionist modelling and aphasia therapy; and sentence and discourse therapy in aphasia.

You will focus on clinical assessment and the practicalities of treatment, with scope for consideration of your own clinical data or case studies.

Working with Bilingual Children and Their Families (15 credits, available Feb-July)

This course is for SLTs or those from related professions working with bilingual children with speech and language difficulties and their families.

You will develop the clinical and professional knowledge and skills required to deliver an equitable service to this growing population.

You will explore a range of current main theoretical and clinical issues including bilingualism in the UK, working with interpreters, code-switching, and collecting speech and language samples in other languages using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Evidence-based practice in Speech and Language Therapy (2 units)

These unique units cover evidence-based practice methodologies for SLTs and other health professionals. Part of each unit is tailored specifically to service-level evaluations in health, education and social care.

You can tailor learning to your own needs and to those of the services and populations you serve before exiting the course with the tools to evaluate your service.

Part A: The evidence-based practice process and critical appraisal (15 credits, Sept-Jan)

The course covers topics such as the scope of evidence-based practice in SLT and evidence-based questions, and external evidence, assumptions and myths.

It also covers quantitative research methods and hierarchies and levels in evidence-based practice.

Part-B: Synthesis of evidence and service evaluation in SLT (15 credits, Feb-July)

The course covers topics such as understanding interpreting outcome data, synthesising evidence, making recommendations from bodies of evidence, practice-based evidence and its role in clinical decision-making, and qualitative research.

Each course will be delivered online, including 150 hours of study within the Blackboard e-learning platform using audio and video presentations, and online learning tasks including quizzes, reflection tasks, discussion boards, videos, and reading materials.

You will be able to access the materials throughout the course and will have full access to the University library's online resources.

You will access learning materials and complete formative assignments at your own pace.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dementia: A Person Centred Approach NURS63570 15 Optional
Working with bilingual children and their families PCHN61432 15 Optional
New Horizons in Aphasiology PCHN61441 15 Optional
Evidence Based Practice & Service Evaluation in Speech & Language Therapy - Part A PCHN63541 15 Optional
Evidence Based Practice & Service Evaluation in Speech & Language Therapy Part B PCHN63542 15 Optional
Working with adults with acquired dysphagia PCHN63700 15 Optional
Working with adults with acquired dysphagia PCHN93620 0 Optional


The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk