BSc Speech and Language Therapy / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Clinical and Professional Practice 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code PCHN10200
Credit rating 30
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit runs across both semesters of the first year of study. The unit includes four weeks of block clinical placement learning which take place in the final four weeks of semester one when students will have had the opportunity to gain some foundation in linguistics, phonetics and typical language development via other units.

This course unit will also provide a broad overview of the role, responsibilities and clinical skills required to become an effective speech and language therapist and will prepare students for the structured, directed observation and participation required on their first block clinical placement.

The unit will provide the student with an opportunity to gain awareness of the needs of a range of service users through clinical placement learning.


The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with a variety of opportunities to gain an awareness of the roles and responsibilities of a speech and language therapist and the range of clients’ needs.
  • Introduce students to the concept of the client journey through the care pathway.
  • Develop students’ awareness of their own communication style and how to adapt to the needs of people with speech, language and communication disorders.
  • Make students aware of professional standards as defined by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
  • Introduce students to the concept of continuing professional development (CPD) and the associated skills such as reflective practice.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the stages of the client journey through care using a defined care pathway.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the need to utilise intervention approaches which have been shown to be effective through rigorous research to form evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the professional standards for a speech and language therapist, including conduct, ethics and performance.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (World Health Organisation, 2001) and an ability to begin to use this understanding in relation to speech, language and communication disorders and dysphagia.

Intellectual skills

  • Locate, evaluate and begin to apply clinically evidence-based practice.
  • Analyse clinical and interview data in order to identify the presence of speech and language disorders, the client’s and carer’s perspectives and identify any barriers to communication.
  • Use reflective practice to constantly improve their own clinical skills and collect evidence of this in a Professional Clinical Portfolio.

Practical skills

  • Use observation, interview and a range of assessment techniques to identify the presence or absence of speech, language and communication disorders and dysphagia.
  • Change and adapt their communication style and / or modality to interact, support and intervene with clients, their carers and the wider team of professionals.
  • Identify and evaluate evidence-based therapeutic approaches and begin to apply these in real clinical contexts, taking into consideration resources and the needs of the client and carers.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate social and cultural awareness, discovering and valuing the differences and needs of others.
  • Prepare and deliver an oral presentation to communicate information accurately and reliably, and in a structured and coherent way.
  • Assimilate and analyse a range of data and information.
  • Reflect and comment on the performance of a peer, identifying strengths and making constructive suggestions for improvement where appropriate.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching processes will be delivered as part of year 1 foundation simulation clinic and includes tutor led learning with face to face teaching (lectures, workshops, and placement preparation/de-briefs), facilitated simulation sessions, direct clinical experience with practice educator supervision and directed and self-directed individual independent learning.

Independent learning will include completion of documentation for an online Professional Clinical Portfolio.

To support independent study, learning materials including teaching slides and recommended reading will be made available on the unit's online Blackboard learning environment.

Assessment methods

  1. Short essay (500 words, formative)
  2. Oral presentation (10 minutes, formative)
  3. Maintenance of a Professional Clinical Portfolio (length as directed, 30%)*
  4. Written client case presentation (2000 words, 70%)*

*NB: Practice Educator assessment of 'COMPETENT' in all areas must be achieved as a requirement for the awarding of course unit credits. No compensable fail mark will be available for this course unit.


Feedback methods

  • Verbal feedback from peers and written feedback from tutors will be provided on formative oral presentations. This feedback will provide guidance to students on their oral and presentational skills for their summative clinical assignment and for future assessments.
  • Practice Educator written feedback on clinical skills will be provided in the form of a student-practice educator mid-placement review and end of placement report.
  • A mark and individual, detailed written feedback will be provided following the written case presentation. The tutor will provide guidance to students on their written skills for future assessments.
  • Individual, detailed tutor written feedback will be provided on Professional Clinical Portfolios.
  • Simulation Facilitators will provide general and individual feedback to support students’ ongoing learning 
  • Throughout the unit, verbal practice educator and tutor feedback will be provided. Students will also have the opportunity to self-evaluate their work and understanding against class discussion.

Recommended reading

What Works?  Updated in 2021. Available at:

Health and Care Professions Council (2016). Guidance on conduct and ethics for students. London: Health and Care Professions Council. Available at:

Health and Care Professions Council (2014). Standards of proficiency - Speech and language therapists. London: Health and Care Professions Council. Available at:

University of Manchester (2015) Code of professional conduct and fitness to practise for healthcare students. Manchester: University of Manchester. Available at:

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Communicating Quality Live. Professional standards for speech and language therapist. London: Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Available at:

World Health Organisation (2001) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Available at:

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 27
Seminars 37
Placement hours
Placement 150
Independent study hours
Independent study 86

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rachel Starkey Unit coordinator

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