Taught course

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Manchester Metropolitan University · Department of Health Professionals

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a Health and Social Care or education discipline.

Applicants with a relevant diploma and who have gained significant clinical and professional experience will also be considered for entry on to these units.

For other practitioners (speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, specialist teachers, clinical scientists), experience of working with AAC is essential.

Months of entry


Course content

Identifying and recommending systems to support the needs of young people and adults with significant communications disability is complex. This course will enable you to consider what existing research evidence and theoretical principles underpin practitioners’ decision making as they work towards matching someone to the best available aided communications system, and support them to use it effectively.

You will study theoretical knowledge and current evidence-based philosophies to enhance your contributions to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) assessments and interventions in your workplace.

It is designed for people working across all areas of health, education and social care including speech and language therapists, teachers, occupational therapists, and clinical scientists.

This course is seminar-led, where you will have discussions to explore how you bring theoretical knowledge into your practice.

You will discuss the challenges and opportunities you face in practice, for example, reviewing how you deliver or contribute to your service.

You will also learn theories to support you in evaluating your work, including outcome measurement, assessment resources, and intervention approaches.

Professor Janice Murray, a leading researcher in AAC who has contributed to multiple international research projects, teaches the majority of our course but you will also have guest lectures too. Previous speakers have included internationally recognised AAC research academics from South Africa, Australia and Ireland, and people who use AAC.

As part of this course, you will complete a small research project. This will enable you to focus on your interests, experience and workplace, and apply your new knowledge.

Past topics have included a student reflection on work across education systems, and the perceptions of healthcare staff on end of life care for people with severe communication impairments.

You can take this course as a standalone programme or as part of our MSc Advanced Practice in Health and Social Care.

You can also study single units from this PgCert as part of your continuing professional development.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCert
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

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