BSc Speech and Language Therapy / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Developmental Speech and Language Disorders A

Course unit fact file
Unit code PCHN20321
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit falls in the first semester of the second year of study and forms the first part of a developmental speech and language disorders strand which continues with part B in the third year. In preceding learning students will have had the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of typical development of speech and language, underlying language processing, and of linguistic description. Students will have had the opportunity to develop a range of broad clinical/professional knowledge and skills and may have had clinical experience with clients who have developmental speech and language disorders.


The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with a variety of opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of the nature of developmental speech and language disorders.
  • Provide students with a variety of opportunities to gain requisite knowledge and understanding of diagnosis, assessment and management, in educational and bilingual/multilingual contexts, for younger children who have developmental speech and language disorders.
  • Provide students with a variety of opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of the lived experience of developmental speech and language disorders.
  • Provide students with opportunities to integrate and critique knowledge and understanding and to reflect upon relevant aspects of education, professional practice, and the therapeutic process.
  • Provide students with opportunities to apply theory and evidence to clinical decision making and to the critical evaluation of practice, processes and outcomes.
  • Provide students with opportunities to practice relevant clinical skills.
  • Provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding, to self evaluate and to receive feedback from tutors.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of developmental speech and language disorders, their diagnosis, assessment and management.
  • Understand the role and responsibilities of the SLT working with preschool children who have language delays and disorders, including demonstrating awareness of multi-disciplinary working in this area.
  • Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research in the field and demonstrate an understanding of the scope of this knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations in clinical decision making.

Intellectual skills

  • Apply knowledge and understanding to solve problems regarding clinical decisions and management and to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches, to assure quality of practice.
  • Manage their own learning, and make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources appropriate to the field.
  • Apply the methods and techniques that they have learned, in order to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding.

Practical skills

  • Perform structured observation and accurate recording of speech, language and other information relevant to this client group, and report these using appropriate record keeping methods.
  • Administer and score relevant assessments and interpret standardised scores.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Exercise personal responsibility and show decision-making capacity appropriate for a straightforward clinical context.
  • Reflect and comment on their own performance or work, identifying strengths and areas for improvement where appropriate.
  • Demonstrate awareness of their own values and attitudes to service users and exercise a compassionate and respectful approach, in line with inclusive practice.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching processes will involve tutor led learning with face to face teaching (lecture, seminar, workshop), group/peer learning, which may be presented through synchronous/ asynchronous webinars, and individual independent learning.

Processes will use on-line learning, simulated case (or enquiry) based learning, listening to/watching presentations, discussion/seminars and directed reading.

Students will also have the opportunity to watch and learn from an expert clinician model, to prepare and make presentations, to complete written work, and to practise with assessment and intervention tools.

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

Assessment methods

  1. Case study assignment (900 words, formative)
  2. Written assignment (1000 words plus session plan, 50%)
  3. Open book exam (2 hours, 50%)

Feedback methods

A mark and tutor written feedback will be provided following the summative exam and the written assignment.

Throughout the unit, students will have the opportunity to self-evaluate their work and understanding against shared peer work and class discussion. Feedback on the assignment will provide guidance to students regarding their clinical reasoning skills and on their formal written communication skills. This will inform preparation for their exam and will also be relevant to CPP2&3 clinical assignment and viva.

Recommended reading

Bauman-Waengler, J. (2016). Articulation and phonology in speech sound disorders: A clinical focus (5th Edition).Pearson.

McLeod, S., & Baker, E. (2017). Children's Speech. An evidence-based approach to assessment and intervention. Boston: Pearson.

Paul, R., Norbury, C., & Gosse, C. (2016). Language disorders from infancy through adolescence: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and communicating (5th Edition). London, UK: Elsevier Mosby.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 15
Seminars 25
Independent study hours
Independent study 160

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Carly Hartshorn Unit coordinator
Alexandra Sturrock Unit coordinator

Return to course details